Archive for February 25, 2013

It’s not disruption of Higher Education – it’s privatization

Great piece by Aaron Bady about the trends in higher education.  I particularly liked the definition of “Borg complex” about MOOCs, which I’d not heard of previously.

So I want to shift the debate a bit. Shirky thinks in terms of “disruption” and what can come of it, in theory. I think in terms of what the “disruption” of the University of California system looks like in practice, as a complex of politicians, financiers, and career administrators move in lock-step to transform it into a self-sufficient corporate entity, and to enrich private industry in the bargain. I see a group of decision-makers who quite manifestly do not know what they are talking about and who barely try to disguise it, for whom “online” is code word for privatization. If I am against MOOC’s, I am against the way “MOOC” is being experienced in California, in practice: as an excuse to cheapen education and free the state budget from its responsibility to educate its citizenry.

via Tree Sitting – The New Inquiry.

February 25, 2013 at 5:28 am 4 comments

Defining the role for computer science in a national curriculum

The UK has achieved something that the US has not yet accomplished (but is trying through the Computing in the Core effort). Computer science is now included as part of a national UK curriculum.  Computer science is not yet part of most US state curricula.  Neil Brown does a great job (in the blog post linked below) considering the strengths and weaknesses of the new curriculum.  In particular, he considers seriously what every student needs to have — certainly some CS (like in the CS:Principles effort), and trying out programming, but with ICT and digital literacy as probably the most critical for everyone.

At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science, in which pupils are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation. Building on this core, computing equips pupils to apply information technology to create products and solutions. A computing education also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

via Computing in the National Curriculum | Academic Computing.

February 25, 2013 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

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