MUST READ: Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall

March 8, 2013 at 1:42 am 2 comments

Audrey Watters has an insightful essay that show how the “Hack Education” and TED movements misunderstand school.  Public school is not better than learning on your own.  Public school is about making sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn.  I believe that the issues are the same for MOOCs, which tend to draw a well-educated, majority-class, and male audience.  I highly recommend reading her entire essay linked below.

“I’m the first MacCaw not to go to Cambridge,” says one of the informant. This and a myriad of other utterances are rather mind-boggling markers of privilege, markers that Hacking Your Education fails to examine and that the book seems extraordinarily unaware of.

One hack it offers for the young uncollege-er: “take people out for coffee” — budget $150 a month to do so. Another hack: “go to conferences.” Sneak in. “Hardly anyone will notice.” Another hack: “buy an airplane ticket.” “You can go anywhere in the world for $1500.” “Collect frequent flyer points.” Too bad if you’re big or black or brown or a non-native English speaker or the working poor or a single mom. Just practice your posture and your grammar and your email introductions, and you’re golden.

via Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall.

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Kudos to Duke for giving us MOOC data! The Most Thorough Summary (to date) of MOOC Completion Rates

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amitdeutsch  |  March 8, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Such a refreshing commentary, thanks for sharing! I think it’s crucial that amongst all the hype around ‘liberating education’, we also bring to light the issues of privilege and inequality that make it so easy to dismiss education in the first place. Well, off to Denver in a few hours, hopefully I’ll see you at SIGCSE!

  • […] Watters is an insightful writer who tackles hard issues in educational technology.  I’ve cited her work before in this blog.  The post linked below made me realize that I need to read more by Paulo […]


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