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Education Technology as 'The New Normal'
Education needs to change, we have long been told. It is outmoded. Inefficient. And this “new normal” – in an economic sense much more than a pedagogical one – has meant schools have been tasked to “do more with less” and specifically to do more with new technologies which promise greater efficiency, carrying with them the values of business and markets rather than the values of democracy or democratic education.

These new technologies, oriented towards consumers and consumption, privilege an ideology of individualism. In education technology, as in advertising, this is labeled “personalization.” The flaw of traditional education systems, we are told, is that they focus too much on the group, the class, the collective. So we see education being reframed as a technologically-enhanced series of choices – consumer choices. Technologies monitor and extract data in order to maximize “engagement” and entertainment.

I fear that new normal, what it might really mean for teaching, for learning, for scholarship.
edtech  academe  from instapaper
4 days ago by ayjay
On Point: Sen. Ben Sasse Is On The Hunt For ‘American Adults’
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

@21: Peter Pan is a historical hell
@39: Learn to ride a bike = contributing members of society!
@44: Gaming
vs  listening  politics  work  academe  bicycle  family 
12 days ago by ingenu
Today’s College Freshmen Are…
• More confident in their open-mindedness: In 2008, 65 percent of incoming freshmen said they rated themselves “above average or better in terms of … ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective”; today that number is 77 percent. Similarly, there has been seven point uptick in the share of freshmen who say they are more tolerant than average of people with different beliefs. Needless to say, the self-assessment of these students has been … called into question by some of the campus antics of the past few years.

• More confident in their academic ability: 73 percent of students said they were above average academically in 2016, compared to 69 percent in 2006 and 67 percent in 1996. It’s probably true that most people going to college do have above average academic skills compared to everyone else their age, but the steady increase testifies to a cultural shift.

• Less spiritual: 36 percent rated themselves at least “above average” in terms of spirituality, a figure that has been more or less consistent since 2010. But around the turn of the century, it was significantly higher; 45 percent rated themselves more spiritual than average in 2000. This tracks the decline in religiosity in America as a whole—a decline that, as Peter Beinart argued last month in the Atlantic, has probably made our political debates more corrosive."
academe  university  from instapaper
24 days ago by ayjay
the Official Dogma of Education (version 1.0)
What follows is my first crack at articulating what I call the Official Dogma of Education. The Official Dogma is a set of presumptions and values that operate in the background of our educational discourse and which are accepted as true by most everyone without often being voiced out loud. The Official Dogma is ideology, in the old sense – that is, these are political stances that are not recognized as such; they are human points of view that are unconsciously accepted as truths of the universe. The idea is not that any individual person has ever expressed these beliefs explicitly. Indeed, the point of the Official Dogma is that its tacit nature helps to make it impossible for us to examine and critique it. The Official Dogma and its constituent elements are not universally accepted by all individuals, but an embrace of something like the Official Dogma is bipartisan, cross-ideological, and generally uncontroversial in contemporary American life. In particular, the Official Dogma is the doctrine of institutions. It is the philosophy of the nonprofits, the corporations, the political parties, the unsigned editorials and the corporate mission statements, the institutional cultures of organizations that shape policy. The Official Dogma, in other words, is the educational philosophy of managerialism, which is the truly dominant ideology of our times.
education  academe  from instapaper
4 weeks ago by ayjay
Building a Bridge Between Engineering and the Humanities - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Acquiring the habit of overcoming habitual perception is one process that brings engineering and the arts together. It is how great writers impart human experience in new ways, and it is how engineers innovate. Technology does not proceed along a preordained single path, as one might suppose from a textbook or problem-solving approach. Like literature, engineering sometimes works not by satisfying recognized needs but by creating the needs it satisfies. And that is also like literature: Tolstoy did not satisfy someone’s need for a novel called Anna Karenina.

But Tolstoy did provide his readers with a glimpse into Anna’s inner life. Similarly, engineering thrives by going beyond the technical into the realm of its human users. More and more, engineering education is recognizing the importance of understanding devices, systems, and processes in terms of the people who use them.

At the heart of human-centered design is empathy, and empathy is what literature, above all, is good at teaching. When you read a great novel, you identify with a character, experience what she is experiencing, follow her thoughts and feelings moment by moment from within. You do this with people of a different culture, age, gender, social class, nationality, profession, and religion. You do it with several characters in the course of one long novel, and not just once, but countless times, until it becomes a habit. Empathy creates better people and better technical innovations for people to use.

So how do we ensure that more skillful innovators emerge from academe?
twocultures  academe 
6 weeks ago by ayjay
IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 19, No. 1 (Spring 2017) - Whatever Happened to General Education? -
Many of my colleagues in the academy, especially those in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, argue that the greatest threat facing universities and colleges today is neoliberalism—an umbrella term for the financial and political forces that are remaking universities in the image of international corporations. The best of these accounts, such as those by Wendy Brown and Ned O’Gorman, describe neoliberalism not just as an economic agenda but as a pervasive rationality that cultivates and enforces market-oriented values to the exclusion of any others, reducing all goods to private, economic goods and transforming humans into objects for market-based investment.3

But critics of the “neoliberal” university don’t go far enough. The university is complicit in, not just a victim of, a broader cultural inability to imagine other reasons and ends for acting, thinking, and being together. Today’s universities operate in keeping with largely private economic ends. (How much will my degree earn me?) They lack a robust conception of the kind of goods that education and knowledge could be. And they have long institutionalized this failure, or refusal, in their undergraduate curricula.
...
We all love and relate to the world differently. To expect that we cease to be who we have become is both naive and wrong-headed. And yet we come to a common and historical institution, the university. We arrive with a shared commitment, however inarticulate and inchoate, to its purposes and virtues: the creation, discovery, curation, and transmission of knowledge. The modern research university has long embodied these ideals and maintained the scholarly practices and virtues necessary for their flourishing: a devotion to open discussion, a critical disposition, a commitment to rational argument based on evidence and exactitude, and a love of learning.32 Now, more than ever, we have to identify these practices and virtues and defend them. We must also acknowledge that the university will and should transform us all.

To do so, however, we also need to acknowledge that these practices, virtues, and ideals are, on their own, insufficient. Like any robust civic institution in a democracy, the university can’t merely tolerate differences. As even mainstream liberal theorists such as Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls have acknowledged, the university community needs to draw upon the same motivational resources provided by plural religions, traditions, and cultures that enable the members of the greater society not only to survive but to flourish.33 Our differences may well keep us from embracing a common, singular vision of the good, but they motivate us to commit to common projects, common purposes, and shared goods. We are, as the legal theorist John Inazu writes, “unlikely to agree upon the meaning of abstract notions” such as justice, truth, dignity, or the fundamental purposes of our lives and communities.34 But at least most of us in the university accept that these are fundamental concepts calling for passionate yet generous debate. Given its history and the continued strength of its ideals, the university may be the institution best equipped to sustain such an experiment in pluralism and democratic discourse.35
academe  university  neoliberalism  general_education  naval_science  via:ayjay 
10 weeks ago by jfbeatty
IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 19, No. 1 (Spring 2017) - Whatever Happened to General Education? -
We all love and relate to the world differently. To expect that we cease to be who we have become is both naive and wrong-headed. And yet we come to a common and historical institution, the university. We arrive with a shared commitment, however inarticulate and inchoate, to its purposes and virtues: the creation, discovery, curation, and transmission of knowledge. The modern research university has long embodied these ideals and maintained the scholarly practices and virtues necessary for their flourishing: a devotion to open discussion, a critical disposition, a commitment to rational argument based on evidence and exactitude, and a love of learning.32 Now, more than ever, we have to identify these practices and virtues and defend them. We must also acknowledge that the university will and should transform us all.

To do so, however, we also need to acknowledge that these practices, virtues, and ideals are, on their own, insufficient. Like any robust civic institution in a democracy, the university can’t merely tolerate differences. As even mainstream liberal theorists such as Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls have acknowledged, the university community needs to draw upon the same motivational resources provided by plural religions, traditions, and cultures that enable the members of the greater society not only to survive but to flourish.33 Our differences may well keep us from embracing a common, singular vision of the good, but they motivate us to commit to common projects, common purposes, and shared goods. We are, as the legal theorist John Inazu writes, “unlikely to agree upon the meaning of abstract notions” such as justice, truth, dignity, or the fundamental purposes of our lives and communities.34 But at least most of us in the university accept that these are fundamental concepts calling for passionate yet generous debate. Given its history and the continued strength of its ideals, the university may be the institution best equipped to sustain such an experiment in pluralism and democratic discourse.35
academe  university 
10 weeks ago by ayjay
Free Inquiry on Campus: A Statement of Principles by a Collection of Middlebury Faculty | HeterodoxAcademy.org
These principles are as follows:

• Genuine higher learning is possible only where free, reasoned, and civil speech and discussion are respected.
• Only through the contest of clashing viewpoints do we have any hope of replacing mere opinion with knowledge.
• The incivility and coarseness that characterize so much of American politics and culture cannot justify a response of incivility and coarseness on the college campus.
• The impossibility of attaining a perfectly egalitarian sphere of free discourse can never justify efforts to silence speech and debate.
• Exposure to controversial points of view does not constitute violence.
• Students have the right to challenge and to protest non-disruptively the views of their professors and guest speakers.
• A protest that prevents campus speakers from communicating with their audience is a coercive act.
• No group of professors or students has the right to act as final arbiter of the opinions that students may entertain.
• No group of professors or students has the right to determine for the entire community that a question is closed for discussion.
• The purpose of college is not to make faculty or students comfortable in their opinions and prejudices.
• The purpose of education is not the promotion of any particular political or social agenda.
• The primary purpose of higher education is the cultivation of the mind, thus allowing for intelligence to do the hard work of assimilating and sorting information and drawing rational conclusions.
• A good education produces modesty with respect to our own intellectual powers and opinions as well as openness to considering contrary views.
• All our students possess the strength, in head and in heart, to consider and evaluate challenging opinions from every quarter.
• We are steadfast in our purpose to provide all current and future students an education on this model, and we encourage our colleagues at colleges across the country to do the same.
academentia  academe 
11 weeks ago by ayjay
Reading, Privacy, and Scholarly Networks – Planned Obsolescence
Sarah Bond published a column on Forbes.com this morning on the importance of not for profit scholarly networks. I’m thrilled that she mentioned not only my blog post but also the work we’re doing at Humanities Commons. But if she hasn’t convinced you that it’s time to #DeleteAcademiaEdu yet, maybe this will: Friday, the network launched a new “prime” feature that allows members to pay to see the identities of users who are reading the work they share. That is to say: if you are reading things on Academia.edu, the network may sell your user info.

That they’re offering to sell this info to the author of the work involved does not make it okay. This is a frightening violation of the privacy standards that — a key point of comparison — libraries have long maintained with respect to reader activity. And selling your data to authors may only be the beginning.

I don’t want to read too much into the fact that they launched this “feature” on inauguration day. But the coincidence really begs scholars to become even more vigilant about where they’re sharing their work, and what networks they’re supporting as they access the work of others.
academe  privacy  textpatterns 
january 2017 by ayjay

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