Harold Jarche uses a Twitter discussion to make the point that networks are not the same as communities. "Our networks are great places for serendipitous connections," he writes. "But they are not safe places to have deeper conversations or to expose our points of view." I think he is right but I'm not convinced by his example. The tweets are not (for the most part) addressed to him; they constitute a conversation by a set of third parties. Moreover, it felt to me that a number of these participants could easily have been robots autotweeting in response to the mention of an MBA. Jarche writes, "In an open network the potential for online outrage and group orthodoxy is large." Well yes, but that's true in a community as well.
This post describes a funding model for private schools in India where owners can get loans and, if the students achieve certain educational outcomes, they can get rebates on those loans. "As philanthropic investors," writes Rahil Rangwala of the Dell Foundation, "we get a double-whammy win. We achieve what we care about most—improving education in a fragmented, otherwise hard-to-reach market of small-time school entrepreneurs—and only pay when schools demonstrate measurable change in learning outcomes." But why focus this investment on loans to private schools? Why not develop public education by offering loans (and the same conditions) to the government? Why do people so often feel private sector loans and financing are good things, and public sector dept is an evil?
According to the Knight Foundation and Nieman Report summaries, "Americans say greater access to news sources is actually making it harder to stay informed." The analogy in education would be that greater access to educational resources makes it harder to become educated. But does it hold? According to the report (71 page PDF), "Not only is more information readily available, but so is more misinformation, and many consumers may not be able to easily discern the difference between the two." Is the same the case in education? I think a case could be made.
This post almost makes me feel sorry for a university that has an $800 million endowment and charges $70K tuition per year. Almost. The argument is that if the school falls even 2.8 percent short on enrollments, it leads to a $5 million budget gap. Lowering prices or lowering spending threaten the school's prestige status. And it depends on being a prestige institution, because students aren't attracted by the prospect of a big paycheque; "the median Oberlin student earns $2,864 a year more than the median high school grad." Oh what will Oberlin do?
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.