ED Launches Registry; Microsoft Takes Over TEACH

Ian Quillen, Education Week, Nov 08, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's hard to connect all the dots in events south of the border, but what we have is that the Department of Education officially launched a learning registry yesterday - it's supposed to be "a new approach to capturing, sharing, and analyzing learning resource data to broaden the usefulness of digital content to benefit educators and learner" (but its news page hasn't been updated since April). Meanwhile, the Department announced today that it would be handing the TEACH campaign, including the teach.gov website, to Microsoft. Full coverage of both at Ed Week.

All this is a part of what Will Richardson notes is a rhetoric talking about blowing up education. And it raises some serious questions; "the monied interests are going to have much to say about which direction education takes from here."

Meanwhile, the Occupy movement has hit education, with a protest at Tweed hall, the Department of Education building, yesterday. More coverage here. Here's video coverage. This has been building online for a while. Sadly, their Facebook page is gone, though a people's agenda poll remains, calling for an end to high stakes testing, supporting smaller classes and calling for more input. But most importantly, as Mike Klonsky says, to refocus the whole school reform narrative. There's also video here. Even Jay Cross has commentary on the relation between the Occupy movement or education.

We may be on the brink of a networked society, but the most important question remains unanswered: who owns it?

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