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by Stephen Downes
Jan 13, 2015

180 Best Photoshop Tutorials of Year 2014
Yogesh Mankani, The Neo Design, 2015/01/13


Doug Peterson offers this link to the 180 best Photoshop tutorials of the year. Photoshop is a powerful but difficult piece of software. It's also very popular. I looked at a number of the tutorials; they're free and open, and do the job, effectively showing me how to do this or that. But the main thing I want to highlight here is this: one hundred and eighty. This. Year. This is the scale of open education that is possible, and if we figure out how to do it right we can make this range of learning available to everyone, all the time. This, by the way, does not reduce the need for advanced photoshop instruction. It increases it.

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Look what they've done to the GED. Aligned with Common Core and handed over to Pearson
Mike Klonsky, Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog, 2015/01/13


Mike Klonsky highlights the dangers of the corporatization of education. "The GED exam has been overhauled, aligned with the Common Core and handed over to Pearson, the giant British testing and textbook corporation in order to supposedly prepare students for 21st-Century jobs. The new test is now much harder. The test prep classes are given on-line. No more personalization." The result? "In 2012, a total of 401,388 people passed the GED test. In 2014, only 58,524." Now I understand that the GED standards have to be rigorous. But the other part of the responsibility is getting people up to that standard. That is why the commercialization is a failure.

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Campaign for America’s Future: An Education New Year’s Resolution We Can All Believe In
Jeff Bryant, National Education Policy Centre, 2015/01/13


Ostensibly about the "dreary" predictions about education for 2015, this article is in fact about getting to the core of the problem, at least in the United States: "It’s The Inequity, Stupid." I've listed on this site a wealth of evidence showing the best predictor of outcomes is socio-economic status. Poor people do poorly in education. That's a problem when the mantra is that "good education is the only route out of poverty." It's hard to be more self-defeating (unless, of course, your objective is to keep poor people poor). There are signs this may be changing. This week, a New York Times editorial called for "confronting and proposing remedies for the racial and economic segregation that has gripped the state’s schools, as well as the inequality in school funding that prevents many poor districts from lifting their children up to state standards." It would be good for everybody were the United States able to reverse course on inequity. Its policies are exported, especially to the developing world, precisely where they currently do the most harm. Photo: me.

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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