One of the advantages of having a background in the philosophy of science (and, to a degree, in the sciences themselves) is that it puts me in a good position to assess claims that "researchers have found" this or that pertaining to education (mostly, the assessment is that they have found no such thing). This article offers a lucid summary of some of the major elements of scientific explanation (a key concept when evaluating interventions and outcomes). There's a brief digression into quantum explanations, then we get to the good part. "The overwhelming majority of theories, or modifications to theories, that are consistent with existing evidence, are never tested by experiment: they are rejected as bad explanations." What makes a bad explanation? It can't answer the question "how on earth is the theory supposed to work?" There's a lot more to this paper and the insights are sound and consistent with my own experience. Via Metafilter.
I've heard it called "the internet of broken things" in the past, though the new name is probably more appropriate because the things aren't broken, they were just badly designed to begin with. This article is a good compendoium of some recent breakdowns, referencing such threats as Mirai and Stuxnet and Heartbleed. This cannot be solved in a day. "Long term, we need to make a better investment in the overall health of the internet," Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said. "There's no quick fix, but if you have bug bounty programs, do threat modeling, and train developers to write secure code, you're going to have a healthier internet."
The point of this article is to argue that the greatest threat to for-profit education is the for-profit industry itself. This became clear when regulations were drafted to weed out bad actors. "At this point, there are ample data that suggest the for-profit education sector in the U.S. doesn’t just have a few bad apples; it’s primarily comprised of them." Recently, we've seen two major incursions from the for-profit sector into the educational technology space: for-profit MOOCs, and coding bootcamps. But these don't have the student loan revenue that supported previous for-profit ventures. What I see is that they're pivoting to corporate learning. But how long will it be before corporations begin weeding out the bad apples in their learning sector? At a certain point, the gravy train for for-profits comes to an end - unless they can lobby to gave government foot the bill. Which is what they're trying to do.
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