Friday, August 5, 2016

A Heartfelt Tribute to Seymour Papert by Gary Stager | Children's Technology Review

A Heartfelt Tribute to Seymour Papert | Children's Technology Review: "Papert’s ideas are not so much controversial as they are ignored by the education technology “community.” Papert was bad for business, If you’re a school system hell-bent on compliance or standardization, a message of student agency, creativity, and intellectual freedom threatens the status quo. When kids build, maintain, and program the software for their own personal computer, fewer gadgets and apps will be purchased. Such views are a menace to a profit-centric edtech industry and an education system Papert described as idea averse."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Papert - in his own words - Learning with 'e's

Learning with 'e's
Seymour Papert passed away this week aged 88. His efforts to reform education through advancing social-constructivist theory will be perhaps one of his most important legacies. Papert has been widely acknowledged for developing the theory of constructionism. He saw learning as an active process that involved not only social interaction, but also constructing artefacts. Learning by making became an important component of learning in the digital age, and has been used as an explanation of the rise in user generated content.

He also encouraged meta-cognition as an important pedagogical method. In his own words: "You cannot think about thinking, without thinking about thinking about something." That 'something' was clearly the object that could be created through thinking about thinking, about problems, about knowledge.

His work around the early computer programming language LOGO was also ground breaking - introducing an entire generation of learners to the idea that coding could cause direct action with objects and space. The ability to command a floor robot to do one's bidding added a new level of engagement to maths and science lessons. Seymour Papert understood that fundamentally, people learn because they are interested - and that engagement with a problem, construction of an object or exploration of a space was essential for deeper forms of learning.

He was a stern critic of instructional and didactic forms of education, and was a champion of student centred learning, active engagement and creativity. These ideas will continue to inspire generations of educators to come, and his influence will not be dimmed by his passing. In memory of Seymour, here are some of the most significant (and inspirational) quotes from his illustrious career as a thought leader, developmental theorist and influential pedagogue:

On video games: "Every maker of video games knows something that the makers of curriculum don't seem to understand. You'll never see a video game being advertised as being easy. Kids who do not like school will tell you it's not because it's too hard. It's because it's boring."

On student centred learning: "I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge."

On the role of teachers: "The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready made knowledge."

On transferable skills: "We need to produce people who know how to act when they are faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared."

On the purpose of education: "The principal goal of education in schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done."

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons License
Papert - in his own words by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's


Friday, June 17, 2016

Peak Facebook? New Study Finds Social Media App Usage Tumbles Across The Globe

Facebook's Instagram saw the biggest year-over-year drop: usage was down 23.7% this year, closely followed by Twitter (down 23.4%), Snapchat (down 15.7%), and Facebook, while down the least, still saw a notable 8% decline in usage. In the U.S., where social media continue to rake in the highest CPMs and where revenue remains highest, Instagram use was also down the most, or 36.2%, Twitter was down 27.9%, Snapchat was down 19.2% and Facebook fell 6.7%.

Friday, June 10, 2016

TEACHING APATHY How Public Schools Demand Failure And Perpetuate Poverty

...research shows that submission to authority is the best predictor of grades. By regimenting myriad aspects of student life, schools undermine individual agency, depriving students of autonomy, promote compliance, and keep the population unaware of their civil rights, which are curiously not taught in schools. The net effects areapathy, preservation of the status quo, and economic stratification.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America's public school agenda - Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ OLDaily RSS 2.0

Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ OLDaily RSS 2.0

Editorial, L.A. Times, Jun 09, 2016

So this is interesting. Contained in a recent report we read "This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart. The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated, and the Gates Foundation doesn’ t have all the answers." The L.A. Times draws the appropriate conclusion: "Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’ t be allowing them to set  the policy agenda for the nation’ s public schools." This is all the more true because philanthropists typically reward the best fundraisers, and not the best projects.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Class Of Underemployed: Nearly 50 Percent Of Recent College Graduates Are Working In Jobs Where No College Degree Is Required - Sagacious News NetworkSagacious New...

Sagacious News NetworkSagacious New...

(MyBudget360) We don’t send our young into the wilderness for a vision quest as a rite of passage.  There are few things in modern society that signify a transition into adulthood.  Going to college is one of them.  And in debt addicted America, it is no surprise that for many, college debt is the first debt they will take on

Getting a college education is supposed to give someone a well rounded view of the world and a potential skill set.  Some argue that college is not about vocational training.  That to some degree is true but when students are going into $50,000 or $100,000 of student debt, then what is this modern day life quest really teaching and why is the price tag so incredibly high?

As college graduation season comes into full bloom, many are left with the prospect of having no job lined up.  It is also startling to see how many recent college graduates are working in jobs that really don’t require a college degree (so clearly the vocational piece doesn’t matter here).

The chronically underemployed college graduate

There are over 5,300 colleges and universities across this country from Harvard to beauty schools.  The market is enormous and students now carry $1.3 trillion in debt, the biggest debt sector only behind mortgage debt.

Many recent college graduates are severely underemployed and this is for the lucky group that actually finds work:

underemployed college graduates

“(NY Fed) The underemployment rate is defined as the share of graduates working in jobs that typically do not require a college degree. A job is classified as a college job if 50 percent or more of the people working in that job indicate that at least a bachelor’s degree is necessary; otherwise, the job is classified as a non-college job. Rates are calculated as a twelve-month moving average. College graduates are those aged 22 to 65 with a bachelor’s degree or higher; recent college graduates are those aged 22 to 27 with a bachelor’s degree or higher. All figures exclude those currently enrolled in school. Shaded areas indicate periods designated recessions by the National Bureau of Economic Research.”

Nearly 50 percent of recent college graduates are working in jobs where a college education isn’t typically required.  So that life quest was indeed an expensive one, more so than taking drugs and roaming around in the forest.  And the bills are coming due since student loans normally start being sent to graduates six months after graduation.

In Michigan a strip club has angered residents by posting this:

now hiring

When strip clubs realize that college degrees are ubiquitous and many will struggle to find jobs, we really have to question the price structure of college.  And I would argue that there needs to be some vocational aspect of a college education when students are paying so much to attend. This ties into many larger issues like many younger Americans being unable to afford home purchases because they carry on so much college debt.  86% of Millennials through a Housing Pulse survey said that too much debt was an obstacle to owning a home.  It is also the case that Millennials that did buy in many cases had help from family.

The underemployment rate is troubling because as the cost of a college education soars beyond the typical inflation rate, the yield in the marketplace isn’t very observable.  College tuition is up 145% since 2000:


It should be obvious to anyone that this structure will not last.