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DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

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"A fascinating and provocative book."

—John Merrow, Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, and President, Learning Matters, Inc.

The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don’t graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis.

The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it.

The roots of the words “university” and “college” both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it’s time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid.

The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation.


Format: Paperback
Available: March 22, 2010
"A fascinating and provocative book."

—John Merrow, Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, and President, Learning Matters, Inc.

The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don’t graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis.

The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it.

The roots of the words “university” and “college” both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it’s time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid.

The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation.


Format: Paperback
Available: March 22, 2010

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Published by: Chelsea Green Publishing on Feb 08, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/08/2013

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— six —
COMMENCEMENT
I have visited the university of the future.Its classroom is a van bumping over dirt roads in Baja California,Mexico. The curriculum includes technology, economic and socialdevelopment, anthropology, sociology, pedagogical techniques, andleadership and teamwork skills. Noah, a nineteen-year-old Princetonsophomore, is on his laptop in the front seat doing some last-minutedebugging of an interactive storytelling software program—giving anew meaning to “mobile development,” he joked—while Ricardo,a master’s student at Stanford, is translating the program’s directionsinto Spanish.We spend the next two days meeting with indigenous Mixtecand Zapotec children at migrant farm workers’ camps with haphaz-ard access to doctors and schools. I watch kids as young as six pickup palmtop devices and tiny netbook computers made in Chinaand programmed in India and Argentina, and within a few minutes,helping each other, with almost no directions, they’re playing gamesthat teach math skills, and writing and illustrating their own origi-nal stories.Paul Kim, the chief technology ofcer of Stanford University’sSchool of Education, has user-tested this “Pocket School” idea inRwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and India over the past three years. Hispassion is to connect people around the world, from all backgroundsand circumstances, and empower them to teach themselves usingappropriate technology that is designed and redesigned by an infor-mal network of students and volunteers to be responsive to their needs. “Why does education need to be so structured? What are weso afraid of?” he asks, his penetrating questions always softened with
DIY U pg cx.indd 1292/5/10 9:19 AM
 
130 HOW WE GET THERE
a warm smile. “The more you expect from a kid, the smarter they’regoing to get.Over the course of a few days, I witness him applying thisapproach not only to the children in the campos but to the studentsin the van. Noah, a self-taught programmer who plans to major inpolitics, is learning on an as-needed basis, with immediate feed-back from his users (the children) and collaborating with studentsfrom other institutions. His “personal learning network” includesthe world at large—when he has a question about a ner point of Flash or ActionScript 3, he simply Googles the key words, he says,“to see how someone else solved it before me.” The BA he earns atPrinceton will be valuable, but equally important to the course of his life will be the experiences he takes with him, not to mentionthe portfolio of socially engaged educational software programs andgames he is creating.Everyone explores, virtually and actually. Everyone contributessomething unique. Everyone learns. This is the essence of the DIYU idea. It takes us back to the basics—the universitas (guild) andthe collegium (community). People everywhere will have a greater ability to create their own learning communities and experienceswithin and outside institutions. This is happening now and willinevitably happen even more in the future. But how transforma-tive will it be? Can the growth of these technologies and practicestruly address the major challenges of cost, quality, and access? Andif so, which of them are most valuable and most worth celebrating,supporting, and expanding?Here’s what I know for sure:
1. The promise of free or marginal-cost open-source content,techno-hybridization, unbundling of educational func-tions, and learner-centered educational experiences andpaths is too powerful to ignore. These changes are inevi-table. They are happening now. Innovative private collegeslike Southern New Hampshire and for-prots like GrandCanyon, upstarts like BYU–Idaho and Western GovernorsUniversity, and community colleges like Foothill-De Anzarepresent the future.
DIY U pg cx.indd 1302/5/10 9:19 AM

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very very good... very espectacular http://www.lineatabssatisi.com/ ..has beautiful pictures
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