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Ed Tech, Privatization And Plunder
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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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5/24/2013 | 1:17:11 PM
re: Ed Tech, Privatization And Plunder
The flip side of the way I've framed this question, of course, is to what extent the backlash against #edtech and #moocs is driven by unions and other forces of the status quo, rather than genuine concern about the quality and availability of education.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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5/21/2013 | 3:07:51 PM
re: Ed Tech, Privatization And Plunder
Thank you. As you can tell, I'm kind of on both sides of this. I was originally going to write a column saying a few kind words about Bill Gates, someone whose motivations some educators seem to be intensely suspicious of. I do think he deserves more credit than he gets for his turn to philanthropy and the sincerity of his efforts to improve education. Some of the things the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds, such as the development of open educational resources to reduce the cost of quality education, strike me as unalloyed goodness.

Used intelligently, technology and online delivery of content ought to be able to do some good things for education. The policy questions are where things get trickier: stuff like whether the availability of MOOCs provides an excuse to cut back on funding of public university courses for those subjects.

I think one of the biggest problems with education, particularly in the K12 public schools, is that it is forever being "reformed" and the results of each of these reform efforts wind up layered on top of each other until we get a bureaucratic mess.
dgodon
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dgodon,
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5/21/2013 | 5:59:00 AM
re: Ed Tech, Privatization And Plunder
Wow, it's nice to see a critical opinion of what's happening with online learning - and from a technology website no less. Kudos! As someone who works in high-tech but also follows education politics fairly closely, you nailed the situation pretty spot on.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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5/17/2013 | 6:38:55 PM
re: Ed Tech, Privatization And Plunder
I wrote this after reading a Carl Hiaasen novel, which helped put me in the right frame of mind to appreciate the cynical dimension of Florida politics.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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5/17/2013 | 3:31:19 PM
re: Ed Tech, Privatization And Plunder
"Creating a guaranteed market for online learning services" is a key point here. That's a lot of money at stake.

On a related note, in my state of Massachusetts, I feel like the mandatory requirement of master's degrees for elementary school teachers creates a guaranteed market for some of the smaller public colleges that offer that degree. And in the end, I'm not sure it benefits the students much when we don't think flexibly about potential teachers' real-world experience vs. classroom time.

Laurianne McLaughlin
InformationWeek


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