Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Education going the way of Newspapers?

Will Richardson, @willrich45 just tweeted about a post he was reading at Seth Godins Blog


Seth Godin is talking about the changes in post secondary education....

Should this be free or expensive?

Wikipedia offers the world's fact base to everyone, for free. So it spreads.

On the other hand, some bar review courses are so expensive the websites don't even have the guts to list the price.

The newly easy access to the education marketplace (you used to need a big campus and a spot in the guidance office) means that both the free and expensive options are going to be experimented with, because the number of people in the education business is going to explode (then implode).

If you think the fallout in the newspaper business was dramatic, wait until you see what happens to education.



cc licensed flickr photo shared by iirraa

So what does this mean for us teachers out there. For those of you who are reading this not much since you have embraced change and see a new model being available for students. But what about our colleagues who still refuse to change or see the change coming. Is the newspaper analogy strong enough to bring about change.

Most teachers understand the death of newspapers in their current form is imminent. This article might push a few more teachers to explore the possibilities of the changing educational world around them. I have passed the article off to a few of my teacher colleagues hoping that they come back to me and ask questions.

What do you think about the article?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the writing is on the wall. It has been for some time. And most good teachers know it.

While I agree with Godin's comment about the difference between school and learning (credentials/test scores v. genuine skill, cognitive assimilation and application)I think there's a lot that really eludes non-educators when it comes to discussions of the value of school and education in general.

There is no question that the system is "broken" -- but HOW and WHO "fixes" this system is, to me, the real question. The right would like nothing more than to privatize and dismantle as much of the public system as possible (along with funding). The left (particularly those who identify as critical pedagogy or social justice educators) continue working for the change they've initiated for decades (changes in instruction, curriculum and school culture - to focus on "whole learner" success rather than test scores).

In the coming years we need to look at this debate as a political debate. The old push towards privatisation is getting a make over and finding some unlikely allies in the open movement -- particularly those with a more libertarian/conservative bent who love open but don't like taxes - or paying for your kids educational needs. That's right, the "open" movement isn't left - though it's always conflated with leftist politics. It has many left supporters - but just as many, if not more, libertarians and fiscal conservative supporters. Anybody who is surprised by that statement doesn't know much about the political identity of the tech scene - its figures or their interests.

I have yet to see any of the hundreds of thousands of Twittering educators/teachers talk about the real politics that are infused in this debate. It's either because it eludes them or, more likely, they have already taken a side and their job prevents them from being open about the political.

It's hard to believe any educator wouldn't support better funding for public education, but you'd be surprised just how many of them vote republican or conservative -- vote AGAINST their jobs, stated values and livelihoods because those parties have neatly conflated religious/faith-based focus into a largely economic and social platform.

If you really want to know and understand (and have an impact on) the direction of education, it has to be interrogated in explicitly political terms -- the politics of teachers, administrators and all educational stakeholders has to be assessed in relation to the preservation of the public/accessible education system versus a private, (myth of) choice program peddled by the right (the right in all forms) for decades.

Mr. H said...

Anonymous thanks for your comments. This one part was interesting

"I have yet to see any of the hundreds of thousands of Twittering educators/teachers talk about the real politics that are infused in this debate. It's either because it eludes them or, more likely, they have already taken a side and their job prevents them from being open about the political."

I do not know if their job prevents them from being political because of what they might say but perhaps something different. We can change what we do in the classroom easily. Our priority are to the students we teach everyday and this is where much of our energy output goes. Making classes interesting and relevant takes up time and is of a higher priority (at least to me) than trying to get government and others (who are out of touch) with the classroom informed about the changes happening.

Perhaps I should start being more political but the challenges faced by "twittering" teachers inside our own schools are daunting.

Thank you again for your terrific comment. I appreciate the time you took to make it.

Chris

Mr. H said...

Ps. Anonymous I would love to leave a comment behind at your blog. Drop me an email or tweet if you do not want the world to know who you are... (my readership is not that large so the world is smallish ;) )

Once again thanks

Graham said...

You say: "Most teachers understand the death of newspapers in their current form is imminent."
I say: "Someone forgot to inform my staff. They look at me in disbelief every time I even hint at that possibility. After all, what would be next? Books? The library? Schools?"

Mr. H said...

Living in Winnipeg home to Canwest Global we hear about the death of the "old" media everyday. The death of books and libraries next...... Hmmm librarians that do not stay ontop of current trends are asking for trouble. Textbooks that are not web friendly will struggle in math classes. I do think that literature books still are hanging on because of the estetic feel of paper in your hand. The Kindle still does not feel right.

Graham thanks for the comment and enjoy your conference this week.

Chris