quick notes on DIY-U: Introduction


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Quick notes on the introduction to Anya Kamenetz's DIY-U. I'll post more as I work through it.

I met Anya at Open Education 2009, while she was researching the book, and I'm curious to see where she took the stuff she was asking attendees about.

I'm reading the book through Kindle for iPhone, so I have no idea what page these notes apply to. YMMV. Also, the Kindle for Mac app is a steaming pile of donkey turd. I'll be holding off buying any more ebooks until I see what the iBooks thing looks like. I'm guessing it will suck much, much less than what I've seen of Kindle so far...

On the rising number of people seeking out higher education: The reason education raises people in socioeconomic status is that it places them above the average (or at least at a competitive advantage) compared to their peers. If everyone gets education, it loses its effect. What next? Quality of education? Will a new elite show their wealth by choosing NOT to be educated?

The introduction is very US-centric data on policy and cost. I'd love to see comparisons to other countries. Canada? England? India? South Africa?

On moving online to reduce costs: At my institution, online courses cost up to 4x what a f2f course does, to get around provincial tuition regulations. Just pushing stuff online doesn't necessarily make it cheaper (even if it could be argued that it costs less - that might not be necessarily true, either).

On the estimated 63 million people who have accessed ("raided this trove") MIT OCW as of 2009: Define "raided" - does it include "followed a google query result to a page on a course" or is it "actively engaged in the course" ?

On distributed, P2P universities etc...: Great. What about accreditation? Are potential employers going to grok DIY U?

On the "modern day multiversity" with research/teaching/vocational/technical/sports/social stuff: This is a strength. This is why Education is important - the serendipitous connections etc. that are possible - even mandated - by this model. NO! Separation for the sake of separation (or, worse, simply to save money) is BAD!

On learner centricity via technological magic: This proposed shift to learner centred education does not require technology. Learner centricity is a philosophy, not a technology.

On "The Great Unbundling": Boiling education down to the equivalent of an MCSE? really? Who does this benefit? How can we make sense of such a structure (or lack thereof).

On "Techno-hybridization": It's called Blended Learning. Don't make up new words to mystify it.

On education as a conservative enterprise to pass on stuff from previous generations: Not necessarily. Education is not about content dissemination. It is about personal development and skill building. Neither requires anything from a prior generation.

On federal/state incentives for online/open/networked education: Networks cross borders. How to deal with multinational contexts?