Monday, December 28, 2009

degree inflation

This Time article is worth repeating:

“Employers and career experts see a growing problem in American society — an abundance of college graduates, many burdened with tuition-loan debt, heading into the work world with a degree that doesn't mean much anymore.

“The problem isn't just a soft job market — it's an oversupply of graduates. In 1973, a bachelor's degree was more of a rarity, since just 47% of high school graduates went on to college. By October 2008, that number had risen to nearly 70%. For many Americans today, a trip through college is considered as much of a birthright as a driver's license.

“Marty Nemko, a career and education expert who has taught at U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, contends that the overflow in degree holders is the result of many weaker students attending colleges when other options may have served them better. "There is tremendous pressure to push kids through," he says, adding that as a result, too many students who aren't skilled become degree holders, promoting a perception among employers that higher education doesn't work. "That piece of paper no longer means very much, and employers know that," says Nemko. "Everybody's got it, so it's watered down."

“What's not watered down is the tab. The cost of average tuition rose 6.5% this fall, and a report released on Dec. 1 by the Project on Student Debt showed that the IOU is getting bigger. Two-thirds of all students now leave college with outstanding loans; the average amount of debt rose to $23,200 in 2008. In the last academic year, the total amount loaned to students increased about 18% from the previous year, to $81 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for recent grads rose as well. It is now 10.6%, a record high.

“The devaluation of a college degree is no secret on campus. An annual survey by the Higher Education Research Institute has long asked freshmen what they think their highest academic degree will be. In 1972, 38% of respondents said a bachelor's degree, but in 2008 only 22% answered the same. The number of freshmen planning to get a master's degree rose from 31% in 1972 to 42% in 2008. Says John Pryor, the institute's director: "Years ago, the bachelor's degree was the key to getting better jobs. Now you really need more than that."”

Read the rest here.  

Posted via email from hacking edu

rate my professors' iPhone app

College classroom iPhone apps are hitting the app store in growing numbers.

Article on the trend on cNet.

Posted via email from hacking edu

accelerated tracks pays off

“A new study of Massachusetts middle schools contends schools that don’t track students of the same grade into multiple course levels based on their achievement have fewer students scoring at the advanced level on state standardized tests in mathematics.”

Via education week.

Posted via email from hacking edu

a free education

I have been following the University of the People since its inception. I was reminded of it again recently when I read an article on its progress.

From the article: “University of the People's inaugural class included 179 students who took web-based college courses free of charge, only paying between $10 and $100 to process exams taken at the end of the semester… nine out of 10 students who took classes in its first term said they would recommend the university to family and friends.”

Read more at eCampusNews.

Posted via email from hacking edu

Opportunity knocks

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” - Thomas Edison

Posted via email from david blake

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kindle's Newest Rival

Five of the nation's largest publishers of newspapers and magazines plan to challenge Inc.'s Kindle electronic-book reader with their own digital format that would display in color and work on a variety of devices.

Time Inc., News Corp., Conde Nast, Hearst Corp., and Meredith Corp., whose magazines include Time, Cosmopolitan, and Better Homes and Gardens, announced a joint venture on Dec. 8 to develop the format that rivals Kindle's gray "electronic ink." It promises to emphasize visuals, retaining the distinctive look of each publication, as compared to the text-oriented Kindle.

The format would incorporate videos, games, and social networking, along with a classic magazine layout that can be flipped through with the touch of a finger.

Via eCampusNews

Posted via email from hacking edu

Friday, December 4, 2009

No More Teachers? No More Books? Higher Education in the Networked Age

Take away from the Harvard panel on technology in the classroom: when students keep laptops open in the classroom, they learn less.

My thoughts—the traditional role of teachers and the current role of technology don’t mesh—I concur.  Looking into the future I believe that the role both play will drastically change to yield great efficiencies. I think the teacher will come to be more mentor and guide and less of a knowledge base. You just cannot compete with technology as a knowledge base. And I believe that technology will come to displace—not compete with—teaching more and more. Right now it is a distraction because the teacher is teaching, technology is a peripheral distraction. In the future, the technology will teach, and the teacher will be a peripheral guide.

You can read the highlights of the panel here.

Posted via email from hacking edu