"Do new technologies require us to rethink the purpose of American education?"

If the primary goal of school is to teach students to build products, the answer might be yes. But interviews my research team has conducted with educators and parents show that Americans maintain broad and complex aims for education. They want students to develop interpersonal skills and citizenship traits. They want schools to teach critical thinking and an array of academic skills. They want young people to be exposed to arts and music, to have opportunities for play and creativity, and to be supported socially and emotionally.
— From Why a live, star-studded TV show on school reform is a problem, by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Sept 8, 2017.

"The problems that do harm to public education…"

The thinking that if ‘only we can find the right school design model then all kids will have a great education’ disregards the fundamental problems that do harm public education: devastating funding inequities that disadvantage the poorest of the country’s schools; curriculum deficits; issues facing teachers, including training, retention, lack of diversity, low pay and lack of authority in their own classrooms; and issues facing students, including poverty, trauma, poor health, unstable family life and learning disabilities.
— From Why a live, star-studded TV show on school reform is a problem, by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Sept 8, 2017.

Not a charity

The U.S. public education system is not a charity. It is a civic institution, the most important, many argue, in the country, and it educates the vast majority of America’s children — the well-off ones and middle-class ones and those who are so poor that they turn up in class with flea collars around their ankles (as one superintendent told me). It is in some areas of the country a brilliant success and in other places a crushing failure, differences that reflect embedded inequality in the U.S. society and economy.
— From Why a live, star-studded TV show on school reform is a problem, by Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, Sept 8, 2017.
I heard an interview with the renowned evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson in which he addressed why, as a senior professor—and one of the most famous biologists in the world—he continued to teach non-majors biology at Harvard. Wilson explained that non-majors biology is the most important science class that one could teach. He felt many of the future leaders of this nation would take the class, and that this was the last chance to convey to them an appreciation for biology and science.
Defending Darwin by James Krupa, February 2015
https://orionmagazine.org/article/defending-darwin/

Pundits may be asking if the Internet is bad for our children’s mental development, but the better question is whether the form of learning and knowledge-making we are instilling in our children is useful to their future.
Cathy N. Davidson, co-director, MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition, quoted in Education Needs a Digital Upgrade, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/education-needs-a-digital-age-upgrade/?_r=0

Love letter to learning

Society is investing in you so that you can help solve the many challenges we are going to face in the coming decades, from profound technological challenges to helping people with the age-old search for human happiness and meaning.
— Math professor Alexander Coward, in a letter to his students. Berkeley to fire ‘love letter to learning’ professor, The Guardian, October 17, 2015

The article reports that Coward is being fired for his unconventional approach to teaching, despite its enormous popularity. 

“I used to think it was about (their) egos, but in fact it’s about keeping control,” he said.

…[our] learning institutions, for the most part, are acting as if the world has not suddenly, irrevocably, cataclysmicall, epistemically changed - and changed precisely in the area of learning.
— Davidson & Goldberg (2009), The Future of Learning Institutions in the Digital Age, p. 19, as quoted in What Do We Keep and What Do We Throw Away by Dean Shareski Aug 22, 2011, Presentation for ABEL Summer Institute at York University in Toronto

Publish first, then curate

This post by Tim O’Reilly initially caught my eye for two reasons,

Tim is using Google+ as a micro blogging platform, somewhere in between Twitter and his O’Reilly Radar blog.

In the post he riffs on YouTube as an economy

Whoever it was who said that the internet model turns traditional media on its head, from curate then publish to publish first, then curate, surely got it right

There’s a new advertising business model here too. With hundreds of millions of views, these bands are now media companies. It seems to me that the potential of YouTube to be a game changer in the media marketplace, a powerful new channel and business model for artists is still not widely understood. I bet there are as many people making a living on YouTube as in the iTunes app store, yet there’s far less buzz about it.

I hadn’t heard that phrase about the change from “curate then publish” to “publish first, then curate” before, but it’s powerful.

(I find myself thinking specifically about the presentation by SchoolTube that Darren Milligan facilitated a few weeks ago—there seems to be a huge demand for B-roll, stock footage of everything and anything that can be re-used by students and teachers. During the SchoolTube presentation we discussed the nuances between our reflexive approach to content creation (curation) with a B-roll approach. One statement by SchoolTube president Carl Arizpe stands out in my mind, (paraphrase) “We have students and teachers clamoring for B-roll footage of the Washington Monument. They can’t find anything that’s rights-free or licensed for re-use.”)