Thursday, February 17, 2011

anya kamenetz

cool update, her slides now on slideshare:

mike davis up first reminding parents - you model behavior for students.

Anya - live - how lucky am i.

her words as best i could capture them (i didn't see anyone videoing this..shame if not)

ultimate lesson: exciting time to be a learner

i'm not an academic, not an educator, i'm a journalist , come from the outside and ask annoying questions

john meyer, stanford, speaks of oxford: a cathedral of rationality
such a bedrock articl of faith
the sacredness of that cathedrasl rationality has made it hard not to evolve
in america we made college ed the centerpiece of the american dream
1) higher ed for small % of white men
2) 1965- turned to open doors toa ll, 70"s community colleges popped up 1 every 2 weeks
the masterplan - charles reed, csu system today, says masterplan is dead (before 2008 crash)
no longer have resources to back the promises we made

college tuition has grown over any other good or services in last 20-30 years
1) massification  - broad opportunity
2) cost shifting - play between fed/state level funding
3) student loans - cheap money gets people less sensitive to high costs
4) baumel's cost disease - 1966 performing arts dilemma - you cannot outsource a string quartet, you can't cut the cello, an immanable (?) 1st person experience
say ed is personal so no other way to do it

looking at not only what's possible with tech - but what's possible in lowering the cost with tech

45% - no significant gains 1st 2 years of college
36% - no significant gains over 4 years of college
remember this black box - when we're trying to decide if change is worth the risk

are students taking responsibility - are they engaging
1) they are working harder - most have jobs
2) in the flow of communication (fb, twitter, text, google, youtube, etc) - too much is not happening in the classroom
this is a magnitude of missed opportunity
a waste of resources - how do we redeploy them

music industry - records replaced by digitial downloads people are seeking out personalization, through privacy
then they seek out face to face, because that's immanable ? (want to find that word)
resources flow into in person experiences

cathy davidson - hastac
daniel pink: design/function, story/argument, symphany/focus, empathy/, play/, one more (get that slide)

content, socialization, accreditation, all 3 are being affected with openness:
open courseware at mit, 95 mill access it, offered couple thous for profs that allow videoing, etc (which by the way encourages them to improve their lectures)
cost of distributing ivy league course drops to 0, so what will ivy league provide
teds, khan academy, etc
all moving faster than an official curricula can move,
computer based program, carnegie mellon, presented at levels like a video game, allow students to cover more material (and i would add - per choice)

flatworld knowledge - save $1000/year per kid on text books
2 bill for creation of vocational courseware
hopkin? (find him) asst to deputy, says unis will be irrelevant in 30-35 yrs, and not going away till irrelevant

pln's everyone has one, not just people but info
if you can do it (learn via youtube) with a skateboard, how do you do it with a math trick, a resume, an app letter   (again - per choice, only - just in time and per choice)
university of mary washington - blog platform, sharing w/world vs reports to be trashed
feedback from world brings intrinsic motivation
prof networks in lieu of diplomas
complementary, supplementary, and some replace all together
behance network, scott belsky, companies recruiting straight off this website, true peer review (whoa - hadn't seen/heard of this - take a look at the gallery)
reputation based systems (we rely on them more than a priest/dr/etc)
the younger kids learn how to represent themselves on these networks the better
linkedin has 90 mill members - data driven career planning - how to use it
find out - what did the other math majors do as a 1st job, 2md job, etc

a lot of students make career based decisions based on too little info - this is huge - we need more of Anya's message

#1 employer of ivy leagues - teach america/year in africa - nothing wrong with either, but if they knew more of their options at the front end..
the new way - college is a piece of success. options are huge


from q&a:

as an employer, how do you start to evaluate students?
co-evolution has to take place:
1) institutions who's basis is assessment, per specialization, you pay to get reliable vouching
2) portfolio - where you can see the work
3) reputation - large % of hiring here, has been this way before
hiring is an arbitrage process - so an arbitrage opportunity

in this new model - what about writing? i find it's the hardest thing to teach.
internet is text based
(well has tons of text in it - google still just sees text but-   is it not more video based -tapping into speakertext, 3d-ish, kelly's what tech wants. i would offer the suggestion, the key is in words like teach, and run a class, etc, like Anya pointed out in the beginning, the black box, teaching writing doesn't get at the essence of it, and excellent consideration, writing, because it is huge - would love to hear how Anya thinks she got to be such a good writer - here's Kate)

is it (still wondering what people are defining it to be) going to make it more competitive?
there are more opportunities for people currently without a voice/invisible that have talent to rise and for those in high places with no talent to fall 
(my thinking: competition becomes mute as people are allowed options to be themselves, no one can compare to you, so the competition, you could say, turns in to - how can i be the best me - everyone finding their nitch - comes down to godin's - indispensable people)

what about those with learning disabilities?
there's mass customization, it it's tailored and not just thrown out there - ie: you find it - then tech can certainly be a plus

seems choices are highly complicating things, do you see simplicity down the road?
old dewey decimal system to google search box
google is simpler but system behind it is more complex
everything is miscellaneous, more simplified at the level of the user
(steven johnson's adjacent possibilities, and again kelly's - what tech wants:  minimize to self, maximize to world)

what about organization establishing curriculum? seems very chaotic.
university = guild, community helping you funnel through
my notes from her talks on this - wec10 and tedxatlanta
less people at the major uni more in a customized group

how do you get kids prepared for this?
ed no longer as a service - like hot water, now has to be in hands of the learner
culture that says yes instead of no - allows for that (i'm assuming this means less rules/policy/filtering/etc)
huge: make failure part of learning. (godin again - part 6 video)
talked about how she didn't let herself fail even through college
this is a supplement - ivy bridge - (not sure if that's the right link, missed that connection/explanation)

how do you assess the merit of the content?
perfect answer - we're comparing it to a black box - her very opening, that more than 1/2 - no significant gains
piece of improvement happens w/open courseware, profs lectures are now online, they improve, bigger audience
for optimal - we need the back end connection to employers, asking them to eval a portfolio, give feedback, recommend content, action, etc

what about the core curriculum and liberal arts that bring a continuity of community?
she's found in her research, that continuity of these is merely an illusion

no - i meant community from common knowlege..
core vs specialization, this actually brings us closer together, bridges
she said - may still have groups - math people - sharing - with others not joining in,  {i may be misrepresenting her here - well - all throughout, no? this is all my interpretation of what she said}
[Anya touches on this in her post on ed - it's an overriding curriculum, if you will, of learning how to learn, no matter what:
No decision of curriculum, grade, or whatever should be imposed from above without students taking responsibility for their own learning. This would drive diversity within the system as it adapts to a multiplicity of needs, freeing everyone from the yoke of standardization.
this drives diversity to a limit, that limit forces us, or let's us, finally, zoom out, to what we're really after in the first place, how do you learn, how do you get better at things, etc... that's our commonality, and it's much more humane ]

what about the danger, who we trust, how do we teach kids how to discern, teaching discrepancy?
we need to be teaching them to question everything, even us
now we've got many resources to verify, etc, many eyes on all we do
[something we needed to be doing all along anyway - and ties in nicely with mike's first comments, the first sentence above, we all need to be gracefully questioning everything.]