GoogleTranslate Service


Disruptive technology being used to justify privatisation

November 15th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

That technology is a disruptive element in education is hardly a new idea. What perhaps is new is that the disruption is becoming a subject of debate in the popular press and by bloggers outside education technology.

And in the process the debate is being mightily confused, perhaps deliberately. Take, for example, the recent blog entitled ‘Why online education is ready for disruption, now‘, written by online journalist  Courtney Boyd Myers about a talk by Clayton Christensen, who quotes an article by Alvin Tofflers “The Third Wave” at Edutopia.

Tofflers says:

The schools of today are essentially custodial: They’re taking care of kids in work hours that are essentially nine to five — when the whole society was assumed to work. Clearly, that’s changing in our society. So should the timing. We’re individualizing time; we’re personalizing time. We’re not having everyone arrive at the same time, leave at the same time. Why should kids arrive at the same time and leave at the same time?

So far so good. The article goes 0n to document the rise of online education in the USA. And then this is used to slag off Harvard as making no investment in making its teaching better in comparison tot he university of Phoenix, which it claims is investing 200m dollars a year in improving teaching.

Phoenix is always quoted in these articles. And certainly the number of students passing through the university is impressive. According to Advertsing Age:

The school heaps more than $100 million a year into measured media alone and is a highly efficient marketing machine that spends more each year than Cheerios or Tide.

In a field where most old-line universities spend a few million a year at best, the University of Phoenix is an anomaly for its approach to both education and marketing. It’s the country’s largest private university, with more than 400,000 students and 230 campus and learning-center locations. Its parent, Apollo Group, posted more than $3.1 billion in revenue during fiscal 2008 (Phoenix represents about 95% of Apollo’s net revenue).

In the interview Chrsitensen goes on to compare teachers with the Luddite movement in the UK, popularly regarded as a metaphor for resisting technology. What is not pointed out was that the Luddites were protesting aginst lack of jobs due tot he introduction iof technology, not against technology itself.

The article continues:

The rise of online education could effectively render terrible teachers redundant, while bolstering the careers of talented educators. There’s a word for this; it’s progress

How these terrible teachers are identified is not clear, or indeed why they are so terrible, nor indeed for the assertion “Human beings with the best education tend to do the best in the marketplace.”

However that word ‘marketplace’ is revealing. The privatisation of education is being presented as progress, as inevitable progress driven by disruptive technologies. Its a lie. And is not good for anybody, except for advertising agencies and private corporations.

Comments are closed.

  • Search Pontydysgu.org

    Social Media




    News Bites

    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers


    Post-Covid ed-tech strategy

    The UK Ufi VocTech Trust are supporting the Association of Colleges to ensure colleges are supported to collectively overcome challenges to delivering online provision at scale. Over the course of the next few months, AoC will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high quality distance learning. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid ed-tech strategy for the college sector.

    With colleges closed for most face-to-face delivery and almost 100% of provision now being delivered online, the Ufi says, learners will require online content and services that are sustainable, collective and accessible. To ensure no one is disadvantaged or left behind due to the crisis, this important work will contribute to supporting businesses to transform and upskilling and reskilling those out of work or furloughed.


    Erasmus+

    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.


    Skills Gaps

    A new report by the Learning and Work Institute for the Local Government Association (LGA) finds that by 2030 there could be a deficit of 2.5 million highly-skilled workers. The report, Local Skills Deficits and Spare Capacity, models potential skills gaps in eight English localities, and forecasts an oversupply of low- and intermediate -skilled workers by 2030. The LGA is calling on the government to devolve the various national skills, retraining and employment schemes to local areas. (via WONKHE)


    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      pbwiki
      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

  • Digital technologies and parental involvement in education: the experiences of mothers of primary school-aged children tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.10…

    About 4 days ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via Twitter Web App

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories