Education Evolutions Newsletter #16

sas-ipad flickr photo by zandwacht shared under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

Education Evolutions:

Select Readings on Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

Here are three curated articles about education, technology, and evolutions in teaching.

  • Poet: I can’t answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poemsThe Answer Sheet @ The Washington PostValerie Strauss  (14 minute read)
    This piece presents quite a dark irony that makes for fascinating reading. Reading a poet wrestle with the poor questions that were conceived about her work is interesting enough but Sara Holbrook’s eloquent takedown of the entire standardized testing juggernaut is even more so. For one, the fact that one of her poems was not even formatted correctly only kicks off the calamity. The way she addresses the questions is both clever and poetic. Plus, I lover her final reflection. Best of all, this is a call to action to end the madness.

  • There is no “technology industry”Medium – Anil Dash  (6 minute read)
    Dash makes an important argument in this piece which requires us to examine how we think about the conglomerates that call themselves technology companies and all of its implications. Companies that we often think of technology companies have more in common with General Electric now than the romanticized Silicon Valley start-ups. Technology has become so pervasive that nearly all commercial enterprises are tech companies. Even more important, Dash explains how the labels and language we use matters. It is central to how we understand these companies and their impact on society and our lives. Unquestionably best line in the piece, “ Marc Andreessen famously said that “software is eating the world”, but it’s far more accurate to say that the neoliberal values of software tycoons are eating the world.” Education just happens to be one more morsel for those omnivorous values and tycoons.

  • Rich and poor teenagers use the web differently – here’s what this is doing to inequalityThe World Economic ForumRosamond Hutt (3 minute read)
    I am admittedly not the biggest fan of PISA but this is a fascinating development. It would seem that the OECD’s information correlates with what we have known here in the United States for some time. Want to know where the good schools are? Look where the money is. As the report explains, “Equal access does imply equal opportunities.” This is a truth that should be more obvious than it is. Too many assumptions are made about the availability of information and opportunities online. It is interesting that the recommendation is more about basic literacy than tech devices or service. All that being said, I am tired of test results being used as the data and justification for decisions and conclusions.

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