Locked in the Ivory Tower: Why JSTOR Imprisons Academic Research. The proscriptive part of the article is shallow, but the process of how an article gets published is fascinating. If you’re looking for an area of higher education ripe for disruption I’m not sure it gets much better than this.
Note that I differentiate between the print newspaper and journalism. Journalism is a practice; newspapers are a delivery mechanism.
Colleges ought to be focusing on teaching journalism and doing so in an appropriate manner which will best prepare students for life in the post-university “real world”. Teaching students how to produce a print newspaper is teaching them to be obsolete. Students should be learning electronic distribution through modern content management systems.
Aaron Hockley — College Newspapers: Still Teaching Obsolescence.
Thoughts on the occupy movement and UC Davis in particular. Great piece on the use of the human mic in the events at UC Davis yesterday. The video is fascinating. It’s just part of some great writing about what happened. Check out another take on the same video as well as an open letter to the UC Davis Chancellor.
Whitman College, my alma mater, sent these out to all graduates the other week. It’s a mini, laminated diploma “to put in your wallet or a very small frame.” This seems about the worst possible way to spend funds.
When tuition is increasing along with cutbacks in staff why in the world is money being spent on frivolous things like this?
If I choose to go to a small private college with tuition over $40,000 it’s for the small class sizes, relationships with professors, and opportunities to get involved in a variety of things. 1 It’s not for a laminated mini diploma one year after graduation.
Instead of wasting money on creating, laminating, cutting, and mailing hundreds of these to graduates around the world Whitman could have covered the cost of books for a student who otherwise would have to borrow for them.
- Which Whitman does provide and I am thankful for and benefited from. ↩
But not knowing what plagiarism is isn’t really the problem. It’s unfortunate that right now the university is cracking down so hard on plagiarism. And the reason the university is cracking down so hard on plagiarism is because their product is less and less valuable these days. When students plagiarize, there’s an implicit recognition that “I’m just doing this for the grade.” That’s why they do it. And that’s the way that the majority of students look at the university, and have been for some time now. At my college, the frats had rooms full of file cabinets full of plagiarized papers. Plagiarism is old news. It’s really not just that plagiarism is getting easier to do, with the Internet. The problem is now that the grade doesn’t even get you the job.
What Can You Do With $20,000?. There’s a lot you can do with $20,000 a year. Instead of a traditional college tuition payment you could travel, cover living expenses for 6 months, seed a couple small businesses, and much more. Bonus is that you can end your 4 years with an investment fund of $40,000, no debt required.
Imagine if Honda, in order to compete in the American market, had been required by federal law to adopt the preestablished labor practices, management structure, dealer network, and vehicle portfolio of General Motors. Imagine further that Honda could only sell cars through GM dealers. Those are essentially the terms that accreditation forces on potential disruptive innovators in higher education today.
One quote particularly stood out. While describing the disruption that occurred in the computer industry the authors characterize the old mainframe model by writing:
We had to take our computational problems to these centralized computer centers where experts solved them for us.
This contrasts with the current smartphone era. We now have the computational power for many daily tasks residing in our front pocket. This all got me thinking about college.
With the traditional college system we have the same mainframe model. We take our knowledge problems and inexperience to a centralized place where experts with many years of training help solve them for, or in the best case with, us. Carry the analogy from mainframe computing over to education and holy mind explosion Batman! If we could even achieve half of the transformation accomplished with computers we’d be in for some wonderful times.
A future where the tools for education are accessible on an individual scale and where geographic location is no longer a limiting factor makes me really excited.