I wish I had all my notes from college in plaintext Markdown-formatted files. As I get back in to reading more difficult texts I’m writing up chapter notes in nvALT.
The more I do this, the more I find myself going back to them and searching for previously noted phrases, definitions, or quotes. My reminiscent wish is for nvALT to be a single data store for all my reading annotations. The problem is I have all these NeoOffice and Pages files from college.
Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken:
In the academy, we’re fine with anything that lowers the cost of education. We love those kinds of changes. But when someone threatens to lower the price, well, then we start behaving like Teamsters in tweed.
Fantastic piece from Clay Shirky about why some of the biggest threats to college come from within the system.
A moment of dreaming about higher education:
As university education becomes a more highly valued commodity-as you pay fourteen thousand a year for a UC education, instead of nothing-the university experience has, indeed, become more a pleasurable self-cultivation, since university administrators prefer customers to workers. This is why universities spend more and more money on new dorms, new campus programs, and new ways of making their campus experience an attractive prospect for incoming freshmen: as universities transition towards a customer-payment model, they moving out of education business into the production of education products. They spend less and less money on classrooms and teachers, the spaces where student work happens, because they are, quite literally, not interested in student work. Their financial interest is in student-customers, and it shows.
Really interesting essay.
College was my biggest mistake:
$44,000 might as well have been a million dollars, because in my mind they were equally unfathomable- with only $300 in my checking account, I had to make a decision whether or not to borrow $176,000. Makes sense.
I remember facing a similar decision at 18. I withdrew the $6,000 from my savings account and wrote a $5,000 check to Whitman.
The other grand bought me a MacBook. On that MacBook I taught myself basic HTML, CSS, PHP, and eventually discovered WordPress.
I wouldn’t say my time at college was a mistake. Too much good came out of it to say that. But, I do know what the more productive use of my time and money was.
A Conversation With Bill Gates About The Future of Higher Education. Great interview with Bill Gates where he discusses some of what his foundation is working on in terms of education and schools. Via Daniel.
Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuses. Particularly this quote:
The college has also charged 27 other members of SAE, stemming from events in the 2011 pledge term. While the other students all categorically deny doing anything illegal, the information that Lohse provided to Dartmouth officials may directly implicate him in hazing. As a result, Lohse – the only student to come forward voluntarily – may be the only student who is ultimately punished.
Also, see “Allegations of hazing leveled against TKE initiation practices” and Daniel’s post. I have an idea for an enterprising reporter: take a deep look at fraternity abuse reports like this and answer:
- What percentage are followed up on by news organizations, particularly college newspapers, after the initial report?
- What percentage result in concrete action undertaken by college administrations?
- In how many cases is the student who reported the offense the one who takes the brunt of post-publication attacks?
- How frequently are reports the second, third, etc. time allegations have been made against a specific fraternity?
There are more questions that would be interesting but the above would be a start.
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.