I read an interesting article a few days ago on the Campus Technology Web site about the basic infrastructure of learning facilities and how they’ll likely have to change for full adoption of technology.
“What I think we are confronting now is that the core infrastructure of higher education, that’s been built over the past several hundred years, is really becoming a barrier to innovation in terms of what technology potentially can do to improve teaching and learning,” said Josh Baron, Director of Academic Technology and eLearning at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Baron went on to say that without dedicated education technology leadership, many education facilities aren’t going to be able to adapt their infrastructures. Without solid leadership and direction, tech in schools may simply lead to “pure automation of teaching and learning to the point where it’s just people on computers memorizing facts,” he added.
I hinted at this failing while talking about the technology facade a few weeks ago. Operators of learning centers must consider having some sort of education tech leadership, whether it’s an internal or external candidate. Without that, deployment plans, curriculums, and training may be lacking or absent, causing the implemented tech to fail in purpose.
But are there consistent methodologies to be adopted to meet the tech challenge? Robert McLaughlin, who works for the New Hampshire Department of Education, has pondered the same question.
“Many people talk about how schools and preparation programs need to change dramatically to meet the needs of 21st century students, but there isn’t any consensus about what that really means,” McLaughlin, who was also the committee chair for the recently held New Hampshire invitation summit for educators, told the Examiner.
Teachers from all over New Hampshire participated in the summit with the hope of gaining a clearer picture of the problems they face. This large-scale, statewide approach is at least a first step in the right direction. But for every New Hampshire, there are plenty of other U.S. states and schools that aren’t as keyed in to the issues.
Do you find that the educators in your area are ready to deal with change? Do they seem to understand the driving factors that may very well change the basic infrastructure?
(Photo used under Creative Commons attribution license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nesri/ / CC BY 2.0)
As social networking continues to consume more of our daily lives, the Pew Internet and American Life Project has just released a study on Americans’ social networking habits. Reputation Management and Social Media, reveals that people are increasingly aware of, and monitoring their digital personas.
Given the explosive growth of Facebook and similar sites, it’s no surprise that the number of people who now have online profiles has leaped from 20% in 2006 to 46% today. With so much personal information out there, 57% of us have used a search engine to investigate ourselves online. And many people are taking steps to correct or remove data, especially young adults.
One interesting finding counters the myth that young adults don’t care about privacy: 18-29 years olds are much more likely than older adults to control personal information:
44% take steps to limit information about them.
71% have customized their privacy settings to control what others see.
47% have deleted comments people have posted on their personal page.
41% have removed their names from questionable photos.
These findings confirm another study published earlier this year that revealed a similar trend.
Perhaps most surprising is that trust of social networking sites is lowest among this age group. 28% say they never trust sites like Facebook, while only 14% of those over 50 distrust these sites. This should be a clear signal to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that he has a problem with his core customers. This may be one reason the company just rolled out an easier way to control its privacy settings.
One intersting finding is that although there is increased concern about privacy, only 4% report having had any problem with embarrassing or inaccurate information posted about them. Hmmm…. So where does this fixation on privacy issues come from? Could it be prompted by the anecdotal stories reported in the media? Or maybe from reading other’s questionable content? A new site, OpenBook.org, displays some of this ill-advised material and slams “Facebook’s bait-and-switch on privacy…” What do you think?
A recent study from Edison Research found that Twitter awareness among Americans has soared in the last year, from 26% to 87%. This doesn’t mean that all of them are tweeting. In fact just 7%–22 million–actively use the micro-blogging service.The story in India is somewhat similar, but for a provocative reason.
Last year few Indians had a clue about Twitter. Today, an estimated 2.3 million Indians are tweeting away. What explains this great tweet forward? A cricket scandal.
Indians take cricket very seriously. It is by far the most popular sport on the subcontinent. Earlier this year, a controversy arose when Lalit Modi, who founded the Indian Premier League (IPL) was accused of cronyism in awarding TV rights and team franchises. His accuser was Shashi Tharnoor, a former top United Nations diplomat, a member of the Indian parliament and a junior Foreign Minister. Tharnoor embraced Twitter as a tool to reach younger voters, garnering over three-quarters of a million followers, the most in India. His popularity may have been fueled by his colorful tweets.
According to the Bangkok Post, “In one tweet about ministers being forced to travel economy, Tharoor upset conservative Hindus by saying that he was travelling “cattle class in solidarity with all our holy cows”.”
Over the course of the last few months, charges and counter-charges have been played out via Twitter. Tharnoor himself was accused of wrongdoing and was ultimately forced to resign last month. Here’s his final tweet: “Thanks for all the support & good wishes. U folks are the new India. We will “be the change” we wish to see in our country. But not w’out pain!”