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DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education Kindle Edition
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While the author states that she does not believe that college is for everyone, she then goes on to contradict her point of view by giving examples of the higher earnings potential for college graduates. I agree that college is not for everyone and that we should not be pushing the idea of college off onto every student, making them feel like a failure if they do not go to college. I also believe that targeted career education in high school would keep more students in school and have them prepared, if the chose not to go to college, to go into the work force or a 2 year school career school. I came to this conclusion based on work with a high school where I live that has an abysmal graduation rate. Many of the students have no interest in furthering their education beyond high school, see no reason to be learning what is being taught, and so they drop out. Targeted career education would give students the ability to relate to the material and understand its value. Sadly, the college for all crowd has done serious damage to career education in high school.
I also disagree with the argument presented in the book that education is unaffordable to many. I have watched carefully the students my daughter graduated from high school with. The vast majority applied to in-state public colleges because they have been brainwashed by guidance counselors that these are the best bargain and that going out of state would be cost prohibitive. In my daughter's case, she applied to 8 colleges that ranged from Ivy League to in-state public colleges. She was accepted at all with the exception of the Ivy, which offered her guaranteed admission if she waited a year and applied using early decision. She chose not to wait, so that fell through. After being accepted to 7 colleges, it was a wait and see game based on aid amounts. Surprisingly, the colleges that had been most pursing her offered the lowest aid packages. Two schools actually offered only unsubsidized loans as the only option. Others came it a varying rates. The last school aid package to arrive was from a Seven Sisters school and they offered a near full ride (97% of all costs). In addition a prestigious public university in another state offered her a very attractive package. The in-state university offered about 50% off of tuition with no assistance for room and board, books and other costs. The point I am making is that very few students seem to shop for the best value. Had my daughter only applied to the public in state schools, she would be getting buried in debt, where as by shopping she should get out after 4 years with much less in loans than a new car costs.
Finally, the author makes a point of electronic education as a way to save money looking forward. While there is some validity to that, I know a number of college students that do not want to use electronic books or learn from a computer. The technology just isn't far enough along for them to be comfortable learning from the internet and other electronic learning aids. This may change, but currently it is not a realistic expectation for many students.
I actually enjoyed the book and the insights the author provided. I think it is of some value, particularly to high school educators, students and parents who have children trying to make a decision about their futures.
Answer: Hundreds of years of authoritative people vetted in an aggrandizing aristocracy of exclusionary education. That's who.
Universities best interests are not necessarily aligned with those of students, and as DIY U explores, the differences can be disheartening to the point of infuriating. Given a long-established tradition of prestigue through extreme selectivity and absurd financial requirements, it is understandable that many universities are struggling to find their way in the Information age.
I enjoy looking at political issues though numbers, statistics, historical analysis, and really any sort of empirical evidence lending insight to the world around us. With regards to education, it is obvious that we have yet to fully realize how Internet-enabled technologies fundamentally change how we should perceive learning, and due to the explosive growth of exploratory online systems it is critical we define realistic paths to evolve traditional, costly, centralized, campus-oriented, course-based university programs to the increasingly decentralized, affordable, online, multi-national, outcome-based demands being pushed by current generations of students. DIY U investigates this gap using historical evidence, anecdote, current statistics, and critical analysis: exactly the type of writing I look for in subject matter of high debate.
Of particular interest to me are the many statistics on past, current, and projected future costs of higher education. Not that this should be shocking, but the gist is that the current model just isn't going to work if we really want to positively improve the general education level of the American population. (And I think the whole world would nod in violent support of this goal.) Simply using federal subsidies to (attempt to) expand an already antiquated model of education would be outright foolish.
I also particularly enjoyed the sections on different paradigms actively being used to varying degrees of success, specifically outcome and competency assessment-based learning. I've attended four higher-ed schools to date, and find the requirements of having to take specific course line numbers at a specific college for a specific degree program within a single university in the 21st century to be unacceptably, and quite literally, "old school". As someone who's said "I could have tested out of that class" numerous times, the concept makes sense to me.
If you find these topics interesting, by all means pick up copy of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. I purchased my Kindle version for about $10 on Amazon.