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Progressive Labels for Regressive Practices: How Key Terms in Education Have Been Co-opted - Alfie Kohn
[via: https://twitter.com/cblack__/status/1052629222089359361

"So here's the cycle:

1. Educators create valid term for needed reform.
2. Corporate/political forces co-opt term to sell bullshit to schools.
3. Regressive educators equate needed reform with bullshit "reform."
4. Needed reform is defeated & forgotten.

Example:

1. Educators advocate for differentiated/personalized learning as humane, relationship-based alternative to standardization.
2. Corporations co-opt term to sell algorithm-based-ed-tech bullshit.
3. Popular bloggers equate 'personalized learning' with edtech bullshit.
4. Public impression is created that 'personalized learning' is a negative, corporate-driven, bullshit concept.
5. Standardization prevails."

[my reply]

"“a dark commentary on how capitalism absorbs its critiques”" (quoting https://twitter.com/amandahess/status/1052689514039250945 ) ]

"“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

— Lewis Caroll, Through the Looking Glass

“Whole language” (WL), a collaborative, meaning-based approach to helping children learn to read and write, emerged a few decades ago as a grassroots movement. Until it was brought down by furious attacks from social conservatives, academic behaviorists, and others, many teachers were intrigued by this alternative to the phonics fetish and basal boom that defined the field. More than just an instructional technique, WL amounted to a declaration of independence from packaged reading programs. So how did the publishers of those programs respond? Some “absorbed the surface [features] of WL and sold them back to teachers.” Others just claimed that whatever was already in their commercial materials — bite-size chunks of literature and prefabricated lesson plans — was whole language.[1]

Until you can beat them, pretend to join them: WL is literally a textbook illustration of that strategy. But it’s hardly the only one. For example, experts talk about the importance of having kids do science rather than just learning about it, so many companies now sell kits for easy experimenting. It’s branded as “discovery learning,” except that much of the discovery has been done ahead of time.

A teacher-educator friend of mine, a leading student of constructivism, was once treated to dinner by a textbook publisher who sought his counsel about how kids can play an active role in the classroom and create meaning around scientific ideas. The publisher listened avidly, taking careful notes, which my friend found enormously gratifying until he suddenly realized that the publisher’s objective was just to appropriate key phrases that could be used in the company’s marketing materials and as chapter headings in its existing textbook.

Or consider cooperative learning. Having students spend much of their classroom time in pairs or small groups is a radical notion: Learning becomes a process of exchanging and reflecting on ideas with peers and planning projects together. When we learn with and from one another, schooling is about us, not just about me. But no sooner had the idea begun to catch on (in the 1980s) than it was diluted, reduced to a gimmick for enlivening a comfortably traditional curriculum. Teachers were told, in effect, that they didn’t have to question their underlying model of learning; students would memorize facts and practice skills more efficiently if they did it in groups. Some writers even recommended using grades, certificates, and elaborate point systems to reinforce students for cooperating appropriately.[2]

In short, the practice of “co-opting” potentially transformative movements in education[3] is nothing new. Neither, however, is it just a historical artifact. A number of labels that originally signified progressive ideas continue to be (mis)appropriated, their radical potential drained away, with the result that they’re now invoked by supporters of “bunch o’ facts” teaching or a corporate-styled, standards-and-testing model of school reform.[4]

A sample:

* Engaging doesn’t denote a specific pedagogical approach; it’s used as a general honorific, signifying a curriculum that the students themselves experience as worthwhile. But these days the word is often applied to tasks that may not be particularly interesting to most kids and that they had no role in choosing. In fact, the value of the tasks may simply be ignored, so we hear about student “engagement,” which seems to mean nothing more than prompt or sustained compliance. Such children have internalized the adults’ agenda and are (extrinsically) motivated to complete the assignment, whatever it is. If the point is to get them to stay “on task,” we’re spared having to think about what the task is — or who gets to decide — even as we talk earnestly about the value of having engaged students.[5]

* Developmental originally meant taking our cue from what children of a given age are capable of doing. But for some time now, the word has come to imply something rather different: letting children move at their own pace . . . up an adult-constructed ladder. Kids may have nothing to say about what, whether, or why — only about when. (This is similar to the idea of “mastery learning” — a phrase that hasn’t really been co-opted because it was never particularly progressive to begin with. Oddly, though, it’s still brandished proudly by people who seem to think it represents a forward-thinking approach to education.[6])

* Differentiated, individualized, or personalized learning all emerge from what would seem a perfectly reasonable premise: Kids have very different needs and interests, so we should think twice about making all of them do the same thing, let alone do it in the same way. But there’s a big difference between working with each student to create projects that reflect his or her preferences and strengths, on the one hand, and merely adjusting the difficulty level of skills-based exercises based on students’ test scores, on the other. The latter version has become more popular in recent years, driven in part by troubling programs such as “mass customized learning”[7] and by technology companies that peddle “individualized digital learning” products. (I have more to say about the differences between authentic personal learning and what might be called Personalized Learning, Inc. in this blog post.)

* Formative assessment was supposed to be the good kind — gauging students’ success while they’re still learning rather than evaluating them for the purpose of rating or ranking when it’s too late to make changes. But the concept “has been taken over — hijacked — by commercial test publishers and is used instead to refer to formal testing systems,” says assessment expert Lorrie Shepard.[8] Basically, an endless succession of crappy “benchmark” standardized tests — intended to refine preparation for the high-stakes tests that follow — are euphemistically described as “formative assessment.” Too often, in other words, the goal is just to see how well students will do on another test, not to provide feedback that will help them think deeply about questions that intrigue them. (The same is true of the phrase “assessment for learning,” which sounds nice but means little until we’ve asked “Learning what?”) The odds of an intellectually valuable outcome are slim to begin with if we’re relying on a test rather than on authentic forms of assessment.[9]

* A reminder to focus on the learning, not just the teaching seems refreshing and enlightened. After all, our actions as educators don’t matter nearly as much as how kids experience those actions. The best teachers (and parents) continually try to see what they do through the eyes of those to whom it’s done. But at some point I had the queasy realization that lots of consultants and administrators who insist that learning is more important than teaching actually have adopted a behaviorist version of learning, with an emphasis on discrete skills measured by test scores.

You see the pattern here. We need to ask what kids are being given to do, and to what end, and within what broader model of learning, and as decided by whom. If we allow ourselves to be distracted from those questions, then even labels with a proud progressive history can be co-opted to the point that they no longer provide reassurance about the practice to which the label refers."
alfiekohn  2015  progressive  education  schools  schooling  schooliness  lesicarroll  humptydumpty  wholelanguage  cooption  language  words  buzzwords  pedagogy  differentiation  teaching  business  capitalism  formativeassessment  assessment  learning  howweetach  howwelearn  development  engagement  grassroots 
october 2018 by robertogreco
First they make you crazy. Then they sell you the cure: Be Mindful of Mindless Mindfulness
"So – if I’m not against art, or coloring, or relaxation or mindfulness what is my problem? Here it is: The explosion of mindfulness as the cure-all du jour. And I’m wondering why is this happening? Why now?

Brave New World is Aldous Huxley’s ironic title for his dystopian novel. In this future the fictional drug soma has “All of the benefits of Christianity and alcohol without their defects.” Huxley takes the word soma – this “Christianity without tears” – from an unknown drug believed to have been used in ancient Indian Vedic cults as part of religious ceremonies. The soma of Brave New World is a perversion of that ancient drug. Rather than conferring insight and wisdom it clouds reality. It is not used to deliver enlightenment but rather to blunt ugly truths that arise to disturb the surface of experience. Soma is a tool of the state to keep its citizens quiet and to prevent them from the seeing the truth and demanding change."



"I have no problem with children learning anything that can help them thrive in our stress-inducing, anxiety-ridden age. My problem lies with the fact that we must first stop creating and exacerbating the problems to which all this is then the answer. As a society we are driving our kids crazy and we have to stop."



"Let’s return for a moment to those backpacking counter cultural wanderers and to those who have searched for inner peace and meaning and found answers that include the moral and spiritual wisdom of the Buddhist tradition. That tradition is about enlightenment and developing our intellectual capacity to the fullest. It is about waking up, compassion and kindness. Admirable goals and worthy aspirations. Nothing wrong with that. It would be good to see schools helping children know themselves better and see themselves as a part of the great universe. But the mindfulness fad is often about mindless acceptance of the unacceptable – more to do with mitigating symptoms of sickness rather than true self-awareness and personal growth."

[See also (referenced within): http://www.salon.com/2015/11/08/they_want_kids_to_be_robots_meet_the_new_education_craze_designed_to_distract_you_from_overtesting/ ]
josieholford  mindfulness  buddhism  schools  buzzwords  fads  2015  children  mentalhealth  anxiety  nclb  grit  health  injustice  testing  standardizedtesting  wellness  trends  education  learning  teaching 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Working paper on interdisciplinary job ad analysis suggests some jobs aren't truly interdisciplinary | Inside Higher Ed
"Is true interdisciplinary work becoming more common, or is it simply a buzzword -- or, perhaps worse, a trumped-up name for flexible academic labor? That’s what a group of graduate students at Southern Methodist University wanted to know, so they took what data were available to them -- job ads -- and analyzed them for possible answers.

They determined that ads for interdisciplinary academic jobs privilege teaching over interdisciplinary expertise, and that the jobs that appear truly interdisciplinary tend to be at institutions that have dedicated centers for such work.

One additional finding? Many jobs do in fact appear to be more about interdisciplinary buzz than substance.

“As young interdisciplinary scholars soon to be on the job market, we wanted to understand how the term ‘interdisciplinary’ is employed in the hiring process,” reads a working paper by a group of graduate students enrolled as fellows last year at Southern Methodist's Dedman Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies. “Does the invocation of the term ‘interdisciplinary’ reveal anything about what kinds of work might be available to us in the academy? More broadly, does it reveal anything about how universities are considering interdisciplinary work, and how that might impact our own graduate studies?”

The fellows -- four humanists, one social scientist and one statistician -- say that a few basic suppositions drove their analysis. Perhaps most importantly, they wanted to know whether the advertising institution had created space, such as a dedicated center, on its campus for interdisciplinary work. When an institution hosts such a space, they say, “it explicitly commits itself to new approaches to knowledge and guards against letting unconventional scholars fall through the cracks.”

The students took their job ad data from H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, determining that its thousands of jobs were a sufficiently representative sample. They focused on the 2013 hiring cycle, analyzing any ads posted between November of that year to December 2014 containing the word “interdisciplinary.” That turned up some 200 jobs, which the group then coded as part of its analysis.

The group coded for type of institution; whether the hiring department was linked to an interdisciplinary institute; where in the ad the term “interdisciplinary” appeared -- title, body, keyword or more than once; and whether “interdisciplinary” described the department, the candidate or some combination. The fellows also rated the stated demands of the position for how they corresponded with known traits of interdisciplinary scholarship: research methodology, topic, teaching, publication and collaboration.

Categories with weakly interdisciplinary scores merely mentioned an interdisciplinary trait as desirable in a candidate, but provided no additional details. Highly interdisciplinary scores were given when technical interdisciplinary work was specifically mentioned or emphasized in the announcement. By combining the numerical scores for all categories, the fellows creates interdisciplinary scores for each ad, ranging from zero (merely mentioning the word “interdisciplinary”) to 10 (having a detailed description of what interdisciplinary work the job entailed). More than 90 of the jobs fell somewhere in the middle, with a score of three to six. About 60 jobs scored low, up to two points. Some 40 were highly interdisciplinary, from seven to 10 points.

Within that relatively normal distribution, some interesting trends emerged. About one-quarter, or 48 of the listings, used “interdisciplinary” to describe the institution or department, not the candidate. Since most of the institutions advertising positions this way also had low overall scores, the fellows argue that they were most likely interested in interdisciplinary “buzz,” or hype, over substance. For candidates, that means interdisciplinary training might not even be required.

Consistent with their expectations, based on the current literature on interdisciplinarity, the fellows also found that those ads that mentioned skill sets, abilities and practices at related to the interdisciplinary topic had higher overall scores.

However, teaching, not topic, was the most frequently mentioned trait in job ads, from the lowest scores to the highest. Topic is the second most common trait, followed by collaboration, method, and publication or public engagement.

They also found that the highest-rated job ads tended to be found at institutions with interdisciplinary research clusters or institutes. Such clusters were mentioned in just one-third of the ads, but made up 64 percent of jobs with high overall interdisciplinary scores. Interestingly, there was no correlation between high interdisciplinary scores and area or topical studies departments -- where interdisciplinary studies have traditionally been situated. The fellows say that while area and ethnic studies departments may not have gone into much detail because they’re inherently interdisciplinary, the attention to detail paid by newer centers and clusters “may reflect a broader transformation in how and where interdisciplinary studies are taking place.”

Meghan Wadle, one of the study’s authors, said that this was one of the most important findings, personally, as well as professionally. Wadle, a Ph.D. candidate in English, is pursuing interdisciplinary research that involves applying cognitive science to literature, and the digital humanities have proved the “missing link” between a data-driven field and humanistic one. That kind of research wasn’t necessarily happening in the previous wave of interdisciplinary gender or ethnic studies, which opened up new avenues of research starting in the 1960s, she said. So Wadle said she's lucky to have been exposed to faculty members familiar with emerging interdisciplinary methodologies, and that that exposure is something she’d like to see continue in any eventual faculty position.

Wadle and her co-authors, Michael Aiuvalasit, Carson Davis, Angel Gallardo, Bingchen Liu and Tim McGee, say that one of the most important thing a graduate student on the job market can do is learn to decipher between general uses of the term “interdisciplinary” -- which correlates with low scores -- and more technical uses of the words, which correlate with higher scores.

“The mere use of the term in the ad does not mean that he hiring committee is looking for someone who is genuinely transgressing or crossing disciplinary boundaries,” crossing methods and topics as they teach, publish and coordinate with others, they wrote. “They may just be looking for someone to co-teach core curriculum classes with someone from another department.”

The fellows also say that graduate students wishing to market themselves for jobs calling for more general work -- which make up the majority of ads -- should seek a “basic level of exposure” to fields outside their own. The more technical, high-scoring ads sought traits such as interdisciplinary methodologies -- think digital humanities and the like -- meanwhile, and an interdisciplinary publication record as evidence of deep thinking between fields. So students looking to go that route should begin seeking such training early on in their careers, even though the student might risk pursuing a course of study that appears “unfocused or scattered" through a single disciplinary lens.

And, of, course, interdisciplinary teaching experience was desired all around -- something of which graduate students and faculty alike should take note, Wadle said, since teaching isn’t a major focus of most graduate programs.

The paper offers one last bit of advice for those writing such ads, urging them to “convey what they want in a candidate with as little buzz as possible.”"
interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  buzzwords  2015  meghanwadle  michaelaiuvalasit  carsondavis  angelgallardo  bingchenliu  timmcgee 
october 2015 by robertogreco
All Aboard the LeaderShip - Alfie Kohn
"If you’re going to lead a school or other organization, it might be smart to give some thought to what it means to be a good leader. But that fact doesn’t explain why some schools proudly announce that they train their students — every last one of them — in the art of leadership. What’s up with that?

I’d suggest three possible explanations. The first is that leadership, like a lot of other terms that show up in mission statements (transformational, responsible, good citizens, 21st-century as an adjective), is just a rhetorical flourish — something we’re not supposed to think about too carefully. No one is likely to stand up and say, “Hey, wait just a minute! Exactly which characteristics does this school regard as admirable in the 21st century that it didn’t value in, say, 1995?”

Similarly, you’re not expected to ask how it’s possible for everyone to be a leader. You’re just supposed to smile and nod. Leadership good.

Possibility number 2 is that the term does have a specific meaning — a meaning that’s actually rather disturbing in this context. “When colleges promise to make their students leaders, they’re telling them they’re going to be in charge,” William Deresiewicz wrote in the September issue of Harper’s magazine. In fact, that pact with the privileged begins well before college. The message, if made explicit, would sound something like this: “No, of course everyone can’t be a leader. The elite are far more likely to attain that status. So buy your kids an education here and we’ll equip them to be part of that elite.”[1]

It’s a shrewd selling point for a selective school, granted. And it explains why, as someone observed recently, you don’t find many institutions that refer to themselves as “followership academies.”

The relatively benign word leadership may be a way to mute the objectionable implications of grooming certain students to run the world. It’s not unlike how adults try to make themselves feel better about punishing children by referring to what they’re doing as “imposing a consequence.”

*

When I mused about this issue on Twitter a few weeks ago, wondering whether appeals to leadership implicitly endorsed a competitive hierarchy, my post produced a bushel of responses that made me consider possibility number 3: Maybe leadership, like a lot of other words, just means whatever the hell you want it to mean.

One person pointed me to a website about being a “servant/leader” — a phrase with religious roots, I discovered. The site, which had the feel of a late-night TV commercial, offered materials to promote both “personal development” and an “entrepreneurial mindset.”

Here, reproduced verbatim, are a few of the other replies I received:

* Leadership requires that we lead ourselves first. Part of being a great leader is being a good follower too

* Students can lead in 4 directions- leading up, leading peers, leading down, and leading self

* Everyone can be a leader, everyone can be a servant, and everyone can treat others w/ respect

* Some leadership actually comes from the followers within a group

* Lead from YOUR passion. All can.

* [I] always interpreted “teaching leadership” to mean recognizing/owning our gifts & challenges, and learning what we can do with them

One reasonable reaction to all these declarations would be: “Huh?” The dictionary says a leader is “one who is in charge or command of others.” The leader’s style doesn’t have to be (and ideally wouldn’t be) heavy-handed or authoritarian. But that doesn’t mean the word can be redefined to signify anything we choose, such that the inherent power differential between leaders and followers is magically erased. To deny that feature, or to claim that leadership can refer to being a good follower, stretches the word beyond all usefulness. Likewise for the blithe reassurance that everyone can be a leader, which recalls Debbie Meier’s marvelous analogy: It’s like telling children to line up for lunch, then adding, “And I want all of you to be in the front half of the line!”

In a political context, it makes sense to discuss how to prevent leaders from abusing their power. But if our focus is on education or child rearing, then I’m not sure why we’re promoting a hierarchical arrangement. And teaching kids to “follow as well as lead” doesn’t address this concern any more than the harm caused by having a punitive parent is rectified by having another parent who’s permissive.

It’s fine to hope that those children who do eventually end up in leadership positions will act with kindness and skill. But, again, why frame education in these terms? Why not promote characteristics that apply to everyone (just by virtue of being human) and are relevant to children as well as adults: compassion, skepticism, self-awareness, curiosity, and so on? Why not emphasize the value of being part of a well-functioning team, of treating everyone with respect within a model that’s fundamentally collaborative and democratic? At best, a focus on leadership distracts us from helping people decide things together; at worst, it inures us to a social order that consists of those who tell and those who are told.

*

Alongside my substantive objection to an emphasis on leadership (as the word is actually defined) I will confess to some irritation with the more general tendency to be unconstrained by how words are actually defined. This temptation presents itself with respect to all sorts of terms, and even people with admirable views give in to it. Faced with an objection to a certain idea or practice, the response is likely to be, in effect, “No, no. I use that label to mean only good things.”

Thus: “I reject your criticisms of the flipped classroom [making students watch lecture videos as homework and do what’s more commonly assigned as homework during class] because when I talk about flipped classrooms, I mean those that include wonderful student-designed projects.”

Or: “Why would someone who’s progressive raise concerns about the idea of a growth mindset [attributing outcomes to effort rather than to fixed ability]? The way I use that term, it includes a rejection of grades and other traditional pedagogical practices.”[2]

We’ve disappeared through the looking glass here, finding ourselves in a reality where, as Lewis Carroll had Humpty Dumpty put it, “a word…means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”[3] Like Carroll, I think it’s fine to argue that x is consistent with things you already like (if you can defend that proposition), but it’s not fine to defend x by redefining it however you see fit.

After all, that’s something a good leader would never permit."
alfiekohn  leadership  education  howweteach  schools  williamderesiewicz  skepticism  power  elitism  buzzwords  missionstatements  2015  deborahmeier  compassion  self-awareness  curiosity  democracy  collaboration  society  selfishness  language  lewiscarroll  growthmindset  flippedclassroom  pedagogy  whatweteach  words  kindness  consensus  hierarchy  horizontality  competition 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Will · The Lazy Language of Learning
"Those of you who have been around these parts before know that one of my biggest frustrations is the imprecise ways that we talk about learning, as if everyone defines it the exact way and it therefore requires no context or is without nuance. On almost every occasion that I find myself talking to teachers or leaders about their work, I find myself asking clarifying questions, sometimes to the great frustration of the people I’m with. I do it not to be a foil but to be clear: “What do you believe about learning?” I just think that’s crucial.

I’ve reference Seymour Sarason’s age old question (and book) “And what do YOU mean by learning?” more times than I can count. And most recently, I’ve been bringing Frank Smith’s “classic” vs. “official” theories of learning into my work even more. (Short version: “classic” is what we all know about learning, “official” is the school sanctioned version that looks little like what we know. Here’s a graphic. Read his book, too.) Both require us to say what we believe about what learning is, what makes it happen, and how we foster it in the classroom. Too often, that fundamental piece is missing from the process and the conversation. Or, we’re not sure whether it’s there or not.

I think Gary Stager gets it right:
In the absence of a clear and publicly articulated vision for a school or district and a misguided quest for the holy grail of balance, the weeds will always kill the flowers. If you are a school leader with a coherent vision for educational progress, you must articulate your vision clearly and publicly so people will follow. Why make others guess what you want and stand for?

Case in point, Future Ready Schools. Now first, let me be clear, I have no opinion on the work that FRS is doing. And the reason I have no opinion is that despite spending a good deal of time on their site, and despite engaging in a protracted Twitter Q&A yesterday with some of the folks who are involved in leading the effort, I still have no idea what they mean by “learning.” They use the word often, but they are not clear as to what their version of learning is. And there are many versions to be parsed.

Briefly, here’s what I wonder as I read the site:

1. What are “digital learning opportunities” exactly in the following sentence, and what are the measures of success:
“Future Ready is a free, bold new effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship.”

2. What are the “personalized learning experiences” that participating schools are supposed to lead?

3. How does FRS define an “engaged” student?

4. What are the “student learning outcomes” that FRS wants to help schools measure?

5. What are the “issues that drive student learning?”

6. The site says “Technology now enables personalized digital learning for every student in the nation.” What do they mean by “personalized digital learning?”

7. Etc.

To be fair, FRS does attempt a definition of “student learning,” but they break the cardinal rule that you shouldn’t define the word with the word itself:
Digital learning is defined as “the strengthening, broadening, and/or deepening of students’ learning through the effective use of technology.” Digital learning can serve as a vehicle to individualize and personalize learning, ensuring that all students reach their full potential to succeed in college and a career.

The elements that comprise this Gear include:
Personalized Learning
Student-Centered Learning
Authentic, Deeper Learning
21st Century Skills
College and Career Readiness
Digital Citizenship
Technology Skills
Anywhere, Anytime Learning

I struggle with so much of that because they leave the fundamental questions unanswered. Are students learning our stuff (curriculum) or their stuff (interests)? Are we more concerned with them becoming learners or learned? Are teachers organizing the school experience or are students building it? Do the technologies we give to kids transfer agency and increase freedom on the part of the student learner or do they just transfer our curriculum in digital form? And, importantly, what does success look like, and how is it measured?

These are harder questions. These are not about doing things “better” but about looking at schools and classrooms and teachers fundamentally differently. And these are important to ask and answer before we embark on any initiative that purports to “improve student learning.”"
2015  willrichardson  education  learning  futurereadyschools  futureready  buzzwords  hype  seymoursarason  garystager  vision  schools  progressive  technology  emptiness  edtech  why  thewhy  franksmith  purpose  process  conversation 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The future of ed tech is here, it’s just not evenly distributed — Futures Exchange — Medium
"Using design fiction to cut through the relentless TEDTalk-like optimism of ed tech marketing"



"People talk about the future of technology in education as though it’s right around the corner, but for most of us we get to that corner and see it disappearing around the next. This innovation-obsessed cycle continues as we are endlessly dissatisfied with how little difference these promises make to the people implicated in these futures. These products and practices, cloaked in the latest buzzwords and jargon, often trickle down to non-western geographic regions after they’ve been tried and rejected, yet still adopted as the new and advanced “western” methodology that will solve the “problem” of education.

In an attempt to cut through the relentless TED Talk-like optimism of ed tech marketing, this year at the HASTAC conference in Peru we presented a series of fictional case studies. These four design fiction based personas aimed to illustrate the possible impact on society and education, in both positive and negative ways, of not just emerging technologies but also global social and economic trends. They give brief snapshots of the lives of individuals in imagined futures from different geographic, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds, illustrating how each of them might interface and interact with the different technologies."

[See also: http://www.hastac.org/blogs/savasavasava/2014/06/19/hastac-2014-future-ed-tech-here-it%E2%80%99s-just-not-evenly-distributed
Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20150630153225/http://www.hastac.org/blogs/savasavasava/2014/06/19/hastac-2014-future-ed-tech-here-it%E2%80%99s-just-not-evenly-distributed ]
savasahelisingh  timmaughan  designfiction  edtech  technology  education  dystopia  marketing  optimism  pessimism  2014  williamgibson  speculativefiction  futures  future  innovation  buzzwords  hastac  casestudies 
june 2014 by robertogreco
The STEM Crisis Is a Myth - IEEE Spectrum
"Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians"



"Clearly, powerful forces must be at work to perpetuate the cycle. One is obvious: the bottom line. Companies would rather not pay STEM professionals high salaries with lavish benefits, offer them training on the job, or guarantee them decades of stable employment. So having an oversupply of workers, whether domestically educated or imported, is to their benefit. It gives employers a larger pool from which they can pick the “best and the brightest,” and it helps keep wages in check. No less an authority than Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said as much when in 2007 he advocated boosting the number of skilled immigrants entering the United States so as to “suppress” the wages of their U.S. counterparts, which he considered too high.

Governments also push the STEM myth because an abundance of scientists and engineers is widely viewed as an important engine for innovation and also for national defense. And the perception of a STEM crisis benefits higher education, says Ron Hira, because as “taxpayers subsidize more STEM education, that works in the interest of the universities” by allowing them to expand their enrollments."



"Many children born today are likely to live to be 100 and to have not just one distinct career but two or three by the time they retire at 80. Rather than spending our scarce resources on ending a mythical STEM shortage, we should figure out how to make all children literate in the sciences, technology, and the arts to give them the best foundation to pursue a career and then transition to new ones. And instead of continuing our current global obsession with STEM shortages, industry and government should focus on creating more STEM jobs that are enduring and satisfying as well."
economics  jobs  careers  stem  buzzwords  trends  2013  history  hereweareagain  literacy  math  science  crisis  falsecrises  robertcharette  via:anne  shortage 
september 2013 by robertogreco
DrupalCon Portland 2013: DESIGN OPS: A UX WORKFLOW FOR 2013 - YouTube
"Hey, the dev team gets all these cool visual analytics, code metrics, version control, revision tagging, configuration management, continuous integration ... and the UX design team just passes around Photoshop files?

Taking clues from DevOps and Lean UX, "DesignOps" advocates more detailed and durable terminology about the cycle of user research, design and production. DesignOps seeks to first reduce the number of design artifacts, to eliminate the pain of prolonged design decisions. DesignOps assumes that the remaining design artifacts aren't actionable until they are reasonably archived and linked in a coherent way that serves the entire development team.

This talk will introduce the idea of DesignOps with the assumption that the audience has experience with a basic user research cycle — iterative development with any kind of user feedback.

DesignOps is a general approach, intended to help with a broad array of questions from usability testing issues, documentation archiving, production-time stress, and general confusion on your team:

What are the general strategies for managing the UX design process?
How do you incorporate feedback without huge cost?
What happened to that usability test result from last year?
How much space goes between form elements?
Why does the design cycle make me want to drink bleach?
WTF why does our website look like THIS?
* Features turnkey full-stack (Vagrant ) installation of ubuntu with drupal 7 install profile utilizing both php and ruby development tools, with all examples configured for live css compilation"
chrisblow  contradictions  just  simply  must  2013  drupal  drupalcon  designops  fear  ux  terminology  design  audience  experience  shame  usability  usabilitytesting  work  stress  archiving  confusion  relationships  cv  canon  collaboration  howwework  workflow  versioncontrol  versioning  failure  iteration  flickr  tracker  creativecommons  googledrive  tags  tagging  labels  labeling  navigation  urls  spreadsheets  links  permissions  googledocs  timelines  basecamp  cameras  sketching  universal  universality  teamwork  principles  bullshitdetection  users  clients  onlinetoolkit  offtheshelf  tools  readymadetools  readymade  crapdetection  maps  mapping  userexperience  research  designresearch  ethnography  meetup  consulting  consultants  templates  stencils  bootstrap  patterns  patternlibraries  buzzwords  css  sass  databases  compass  webdev  documentation  sharing  backups  maintenance  immediacy  process  decisionmaking  basics  words  filingsystems  systems  writing  facilitation  expression  operations  exoskeletons  clarification  creativity  bots  shellscripts  notes  notetaking  notebo 
may 2013 by robertogreco
What The Fuck Is My Social Media Strategy? [Generates buzzwordy strategy statements]
From the about page: "How to sound like a social media expert:

Mix together words from both columns to form sentences that make simple things sound more complicated than they are.

Voila, a fancy sounding "strategy" that you can put in your presentations.

The moral of the story? Social media should be about making brands more accessible to users. Not using fancy words."
bullshit  language  twitter  business  buzzwords  socialnetworking  socialmedia  humor  generator  media  satire  marketing  internet  strategy  advertising  2010  socialmediastrategy 
august 2010 by robertogreco
- The Obvious? - Unlearning
"I often think that I am not teaching people in business anything new about social media so much as helping them unlearn some bad habits about communication. Helping them to unlearn the use of management speak, the use of dispassionate third person language, the tone of aloofness that has seemed in the past to afford them protection.

I so well remember when I got my first real management job being petrified at the sense of responsibility. Like so many do I started trying to protect myself by wearing a tie and talking funny. Spouting stuff about “process” and “strategy” and “empowerment”. Thankfully I grabbed hold of myself, pulled myself back from that slippery slope and ditched the tie. Many don’t. They keep going and become so immersed in the nonsense that they forget how to be any other way."
management  leadership  administration  euansemple  communication  unlearning  habits  buzzwords  empowerment  process  strategy  dress 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Ditch that Word
"I've been doing a new blog called Ditch that Word. So, if you are a language geek or you just want an insight into my own strange inner-monologues, feel free to check it out. Here's the premise: Instead of a Word-a-Day blog (which are admittedly cool), I'm thinking of condensing my language - or at least thinking better about how I use it in different contexts.
language  words  brilliantidea  everydayspeech  personalimprovement  needtodosomethinglikethis  behavior  communication  accuracy  honesty  humor  buzzwords  excusemaking  euphemisms 
may 2010 by robertogreco
It's Not All Flowers and Sausages: Like A Dog With a Bone...
"The Weave writes us an email (evidently it is easier to be an inconsiderate douche via email than it is in person...note to self) that says we simply misunderstood. The Bacon Hunter was simply advocating for us to be "transparent" and keep everyone "up to date" on our progress so that we are "alligned" across the building....
humor  teaching  bureaucracy  email  buzzwords  transparency  alignment  standardsbased  data-driveninstruction  edubabble  tcsnmy 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Sustainability and Jamie Oliver drizzle words in education.
"the result of drizzling “sustainability” or “sustainable outcomes” over all language symbols and text in any document you are working on in education is currently a “good thing” and guaranteed ... to find favour with your patrons ... Hardin’s argument was that sustainable outcomes cannot be resolved by technological solutions, if individuals are advantaged by pursuing their own interests then we will need “a change in human values or ideas and morality” not a technological solution to change things. ... Hardin’s argument suggests that if we want sustainability we must manage how individuals and corporations use the commons – more control.

McKenna suggests yet another alternative – that we should unburden the individual from all that wresting and securing or being managed by others stuff and instead trust in the collective for sustainable outcomes. Less seizing and securing and technology and more changing behaviours and values for trusting and sharing."
sustainability  buzzwords  education  learning  schools  technology  criticism  policy  substance  artichokeblog  pamhook 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The Californian Ideology
"At this crucial juncture, a loose alliance of writers, hackers, capitalists and artists from the West Coast of the USA have succeeded in defining a heterogeneous orthodoxy for the coming information age: the Californian Ideology."

[see also: http://www.imaginaryfutures.net/2007/04/17/the-californian-ideology-2/ ]
activism  business  buzzwords  california  ethics  history  ideology  opensource  politics  technology  culture  1995  californianideology  postmodern  cyberculture  future  web 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Top 60 Japanese buzzwords of 2007 ::: Pink Tentacle
including "39. Monster parents [モンスターペアレント]: The term “monster parents” refers to Japan’s growing ranks of annoying parents who make extravagant and unreasonable demands of their children’s schools."
japan  japanese  language  buzzwords  words  translation  trends  parenting  schools  culture  sociology  teaching 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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