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From Gary:

  • gary575 on 14 Nov 12
    As you might expect, I am not a big fan of the Cato Institute, but I do recommend this article. Alex Tabbarock is a George Mason University economist (right leaning obviously) with his partner Tyler Cowen on the Marginal Revolution blog. They have begun offerring free on-line courses in Economics under the auspicies (but not accreditation) of GMU.
  • John Griffith on 15 Nov 12 – 
    I like this essay.

    Yes, let’s bring into the discussions the various models for doing education from the past, and from around the world, and see what we can learn as we work out the models for the present and future.

    Mentions Neal Stephensons “Diamond Age” and Lady’s Illustrated Primer..sort of a Hitchikers Guide to the Universe meets iPad.
    Plan to read Diamond Age someday, when it comes out on iPad?

    “”””Online education has the potential to break the cost disease by substituting capital for labor and hitching productivity improvements in education to productivity improvements in software, artificial intelligence, and computing.””” Well that’s not news, but certainly a talking point that those wanting to cut budgets will be hammering home in the months (years) to come.

    “”””Online education vastly increases the potential for productivity increases because it greatly increases the size of the potential market. Bigger markets increase the incentive to research and develop new products (coincidentally the very topic of my TED talk.) A tool used to improve online education-an interface, an algorithm, a new teaching method-can be applied very widely, potentially world-wide, thus greatly increasing the incentive to invest in the education sector, perhaps the most important sector of the 21st century economy.””” Again not news, but something we’ll be hearing a lot more.

    I suppose the point is that soon such thinking will be a cliche and trite, as everyone will have gotten on board the train.
    Well, there WILL be pushback from those losing jobs, positions, power, funding, etc.

  • gary575 on 15 Nov 12
    There already is pushback, and it has been going on for quite a while – as with any established institution (and participants) trying to defend the status quo. The question is where is the tipping point?

    The villification of “teachers” has less to do, in my opinion, with teachers than the lack of lack of change, in terms of enhanced outcomes or reduced costs of education.

    One of the “lessons” of the business world is that the longer the incumbant institution keeps its finger in the dyke, the more dramatic the damage when the dyke bursts.

    When developing countries produce markedly superior results with costs at a fraction of the US, the pain in our society will be very large. We are not there today, but if Moore’s Law really ocmes into play, it will be sooner than we are prepared for,

    Maybe its time we made Bill Gates sevretary of Education,