Peter Thiel - unCollege
“If Harvard were really the best education, if
it makes that much of a difference, why not
franchise it so more people can attend? Why
not create 100 Harvard afﬁliates?” ... “It’s
something about the scarcity and the status.
In education your value depends
on other people failing.”
Peter Thiel: We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education.
Sarah Lacy, TechCrunch, April 10, 2011: http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/10/peter-thiel-were-in-a-bubble-and-its-not-the-internet-its-higher-education/
Arum & Roska:
45% of students showed “no signiﬁcant improvement”
over one year of study (freshmen in fall 2005 through spring
2007). 36% showed no improvement after the whole 4 years
of college “education”.
“American higher education is characterized by limited
or no learning for a large proportion of students.”
“Your So-Called Education”, The New York Times May 14, 2011; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/opinion/15arum.html?_r=3
“Large numbers of the students were making their way through college with minimal exposure to rigorous
coursework, only a modest investment of effort and little or no meaningful improvement in skills like writing
and reasoning. In a typical semester, for instance, 32 percent of the students did not take a single course with
more than 40 pages of reading per week, and 50 percent did not take any course requiring more than 20
pages of writing over the semester. The average student spent only about 12 to 13 hours per week studying
— about half the time a full-time college student in 1960 spent studying.”
“Universities continue to
serve as remarkable
Happens in the
14th century: action of
reading, that which is read,
from the Latin lectus, pp. of
legere "to read."
oral discourse on a given
subject before an audience for
purposes of instruction is from
the 16th century.
Verb "to lecture" ~ 1590.
...Students “sit” through a semester
worth of lectures, while “distance”
students “watch” online.
Live vs. Distance Learning: Measuring the Differences
From The New York Times, November 5, 2010 / http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/us/05collegeside.html?_r=1
Method is key
The Correct Method
combined with Right
Content and Right
... Without studying (or action)
And no responsibility!! [Upon the student]
The Student: Namely, she who studies!!!
There is so little “studying” going on in Colleges
that “there is no compelling understanding among
students of why they are there. [...] They may spend
Monday in ‘19th Century Women’s Literature’,
Tuesday in “Animal Behavior’, and Wednesday in
What is a college education really worth?, The Washington Post,
June 3, 2011.
Study, the word less used in
The Road Less Traveled
Zero: Number of
occurrences of verb “to
study” within Siemens’
book Knowing Knowledge.
Is connectivism a learning
At end of Lecture,
learning can be
by means of...
testing Accountability is
something that is
No word for responsibility has
Accountability in been subtracted.
Finnish --Pasi Sahlberg, director of Finnish Ministry
of Education's Center for International
What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success
Anu Partanen - The Atlantic, 29 December 2011
Content & LMS
“Blackboard is itself an embodiment of the university culture that
Neary and Winn rightly ﬁnd so troubling: students cycle through a
system that structurally, aesthetically and
rhetorically reinforces the notions that
education is consumption, the faculty
member is a content provider, the classroom
is hierarchical, and learning is closed”
Luke Waltzer, On EdTech and the Digital Humanities; http://lukewaltzer.com/on-edtech-and-the-digital-humanities
Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2009) The student as producer: reinventing the student experience in higher
education. In: The future of higher education: policy, pedagogy and the student experience. Continuum, London,
Let's shutter our "learning
management systems" and build
instead, moving away from
educational assembly lines
toward intellectual ecosystems of
interest and curiosity.
“ The enormous
multiplication of books in
every branch of
“ The multitude
of books is a great
knowledge is one of the
evil. There is no
greatest evils of this age;
measure of limit to
since it presents one of
this fever for
the most serious obstacles
to the acquisition of
--Edgar Allan Poe
As quoted by Clay Shirky in his rebuttal article Does the Internet Make You Smarter?; The Wall Street Jornal, June 4, 2010; http://
Death of the
Ceci tuera cela (via
Eco & McLuhan)
Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo,
comparing a book with his old cathedral,
says: "Ceci tuera cela" (The book will kill
the cathedral, the alphabet will kill
McLuhan, comparing a Manhattan
discotheque to the Gutenberg Galaxy, said
"Ceci tuera cela."
Nunberg, G. (1997) The Future of the Book. Berkeley; University of
California Press. Eco’s afterword is available online at http://
Death of an Industry?
it makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a
publishing industry, because the core problem publishing
solves - the incredible difﬁculty, complexity, and expense
of making something available to the public - has
stopped being a problem.
Clay Shirky’s Blog, 13 March 2009: Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable; http://www.shirky.com/weblog/
Change of Focus (Shirky)
(Do whatever works)
Departmentalization of knowledge and its effects
Mark C. Taylor, a religion scholar at Columbia University, has
a vision of a University where “zones of inquiry can be
organized around a broad range of topics: Mind, Body. Law,
Information, Networks, Language, … and Water.” Can you
imagine a Water program? It could “bring together people
in the humanities, arts, sciences... with professional schools
like Medicine, law...”
“End the University as We Know It”; The New York Times of 27 April 2009,
Mark C. Taylor
Dave Winer proposes
“We should aim to recreate the
environment that made the Internet
itself spring into existence, in
Scripting News, 31 May 2011; http://scripting.com/stories/2011/05/31/isThereAnEducationBubble.html
Teachers: Can We Be Replaced By Machines?
Your Job As A Teacher
Wesch & Campbell, EDUCAUSE ELI 2012
Humanity is our
We are tools.
Technology enables modalities such as
constructivism, etc. (Norman & Spohrer
transformation of the
teaching-learning process (Hannaﬁn 2003)
Questions Not Worth
Is online learning more or less effective than
learning in a classroom?
Who cares. That question is irrelevant. Society
answered the need to use technology through its
broad adoption of the web/internet/online medium.
We shape tools We shape our
Tools shape us
Tools change us
We change tools
they shape us.
Repeat. --Winston Churchill
Don’t Need Internet / Twitter / Whatever...
Turn Those Devices Off!
200 30 15.0% Machine Learning
AI 160000 23000 14.4%
Machine 104000 13000 12.5%
DB 92000 7000 7.6%
"We're going to have
detailed records on
thousands of students who
have learned these skills,
many of whom will want to
make those skills available
to employers," said Mr.
Evans, the Virginia
professor. "So if a recruiter
is looking for the hundred
best people in some
geographic area that know
about machine learning,
that's something we could
provide, for a fee. I think it's
the cusp of a revolution."
Digital Storytelling (Jim Groom et al., 2011)
What role do blogs, [_____] play
in the classroom or online
Any role you want.
Learners should experience chaos
Autonomy is key
Learners in Control of their
Roughly: “Who, while going through the twilight or tracing a date from
the past, has not felt sometimes being lost in an inﬁnite something?”
Not bad... just <99> slides!
antonio vantaggiato @avunque
e-mail me > email@example.com
visit Skate of the Web > blogs.netedu.info