Tonight on CUNY TV

And Friday morning on the radio!

And other examples of tech in the classroom, on the Takeaway.

ps: I contributed a link list that you can see on the page.

My fave moment is when one of them says something like “this is just for rich kids, right?” and I’m like no, actually, it’s about 2 billion cell phones in the developing world.
Re: A is for App

It’s interesting to see how different publications are thin-slicing the book and taking what they think will interest their audience. I actually spend very little space in DIY U talking about anything to do with the Ivy League or traditional measures of prestige, and far more time talking about the vast majority of colleges in the country–public universities, community colleges and even for-profits–and the experience of the vast majority of students (and non-students/dropouts, who are getting left out of the game altogether). Nor do I say much about my own college experience. Yet Harvard, Yale, et. al. come up several times in this interview.

For the record, I never claim in the book that Hofstra, specifically, raised its tuition in order to increase its national profile. I just say that if a college wants to increase its profile, it would make sense to raise spending per student and selectivity.

This is my favorite comment:

“Why are so many people here who went to college so upset with this idea? How does expanding access to education to more people in a way that is affordable a problem? And why does it make people so upset?
Are there limitations and problems with this? of course. There has to be some standardization of curriculum, we need to have these courses pass some sort of accrediting process, some types of majors- medical for example, may be impossible to teach this way, etc. But those are doable things, and in the end it may very well be worth it.”

“In a faraway colony, one in a thousand people — mostly young, rich, white men — are sent to live in isolated, rural Christian communes. Some are pious, learned, ambitious; others are unruly younger sons with no other prospects. The students spend hours every day in chapel; every few years, the entire community is seized by a several-days-long religious revival.”

The rest, adapted partly from my first chapter, at Inside Higher Ed

…and he asked me if college was really worth it, on The Takeaway.

My first cover story in Fast Company is now up. It’s about the incipient mobile revolution in basic education, really, part of the same movement as DIY U. The story follows the Teachermate, a handheld device that is the brainchild of Seth Weinberger in Chicago. Readers of the DIY U excerpt in Scribd (or those at my South by Southwest talk) will recognize the name of Paul Kim, who was most recently on Israel’s West Bank working with Palestinian children.

Being in Mexico with Paul and his team was one of my favorite experiences of the past year. I am so excited to see what happens next with mobile devices in education, and especially the idea of “minimally invasive education” that Paul introduced me to (quoting Sugata Mitra of the “Hole in the Wall” education experiments).

By the way, if you are curious about the beautiful little girls on the cover, go to their mom’s photography site for more!

But he ( I assume) actually raises some points I’d like to address (via The Chronicle):

1. lagans – March 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm
With what background and experience with access to higher education does Anya Kamenetz reach her rather obvious conclusions? It’s as though she read
The Chronicle for a while and then regurgitated it into a book because she had access to publishers. Much like the criticism of her first book (from a Slate writer), we are left to ask, “it’s not that the author misdiagnose[s] ills that affect our society. It’s just that [she] lack[s] the perspective to add any great insight.”

First, yes, it’s true! In order to critique an institution, one must first be a *member* of that institution. It’s illegitimate to graduate from such an institution, or to visit 30 or 40 across the country, or to speak to dozens of people who have made their entire careers inside them, let alone to read hundreds of books and articles about them. “From within the institution” is the only proper direction of criticism.

Second, yes, my conclusions may indeed seem congruent with the concerns of a publication such as the Chronicle, in the context of a 1000-word piece published in the Chronicle. This might or might not have anything to do with the fact that the questions were asked, topics chosen, and piece edited, by a writer for the Chronicle, engaging in a well-known and highly illegitimate process known as journalism.

The 60,000 words contained in the actual book, of course, are irrelevant to any assessment of the potential obviousness of my conclusions–so obvious they are to you, my dear omniscient pseudonymous adversary.

And finally, I commend you for your dedication in doing a Google search to find what criticisms people made of me and my previous book four years ago. (By the way, that quote is a statement, not a question that you would be “left to ask”.) It should go without saying that anything anyone has ever said about me or my writing applies in perpetuity to everything I may now or ever in the future create, world without end, Amen.

Since I started covering student loan debt in 2004, one fact has been abundantly clear: Giving away taxpayer money to banks so they can make student loans is bad policy.

Not only does it cost billions of dollars, not only is it unnecessary, but I argue in my new book that the Federal Family Education Loan Program has had some severe unintended consequences, driving up the cost of college and leading to policies that victimized thousands of students.

The rest at Huffington Post.

My press photos, by the way, were taken by Jayd Gardina, who in an awesome coincidence, is also shooting a wedding that I’ll be in this fall.

Q. What is the one take-away you want to leave people?

A. Ideally, I hope this is a message of empowerment. I really think that the simplest and fastest thing that can change is for families and students to think differently about what higher education is and what it can be. So that they don’t think of it as this monolithic institution that is rejecting me or accepting me, and I should have to abide by their decisions and let them tell me who I am and how good I am, and when I get out I’m going to hope they can help me find a job.


Neal: What qualities or behaviors do students need to make the most of a DIY U experience?

Anya: Ideally, they need to reject as much as they can the socialization that comes with formal school. They need an internal, not external locus of control; they need to embrace risk and failure, realize they can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime, and that learning is associated with flow and excitement, not hardness and boredom.