All adapted from/related to DIY U.

New York:

“The larger question could be whether it’s possible to reunite frugality with prestige in a new breed of higher education—one that relies on achievement, not new geranium beds. For customers of Rodarte’s Target line or a McDonald’s cappuccino, it may just be the perfect recession-era combination.”


“The student loan beast is bloodied, certainly. But it’s not yet on its knees. More changes to the federal student-aid system are required to relieve thousands of people already saddled with unaffordable debt, to calm the growth of private loans, and to tame tuition increases.”


“These days, tuition at public colleges commonly rises five, seven, or even 15 percent in a single year, and students shoulder five and six-figure debts to pay for their degrees. It’s easy to forget that it hasn’t always been this way: Many public colleges and universities were once tuition-free.”

An excellent “mind map“by  Simon Buckingham Shum from the Open University UK of my talk yesterday at the Hewlett Foundation’s Open Educational Resources meeting (the rest of it is here)

You can buy the PDF for 30% off through April 30! It’s the perfect thing to read on your new iPad.

You can sign up here at the Brazen Careerist website.

On Thursday, April 8 at 8-9 pm I’m giving a free live Web chat. Ask me about student loan debt–how to prevent it, how to treat it–as well as anything else you want to know about DIY U and crafting a personal learning path that is accessible and relevant.

I am overjoyed at the public conversation that’s going on amongst principals from DIY U and allies in the community.

Just wanted to add a couple of thoughts of my own.
First. Obviously my knowledge of any of the domains included in the book (history and sociology of higher education, current higher education policy, progressive politics and economics 1960-the present, student loan policy, social media, open-source, pedagogy, higher education administration, careers, management and leadership, Tuvan throat singing, or the personal experiences of an immigrant studying in a community college in Texas) is miniscule compared to the knowledge possessed by people within those domains.
I don’t think I know anything (comparatively) about any of this stuff. I don’t think I know what it’s like to be a professor because my parents were both college professors. I especially don’t think I know anything about what it’s like to be a college student in America today. The experience of a legacy, traditional-age, honors graduate of an Ivy League college with no student loan debt and a lifelong facility with learning is laughably opposite of representative. I know that.

So why did I write the book? To start a bigger conversation. I had the opportunity to cross-pollinate between domains and bring information from one domain to another, and as a public-facing media person who can write a short, readable book and go on the radio to talk about it, I can bring these ideas from all of these domains to the outside world. As Prof. Wiley writes:

“This is a complex, multi-faceted problem we’re trying to solve, and the better people are versed in all its aspects, the better off we will be.”

Also, I’m always thinking about the experience of the individuals known as students. The last chapter of the book is a guide for them for this reason.
I really feel like it’s the biggest missing piece from this conversation, and as I start going to more and more of these conferences and gatherings, I look around and say, where the hell are they? (Not grad students; you guys are pre-professional academics). In fact, I got an invite to speak at a higher ed conference just last week, and they explicitly said, “You will be representing the voice of the students by default” (AKA I guess b/c I’m in my 20s for 6 more months and everyone else there is 10 years older).

I am not your students. I don’t want to speak for them. If you can’t figure out how to include them in the conversation, that is exactly what’s wrong with this picture.
When Prof. Feldstein says that the vision is incomplete, I think that this piece is exactly what’s missing. You can’t create a revolutionary new education system *for* people. What’s happening in social media is showing that bottom-up, user participation is the only way.
Prof. Downes hits this point really well, I think.
“In fact, what we see on the internet, and especially (albeit constrained) in web 2.0 services, a blossoming of creativity and initiative. Even if this currently represents only a minority of the population (and studies, depending on how you look at them, argue both ways) it seems clear that this is something that has taken hold and is in the process of becoming mainstream. It is activity and work that is taking place outside educational institutions, and would, if it could, take place outside the corporate environment. ”

I would like to make visible the learning that people (students is such a dull word) are doing of their own accord and own initiative. I think when certain educational projects (Wikipedia and TED Talks are two obvious examples) get too popular, audience-driven and exciting they naturally exit the realm of what we consider to be education, because we all know education is boring, hard work imposed from outside authorities.
Just because you didn’t decide what people should be learning doesn’t mean it’s not education.

Update: I was using the term a bit jocularly and inexactly, but for the record:
“Michael Feldstein is Principal Product Manager for Academic Enterprise Solutions (formerly Academic Enterprise Initiative, or AEI) at Oracle Corporation.”

“Stephen Downes works for the National Research Council of Canada…specializes in the fields of online learning, new media, pedagogy and philosophy.”

Nico from Crown Heights: I hope you do it!
Kamenetz’s forward-looking perspective on these issues is a breath of fresh air! I’m a social science PhD, lucky to have a f/t teaching job, tho it’s only temporary. Recently, a group of colleagues and I started thinking about the revenues we bring to our employers (for doing actual teaching) and what we get back in pay. I heard recently about how more and more private corporations are buying up the charters of failing institutions, getting instant accreditation. I think we — and many other educators in higher education — could set up colleges that would bring much more value to both students and to us, the faculty. Get rid of the middleman!

Just after I hung up the phone with Brian Lehrer this morning, I got a phone call from an obviously elderly woman. She asked me how she could find out more about MIT Open Courseware. “Can I get any of this material through the mail?” Well, no, it’s delivered online. “Is there a phone number I can call?” I’m afraid you have to email them. She put me on the phone to her caregiver, and I told him about Academic Earth. “Do you know where it’s located?”

Her caregiver told me that she is blind and a former concert pianist educated at Julliard. I wish her luck and thank her for her interest, and for reminding me how difficult “universal access” really is.

Welcome I Will Teach You To Be Rich readers!!

I’ll be doing a live webinar on the same topic next Thursday at 8pm EST.

No fooling!

People on Twitter are being really, really, really nice. (People tend to be really nice on Twitter in general, in my experience. Yesterday I read Margaret Atwood comparing her followers to “fairies at the bottom of the garden” and Erykah Badu [the neo-funk goddess who tweeted in labor!] called hers “angels.” )

If I’m not careful my whole Tweet stream will become me saying “thank you” to people and that will get very boring.
David Lidsky: Thank you! Reihan Salam: Thank you! Jenny Blake: Thank you! Nadia Zonis: Thank you!