Students are always more entrepreneurial and understand needs better than bureaucracies can,” said Harry R. Lewis, the director of undergraduate studies for Harvard’s computer science department, “since bureaucracies tend to have messages they want to spin, and priorities they have to set, and students just want stuff that is useful. I know this well, since students were talking to me about moving the Harvard face books online seven years before Zuckerberg just went and did it without asking permission.

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two - NYTimes.com

It’s a horrible irony that at the very moment the world has become more complex, we’re encouraging our young people to be highly specialized in one task.

Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees With Liberal Arts Degrees (via fastcompany)

(via fastcompany)

Specifically prohibiting a discussion of the scientific process is a recipe for educational chaos. To begin with, it leaves the knowledge the kids will still receive—the things we have learned through science—completely unmoored from any indication of how that knowledge was generated or whether it’s likely to be reliable. The scientific process is also useful in that it can help people understand the world around them and the information they’re bombarded with; it can also help people assess the reliability of various sources of information.

Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process | Ars Technica

If we want to hand borrowers a windfall, with little effect on college attendance or default rates, lowering interest rates on student loans will do the job extremely well. This is a perfectly reasonable policy goal, but we should be clear that this is what we are doing — transferring wealth to borrowers. If our goal is to increase college attendance, grants or lower tuition do the job more effectively than lower interest rates. If our goal is to reduce defaults, an income-based plan where payments flex automatically will do the job more cheaply than changing interest rates.

Lowering Interest Rates on Loans Isn’t the Best Way to Help College Students - NYTimes.com

If you haven’t spent a good few hours going over your syllabi with a librarian trained in your subject area, you’re shortchanging your course and your students (and yourself). Librarians keep up with the technology in your field. They know the campus holdings and can order better texts for you if they know what you’re teaching. Librarians can offer even more help if you give them a heads-up about what your assignments are going to be. They can pull relevant texts from the stacks and hold them on reserve for your course. They can come to your classroom and talk about which sources are available and how to judge their quality. They can suggest assignments and let you know about resources you may not have seen yet. And they can be a great help if you have to miss a class—they can work with your students in the library that day or in your classroom to keep them on track with whatever assignment you’ve given while you’re away at that conference. Librarians live to help. And they’ll be able to help your class do much better work if you’ve taken the time to share your syllabus, your assignments, and your ideas with them.

Why You Should Talk to the Librarians | Vitae

“Exams have come to form their own currency, which is disconnected from learning and the classroom environment,” said Jo-Anne Baird, a professor of educational assessment at Oxford University’s Department of Education.

Fewer Pass High School Exams, and Some in England Cheer - NYTimes.com

In order to help secure a healthy future for both university presses and print books, scholars and deans must embrace the digital as a legitimate and credit-worthy format for quality scholarship.

Deans Love Books – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

It seems that, if you just present the correct information, five things happen," he said. "One, students think they know it. Two, they don’t pay their utmost attention. Three, they don’t recognize that what was presented differs from what they were already thinking. Four, they don’t learn a thing. And five, perhaps most troublingly, they get more confident in the ideas they were thinking before." Confusion is a powerful force in education. It can send students reeling toward boredom and complacency. But being confused can also prompt students to work through impasses and arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the world. "Common wisdom holds that confusion should be avoided during learning and rapidly resolved if and when it arises," wrote a team of researchers in a paper published earlier this year. While this might be true when it comes to superficial tasks such as memorizing facts and figures, "Confusion is likely to promote learning at deeper levels of comprehension under appropriate conditions.

Confuse Students to Help Them Learn - Teaching - The Chronicle of Higher Education

A brash tech entrepreneur thinks he can reinvent higher education by stripping it down to its essence, eliminating lectures and tenure along with football games, ivy-covered buildings, and research libraries. What if he’s right?

The Future of College? - The Atlantic

But the true promise of technology to save the liberal arts is precisely its ability to lower the cost of delivery — and in so doing to allow everyone on earth to partake in a liberal education throughout their lifetime. Students shouldn’t have to choose between philosophy and engineering, music and business, rhetoric and marketing. And by lowering the costs, you enable increased consumption — that is the very nature of disruptive innovations.

How technology can help save the liberal arts (essay) @insidehighered