"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." - Henry Ford

The college education system is a broken model

Jeff Gundlach On College Education - Business Insider:
GUNDLACH: Young People Need To See These 4 Charts Before Signing Up For College
Jeff Gundlach, the brains behind DoubleLine Funds, has been right about most things lately. He has been spot on about Apple, Japan, natural gas, and interest rates among other things. And he's probably right about the value of a college educations. In his presentation last night, he reiterated his point that the college education system is a broken model. In four charts, he showed how tuition costs are exploding higher and delinquencies are surging. And not only have wages not increased commensurate with inflation, wages have actually been falling. "What have all these soaring tuition costs got you?" asked Gundlach rhetorically.
  • College tuition inflation is outrageous.
  • Student loan delinquencies are now worse than credit card delinquencies.
  • And the rate of student loans going into delinquency is surging.
  • Despite the costs, earnings for people with bachelor's degrees are down.
Read more and see the charts here: http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-gundlach-on-college-education-2013-3?op=1#ixzz2MndEWTUC

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The Student Loan Bubble

The Dow Floats Ever Higher On A Sea Of Economic Bubbles - Forbes: " . . . . The student loan bubble - The student loan bubble—a mere $1 trillion—is yet another bubble waiting to burst. The majority of the student loans are backed by the federal government, which means the public bears most of the risk associated with student loans.As Ben Gersten writes in MoneyMorning:
“Those loans are looking riskier by the day. That’s because college tuition becomes more expensive every year, median income levels continue to fall, and hiring of young graduates is weak, especially for those with little experience.

“No longer does a bachelor’s degree guarantee a secure job, enough income to buy a house or the opportunity to advance in a career. These days, a degree is often associated with debt, unemployment and the need to get yet another degree in order to get a good job.

“Even while the costs of higher education continue to rise and more students rely on loans to pay for school, unemployment levels for new grads remain near all-time highs. In fact, half of Americans under 25 with a college degree are either unemployed or working in a job for which they’re overqualified. . . . “
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Expectations for the way the world gets educated are being rewritten

Cassidy: Coursera class offers peek into determination of student body - SiliconValley.com: " . . . When I talked to Andrew Ng, the Stanford computer science associate professor who helped launch the for-profit Coursera not quite a year ago, he said that providing the developing world with potential was one of the most satisfying aspects of the company so far. "When everyone in the world has access to a great education, it really means we can move forward to a world where there is an equality of opportunity," says Ng, who was inspired to start Coursera in part by an online Stanford Machine Learning course he offered that attracted 100,000 students worldwide who were interested in that branch of artificial intelligence. That course showed Ng almost immediately the sort of reach online education can have. He was taken by the stories of his many students -- from a poor man in India with a passion for machine learning to a single mother in the United States who had a long-standing goal. "There was a single mother that had been working to go back to school and for whom an online class really gave her her first opportunity to do so," Ng says. Green, the University of Maryland lecturer who teaches my class, says part of the appeal of teaching a MOOC is that you are faced with a class of students who bring with them a nearly limitless variety of life experiences, including those not found on U.S. campuses. "I have University of Maryland students that are going to miss class because they have an interview with Google (GOOG)." . . . The accessibility and flexibility of the online classes appear to be a winning combination. What started as a research project run by Ng and four students is now a massive venture-backed online university offering more than 300 courses from 62 schools and serving about 2.7 million students, according to Coursera. . . .  the expectations for the way the world gets educated are being rewritten on a daily basis."

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Fear Grips University education system

Digital learning: VIRTUAL FEAR GRIPS University education system: " . . . In 2012, new ‘universities’ — or companies — offering higher education sprouted up in the United States and they have enrolled more students than the Ivy League universities. According to the MIT Technology Review, MOOC sign-ups exceeded 70,000 new students a week, “the equivalent of four or five Stanfords”, it says. Names such as Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company partnering top universities including Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Brown, Johns Hopkins and several other prestigious institutions, reported 1.5 million sign-ups as on October 2012. “Today, Coursera has three million global users and it has tied up with 33 leading universities around the globe,” points out Mitra. There are several others that have cropped up in recent times including EdX and Udacity, which are now threatening to disrupt the existing higher education model. A Harvard University researcher has predicted that in about 20 years, there would be just 10 universities globally that would survive this cataclysmic shake-out in higher education. But how are these new academic ‘institutions’ going to raise funds to ensure continuity in education? Mitra says that these new companies — many promoted by existing universities — are committed to provide free education; however, they will charge students who want to earn credits, or for contact hours with teachers. And venture capital funds are investing in these companies, confident that they will be able to monetise on the numbers. For instance, while each of the 200 students attending Harvard University now pays about $20,000 a year as tuition fees, the online course being offered by it has about a million students. Even if 100,000 of them were to pay $200 a year for certification, the university would earn far more than its traditional income."

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Khan Academy Launches First State-Wide Pilot In Idaho

Khan Academy Launches First State-Wide Pilot In Idaho - Education -: " . . . "If it takes off, I think it will spread two ways," Kellerer said. "One is virally, by word of mouth, because teachers tell each other when they find something that works. Also, if the research turns out to show this has improved academic importance, my job is to get the word out." Although some of the schools will also be integrating Khan videos into science or computer programming instruction, math is a particularly important focus for Idaho because only 38% of students are performing at or above grade level, according to standardized tests, Kellerer said. Math instruction is also challenging for instructors, given that in a seventh-grade class there might be some students performing at a third-grade level and others at a tenth-grade level, Kellerer said. It's common for a third of the students to be keeping pace with the class, a third to be tuning out because they are so far behind, and a third to be bored because they are so far ahead, he said. Teachers do the best they can to serve all these students, but self-paced tutorials provide a way of helping struggling students catch up, while those who are excelling can work ahead, he said. . . ."

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Digital learning has arrived

Digital learning has arrived for Bay Area students, teachers - Inside Bay Area: " . . . . The latest e-learning experiment of open access, with its explosive potential, has top universities and more than 3 million students jumping aboard. Less than a year old, the online education startup Coursera announced last week it would soon offer more than 300 courses from 62 universities around the world. Most of these massive open online courses -- MOOCs in campus lingo -- have been offered with only a certificate of completion, no credit. That could soon change. This month, the American Council on Education recommended credit for four Coursera undergraduate math and science courses from Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania and UC Irvine. With the urging of Gov. Jerry Brown, California's universities are rolling out similar initiatives with renewed gusto. At the University of California, whose campuses offer more than 2,500 online classes, leaders recently floated the idea of undergraduates taking 10 percent of their courses online. The system's outgoing president, Mark Yudof, said students everywhere should be able to use credits from online courses "from UC's own distinguished faculty" to transfer to a UC campus. . ."

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Jack Lew and "the racket that is higher education"

Our Treasury Secretary knows first-hand about the "extremely lucrative field of nonprofit education"--

Jack Lew & The Art of the Score | RealClearPolitics: " . . . Jack Lew is a rare talent — at the art of getting paid. He left the Clinton administration, where he served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, for what turned out to be the extremely lucrative field of nonprofit education. At New York University, he made more than $800,000 in 2002. According to his W-2, examined by staff on Capitol Hill, he made $1.2 million in total compensation in 2006. Lest you discount these figures as a reflection of the racket that is higher education rather than as an indication of Jack Lew’s knack for getting paid, consider that he made more than the president of the university, John Sexton. One imagines a sheepish Sexton asking the university’s board why he was making less than the executive vice president for operations and getting back the pained explanation, “Surely, John, you must understand — it’s because he’s Jack Lew.” Even for Jack Lew, housing in New York City can be expensive. Not to worry. New York University gave him a loan for housing. The universally recognized trouble with loans is that they have to be paid back. Not to worry. All is forgiven if you are Jack Lew, especially your loans. According to Lew, the university forgave the loan of some $1.4 million “in equal installments over five years.” When he left NYU, Lew received what he describes as “a one-time severance payment upon my departure.” He wasn’t fired, usually the occasion for severance pay. He simply left and got paid for the act of leaving. Hey, that’s Jack Lew — he gets paid when he stays, and he gets paid when he goes. He went to Citigroup, which NYU had made its primary private lender for student loans in exchange for a cut of those loans. (Coincidences happen to everyone, including Jack Lew.) At Citi, Lew established beyond a doubt his expertise at getting paid. In 2008, as the bank nearly blew up and laid off one-seventh of its employees, Lew ran its disastrous Alternative Investments unit — and got paid $1.1 million. . . ."

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Peter Thiel Backs Thinkful For Personalized Online Education

Peter Thiel Backs Thinkful For Personalized Online Education - Forbes: "Online education startup Thinkful has raised $1 million in seed financing from Peter Thiel‘s FF Angel, RRE Ventures and Quotidian Ventures.
Founded in 2012, Thinkful is designed to provide personalized online learning for people. It’s starting with a course on front-end web development but plans to expand to other areas of computer skills and software development. Education is a hot startup sector, with outfits such as Edmodo, Khan Academy, Udacity and others trying to come up with new educational models for the 21st century. Because Thinkful is all online it’s designed to fit into busy people’s schedules. (Most of its students are college graduates.) The service is used by people who want to switch to a new career or just want to add more skills in their current job, says Daniel Friedman, 21, cofounder of Thinkful, who was in the Thiel program in 2011. He cofounded the company with CEO Darrell Silver. Peter Thiel’s investment is his first investment in a startup from one of his 20 Under 20 fellows. That is Thiel’s program for young entrepreneurs who are interested in dispensing with college and working on a startup. . . ."

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What most schools don't teach (video)

What most schools don't teach (video) - Learn about a new "superpower" that isn't being taught in in 90% of US schools. Starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh, Drew Houston, Gabe Newell, Ruchi Sanghvi, Elena Silenok, Vanessa Hurst, and Hadi Partovi. Directed by Lesley Chilcott.

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The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

photo of Salman Khan
Salman Khan (source: charlierose.com)

Charlie Rose with Salman Khan
in Books on Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Salman Khan, Founder of the Khan Academy on his book “The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined” --go to link below to watch entire interview


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Adults can learn to code

Why shouldn't adults learn to code too? - Telegraph: " . . . it is simply not that hard to get the basics. A good understanding of computational thinking is where you start – if you can tackle ones of those old Logic Problems magazines then you can pick up the basics of programming. There are so many free resources out there to teach yourself basic-, medium- and advanced-level programming – resources which teach you how to build a game, how to code a website, or how to build a mobile app if that takes your fancy. It's like music. You can choose your instrument from a wide variety of computing languages and tools. . . part of the journey of finding the right language for you is through your own discovery. But start by reading up on the different computing languages. When you tire of one, go explore another and so on until you find one you are excited by, or which makes sense to you. Then hunt about for courses, online learning, YouTube videos, books or whichever medium works best with your brain. There are precious few real-life courses, but you might be lucky. The science is harder, yes. But as a career for an adult to turn to, for something to keep your brain cells challenged and that will give you a way in to an ever-growing pool of jobs – or if you choose, to create your own thing and be your own boss – it is tough to beat."

Code Academy – http://www.codecademy.com/
Alice – http://www.alice.org/
Scratch – http://scratch.mit.edu/
2simple – http://www.2simple.com/2diy/ 

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A new digital divide that's hard to cross


Cassidy: MacArthur Foundation researchers find a new digital divide that's hard to cross - SiliconValley.com: (Feb 8) "The latest research from the Connected Learning folks comes at you like a fire hose of ideas, case studies, academic research and questions about what we're doing and whether we should be doing it differently when it comes to preparing students for the 21st century. But what it comes down to for me, is one basic message: We've got a lot of work to do. The latest effort from the MacArthur Foundation-backed researchers is certainly a conversation starter. And though it doesn't say so anywhere in the group's 99-page report, what I see between the lines is the notion that Silicon Valley and its allies have tackled the easy stuff when it comes to modern-day learning. We've already invented the Internet; built a network of digital pipes; developed all manner of mobile devices; created online courses; published digital textbooks. Now comes the real challenge: Just what do we do with this stuff? "There is this huge opportunity with new technology," says UC Irvine professor Mimi Ito, a lead researcher on the project, "but unless we take it up in ways that are informed by values of social equity and by a learning philosophy that really empowers young people to make the most of what is out there, it's just going to make things worse in terms of equity and the stress that young people are experiencing." The worry comes down to what Ito thinks of as the new digital divide. This divide isn't about who has computers and who doesn't; or who does and doesn't have Internet access. This divide is between kids whose families have the means and know-how to layer an extra helping of education on their children and those who don't. The old divide is closing with the wide adoption of smartphones and the growth of free access to the Internet through public Wi-Fi and, of course, public libraries. But the new gap has to do with how kids are using the Internet and who is available to guide them along their digital journey. "The simple sort of hardware and connectivity gaps are not as dark as they were 10 years ago," says Ito, a cultural anthropologist who for years has been studying how young people use digital tools. "But the opportunity gap, it's more of the social and cultural and network support that are becoming more and more important." The fact is a tremendous amount of learning goes on outside of school. . . . "

You'd Be Surprised at What's Tax Deductible - WSJ.com: " . . . 5. I bought a tricked-out new computer, which I partially use for my studies. Is it covered under education tax breaks? The Lifetime Learning Credit and American Opportunity Tax Credit allow students and parents to subtract a certain percentage of educational expenses from their tax bill. But whether a computer qualifies depends on where you go to school. You can put a laptop's cost toward these credits only if the device is formally required by a school or degree program, says Mr. Charney. You'll want a receipt for the purchase and documentation of the school's requirement. The Lifetime Learning Credit is a credit of as much as $2,000 for qualifying educational expenses, available to joint filers with less than $122,000 in modified adjusted gross income and single filers with less than $61,000. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a credit of as much as $2,500 per student and has a slightly higher income threshold: $180,000 for joint filers and $90,000 for single filers. You usually can't claim both. . . ."

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Rise of Internet learning creates digital divide

Rise of Internet learning creates digital divide
More than two-thirds of low-income families in South Carolina don't have a high-speed Internet connection, said Jessica Ditto, spokeswoman for Connected Nation, a nonprofit organization that works to increase broadband access in the nation. Overall, 57 ...

education's digital future: "We are a hub for discussion of critical questions about education's digital future. A full generation has been living and learning online, yet participation in formal education is still largely accomplished face-to-face in physical space. This is changing rapidly. Our effort is designed to help people think about and navigate this transformation – through coursework, town-hall forums, expert lectures, and ongoing exchange"

Online Learning Platform, edX, Goes International With The Addition Of Six New ...
When it comes to online education and massive open online courses (a.k.a. “MOOCs”), Udacity and Coursera have stolen most of the attention. But they aren't the only two choices for voracious distance learners out there; in fact, the number of options ...

Online learning provider edX doubles membership | Boston Herald: "EdX, the nonprofit online learning platform devised by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said today it has doubled its institutional membership with the addition of six international schools. Australian National University, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland, McGill University and the University of Toronto in Canada, and Rice University in the U.S. are joining the edX consortium. To date, edX has more than 675,000 individuals using its platform and is on track to educate one billion people worldwide in 10 years, officials said. . . ."

The Trouble With Online College - NYTimes.com: " . . . A five-year study, issued in 2011, tracked 51,000 students enrolled in Washington State community and technical colleges. It found that those who took higher proportions of online courses were less likely to earn degrees or transfer to four-year colleges. The reasons for such failures are well known. Many students, for example, show up at college (or junior college) unprepared to learn, unable to manage time and having failed to master basics like math and English. Lacking confidence as well as competence, these students need engagement with their teachers to feel comfortable and to succeed. What they often get online is estrangement from the instructor who rarely can get to know them directly. Colleges need to improve online courses before they deploy them widely. Moreover, schools with high numbers of students needing remedial education should consider requiring at least some students to demonstrate success in traditional classes before allowing them to take online courses. Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming. The online revolution offers intriguing opportunities for broadening access to education. But, so far, the evidence shows that poorly designed courses can seriously shortchange the most vulnerable students. . . ."

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