"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
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Education, MOOCs, Learning

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Stanford University, Venture Capital, Students Startups

Special Report: At Stanford, venture capital reaches into the dorm| Reuters: "... At Stanford now, venture capitalists are teaching, investing in students’ startups, volunteering as mentors, occasionally even visiting the dorms. Professor-turned-VC Balaji Srinivasan visited Griffin House last autumn, shortly before he joined top venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. He was invited to discuss the emerging currency bitcoin. The dedication can come with a price. Last year social gatherings at the suite, Griffin 304, were rare. A small fridge held mostly soda, not beer. For most of the academic year, Barber was the only roommate with a regular girlfriend. One of his roommates, Jesse Leimgruber, complained that girls drain hours in the late evening, “the most productive time for a startup.” For VCs, the attraction of academia is simple: Some of the hottest tech start-ups are founded by college kids. Student-run firms that met venture capital backers at Stanford include Snapchat, the photo-sharing service. Chief executive Evan Spiegel dropped out two years ago to work on the venture. His first VC backer, Jeremy Liew, is a Stanford alumnus...."

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Colleges Trap Students Into Poverty With The Help of US Government

The Student Loans Trap: This is what it has come down to--greedy Colleges, enabled by the US government, exploiting students into lifetime poverty!--

Lower Education: How A Disgraced College Chain Trapped Its Students In Poverty - BuzzFeed News: "... Not long ago, Amber Brown, a student at Everest University, saw an article on Facebook about one of the many lawsuits against her school. The story, she wrote to BuzzFeed News, “dumbfounded” her: It mentioned former students facing mountains of debt for their degrees, but that didn’t seem to apply to her. Brown believed that she was “on a 100% Pell Grant through the government” and didn’t owe a cent. Everest even paid for her books and her laptop, she wrote, and sent her a stipend check every semester. “Will I have to pay this back or am I one of the few students being treated genuinely by Everest University?” she asked. In reality, most of what Brown believed to be a Pell Grant was actually loans: A review of documents she provided showed she owes more than $26,000. Brown, 29, who lives in Kentucky and enrolled at Everest in 2011, has yet to learn that she is going into debt for her degree. (Her last name has been changed because she is a current student.) She no longer has a phone because she is unable to pay the bills, and she sent her student loan documents from a computer at a nearby food bank where she accesses the internet. She has since been hospitalized, unreachable by phone or email...."

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Joel Klein, American Schools, a Way Forward

Joel Klein's Book on American Schools Tries to Find a Way Forward: "....Klein’s biggest boosters are the numbers themselves. Earlier this fall, The New York Times published a hammer of an editorial titled “Small Schools Work,” describing an MRDC study that effectively validated one of Klein’s signature approaches. “[P]oor, minority students who attend small specialized schools do better academically than students in a control group who attend traditional high schools,” the editorial said of the study, warning de Blasio away from his reflexive objection to school choice...."

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Teachers, Training, How to Get Better

Getting Better at Getting Better: ".... In one area above all, the failure to improve is especially egregious: education. Schools are, on the whole, little better than they were three decades ago; test scores have barely budged since the famous “A Nation at Risk” report came out, in the early nineteen-eighties. This isn’t for lack of trying, exactly. We now spend far more per pupil than we once did. We’ve shrunk class sizes, implemented national standards, and amped up testing. We’ve increased competition by allowing charter schools. And some schools have made it a little easier to remove ineffective teachers. None of these changes have made much of a difference. All sorts of factors, of course, shape educational performance. For one thing, the United States has more poor kids relative to other developed countries, and poor kids do worse on tests, on average, all over the world. Schools can’t make up for that gap entirely. But there is one crucial factor in how kids fare that schools do control; namely, the quality of their teachers. Unfortunately, as two new books, Elizabeth Green’s “Building a Better Teacher” (Norton) and Dana Goldstein’s “The Teacher Wars” (Doubleday), point out, teacher training in most of the United States has usually been an afterthought. Most new teachers enter the classroom with a limited set of pedagogical skills, since they get little experience beforehand, and most education courses don’t say much about how you run a class. Then teachers get little ongoing, sustained training to help them improve. If American teachers—unlike athletes or manufacturing workers—haven’t got much better over the past three decades, it’s largely because their training hasn’t, either...." (read more at the link above)

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Chromebooks, Students, New Ways to Learn

Official Google Blog: With Chromebooks, students find new ways to learn: "Students and schools have done some amazing things with Chromebooks since we first launched in 2011. At the Urban Promise Academy in Oakland, Calif., students are using the Scratch program to create their own video games on Chromebooks. In Chesterfield County, Virginia, students get access to feedback and support from teachers after school hours using their Chromebooks. And in Fairfield County, South Carolina, schools saw double-digit gains on their state performance tests after they started to offer Chromebooks, Google Apps for Education and other technologies to their students, who often don’t have Internet access at home...."

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