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15 posts
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Double-edged Generosity 

American elites are monopolizing progress, and monopolies can be broken. Aggressive policies to protect workers, redistribute income, and make education and health affordable would bring real change. But such measures could also prove expensive for the winners. Which gives them a strong interest in convincing the public that they can help out within the system …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Social-democratic Capitalism 

It’s true that Denmark doesn’t at all fit the classic definition of socialism, which involves government ownership of the means of production. It is, instead, social-democratic: a market economy where the downsides of capitalism are mitigated by government action, including a very strong social safety net. - Paul Krugman from Something Not Rotten …

Posted 4 months ago by

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Living Versus Imagining 

What if one of the make-or-break achievements in life is learning how to grapple with the following challenge: Live in the present, but imagine in the future. What if that is much easier said than done? What does it take to really imagine in the future? How does one really assess the "present"? What if the desire …

Posted 6 months ago by

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Meritocracy is a Joke 

The term “meritocracy” was coined by sociologist Michael Young in his 1958 satire, The Rise of Meritocracy. Pro-tip: he was satirizing meritocracy, and was not happy that his work led to the popularization of the idea as a positive political philosophy. (I’ve recently run across this history in Edward Luce’s book, The Retreat of Western …

Posted 9 months ago by

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On Moral Leadership 

NYTCREDIT: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times On this day, hundreds of thousands of people are marching together throughout the world to protest Donald Trump's inauguration yesterday. I write in sympathy with these marchers, with the hope of creating more understanding between the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump, and the 66 million who did not. (Yeah, it's …

Posted 23 months ago by

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Skeptically Optimistic 

The hat. The slogan is deeply judgmental yet optimistic: "Make America Great Again." Until now, a week away from the inauguration, I've mostly turned a blind eye to it. But there it is, now firmly lodged in our collective imagination. There is some truth in it. K-12 education education in America isn't "great." But it never …

Posted 23 months ago by

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Will Educators Own the Future? 

Likely not. I just finished reading Jaron Lanier's 'Who Owns the Future?'—about a year after the rest of the world, it turns out—and I'm not optimistic. It was an excellent read, especially due to Lanier's broad experience with technologies and his interest in economics. He offers educators a lot to think about, such as: …

Posted 52 months ago by

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College Attorneys on Fair Use 

Some notes from attending the National Association of College and University Attorneys' Copyright and Fair Use: Codes of Best Practice in Higher Education webinar. Quotes from the webinar: "For college's, applying 'fair use' doctrine should be a case of risk management." "'Fair Use' is about gray areas. You should ask yourself: is it a gray area for the …

Posted 80 months ago by

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A Democratic Agency  ☆

For me, the story about EdLab—its purpose, vision, and strategy—boils down to the goal of democracy. This post is a reflection on today's seminar by Gary Natriello, but I think it may also resonate with anyone who's a part of a similar organization. Gary articulated a vision of the future of the education sector that …

Posted 83 months ago by

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Taking responsibility for the impact of software 

Here's Steve Jobs, from a recent email thread with Gawker's Ryan Tate: Do you create anything, or just criticize others (sic) work and belittle their motivations? This last missive from Job's is a nice rejoinder from a back-and-forth with Tate about Apple's iPad platform (and related technologies). And if you don't look too closely, you …

Posted 104 months ago by

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Can (and should) generalists lead experts? 

When does one decide to become a generalist? When did I? Seth Godin insists that "art" should play a central role in the workplace. In Linchpin, he argues that seeing work as art is not only good, but imperative. I believe, however, that Godin would be better off calling his linchpin a generalist rather than …

Posted 104 months ago by

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On unlimited wealth, or the dream of it 

I have begun reading Linchpin by Seth Godin. One topic I find interesting is Godin's support of the idea of an "unlimited" market ("Limited or Unlimited," p. 30). I am always struck by the optimism of this perspective. For on this view, one should not behave as if there is a limited market for goods, …

Posted 106 months ago by

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A Disney-related setback for e-learning? 

"If you've spent money on an e-learning course in the last five years, you're entitled to a full refund. We now admit that our courses don't make you any smarter." OK, no one has said that yet, but if you've seen the recent news, then you know that Walt Disney has taken the bold step …

Posted 111 months ago by

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A generic box is the college of the future 

Acording to this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, new campus is being built to spec in Chaska, Minnesota – that is, they are building it without knowing who the tenant will be, with the intention of leasing/renting space to a variety of schools. Is this what the college of the future looks like? Perhaps. …

Posted 130 months ago by

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Shackled to problem-solving 

This article in the Times provides a brief introduction to a fad that's sweeping through Silicon Valley these days: escapism. Timothy Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, promotes "pulling the plug" on your fast, information-driven life (though no one, it seems, has actually read the book). I admit, it sounds exciting, but then the details …

Posted 135 months ago by

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