Which is more plausible and conforms more closely to what I’ve been told than Dennis Fisher’s optimism.
Editorial by Dennis Shirley, the Boston College professor of Education whose work, alone and with collaborator Andy Hargreaves, has examined Ontario and Alberta and seen in these provinces better ways of negotiating the path of teaching without programmatically turning all coursework into test preparation (or its obverse). Collaborative networks—teams—and local autonomy are endorsed. Think: Agile processes, open source methodology.
J-Source is the Canadian Journalism Project, a meta-organisation examining the (more or less lamentable) state of journalism in Canada. The article on the Québec protests against the raising of post-secondary schooling fees is interesting, though narrow: there is no deep investigation of the Whys mobilising the students–nor of the logic that enables the police, particularly in Montréal, to act so brutishly and as if they had been trained in Ferguson, USA. (There’s a history of Montréal police violence against visible minorities, for one. But Montréal is hardly unique; all the big Canadian cities have shown themselves to be…. big cities.)
But to return to the issue here, the student protest and journalism on it. The Québec protests are not unique. This spring saw protests by graduate student employees and contract staff at the major Toronto universities, York University and the University of Toronto. Both these are very large, very complex (with overlapping department areas) and compromised by their embrace of a tiered faculty system that has succeeded in codifying a veritable faculty caste system.
The issues were as complex as the universities’ layered histories could make them. Yet there was little deep investigation, little analysis of the dynamics in play, of the personalities, of the actualities. Instead, there was stale narrative.
LA school district, shocked that iPad program didn’t magically fix everything, demands money back | PandoDaily
From the article, by Nathaniel Mott, staff writer, PandoDaily:
Besides, it’s not like students needed iPads in the first place. As 13-year-old Aidan Chandra explained in a guest post for Pando, students need laptops that can handle everything thrown at them, not tablets with limited functionality:
Looking ahead, I think it will be hard for iPads and their sister tablet devices to keep up with larger apps and cutting edge technologies that may enter the classroom. They likely won’t be able to handle larger files or possess enough power and storage to efficiently use a 3D printer and create 3D models. Just as soon as many schools finish spending their budget on iPads, they are likely to find these iPads to be insufficient for keeping up with newly developing educational technology trends.
Let that sink in for a moment. An eighth grader was able to see that tablets — let alone iPads, which are more expensive than their counterparts — aren’t the best investment for schools looking to offer students better access to technology. Yet an LA school district couldn’t figure this out until after the contract was signed?
Mott is hardly unbiased. Just as laptops have evolved and become vastly more powerful than even 5, 6 years ago and also lighter, so too will the “tablet” evolve, though probably not quite in the direction most think. The advantage over the laptop is that the “tablet” form factor makes modularity easier. You can add elements, and not just a keyboard. And these need not detract from the form’s signal advantage for the rich, its portability.
Mexico loves Android and globally (as measured by Google Play), education apps have overtaken entertainment and now are only second to games. Keep in mind these data reflect apps downloaded for smartphones.
Why Mexico should so love Android is not that hard to figure out if you’ve ever walked into a store selling Apple wares. Good luck finding an Apple store, a technician employed by Slim’s monopoly, and so on.
Curious about where to get free and open source software? Try FossHub. It’s a good site, a fine project, and does what SourceForge and other forges have long done, only in a slightly different way. FossHub recognises that sometimes we just want commodities, not communities. But that sometimes, too, we also want something more than the isolated commodity. We also want the community, and to be part of the group making—and sustaining—the product we like.
If anything, the article underplays the extraordinarily swift decline of the Open Stack ecosystem and its overplays the consolidation that has taken place in the last year. I would guess, however, that other factors play an unstated role, not least of them being that the “cloud” is still inchoate, still being developed, precipitated.
This is interesting and raises lots of questions.
Following Canada’s Bad Example, Now UK Wants To Muzzle Scientists And Their Inconvenient Truths | Techdirt
Glenn Moody reports on the latest moves by the UK government to limit the public’s access (and thus actionable use) of information that directly affects them. The piece is short and to the point and summarises what The Guardian’s excellent Ian Sample reported Friday (http://goo.gl/03oyy8).
The government is not explicitly suppressing; it is doing the modern bureaucratic equivalent, delaying (often coupled with de-funding). Thus, as The Guardian has it:
Under the new code, scientists and engineers employed at government expense must get ministerial approval before they can talk to the media about any of their research, whether it involves GM crops, flu vaccines, the impact of pesticides on bees, or the famously obscure Higgs boson.
The driver for this bureaucratic chilling is global warming, or more precisely, the fossil-fuel businesses affected by shifting investment and government largesse away from them and toward renewables and other Green Energy enterprises and their logistical implications. This is a vast and complex economy, and if we include the social and governmental apparatuses implied, it’s a veritable civilisation. But it’s also a very recent one.