23 janvier 2013

First, Do No Harm: Inequality in American Education Will Not Be Solved Online

Ian raises a really important issue that I don’t think is being discussed enough.  I predict that computer science MOOC completers are even more white and male than in existing computing education.  Replacing more face-to-face CS courses with MOOCs may be reversing the hard-fought gains we’ve made through NCWIT and NSF BPC efforts.  I’ve asked both Udacity and Coursera about the demographics of their completers.  Coursera said that they don’t know yet because they simply haven’t looked.  Udacity said that it’s “about the same” as in existing face-to-face CS classes.
To address issues of inequality, we will have to do something different than what we are doing now, but we want to do something different that has better results.  We need to be careful that we don’t make choices that lead us to a worse place than we are now. Here’s a concrete proposal: Any institution that belongs to NCWIT (or more significantly, the NCWIT Pacesetters program) that runs a MOOC for computer science and does not check demographics should have its membership revoked. (See Note.)  We should not be promoting computer science education that is even more exclusive.  We need new forms of computer science education that broaden participation.  At the very least, we ought to be checking — are we doing no harm? Are we advancing our agenda of broadening participation, or making it more exclusionary? Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 23:19 - - Permalien [#]

Le CNFPT ne veut pas payer la formation des emplois d’avenirs

http://alternatives-economiques.fr/blogs/abherve/files/abherve.jpgSur le blog de Michel Abhervé pour Alternatives économiques.Le CNFPT ne veut pas payer la formation certifiante ou qualifiante des emplois d’avenirs des collectivités territoriales. Ainsi que nous le pressentions, la question du financement de la formation des jeunes employés en emplois d’avenir dans les collectivités territoriales se pose (voir Formation des emplois d’avenir: des moyens mobilisés davantage dans l’ESS que dans le public).
En effet, dans une note "Présentation du dispositif d’accompagnement et de formation des collectivités territoriales et  des bénéficiaires par le CNFPT" publiée en annexe du Projet de schéma d’orientation régional pour les emplois d’avenir de Poitou Charentes, il est écrit on ne peut clairement "le CNFPT n’a pas la vocation à prendre en charge financièrement des formations certifiantes ou diplômantes." Suite de l'article...
Présentation du dispositif d’accompagnement et de formation des collectivités territoriales et des bénéficiaires par le CNFPT
d) Professionnaliser sur un métier ou préparer à un concours

Tous les emplois d’avenir bénéficieront d’une formation de deux jours dans l’objectif d’acquérir les connaissances nécessaires sur l’environnement professionnel: Formation d’Intégration des Emplois d’Avenir (FIEA) dont le référentiel sera national. Les emplois d’avenir bénéficieront de l’offre catalogue du CNFPT. Le recueil d’information sur les profils recrutés et les emplois à occuper permettront à la délégation régionale du CNFPT de prévoir des dédoublements de session. La présentation aux services Ressources Humaines des itinéraires métiers existants pourra simplifier le travail de positionnement et de définition des PARCOURS INDIVIDUALISÉS DE FORMATION.
NB: le CNFPT n’a pas la vocation à prendre en charge financièrement des formations certifiantes ou diplômantes.

En fonction des résultats de l’orientation, les bénéficiaires des emplois d’avenir pourront bénéficier d’une préparation aux concours.

http://alternatives-economiques.fr/blogs/abherve/files/abherve.jpg An blag Michael Abhervé do Roghanna Eacnamaíoch. Ní bheidh CNFPT íoc as a dheimhniú oiliúna nó sa todhchaí fhostaíocht cháilitheach n-údarás áitiúil. Mar a Chonacthas dúinn, an cheist maidir le maoiniú a oiliúint deiseanna gairme óga fostaithe sa rialtas dtagann áitiúla (féach post Oiliúna sa todhchaí: níos mó acmhainní shlógadh i CSE sa lucht féachana). Níos mó...

Posté par pcassuto à 23:03 - - Permalien [#]

'Sugar daddy' site targets students

The Windsor StarBy Claire Brownell. Yet another business is recruiting young, attractive University of Windsor students struggling to pay the bills - but it's not a job their parents are likely to brag about.
Seekingarrangement.com, a website that matches "sugar babies" looking for cash with older, wealthier "sugar daddies" looking for love, claims the University of Windsor is one of its fastest growing markets in Canada. According to a news release issued by the site, 65 students with University of Windsor email accounts joined the site in 2012, bringing the total number registered to 134 and making it the 10th fastest growing sugar baby school in Canada.
In some ways, seekingarrangement.com is similar to conventional dating websites, with users creating profiles with information about themselves and what they're looking for from a romantic partner. The big difference, however, is that "sugar babies" put a price on their time and affection, with students charging an average of $3,000 per month in gifts and money, according to the website.
It's impossible to independently verify the site's claims of a surge in popularity among University of Windsor students, with a spokeswoman saying that releasing more information would violate the site's privacy policy. What is clear is that the website's news release ranking Canada's fastest growing sugar baby schools is part of a successful public relations campaign.
The combination of sex and controversy has earned the site coverage - and probably new members - via the New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN and others.
A quote from CEO Brandon Wade included in the news release takes a dig at the federal government's recent loss of the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Canadians with student debt. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:52 - - Permalien [#]

Cambridge is top university for 'sugar daddy dating'

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy Andrew Marszal. More than 150 female students at Cambridge University signed up for "sugar daddy dating" to help pay their tuition fees last year, according to an online dating website.
 More female students at Cambridge University signed up for "sugar daddy dating" than at any other British university last year, according to an online dating website.
Some 168 Cambridge students joined SeekingArrangement.com – a controversial US-based internet dating website which matches attractive young women with wealthy, usually older men – last year. Eight of the other top 20 universities using the website were based in London.
SeekingArrangement.com is frequented by male business executives on an average income of £170,000 per year. Women who sign up can agree to exchange their time and affection for lavish dates, expensive shopping trips and, in some cases, regular cash allowances.
Top 20 Fastest Growing Sugar Baby Schools, determined by number of new sign-ups in 2012: 1 University of Cambridge – 168; 2 London School of Economics – 163; 3 University of Kent – 160; 4 University of Nottingham – 155; 5 Glasgow Caledonian University – 154; 6 University of Southampton – 153; 7 Oxford Brooks University – 150; 8 University of Edinburgh – 148; 9 University of St. Andrews – 147; 10 University College London – 140; 11 Brunel University, London – 137; 12 University of East London – 136; 13 University of Manchester – 134; 14 Goldsmith, University of London – 133; 15 University of Exeter – 129; 16 Queens University Belfast – 120; 17 University of Westminster – 115; 18 University of Leeds – 98; 19 University of Surrey – 96; 20 London South Bank University – 89. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:40 - - Permalien [#]

Whitehall's border bullies are driving overseas students away

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy Sue Cameron. The UK Border Agency is driving the brightest foreign students into the arms of our economic rivals.
 When the Afghanistan veteran Mark Sedwill takes over as permanent secretary at the Home Office next month, his experience opposing the Taliban may help him deal with a scandal that must surely be at the top of his in-tray. The Home Office crackdown on immigration, laudable in itself, is being run in a way reminiscent of the Stasi when it comes to foreign students.
Tales are growing of the UK Border Agency’s bullying and its use of bureaucracy as a weapon against foreign students and our universities. Overseas students coming to this country are worth an estimated £8 billion a year to our economy, but academics say the agency’s hostile attitude is drying up the numbers – the total from India alone was down by nearly a quarter last year. Restrictions and regulations worthy of Kafka are damaging Britain’s reputation abroad and crippling private sector colleges. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:35 - - Permalien [#]

Education questions: is it worth getting a master's degree?

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy Thomas Cookson. The perceived devaluing of first degrees has led to a rise in the numbers of graduates taking second degrees. But is it worth it? Tommy Cookson answers your questions.
I am an English literature student and, as a second year, I am now coming to terms with the fact that it is a little too late to turn back now. I love my course, but I do not wish to pursue an academic career. A lot of the graduate schemes I am looking into do not require professional qualifications; however, they attract a number of postgraduate-degree-holding applicants, as well as mere BA students such as myself. Would it really be worth my while in terms of time and money to add a few extra strings to my bow with a Masters in a non-literature-related subject, or should I present myself to firms as young, malleable and eager to learn about the industry through first-hand experience? FP, Cambridge
I’d go the young, malleable and eager-to-learn route. You haven’t yet mapped out a career path or even decided what you want to do. What you need is some direct experience to help you decide. I wouldn’t even wait until you graduate: do some work experience at the end of your second year at university and, if possible, get involved in running something at university. It might also be a good idea to arrange an internship after you graduate, too. With all this, you and prospective employers will be able to judge what other qualities you’ve got beside brains. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:32 - - Permalien [#]

Mergers: who benefits?

Times Higher EducationOne academic's experience of coalescing institutions was not a positive one, largely owing to a lack of forethought or consideration.
Some years ago, the university I work for merged with a further education college about 30 miles away. The merger posed some immediate challenges for staff: public transport links to the college were poor; for those without a car, journeys required a train and a bus, and the return journey took more than two hours.
My university had an emerging solvency problem at the time. I suspect that part of the rationale for the merger was the fact that the further education college was solvent - but, as it turned out, only in the short term. The merger was short-lived.
In the end, the university closed the further education campus and the work of the college was transferred to another provider. Careers were disrupted, and staff working in the college had to live through the unsettling transition of merger, demerger and remerger with a new partner in a very short space of time. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:28 - - Permalien [#]

Higher education is a funny old game

The Guardian homeBy Nick Petford. Universities and football teams have much in common, says Nick Petford – should fans in both arenas now accept that their beautiful games are first and foremost businesses?
I have been a Chelsea fan since the age of nine so it was a pleasure on Christmas day to unwrap the book, I Am The Secret Footballer. Not because Mr S Footballer is likely a Chelsea player (the internet is rife with speculation over his identity), but rather due to the book's claim that most fans don't understand what football is really about. The book highlights a discrepancy between the view of the majority looking in from outside (the fans) versus the profession – the players, managers, agents and WAGs. This got me thinking about our own 'industry' and how the different internal and external players – academics, students, professional services, management, regulators and, increasingly, parents – also have their own take on issues common to them all.
Of course making a link between football and universities is hardly novel: annual league tables being the most obvious parallel, along with commentary comparing the transfer market in star academics with the Premiership in the run up to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and next year's Research Excellence Framework (REF). What really struck home reading the book, however, was fans' lack of recognition that their game is now a business that just happens to be a sport. In that order. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:24 - - Permalien [#]

Why our students need co-curricular, not extra-curricular, activities

The Guardian homeBy Marilyn Andrews. Skills development should be embedded in academic programmes, rather than an add-on, to give students the best chance of shaping their future, says Marilyn Andrews. As January's High Fliers report shows, the gratuate job market in 2013 is one of the most competitive we've ever known. Time and time again employers tell us that a degree alone is not indicative of a well-rounded graduate. So what can universities do to provide further development opportunities to complement the academic curriculum?
I strongly believe that given the right tools, students will thrive in taking charge of their own development, but to help them do this, we need to reassess our role as higher education providers. We should not just provide the opportunities for students to achieve good academic results but actively promote the benefits of a wider curriculum to students. After all, university should be seen as a transformative experience through which students can prepare themselves to succeed in the many and varied roles they will undertake in future life.
That's why, over the last few years, Keele University has evaluated its offering to recognise the importance and value of both academic curriculum and co-curricular activities in developing the range of skills and attributes that are important for graduates. Armed with a better sense of the student journey, the university has designed a 'development strand' to support students' transition through higher education and enable them to take responsibility for their own development. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:21 - - Permalien [#]

Is work experience essential when applying to university?

The Guardian homeBy Hiroki Takano. Prestigious placements aren't much use if you have nothing insightful to say about them, Professor Mary Beard tells today's student blogger.
Aside from the obligatory two-week placement school pupils complete during year 10, work experience isn't something most students take seriously until they are at university. Then, it's an opportunity to bulk up the CV and meet potential employers.
But is work experience now a necessary prerequisite for sixth formers applying to university? A report released last year by education charity the Sutton Trust warned that top universities use personal statements – which include extracurricular experiences – to distinguish between students of equal academic ability. It said that those who go to private schools are far more likely to recount impressive placements with blue chip employers. This gives them an advantage when applying for a university place. Many vocational degree courses such as medicine or fashion say that applicants must complete work placements before applying. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:10 - - Permalien [#]