An intelligent essay from Pamela Hieronymi, professor of philosophy at UCLA, discussing the impact of technology on education:
A set of podcasts is the 21st-century equivalent of a textbook, not the 21st-century equivalent of a teacher. Every age has its autodidacts, gifted people able to teach themselves with only their books. Woe unto us if we require all citizens to manifest that ability.
Educators are coaches, personal trainers in intellectual fitness. The value we add to the media extravaganza is like the value the trainer adds to the gym or the coach adds to the equipment.
Just as coaching requires individual attention, education, at its core, requires one mind engaging with another, in real time: listening, understanding, correcting, modeling, suggesting, prodding, denying, affirming, and critiquing thoughts and their expression.
Well worth reading – Don’t confuse technology with college teaching
Continue reading A set of podcasts is 21st-century equivalent of a textbook, not a teacher
Harvard isn’t belt-tightening everywhere. Since 2007, its investment in financial aid to undergraduates has risen by more than 78%, which Harvard said is “significantly outpacing increases in tuition.” Undergraduate tuition for the 2012-13 year climbed 3.5% to $54,496.
As it looks to economize, Harvard has turned some of its attention toward the more than $160 million it spends each year on its nearly 375 year-old library system, which holds 17 million volumes, and includes 73 separate libraries. Widener, the flagship library, alone has 57 miles of shelving.
Harvard is also changing its philosophy on owning books. The goal: Provide access to them rather than collecting each one, which can lead to costs for storage and preservation, a 2009 Harvard task-force report said. The library will extend partnerships to borrow from other libraries, and further digitize its own collection so it can share with others.
The university is finding it “increasingly painful” to manage academic-journal subscriptions, which annually cost it about $3.75 million, Harvard Provost Alan Garber said.
In a move watched throughout academia, Harvard in April urged its faculty members to publish in open-access journals. “Move the prestige to open access,” a memo said.
Keep reading: Wall Street Journal – Economy Tests Harvard
Continue reading The recession hits Harvard…with interesting changes – more money to undergrads, less to books