With technology, or the forces of educational production, moving faster than the social relations of production can keep up with, a great graphic from Wired Magazine online shows how social media is being used in classrooms.
John Hopkins, Harvard University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Ohio State, Columbia University and many more are now moving into the online world offering classes with over 150,000 students. They have adopted the business plan developed by the University of Phoenix and 13 of the other for-profit college cartels. This now means that the days of for-profit universities are numbered as they now no longer can compete with the internal privatization of education adopted by more and more higher education institutions using technology as the means to remove teachers and turn students over to robots and machines.
The for-profit colleges developed the scam and the plan and now it is being eaten up by the ‘public universities’ and ‘private univesrities’ in an effort to impose austerity from within and throw students online. Take Kaplan University which revealed in its last 10K report that quarterly profits were down for its Higher Education unit by 90%. They, along with many other for-profit behemoths are flat lining. The hideous days of looting the public may be over for them but not for the companies that will work with private and public universities and colleges to throw students into online classes.
What will be the effect on teaching and learning now that more and more colleges, universities and K-12 schools turn to technology as the answer to all their woes? Who will design curriculum and what will be the role of teachers, if any in this top down technological hierarchy being imposed by corporate America?
As a teacher who taught online at a community college for ten or more years, I can testify to both the pros and the cons of technology use with students. The issue that will face teachers in the classroom, if any are left under the current ruling clas regime that seeks to replace teachers with videos and expanded online classes, will become how to use technology in the classroom to enhance critical thinking, not minimize it. For technology is here to stay and neo-Luddite approaches to fighting the use of technology will have the same results as the Luddites did during the industrial revolution.
Sal Kahn, who I have written about here at Dailycensored, is now the rage. His bill Gates backed celelbrity videos are now set to replace teachers and drastically change learning and thinking. Kahn is hardly alone. Verizon, Cisco, and many other corporate vultures are poised at the technological gate looking to profit off the creation of the techno-classroom.
What role will teachers have? What decisions regarding technology use will they have? Will they become simply ‘crowd control avatars’ in the classroom, ‘call centers’ on cell-phones or will they be able to utilize technology to enhance learning and design critical thinking instruction?
Under privatization, we know the answer. Teachers will be targeted for extinction. However, iff education remains a public endeavor, part of the public commons, then technology can be used in the service of learning, not replace it with Huxley and Orwellian appeals to machines.
Either way technology is here to stay and the ‘blended classroom’ and ‘chunking’ are just some of the ideas being floated around by the new technocrats. There is more and you can view it below: