Ben Nelson, former CEO of Snapfish, an online photo service, is determined to stand higher education – at least part of it - on its head. His goal is a simple one: provide large numbers of intellectually-gifted students with an education which will challenge them and prepare them to be the “thought leaders” of tomorrow. The approach Mr. Nelson has laid out to do this “breaks the rules” in many ways, and has been variously described as daring and innovative by some, and ineffective, reckless and over-reaching by others.
This week, in classrooms across the state, hundreds of thousands of elementary and middle school students are taking standardized tests – the first tests given by the State Education Department based on the new Common Core learning standards.
It is difficult to know if MOOC’s (Massive Open On-line Courses) are a conspiracy to undermine the Academy or mankind’s final redemption, a way to open the avenues of higher education. However one sees it, millions of people are already taking on-line courses. There is a revolution taking place driven by technology and cost controls. Where it will end up is anyone’s guess, but ultimately the success of this innovation will depend on measured competencies.
The University at Albany has embarked on a program to strengthen its connections with the community.
UAlbany President Dr. Robert Jones "public engagement" initiative builds on a similar program that advanced the concept at the University of Minnesota, where Jones served most recently as Senior Vice President and spent a total of 33 years in academic and administrative leadership positions.
Education is always one of the main ingredients of the New York State Budget and this year is no exception. The New York State School Boards Association has looked over the spending plan and has found some good work, and a few areas in need of Improvement. Tim Kremer is the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.
In his new book, Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion.