As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

After net neutrality: how should educators respond?

Bryan Alexander

On December 14th, 2017, the United States FCC ended its policy of net neutrality.

I’ve been writing about this topic for some time (on balkanization; on EDUCAUSE; on Internet2; on ISTE and NMC; on zero rating) and now would like to pick up on one emergent theme.  How should the education world respond to the demise of net neutrality?  What are our possible strategies?

First I’ll list options and their advantages. Next, reasons not to act will appear at the end of this post. Disadvantages and other options are for you, dear reader, and maybe for another post.

Who should be involved?  When I say “education” I’m thinking of the American education system, including primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries, and museums.  I’m also thinking of professional societies and associations.

Who among that vast swarm is best positioned to take…

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Internet2 on net neutrality

Bryan Alexander

How is higher education responding to net neutrality’s impending demise?

To answer this question, last week I interviewed the policy director for EDUCAUSE, the largest education and technology group.  The heads of ISTE and the New Media Consortium also published a joint article about their views.   All share a similar stance: that net neutrality is good for education, that the FCC should keep it intact, and educators should advocate for its preservation.

Internet2 logoI also reached out to Internet2, since they are an academic network.  I was curious about their opinion of the FCC’s decision, as well as how they structured their own system.  Sara Aly, Internet2’s communications manager, kindly answered my barrage of questions.

Internet2 supports net neutrality, both for national policy and their own.  They’ve given statements to the FCC to this effect.  They also see their own network as unaffected by Pai’s broader policy change.  Internet2 is also coordinating…

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More love, less labor: adjuncts and the hierarchy of labor in higher education

splendid post and blog discovery — now added to #adjunct blogs to following in WP for re-blogging ease and subscribed to in my rss reader

ahead of the hydra

Teaching is, for those of us who are lucky to have figured this out, a joyful and deeply rewarding profession. I’ve been teaching for over 12 years, and have worked with adults from 18 to over 70. I have taught classes on English as a Second Language (ESL), professional communication skills, computer literacy, citizenship, bilingual education, second language acquisition, and other topics. Every class is like waking up to a new way of thinking and problem-solving, as my students and I find new ways to make connections between the material we are engaging with and our worlds. I tell friends and family members that it is seldom that I leave class feeling worse than I did when I got there. I regard it, perhaps a bit selfishly, as the best therapy I’ve ever had.

The problem with therapy, unfortunately, is that unless you have the right circumstances, it’s extremely costly…

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Two more ed tech organizations come out swinging for net neutrality

Bryan Alexander

What does the impending FCC shift away from net neutrality mean for education and technology?

Yesterday I posted my interview with EDUCAUSE’s policy director.  Jarret Cummings explained that organization’s position in favor of net neutrality.

ISTE logoToday the Chronicle of Higher Education published a column by the leaders of two more education and technology organizations.  ISTE is represented by Joseph South, that group’s new chief learning officer.  The New Media Consortium (NMC) appears in the form of its chief executive officer, Eden Dahlstrom.* . Together they argue that “is the very foundation of our ability to research, to educate, and to innovate. When net neutrality ends this month, we will see that foundation start to crumble.”

Dahlstrom and South make a series of major points, and I recommend you read the whole (short) piece.  I’ll pull out some key ones here.  Each of these are connected to core functions…

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The False Paradise of School Privatization

please share widely — especially on Facebook, which has been blocking notable education blogger Steven Singer



Create a perfect world!

Go ahead! Don’t be shy!

What kind of government would you like? Republic, Monarchy, Dictatorship, Anarchy? Some combination or original system?

It’s all up to you.

How would you structure the economy? Capitalistic, Socialistic, Communistic? Something else?

You decide.

What would a family look like in your perfect world? How would careers be prepared for and chosen? What level of technology would you choose?

All these and more must be answered when creating the ideal community for you and I to live in.

It’s what Sir Thomas Moore famously did in his 1516 novel Utopia” about an impossible “best state” for civil society.

And it’s what I had my 7th grade students do last week in preparation for reading Lois Lowery’s contemporary science fiction novel, “The Giver.”

In small groups, my little ones clustered together at their tables and gave social planning a go.

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A few revised posts for your consideration

Minding the Workplace

Dear readers, during the past year I’ve revised, tweaked, and updated several popular earlier posts to this blog. I hope you’ll find them interesting and/or useful!

The social responsibilities of intellectuals at a time of extraordinary human need (original: July 2013 ; revised: January 2017) — “Intellectuals should help to lead, not merely react and respond. In both of my talks at this conference, I suggested that scholars should be “responsibly bold” about investigating reality and fashioning solutions to our problems. I also urged us to be “restlessly patient,” understanding that positive change can take time, while continually seeking opportunities to effect that change sooner than later.”

Gaslighting as a workplace bullying tactic (original: December 2012; revised: March 2017) — “Gaslighting often is discussed in the context of spousal and family relationships. It makes sense, then, that we see so many parallels between domestic abuse and workplace bullying. Perhaps the leap…

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The 21st century is a new Gilded Age observes Swiss bank, who should know

Bryan Alexander

What does the world look like when the superrich take off from the rest of us?  A new study by Swiss banking giant UBS gives us a glimpse.

UBS has been conducting a regular survey of billionaires for some time.  These reports aren’t about the 1%, but the 0.0001%.   That’s 1,550 people, according to the paper, and a good amount of data.

I’ll pull out some findings that seem especially noteworthy for those of us looking into the future of education.

They describe our time as a new Gilded Age UBS openly refers to our era as a Second Gilded Age.  They use that term repeatedly: “The past 35 years have been a period of extraordinary wealth creation by billionaires. Only the ‘Gilded Age’ at the beginning of the 20th Century bears any comparison.”  Elsewhere, “The world is in a second ‘Gilded Age’, comparable to the first ‘Gilded Age’…

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The next five Future Trends Forum sessions

Bryan Alexander

Greetings, Future Trends Forum friends!

I’d like to announce guests for next week and also the entire month of December.  We’re actually scheduling as far out as February 2018, and I wanted to give you all a heads-up about our fine guests and topics.

Coming up:

November 28: Ithaka S+R senior researcher Rayane Alamuddin and professor Robert Kelchen of Seton Hall University will discuss the important and just-released report “Higher Ed Insights”.   This surveys college and university leaders about their views concerning higher education in the present and future.  (Click here to RSVP)

Rayane Alamuddin Rayane Alamuddin

December 7: Chris Jagers, CEO of LearningMachine, a startup seeking to get student records on blockchain technology, will discuss blockchain’s possibilities – and current uses – in education.

December 14: Liv Gjestvang, Associate Vice President for Learning Technology The Ohio State University and winner this month of the…

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The Power of Relational Action

Southwark Organising

Last week I wrote about the distinction between private and public relationships. This week as the second in a series on some key concepts in organising, I want to explore how organisers work with people to move them into a public relationship, how such relationships are initiated. Whilst relational meetings or one-to-ones have now become a common part of organising in the States, they are in fact a development of the tradition that was not envisaged by Alinsky.  Rather they developed as organising matured under later leadership such as Fred Ross, Edward Chambers and César Chávez.

Saul_Alinsky by Floyd Brown CC FlickrWhen Alinsky first developed community organising, his analysis was that communities were disorganised and required strengthened institutions such as clubs, unions, churches and schools – as well as the family – to flourish again. By the late 50s and early 60s, he recognised that such mutualism was on the wane and that organisation in…

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Americans Are Stressed About the Future. Here’s Why That’s Promising

The Revolution Where You Live

The era of empire, white supremacy, dirty energy, and global capitalism is coming to a close.

Americans are really stressed out, according to a new poll by the American Psychological Association. That’s not news, but what’s surprising is that we are more stressed out by the future of our country (63 percent) than by the usual stressors—money (62 percent) and work (61 percent). In fact, well over half of all Americans, 59 percent, believe this is “the lowest point in our nation’s history.”

I share this worry, although I also see possibility in that number—possibility that we are finally ready to turn things around. The era of empire, white supremacy, dirty energy, and global capitalism has shown itself to be terribly destructive, and the number of people who benefit continues to shrink. The legitimacy of this system is eroding, just as apartheid did in South Africa and the empire of the…

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