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Claude Almansi

Murdoch-Owned Wireless Generation's Contract Should Be Scratched, Teachers' Union Leade... - 0 views

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    Joy Resmovits Aug. 5, 2011 ""We have become increasingly concerned with the proposed contract," Michael Mulgrew and Richard Iannuzzi, who respectively head New York City's and the state's teachers' unions, wrote in the note. The letter is addressed to New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, state Commissioner of Education John King, Jr., and copied to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. "It is especially troubling that Wireless Generation will be tasked with creating a centralized student database for personal information even as its parent company, News Corporation, stands accused of engaging in illegal news gathering tactics, including the hacking of private voicemail accounts," the letter reads. Murdoch acquired 90 percent of Wireless Generation for about $360 million last November. At the time of the acquisition, Murdoch said he saw K-12 education as a "$500 billion sector." Murdoch's first general move in the education sector had come just a few weeks earlier, when he tapped Joel Klein, then the chancellor of New York City's schools, to lead his education ventures. The Wireless Generation contracts were approved while Klein still ran the district, leading to speculation about the chancellor's intentions."
Bonnie Sutton

Phone Hacking, Regulation of Social Networking Services - 1 views

What the Hacking Scandal Means for Regulation of Social Networking Services http://www.cdt.org/blogs/287what-hacking-scandal-means-regulation-social-networking-services ret by Omer Tene July 28, ...

Regulations for Social networking Hacking scandal Rupert Murdoch Myspace

started by Bonnie Sutton on 09 Aug 11 no follow-up yet
Claude Almansi

Education Week: News Corp. Scandal Clouds Murdoch's Move Into Education - 0 views

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    "By Ian Quillen - July 20, 2011 When News Corp. announced last fall its entry into the education technology market, some observers said the media conglomerate led by Rupert Murdoch was a bad fit for education. Between the ownership of conservative-leaning outlets like Fox News and a reputation for identifying opportunities to generate lots of revenue very quickly, News Corp. had a business model, they suggested, that wouldn't mesh well with a world where public-employee unions hold influence and business development typically is gradual. Now, just as News Corp. had appeared set to expand its education holdings beyond its recently acquired subsidiary Wireless Generation, those concerns are joined by a deluge of legal and ethical issues surrounding the phone-hacking scandal in the conglomerate's United Kingdom division."
Claude Almansi

Lessig: Keynote - e-G8 with subtitles | Universal Subtitles - 0 views

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    " Video Info English (181 Lines) Czech (100 %) Italian (100 %) Spanish (100 %) Ukrainian (100 %) "...We should say to modern democratic government, you need to beware of incumbents bearing policy fixes. Because their job, the job of the incumbents, is not the same as your job, the job of the public policy maker. Their job is profit for them. Your job is the public good. And it is completely fair, for us to say, that until this addiction is solved, we should insist on minimalism in what government does. The kind of minimalism Jeff Jarvis spoke off when he spoke of "do no harm". An internet that embraces principles of open and free access, a neutral network to guarantee this open access, to protect the outsider. But here is the one think we know about this meeting, and its relationship to the future of the internet. The future of the internet is not Twitter, it is not Facebook, it is not Google, it is not even Rupert Murdoch. The future of the internet is not here. It wasn't invited, it does not even know how to be invited, because it doesn't yet focus on policies and fora like this. The least we can do is to preserve the architecture of this network that protects this future that is not here."
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    Additional subtitles in other languages can be made from the same page.
Jim Shimabukuro

Rupert Murdoch uses eG8 to talk up net's power to transform education | Media | guardia... - 6 views

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    "Rupert Murdoch uses eG8 to talk up net's power to transform education News Corp chairman claims 'Victorian' schools are 'last holdout from digital revolution' Kim Willsher in Paris guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 May 2011 18.10 BST Rupert Murdoch, the News Corporation founder and chairman, used his address to the eG8 Forum in Paris on Tuesday to call for more investment in education and "unlocking the potential" of the world's children. Murdoch said it was not a question of putting a computer in every school, but concentrating on opening up opportunities for youngsters to flourish by using targeted and tailored software. News Corp moved into the $500bn (£310bn) US education sector in late 2010, paying about $360m in cash for 90% of technology company Wireless Generation, which provides mobile and web software to enable teachers to use data to assess student progress and deliver personalised learning."
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    From Harry Keller
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    Interesting contrast with Murdoch's attitude in 2009 - see http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/09/murdoch-google - but is it really a contrast?
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    We've had Ely Broad, Bill Gates, and a host of other billionaires (even George Lucas) attempting to "fix" our education system. They're not doing so well. What is so interesting to me about Murdoch, despite his pirate-like business practices, is that he sees what I think is the real direction for the future of education. Oddly unlike his right-wing colleagues, he's not pushing for vouchers or more school privatization. Unlike the technocrats, he's not pushing for more and more computers in schools. He sees the solution to our schooling problems as "targeted and tailored software." Many (maybe most) countries, including the U.S., lack the political will as societies to fix education the way that Finland did. Software is the other path. Much discussion today centers around the platform. Will we use smart phones or e-tablets or netbooks? Will we see $1 apiece apps as the learning modules or cloud-based solutions? Will our new learning software run on iOS or Android? All of that is window dressing and barely worthy of discussion. For me, Murdoch hit the nail on the head. We have too little software "targeted and tailored" to education or, at least, too little highly professional quality software.
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    Errh yes about Murdoch pushing "targeted and tailored software" , Harry. But see also: "News Corp moved into the $500bn (£310bn) US education sector in late 2010, paying about $360m in cash for 90% of technology company Wireless Generation, which provides mobile and web software to enable teachers to use data to assess student progress and deliver personalised learning." So he is doing at software level what Microsoft etc were doing at hardware - and at times software - level: promoting his wares in a very juicy market. We've had "targeted and tailored to education" software for decades, now: LMSs, addons to office suites, etc. Some good, some bad. The problem with software that is targeted and tailored to education is that it is a) often boring; b) perforce based on an abstract general idea of education; c) often remote from what gets used outside school. Would it not be better to train teachers in adapting whatever software is generally available, be it desktop or on the cloud, to fit their and their specific students' needs?
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    My point is simply that Murdoch gets it. His motives don't have to be pure for us all to benefit from the light he's shining on educational technology. Regarding the software, your points are well-taken. However, one extra qualification must be added. The software must be "good." That means it must avoid the problems you list.
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    "Would it not be better to train teachers in adapting whatever software is generally available, be it desktop or on the cloud, to fit their and their specific students' needs?' I disagree with this analysis. Software not created for educational purposes will only adapt so far. It is, for example, word processing substituting for paper and pencil. That's worthy of doing but really makes no difference in instruction. When software is created specifically for learning, it can reach much more deeply into the learning processes. It's not just peripheral but central to learning. You can adapt lots of software to education in lots of ways, and I've read of many very clever adaptations. Almost all could be done without the use of a computer, albeit somewhat less efficiently but nonetheless effectively. I read Murdoch's call, which echoes something I've been saying for many years, as meaning that we have to build software that answers the necessities of learning. We don't have much today.
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    Taking up your example of word processing as substitute for pen and pencil , Harry: true, and that's what I retorted in the late 1990's to a digitalophobe academic, when we met about the Italian translation of one of his books, and he boasted of having got a letter from a publisher saying he was their last author to deliver typescripts on paper and not as a digital file. I pointed out that cut and paste, copy and paste (the things he particularly hated the ease of in digital media) existed in the real world looooooong before computers, let alone PCs, let alone the Web. And yet... in 2007 I was asked to set up at very short notice an intensive preliminary French workshop for participants in a master course in intercultural studies: though in Lugano, the course was to be in French and English. I asked for access to the Moodle for the course, to store course materials there etc. The organizers refused: "The Moodle will only be explained to the students in the first week of the course proper". The idea that graduate students needed to have a Moodle explained to them in 2007 seemed peregrine, but rather than arguing, I set up a for-free wiki instead. At our first meeting, the students asked why we weren't using the Moodle, I repeated the official explanation, they laughed and got the hang of the wiki immediately. Then, for reading comprehension, they chose one of the assigned texts for the course: a longish book chapter they had received by e-mail as a grayish PDF based on a low-resolution scan, based on a reduced photocopy to make 2 pages fit on an A4 sheet: i.e. with no margin to take notes on. So we printed the PDF, separated the pages with scissors, pasted the separate pages with glue sticks on new A4 sheets, to get wider margins to write in. And then we made a wiki page for it, copied in it the subheadings, between which the students, added the notes they were taking, working in groups on the new paper version. Result: http://micusif.wikispaces.com/Vinsonneau
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