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The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis. The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it. The roots of the words "university" and "college" both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it's time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid. The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation.


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The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis. The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it. The roots of the words "university" and "college" both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it's time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid. The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation.

30 review for DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amanda French

    Marc Bousquet recently trashed this book in a very snarky manner indeed in the Chronicle of Higher Education -- see http://chronicle.com/blogPost/OMG-DIY... I thought his "textspeak" mockery was particularly unwarranted, given that Kamenetz is a very good writer indeed in the journalistic style. Sure, she's in her twenties, but her writing is mature. She has also clearly done her research on the history of higher education in America, and she presents that history in a succnct, lucid, and very r Marc Bousquet recently trashed this book in a very snarky manner indeed in the Chronicle of Higher Education -- see http://chronicle.com/blogPost/OMG-DIY... I thought his "textspeak" mockery was particularly unwarranted, given that Kamenetz is a very good writer indeed in the journalistic style. Sure, she's in her twenties, but her writing is mature. She has also clearly done her research on the history of higher education in America, and she presents that history in a succnct, lucid, and very readable style. She has also gone out and spoken to the "edupunks" and "edupreneurs" she writes about, and I'd bet that she has a much better sense of what today's undergraduates are thinking than Marc Bousquet, yes, partly because she's closer to their age, but also because she talks to them and presents their views. She has firmly and deliberately made the decision to talk about higher education from the perspective of the student, and Marc Bousquet simply does not speak from that compass point. That said, I do think that "the coming transformation" isn't at all a sure bet: I think it's highly unlikely that universities are going to be put out of business by private educational companies. I think people are just irrational enough to keep paying through the nose for traditional educations from traditional universities. But though I disagree with the inferences Kamenetz draws from her evidence, I appreciate the good work she did in collecting and presenting that evidence. Time will tell whose conclusions are correct.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tom Nixon

    I loved this book. I only wished that I would have read it before I trundled off to college with everyone else, but then again, when you think about it, 2001 was a far different place, higher ed wise than 2011 is today. Opportunities and innovation are expanding in every single direction and the reinvention of education as we know it is underway and many of them- but not all of them can be found within the pages of this compact, slim, jam-packed knowledge filled volume. Where to begin? First of I loved this book. I only wished that I would have read it before I trundled off to college with everyone else, but then again, when you think about it, 2001 was a far different place, higher ed wise than 2011 is today. Opportunities and innovation are expanding in every single direction and the reinvention of education as we know it is underway and many of them- but not all of them can be found within the pages of this compact, slim, jam-packed knowledge filled volume. Where to begin? First of all, the author, Anya Kamenetz isn't new to the topic, having written and blogged extensively on the issue of student loan debt with her work, 'Generation Debt.' Second of all, wow, wow, wow are there so many awesome things out there that I wish I would have known about YEARS ago. From MIT's open course ware initiative, to innovative reforms and strategies being pursued by institutions ranging from the Western Governors University to the University of Maryland and beyond- there is good work being done right now to help make higher education- and education in general better. But, there's still work to be done. Education, especially the traditional, ivy covered variety is especially resistant to change and innovation, preferring to stay trapped in an endless cost spiral which sees states cut funding and those cuts be passed onto students in the form of higher tuition rates which are becoming more and more unreachable to more and more people- college was never meant to be a luxury good and it certainly wasn't meant to cost quite as much as it's starting to cost now. We need to start thinking different about education and not be afraid to break out of traditional modes of thought of it can make education cost-efficient, open and more affordable to everyone. Some things that peaked my interest: Ball State cut the length of time for a BA from 4 years to 3 for a cost-savings of 20-25%. BYU-Idaho is a private liberal arts university that's seeing annual costs decline, while raising total enrollment- through finding and recruiting faculty that actually want to teach- and making them teach as well as keeping campus open year round, enrolling people on a fall-spring, spring-summer, summer-fall basis. College of the Ozarks, a k a Hard Work U sees a whopping 95% of students graduate with NO DEBT WHATSOEVER. That is INSANELY cool. But there's more than just a diverse menu of options to choose from out there, it's increasingly moved away from going from high school to college and then to a job, suburban house, kids, death, etc- it's about finding something that you're passionate about and pursuing it to the best of your ability. If you're like me, then you enjoy writing, but you also know that unless you go for journalism, writing isn't going to make you the big bucks in the way medicine does. Which is why I got a kick out of the story of the Sackett Street Writer's Workshop- whose founder went from a $10K job as an Adjunct at Hoftra to pulling down $40-50K doing what she loves. Awesomeness all round- and maybe it's an exception to the rule instead of the rule right now, but if you think creatively, I really believe that you find something amazing to pursue for yourself in life- and this book pretty much proves it. (I also think creative life design will eventually become THE rule as a posed to the exception to THE rule.) Overall: If you're in H.S., college, or even in that weird point in your life post-college when you really have no idea what to do with yourself, getting ahold of this book, STAT. It's a compact little volume about the future of higher education, where innovation is starting throughout the higher ed system- but more important, it's a resource guide with tons of websites and resources out there for you if you want to start thinking creatively about your life and what you want to do with it. This is a must read for anyone and everyone who's trying to figure out their own personal, big picture...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reid

    This one got off to a slow start for me. I felt Kamenetz's explanation of the cost spiral of college tuition could have been more fleshed-out and her early cry of, "Technology will change everything about higher education!" didn't really resonate with me. It seems like she hits her stride in about the middle of the book, giving some fascinating examples of revolutionary educators, both inside and outside the US university system. She also made me reconsider my views about higher education, parti This one got off to a slow start for me. I felt Kamenetz's explanation of the cost spiral of college tuition could have been more fleshed-out and her early cry of, "Technology will change everything about higher education!" didn't really resonate with me. It seems like she hits her stride in about the middle of the book, giving some fascinating examples of revolutionary educators, both inside and outside the US university system. She also made me reconsider my views about higher education, particularly her case for the 'unbundling' of college services and adopting lessons learned from market-driven, for-profit colleges. The final chapter offers a great example of some the education DIYers who are routing around the higher education system, as well as resources for the self-directed learner. As Kamenetz points out (rightly), the internet has disrupted and revolutionized every industry that exists to disseminate information; education is overdue for the disruption that film, music, publishing, and journalism have already experienced.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This book may be controversial for some. Boiled down to it's most simple concepts, it first discusses the availability and cost of education. It then proceeds to question the need for a traditional education at all. Most would agree that the rising cost of education is beginning to push it out of reach for many at a time when a college education is seen as essential for earning a decent wage. The book examines how technology could be used to provide an education more efficiently and cheaply. Reus This book may be controversial for some. Boiled down to it's most simple concepts, it first discusses the availability and cost of education. It then proceeds to question the need for a traditional education at all. Most would agree that the rising cost of education is beginning to push it out of reach for many at a time when a college education is seen as essential for earning a decent wage. The book examines how technology could be used to provide an education more efficiently and cheaply. Reusing existing materials, using free resources and textbooks and doing away with menial tasks to allow educators to focus on interacting with their students all seem sensible. The author then takes a more radical path and calls into question the need for organized educational institutions. They argue that educational content is available for free on the Internet and students can interact with other learners through a number of social media outlets. Therefore, traditional colleges and universities may no longer be needed. I would challenge these notions on two points; first, the student is using materials that are not juried and content that has not been peer reviewed. Also, there needs to be some assessment or evaluation of learning. Some form of credentialing is still needed to demonstrate that the student has acquired some minimal knowledge level. The book is full of interesting statistics and references to studies in education. Perhaps the most frustrating observation is that even with an increase in available educational technology, it has not resulted in an appreciable increase in efficiency or cost savings. One educator admitted that they had decreased the amount of time required to teach a number of courses. In theory, this should allow students to complete a required series of courses and obtain a degree faster. When asked if the savings should be passed to the student, they stated that a degree from University X would always need to cost a certain amount so as to not devalue the degree obtained. My shock at the discussion demonstrates my naivety that education isn't the primary focus of some universities.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Roberts

    This book is very badly written, and painful to read. Two examples from the first two pages of the Introduction: From enhancing our basic humanity to preserving culture, economic and technological development to social equality, and redressing ills from global warming to AIDS, there are very few needs for which more education has not been prescribed. Meanwhile, here in America, the birthplace of mass higher education, our faith is no longer moving mountains. Since the 1970s, our educational attainm This book is very badly written, and painful to read. Two examples from the first two pages of the Introduction: From enhancing our basic humanity to preserving culture, economic and technological development to social equality, and redressing ills from global warming to AIDS, there are very few needs for which more education has not been prescribed. Meanwhile, here in America, the birthplace of mass higher education, our faith is no longer moving mountains. Since the 1970s, our educational attainment has stalled, while the rest of the world is roaring ahead. And on page 17, randomly chosen: It's hard to realize now just how seriously people took campus radicalism. Mass media for fifty years had focused on college students as trendsetters, and student leaders like Mario Savio at UC Berkeley capitalized on the sense that "the whole world is watching." They marched on Washington, but they also addressed their protest to their universities themselves, as representative of the "establishment" of large organizations that put people second. The counterpart to peace protestors burning their draft cards was the computer punch card that some college students clipped to their lapels as a symbol of the bureaucratic indifference of the technocracy. Enough said. Give it a wide berth.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Preston Lee

    Question: If I complete my general physics and mathematics studies using freely available MIT OpenCourseWare content on my own time, computer science study on campus at ASU Polytechnic, and general education requirements at UoP, all for a degree program at Berkeley, what’s wrong with that? After all, as long as I can demonstrate the competancies outlined in its program of study, isn’t this effectively more-or-less the equivalent of the Berkeley-delivered version costing possibly 10x more in tota Question: If I complete my general physics and mathematics studies using freely available MIT OpenCourseWare content on my own time, computer science study on campus at ASU Polytechnic, and general education requirements at UoP, all for a degree program at Berkeley, what’s wrong with that? After all, as long as I can demonstrate the competancies outlined in its program of study, isn’t this effectively more-or-less the equivalent of the Berkeley-delivered version costing possibly 10x more in total? Good for me… right? And if so, who cares? Answer: Hundreds of years of authoritative people vetted in an aggrandizing aristocracy of exclusionary education. That’s who. Universities best interests are not necessarily aligned with those of students, and as DIY U explores, the differences can be disheartening to the point of infuriating. Given a long-established tradition of prestigue through extreme selectivity and absurd financial requirements, it is understandable that many universities are struggling to find their way in the Information age. I enjoy looking at political issues though numbers, statistics, historical analysis, and really any sort of empirical evidence lending insight to the world around us. With regards to education, it is obvious that we have yet to fully realize how Internet-enabled technologies fundamentally change how we should perceive learning, and due to the explosive growth of exploratory online systems it is critical we define realistic paths to evolve traditional, costly, centralized, campus-oriented, course-based university programs to the increasingly decentralized, affordable, online, multi-national, outcome-based demands being pushed by current generations of students. DIY U investigates this gap using historical evidence, anecdote, current statistics, and critical analysis: exactly the type of writing I look for in subject matter of high debate. Of particular interest to me are the many statistics on past, current, and projected future costs of higher education. Not that this should be shocking, but the gist is that the current model just isn’t going to work if we really want to positively improve the general education level of the American population. (And I think the whole world would nod in violent support of this goal.) Simply using federal subsidies to (attempt to) expand an already antiquated model of education would be outright foolish. I also particularly enjoyed the sections on different paradigms actively being used to varying degrees of success, specifically outcome and competency assessment-based learning. I’ve attended four higher-ed schools to date, and find the requirements of having to take specific course line numbers at a specific college for a specific degree program within a single university in the 21st century to be unacceptably, and quite literally, “old school”. As someone who’s said “I could have tested out of that class” numerous times, the concept makes sense to me. If you find these topics interesting, by all means pick up copy of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. I purchased my Kindle version for about $10 on Amazon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    "A complete educational remix" / "the altar of education" / "tuition monster" (a good band name!) / This book is divided into two parts. I liked the first half. 1) brief history of American higher ed system which was informative to me, as I knew nothing about - the unique American plenty variety of colleges and universities, its background in religious schooling and sort of average academic standards; - "College-founding was undertaken in the same spirit as canal-building, cotton-ginning, farming "A complete educational remix" / "the altar of education" / "tuition monster" (a good band name!) / This book is divided into two parts. I liked the first half. 1) brief history of American higher ed system which was informative to me, as I knew nothing about - the unique American plenty variety of colleges and universities, its background in religious schooling and sort of average academic standards; - "College-founding was undertaken in the same spirit as canal-building, cotton-ginning, farming, and gold-mining. . .All were touched by the American faith in tomorrow, in the unquestionable capacity of Americans to achieve a better world" (8) - how "'liberal' arts were dubbed that in classical times b/c they were the necessary basis of knowledge for free men, as opposed to slaves" (3) - that Tufts University accepted a founding gift from P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus, so their mascot became Jumbo the elephant #lol - 1915: university profs wrote "Declaration of Principles" calling for academic freedom & tenure - 1863: Yale grants first American Ph.D. - 1891: Stanford was founded mainly b/c Leland Stanford and his wife wanted to build an enormous Frederick Law Olmstead-designed memorial to their dead son, "using as much sandstone as possible" #lol - a lot of loan/debt stuff that made my eyes go O_O 2) how online education is great and going to change all these things and solve a lot of problems. At first I was skeptical of other reviews on Goodreads that mocked/criticized this second part but it's true because Anya Kamenetz spends a lot of time on the benefits of online courses and alternatives to traditional classrooms, mentions once or twice that the best is to try hybrid learning (I agree with this), but doesn't ask or investigate the obvious questions, like— - What is the value of irl classes besides immediate, face-to-face interaction with profs and students? - What about students who do have difficulty with DIY, in which they aren't self-motivated to log on to a course and complete it or something? - There's a lot of stretching-of-ideas, stretchy-statements, like when David Wiley from Brighan Young Univ says, "If universities can't find the will to innovate and adapt to changes in the world around them, universities will be irrelevant by 2020." Wtf, lol, "irrelevant"? in 7 years? QUESTIONS MIT introduced Open Courseware in 2001, posting syllabi, lectures, exercises, a/v of their courses, for FREE, but why? What do schools get out of posting their stuff online for free? Why are some universities charging the same tuition amount for real-life classes and online classes? That sucks, if online is supposed to save some expenses. Why wasn't Lynda.com referenced?? MINOR POINTS - like how Anya Kamenetz makes two Lord of the Rings references - it's weird how in-touch A.K. is with the internet but then she'll call a website a "Web site" and says "I Twittered" instead of "I tweeted" - good list of resources at the end for free courses, I like that

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Anya Kamenetz does a good job condensing the history of how higher education got so expensive. We are at a point where kids and parents are suddenly going to start doing a cost/benefit analysis as part of their higher ed decision, so this book offers some strategies to keep costs in check (both advice for students and for institutions). The notion of DIY education, I felt, was underserved here. Kamenetz points out a lot of resources where a student can learn, but not that much advice on how to a Anya Kamenetz does a good job condensing the history of how higher education got so expensive. We are at a point where kids and parents are suddenly going to start doing a cost/benefit analysis as part of their higher ed decision, so this book offers some strategies to keep costs in check (both advice for students and for institutions). The notion of DIY education, I felt, was underserved here. Kamenetz points out a lot of resources where a student can learn, but not that much advice on how to achieve the right mix of knowledge or how to present evidence of this learning to potential employers (which are some of the bigger unsolved problems in the "open education" community). But she does introduce these issues to a potentially wider audience, so I'm glad Kamenetz is in this conversation. Smart people with gumption need to step up and try DIY learning paths to force industries to take them seriously. This book represents an impressive knowledge base in a developing field. Hopefully she can help spread the idea of DIY education widely and provoke further conversation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leens

    Colleges have been around for centuries and have become a part of the American Dream. However, with new technology over the years, we wonder if the traditional education learning approach will change as well. In the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz, she writes about higher education and how we got to the point we are in today including the history of education in America, economic debt, value of college degrees, and how we can Colleges have been around for centuries and have become a part of the American Dream. However, with new technology over the years, we wonder if the traditional education learning approach will change as well. In the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz, she writes about higher education and how we got to the point we are in today including the history of education in America, economic debt, value of college degrees, and how we can reach a new learning method through the use of technology. With new forms of technology launching, the question of whether we should completely transform education with technology or keep it traditional is asked. Even though Kamenetz makes some good points when she says education should be through technology, combining traditional education with technology would be the best way to educate students. One of the most nerve racking times in a person’s life is applying for college in hopes that they get into their dream school. The problem is that the cost of a college education has dramatically risen from the time our parents went to school and hopes of it lowering in the future don’t look very promising. How did we get there? “For Universities, History is authority” (Kamenetz 1). Harvard is one the first Universities in the U.S. and is still the highest ranking elite school there is out there today. Kamenetz writes about how exclusive these prestigious universities are and says, “The nation’s top colleges seem to assent to the signaling hypothesis when they agree to rate themselves by how selective they are… that is how many people they reject...” (Kamenetz 34). Kamenetz writes about the history of universities and colleges and says, “Colleges never charged students the full cost of maintaining the institution, subsidizing them with the state money and donations much as they do today” (Kamenetz 5). She says how college institutions evolved and became extremely popular and sought after in the nineteenth century. College professors had a rise in their social status and wanted to get paid more money for their teaching. University professors were known as scholars with brilliant minds which also contributed to the prestige of higher learning institutions. Kamenetz quotes Federick Rudolph as saying “College funding was undertaken in the same spirit as canal-building, cotton-grinning, farming, and gold mining (Kamenetz 8). Due to this prestige, status, and advancing jobs, college education has definitely become more sought after. People want to know why education is so expensive and hard to acquire for some. Kamenetz says, “Our existing higher- education system, which ranks private above public, research university above teaching college, bachelor’s above associates degree, liberal arts above vocational and technical education, reinforces these historic inequities”( Kamenetz 25). She writes about how we live in a competitive world where the highly educated are highly rewarded. Everyone wants a college education, but not everyone can afford it. Why not? Money, supply and demand, prestige, and high costs can all take part in that. We need a shift and change from state funding of public universities perhaps through general funds to federal subsidies for tuition through student loans and Pell grant. Kamenetz says, “… Pell Grant used to cover more than 80 percent of the average public university's tuition, and now pays for less than a third (Kamenetz 61). Kamenetz makes it clear that all of these subsides tend to justify themselves as equal access to everyone and anyone regardless of their economic and social status. However that is not true, because people who have more money benefit from this a lot more than people who don’t. Kamenetz writes, “Colleges that serve rich students get more federal and state money than colleges that serve poor students” (Kamenetz 39). Colleges love federal money as much as they love prestige and status. Enrollment management is when a school can choose the kinds of students they want to accept. It is described by giving the example that even though colleges may claim that they want to help those less fortunate students, they also want to attract a huge mixture of elite athletes, and extremely high academic achievers with the use of merit discounts. Kamenetz goes on to say that since states have reduced public subsidies, colleges are responding by shifting revenues to students rather than by cutting costs. She says that in 2008 – 2009 taxpayers spent $117 Billion dollars on federal higher education aid. The high cost of this demonstrates how much education really is important in the eyes of the American public. America has recently gone through a tough time economically which makes some wonder if there would be a hinder in the desire for education, but there isn’t. Kamenetz writes that in the midst of the recession and students worrying over the lasting market value of their degree, “Economics assume that the demand for college grads is always growing, thanks to the forward march of technology that today requires store clerks, farmers, and auto mechanics to be conversant with computers” (Kamenetz 26). This is an example of supply and demand. Universities know that they can raise their prices and students will still pay, because it has been engraved into their minds that having a good education means having a good life. Kamenetz describes how back in World War II, a man with a single high school diploma could raise a family with little problem. That isn’t very likely today with the high demand of education from all employers and the American public who seem to never stop demanding more. Employers demand a lot more now and sometimes think a Bachelor’s degree doest merit as much as a Masters would, because everyone is getting more educated now than before. Jobs that involve technology need people with degrees who are trained in that field and with so many different applicants applying, employers want to hire the ones who are the most educated with the better resume. College tuition doesn’t seem to really have a bright side, because when the economy is good, colleges expand by raising their tuition, but when the economy goes bad, state subsidies atrophy and tuition goes up. Along with all of government debt, universities themselves have spent a lot of money by trying to brand and market themselves as prestigious and exclusive institutions. Campuses have received inside out makeovers with new fancy halls, organic food, stadiums, and dorms to attract more students while spending millions of dollars. However, this is their way of telling students that if they want to live with all of these perks, then they will have to pay for it which is another example of supply and demand. I don’t think all of these perks should be cut off to save money, however some of them don’t need to be as lavish or glamorous to be useful. There should be an equal balance between quality and quantity of education. The U.S. is lucky enough to offer students different forms of education that can work for different students so why only choose one? While Kamenetz is fully supportive of online learning, she seems really put off my any other form of education. She doesn’t seem to think much or know a lot about community colleges when she says, “Community colleges fill the gaps by taking all comers, yet the product they offer is generally acknowledged to be a substitute for the real thing” (Kamenetz 16). She later goes on to say that “Expanding access to higher education begins at community colleges...” (Kamenetz 40). This is confusing, because earlier she harshly described community colleges as not being the “real thing” so would this change that starts with them not be the “real thing” either but instead just a substitute for it? What would be the point of that? Community colleges can be useful to a lot of students, especially the ones who have financial problems. They offer a great place for students to explore their interests and talents, offer transfer programs to 4 year universities, and are not expensive. Kamenetz brings up a good idea when she writes about Judy Barker at Foothill-De Anza community college district where they see a whole new model for education. They think we should step outside the box of a classroom and use different ways to educate students. They don’t believe students should be piled up with courses to end up at the career you want. Judy Barker says, “Someone will identify your gaps and then you address your gaps, in whatever way possible” (Kamenetz 133). This idea of focusing on what career you want and getting there without taking the traditional path but bringing new technological methods of learning is actually a good idea for many students who want go down that path and sheds a good light on community college. However, it might not work out for a learner who prefers the traditional form of education over the technological way. Kamenetz’s main point in her book is that higher education should be more self- controlled and based on technology instead of traditional education which has been used since the beginning of educational institutions. How do we get there? Anya Kamenetz lacks in giving a lot of suggestions which still leaves questions asked. She does give a technological plan that involves, online lectures, video lectures, hybrid courses, software programs, but she didn’t really go into full detail about ways someone can achieve that. In my opinion she is dead on when it comes to hybrid learning courses. Hybrid learning is a mixture of a course where students get educated online but also have time in class for face to face interaction. This way students can take advantage of technology without having it be solely online since they also get facet o face time in a classroom. If education is only online then students won’t get the same face to face interaction and opportunity to ask questions and bounce ideas off one another online as they would in person. She says, that by using the internet, students can teach themselves therefore learn how to make informed decisions on their own, however I think formal education teaches students the same thing. Professors teach students how to critically think themselves through real life situations. Students get the same thing out of both it just depends on what kind of learner you are, which is another reason why there shouldn’t only be one form of education. Some students are very independent learners who can read instructions given to them over the internet while others need face to face time with an actual professor there who can help them verbally and guide them on a more personal level. Education should be able to satisfy both of these types of learners which is why having a mixture of online technology and traditional education would be a better idea. I both agree and disagree with Kamenetz main idea, because I think there should be a way to bring in her idea of technology based education and combine it with traditional education to mesh the two together. In my opinion, I think that would be the perfect way to educate students. I don’t think we should mainly support one way and put all of our eggs in that basket. I agree with Kamenetz when she says that colleges need to change the way they are run. She is right when she says that we should take a stance in support that a 4 year college is not for everyone and we should support appropriate training programs and vocational schools, but she always refers back to online education. This book is mainly if not totally aimed at online education. Even when Kamenetz puts down community colleges, the one time she refers to one that is good it is because they integrated online into their education system. She thinks traditional learning is old school and we should all be new technology reformers, but everyone is different which means they all have different educational goals and aspirations that need to be satisfied. A lot of her ideas are good, save money, and can be the right path for some individuals, but again, they would work perfectly if we could combine both forms of education together which can make different options of education open that can accommodate all different types of students.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ilib4kids

    378.73 KAM Theory: Signalling (economics) /Sheepskin Effect to be associated with accreditation. Resource: Flat world knowledge textbooks (open-source textbooks) Western Governors University: nonprofit online university in assessment-based learning p100 Second Life game p97 PXII, People who graduate from high school at 18 and go straight through 4 year of college are already a tiny minority of all young Americans, around one in ten. Chap1 History p3: The "Liberal" arts were dubbed that in classical t 378.73 KAM Theory: Signalling (economics) /Sheepskin Effect to be associated with accreditation. Resource: Flat world knowledge textbooks (open-source textbooks) Western Governors University: nonprofit online university in assessment-based learning p100 Second Life game p97 PXII, People who graduate from high school at 18 and go straight through 4 year of college are already a tiny minority of all young Americans, around one in ten. Chap1 History p3: The "Liberal" arts were dubbed that in classical times because they were the necessary basis of knowledge for free men, as opposed to slaves. The order was fixed by the 500s: the trivium or "three" of grammar,rhetoric, and dialectic, and the quadrivium or "four" of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music,......(courses) can only pretend to be fixed, logic, comprehensive, or traditional. p9 In his(Thorstein Veblen) 1928 book The Higher Learning in America: A memorandum on the conduct of Universities by Business Man... He hated vocational courses, calling the new business schools are the "broadest and baldest example of the supercession of learning by worldly wisdom. In a diatribe against the democratic expansionism of the hybrid model (English model, German Model), Educational enterprise of this kind has, somewhat incontinently, extended the scope of the corporation of learning by creating, "annexing," or "affiliating" many establishments that properly lie outside the academic field and deal with matters foreign to the academic interest, -- fitting schools, high-schools, technological, manual and other training schools for mechanical, engineering and other industrial pursuits, professional schools of divers kinds, music schools, art schools, summer schools, schools of "domestic science," "domestic economy," "home economics", (in short, housekeeping), schools for the special training of secondary-school teachers, and even schools that are avowedly of primary grade; while a variety of "university extension" bureaux have also been installed, to comfort and edify the unlearned with lyceum lectures, to dispense erudition by mail-order, and to maintain some putative contact with amateur scholars and dilettanti beyond the pale. --my comment: I think Veblen think university should like research kind of school. p15 Clark Kerr's Master Plan of 1960: the University of California, with its flagship at Berkeley, would have the exclusive right to grant doctorates and admit the state's top eighth of high school graduates. The California State University campuses could award only master's degrees, and could admit the top one-third of high school grads, plus transfer students. Community colleges, awarding only 2-year degrees, served everybody else. in 1970, with Kerr as chair of the Carnegie Commission came up with its famous classification system, that, for the first time, graded all of the nation's colleges by a single rubric: (1) doctoral-granting institutions, separated into five grades depending on how heavily they invested in research (2) comprehensive colleges(Those that grant master's degrees); (3) liberal-arts colleges(more or less selective); (4) two-years institutions; (5) freestanding professional schools. Strictly separating colleges by functions and type seems like a fine, organized thing to do. But it triggers a natural tendency among college leaders to try to move up the ranks and be eligible for more cash for federal and state governments... p16 In The Academic Revolution, Jencks suggests that 2-years colleges serves an important purpose within the academic universe: precisely to segregate. President Lowell admitted in the 1960s: "One of the merits of these new institutions will be keeping out college, rather than leading into it, young people who have no taste for higher education." Four-year institutions naturally seek higher academic standards and the prestige of exclusivity. One more reason for the expansion of community colleges in the 1960s and early 1970s was political..keep them quieter. Chap 2 Sociology p25 Our existing higher-education system, which ranks private above public, research university above teach college, bachelor's above associate's degree, liberal art above vocational and technical education. p43 Support many path to success (The Urban Assembly; The Public Allies) Chap3 Economics My review: College has few incentive to low its price. p57 ranking in US news & world report rankings 25% come from peer rating; other 75% measures of spending per student and exclusivity. (like brand affect, the more expensive the better, which drive cost high) p69 Roughly 80 percent of all students attend a college that admits the majority of applicants; community colleges or open-access four-year colleges. These institutions will never be famous research universities; they weren't build to be famous research universities. We have to give them a way to be good at what they were meant to do, to accomplish their mission - not to produce Nobel Prize winner or educate the elite but to provide a high quality education to students who are middle class or lower income. Give them a way to compete where they can become more efficient and not be penalized for it. p71 We're looking at a system that charges the typical middle-class student $11,000 a year for a bachelor's degree at a flagship public university, paid for with publicly subsidized loan at 6 percent a year, while the typical poor student pays $14,000 a year for an associate's degree at a nonselective technical school, financed with nonsubsidized loans at 18 percent a day. Chap 5 Independent study p112 In the 1971 book Deschooling society,...Compulsory schools, he said, ... alienate students from their own curiosity and ability by "teaching the need to be taught". Illich saw first-hand how schools made self-reliant rural people into "backward" illiterates, unable to participate fully in society without depending on state-funded instruction.---my words: the children really do not need to teach how to learning, they born with this innate learning ability. Edupunk, Edupreneurs 1.The school of everything 2.Teachstreet 3.Edufire 4.Peer2Peer University 5.The University of People: non-profit online institution University Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) in Business Administration Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) in Business Administration Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.) in Computer Science Associate of Science Degree (A.S.) in Computer Science UoPeople is the only OER university in the world, i.e. every course makes use of open educational resources and students don't need to pay for any textbooks. -- From Wikipedia 6. College Unbound (offered degree) 7. 2U (former 2tor) 7. Test Prep (Grockit, Knewto Smart.fm) 8. Flash-card type memorization (Quizlet) 9. Hulu.com (free TV shows and Movies) Chap7 Resource p137 The way I look at it, a complete personal learning plan ought to have 4 parts: 1. The goal and the credentials or skills needed Freemind (free mind-mapping software) Personality testing: Meyers-briggs Learning style: Peterson's Education Plan, Learning style online Armed services vocational aptitude battery ASVAB Occupational outlook handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Studentjobs.gov (find a job opportunity within federal government) The Vault (www.vault.com) What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens: Discovering Yourself, Defining Your Future 2. Formal study, open education, and self-learning p142-p154 a lot of information Financial: FAFSA; Fastweb, College Board's scholarship finder; FinAid; IBR Info public-service loan repayment and forgivement program, income-based repayment, work only for federal student loans under the direct loan program, not for private loans or parents' PLUS loans. p154 a good rule of thumb is that your entire debt upon graduation should not be more your expected salary one year out of college. For engineering,or computer science, maybe $65,000. For liberal art, $35,000 Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope 3. Make sure that experience is part of your education Peace Corps; Volunteers for peace; Global Citizen Year; Students Abroad; STA Travel; WorldTeach; Transitionabroad.com Delaying the Real World By Kinder, Colleen (a guide to travel and service adventure) The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris (lifestyle-design) 4. Keeping expanding your personal learning network Stack Overflow (programmers share and help each other) Popular books The American College and University: A History by Frederick Rudolph A History of American Higher Education by John R. Thelin (2004, a sequel to Rudolph's work) Four Years at Yale (1871 bestseller) The Uses of the University by Clark Kerr The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy by Nicholas Lemann The Academic Revolution by Christopher Jencks Performing Arts The Economic Dilemma: A Study Of Problems Common To Theatre, Opera, Music And Dance by William J. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Freire, Paulo (foundational texts of critical pedagogy, a top selected textbook for education department) Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich ("teaching the need to be taught")

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Essay response: The U.S. only earns 17 degrees for every one hundred students enrolled in college, which places it 16th when compared to the other top nations in the world (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)). According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, “High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2007,” thirty percent of high school students drop out, and almost half of all college students don’t graduate, so only over a third of Amer Essay response: The U.S. only earns 17 degrees for every one hundred students enrolled in college, which places it 16th when compared to the other top nations in the world (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)). According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, “High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2007,” thirty percent of high school students drop out, and almost half of all college students don’t graduate, so only over a third of Americans end up with any kind of college degree. In the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, by Anya Kamenetz, we are guided through the history of educational institutions in America up through present day showing us the underlying issues of how we turned from the world’s most educated nation into a nation of startling statistics that even pushed the White House to propose a $4 billion increase in educational spending, the first such proposal in the Higher Education Act’s 45-year history. Kamenetz then proposes on how to fix these issues and calls it “crucial to our evolution and our survival” (Kamenetz 135). Although Kamenetz provides a detailed problem and solution outline, her solutions were narrowly focused to the Tech Industry in general and disregarded to emphasize the lack of preparation given to K-12 students that plays a large role in contributing to the high drop-out rates. Part one of the book dives into the history of higher education and leads into today’s problems concerning the social and economic standpoints. Throughout U.S. History, college has always been a privilege of the middle and upper classes, as the poor could not afford to live without working. One of the first forms of financial assistance, the G.I. Bill, was put into effect after World War II to help veterans pay for college classes and prepare them for jobs in the workforce. Since then, people of all social classes have felt the need to continue their education past high school and as of most recently gotten to the point that, as Dewayne Mathews says, “If you don’t complete something beyond high school you’re working poor and you’re not going to escape that. That’s the general rule” (Kamenetz 26). As a general rule, you would expect there would be more graduates, but Kamenetz, as well as recent news stories in the media, show that college tuition poses a serious issue and in fact has been outpacing inflation for decades, but “nothing on the table is addressing the underlying issues that make tuition rise, nor the capacity problems and leaks in the system” (Kamenetz viii). For example, similar to the fashion industry where a person will typically pay more for the brand name because of its social reputation as opposed to the materials used to make that article of clothing, a college can raise its tuition to gain prestige by making the student believe people are willing to pay top dollar to go there. This can range in differences from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for the same 4 year degree. Another issue that Kamenetz points out is that financial aid from the government is horribly distributed as “Colleges that serve rich students get more federal and state money than colleges that serve poor students” (Kamenetz 39). Other areas that contribute to higher tuition are the decreasing amounts of subsidies by both federal and state governments, market fundamentals, and institutions glorifying their campuses. Overall, Kamenetz provides a lot of information about the social and economic issues and gives plenty reason on why it needs to be reformed. The second part of the book provides the solution to how Kamenetz feels could fix the issues with rising tuitions. The main focus of her solution, as the title DIY U suggests, is the Do-It-Yourself University, which “means the expansion of education beyond classrooms walls: free, open-source, vocational, experiential, and self-directed learning” (Kamenetz x). Kamenetz believes that “research and teaching, learning and assessment, or content, skills, accreditation, and socialization, can be delivered separately” and that more courses can be taken off-campus such as on the internet (Kamenetz 114). She points out “virtual communities” are now a common place where people of all ages come together to talk about a central topic from Art to Web Design. There are so many growing areas in certain industries and professions that universities cannot keep up. Tech Industry for example has exploded with new technologies and frameworks that consultants in the industry need to learn immediately to hold their value. It takes too long for a university to create a course, find a qualified professor, and even worse, split the course in two because they feel it’s too much of a load on the student when in fact that student can go home, download the book and read it over a weekend. This is the essence of Do-It-Yourself, the fact you can broaden your own education outside of the institute, and often for free. “Studies have shown that students do a better job collaborating online if they meet in person even once” (Kamenetz vii). What about the non-tech classes? I barely remember taking an Anthropology hybrid class. The class met four times within the 15-week semester, which was basically to have a short discussion and a multiple choice test. It had to of been one of the most boring classes I’ve taken because there wasn’t anyone to help engage me into the topics. Because of this, I can’t even restate one thing I’ve learned from that class. So although the online and hybrid suggestions are great for the Tech Industry, I am not convinced that they will work so great for non-tech areas of study. Lastly, I feel there is a greater issue than tuition that contributes to the high drop-out rate and that is the lack of preparation given to K-12 Students. Back in 1980, there was an essay printed in the Journal of Education called Social Class, written by Jean Anyon. She wrote about her studies comparing the education given to students across different social classes, which for the most part, still holds true to present day. Starting with the working-class schools, “The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision making or choice” (Anyon 4). The significance of the material is not highlighted and the children are not challenged in any meaningful way. This consists of your basic workforce, people who do repetitive tasks and follow directions, which also ties into behavior. Most of these jobs do not necessarily need a college degree, some only needing the completion at a technical school. In middle-class schools “one must follow the directions in order to get the right answers, but the directions often call for some figuring, some choice, some decision making” (Anyon 7). Here you typically find students being prepared for your most common white-collared jobs such as technicians, office jobs, and supervisors. Finally, you have the upper class schools where “work is creative activity carried out independently. The students are continually asked to express ideas and concepts” (Anyon 9). These kids make up our future doctors and lawyers. Without going into much detail, it was surprising to see that fifth graders were doing tasks I find were common tasks in a lot of my community college classes with similar amounts of difficulty. My Uncle has two daughters that go to a high school in a rich area known as Blackhawk, California. He told me about 92 percent of the students end up transferring to a four-year university. Sure, they have money, but these universities also have high standards on GPA’s, which these students seem to have no problem obtaining and are not likely to feel discouraged at the college level completing their 4-year degree. If we can accomplish this level of education across all social classes then I feel we can prepare students better for taking on college and help bring the degree completion rate closer to our college participation rate. In conclusion, Kamenetz highlights tuition fees as the front-most issue regarding our countries low degree completion rates and focuses on ways to fix it through the Tech Industry but puts little emphasis into the learning needs of students in other areas of study and of what could be yet a bigger issue, K-12 education and college preparation. With this countries education falling behind more and more countries, the future of America’s leadership can only be questioned on, how much longer can it be maintained as the dominant role? Or what of the effects on society where the lower and middle-classes continue to struggle to receive and afford a decent education while the upper-class continues to receive the best education being unaffected by such events? Our efforts to get more people into college is failing and not properly preparing our students for college, even if they can afford it, is the reason for which if education reform is to happen, it needs to start from the ground up and not at the college level.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lana

    It'll take me a couple days to really think about what my impression is of the overall thesis of the second half of this book and if I really buy completely into it or not, but this certainly was an interesting read during COVID here, when the current system of higher ed is falling down and everyone is using online learning - many not by choice. I obtained this book (can't remember how) back when it was first published and coincidently picked it up a few weeks before we all went into life under It'll take me a couple days to really think about what my impression is of the overall thesis of the second half of this book and if I really buy completely into it or not, but this certainly was an interesting read during COVID here, when the current system of higher ed is falling down and everyone is using online learning - many not by choice. I obtained this book (can't remember how) back when it was first published and coincidently picked it up a few weeks before we all went into life under stay-at-home orders. I liked her succinct description of the history of higher education and summarization of where we were vis a vis online learning when she wrote this book. I'm not sure I agree with all or even most of her conclusions, because they're too dependent on a host of other factors outside the scope of this book, but some of which she discusses at least in passing -- criminal justice reform, high school eduction reform, local economies in college towns, etc. But I do like some of the questions that seem to underline her ideas here. She doesn't seem to go as deep into her argument of/for DIY education, whereas she had done a good job of setting up the scene. So the whole argument felt a bit lacking, even if I do end up agreeing with it. And, like anything in the field of education, I think that some of the principles here could work for some people, maybe even a majority - but also leaves behind large swaths of learners who don't learn like this, or aren't interested in the first place. Just acknowledge that? This isn't a one size fits all answer, in a different but similar way that our current system isn't a one size fits all answer.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laney

    Left Out Everyone knows right now that it is difficult to get through college, whether you cannot afford it or the traditional classes are just too difficult to complete. In DIY U, Kamenetz gives many examples of options and alternatives to students who do not like attending traditional college. Those students do not like going to traditional school for a variety of reasons: it is too expensive, they do not learn well in that environment, or they would rather not even attend a college. To answer Left Out Everyone knows right now that it is difficult to get through college, whether you cannot afford it or the traditional classes are just too difficult to complete. In DIY U, Kamenetz gives many examples of options and alternatives to students who do not like attending traditional college. Those students do not like going to traditional school for a variety of reasons: it is too expensive, they do not learn well in that environment, or they would rather not even attend a college. To answer that dilemma, Kamenetz painted a perfectly clear picture of other options: become an independent learner, hence “DIY U”, which can cut costs significantly and also be more appealing to the student. However, Kamenetz totally left out the other students: the ones who like to go to school, participate, and want a degree, and don’t want to “do-it-themselves”. DIY U is separated into two parts: “How We Got Here” and “How We Get There”. By “here”, (starting on page 1), Kamenetz means the present problems that college students face today. How we got here is actually a very long and strange road. Universities have been around for centuries. There have been many historic inequities in the past years, such as discrimination against minorities, women, and the lower-class. Cost has always been a problem: universities have always been costly, and since lower-class people were not allowed into some schools, the rich had no problem paying for tuition. “There” (starting on page 81) is the second part of the book. “There” is where we need to go: somewhere where college, whether traditional or non-traditional courses, are easily accessible to everybody who wants to go school. This is where I believe Kamenetz is most successful in getting her point across; she provides so many options and solutions to this. Kamenetz gives an insight into something that not many think of as a solution: becoming an independent learner. Internet and technology has become a must for everyone in this generation: Facebook, MySpace, texting, and internet web browsing. But not many people realize that these can be solutions to getting your college degree if you can’t afford to go to school or if you are just not capable of sitting in a classroom and learning well there. Kamenetz very successfully shows the reader new options using these tools. On pages 81-107, Kamenetz lets readers know that hybrid learning is shown to help students learn better. Hybrid learning is a mixture of learning inside the classroom and using online tools as well. She introduces many open-content programs that are successful. For example, BlackBoard. BlackBoard is what we use in our school. It is an online program where teachers post their material, and students can do online tests, turn in homework, and have classroom discussions with their peers. This, along with traditional in-class learning, works well to help students succeed. Then Kamenetz moves on to the Do-it-yourself part. This is where I feel she is most successful because she introduces something that not a lot of people are familiar with, let alone even know about. Did you know that there are open online community and volunteer-run programs that allow you to earn certificates and accreditation towards the career of your choice at little to no cost? Peer2Peer is one of those programs. Peer2Peer is an online community learning center taught by fellow students and volunteers. Their courses are a few months long and all of the material is prepared by someone accredited in that course. For example, some of the courses being offered right now are Web development, Music Theory Introduction and Programming Visual Media. I could not find how much it costs to register as a member, but it says it is “low cost”. After browsing around the site a little bit, I took a look at some students’ profiles. The students seem to be from all ages and backgrounds. On their discussion boards, there are questions and assignments listed and a lot of group discussions going on as well. It seems like a real-deal school, just like the college we attend, but it is not. Even though it is not, that doesn’t make it any less valuable to your knowledge. You can add it as a plus on your resume to a position you’re applying for or even start up your own company or program to earn your living. It is a great idea and can be useful to people that are interested in this new idea. Kamenetz gives some ideas, but not clear solutions to one of the biggest problems of all: the cost of college. She breaks it down for us: Public resources should go to those who need it most, aid sometimes goes to the wrong students, and more money goes to rich colleges than the poor colleges. I feel like her independent learner ideas left those students out, and I am one of those students. I love learning, I love participating, and I cannot wait for my degree. I want to go to school; I do not want to earn my degree in an online or community-based program. I know I can stick it out and pass all my classes. Since I am going to a junior college, it is not that expensive. I make sure I fill out my FAFSA correctly every year and apply for any other type of aid that I qualify for. But books still cost a small fortune, everybody knows that, and where is Kamenetz’s solution for that? When I go to a university, I am not 100 percent positive that my aid will completely cover me like it does now. Where is Kamenetz’s solution for that? Not only myself, because I think I am lucky: financial aid covers everything for me. The only thing I pay for is books and my parking permit. What about all the other students out there who got great grades in high school hoping to go to a university, but cannot afford it? Once again, there were no clear solutions to this side of the story. I believe Kamenetz’s overall thesis is that you are your own person and you want your own things in life; you will take what you have and work with it. This will ultimately place you in one bunch or the other, and one of those leaves you to “do-it-yourself”. I was happy with the overall ideas that Kamenetz put in my head: college started out a rough road, and sometimes only the best of the best succeed in it. Kamenetz offers plenty of answers and benefits to different learning pathways but does not raise questions with me to where we go next. You have to be creative in getting the things you want even if you don’t go the oft-traveled road, and you need to want something to succeed in it .

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barry Davis

    An intriguing little book on the development of higher ed with some pointed advice on how to reform it. Although my politics are likely quite different from the author, there are excellent insights on the development of higher ed, described by the author as some sort of a “world religion.” The first half of the book, “How We Got Here,” traces the growth of higher education from a select few schools with strong religious foundations (not something the author cares for very much) to the bloated, o An intriguing little book on the development of higher ed with some pointed advice on how to reform it. Although my politics are likely quite different from the author, there are excellent insights on the development of higher ed, described by the author as some sort of a “world religion.” The first half of the book, “How We Got Here,” traces the growth of higher education from a select few schools with strong religious foundations (not something the author cares for very much) to the bloated, overpriced reality of now. Dealing with the history of college as the American Dream, she goes on to write on sociological and economic influences that have brought us where we are now. This section closes with specific recommendations: 1. Align institutional, state, and federal incentives. 2. Obsess over efficiencies. 3. Restore the concept of “free,” The second section, “How We Get There,” speaks to a radical redesign of higher education, focusing on the resources of Computer Science and Independent Study through open-source education, self learning, etc. This section closes in describing a new kind of “commencement” for the learner as well as providing a wealth of resources for do-it-yourself education. A challenging and informative work that encourages the radical redesign of higher education.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Harman Badwal

    The Future In Traditional Schooling “DIY U means that if you have the awareness, the resources are falling into place for you to assemble your own learning path,” says Anya Kamenetz. In the book, DIY U by Anya Kamenetz, Anya divides the book into two parts, How We Got Here and How We Get There. In part one she talks about how Traditional Schooling is not the best way to teach students any longer. Though in part two she talks about how online and hybrid learning is the best way to learn for studen The Future In Traditional Schooling “DIY U means that if you have the awareness, the resources are falling into place for you to assemble your own learning path,” says Anya Kamenetz. In the book, DIY U by Anya Kamenetz, Anya divides the book into two parts, How We Got Here and How We Get There. In part one she talks about how Traditional Schooling is not the best way to teach students any longer. Though in part two she talks about how online and hybrid learning is the best way to learn for students now as well as for future students and hence believes that most universities should have more online and hybrid classes. Kamenetz argues about how online learning and hybrid classes can be useful as well as resourceful and that traditional schooling is getting worse day by day, I accept her overall conclusion that online learning and hybrid learning are the best learning experiences for our future students with all the technology and the World Wide Web anyone basically can teach themselves by just sitting at a computer desk at home. In part one of the book: How We Got Here, Kamenetz talks about how traditional schools have a very elevated drop out rate, tuition fees are getting really expensive for students and how they go in debt. I agree with Kamenetz that traditional schooling have a very elevated drop out rate. Almost half of the U.S. college students don’t graduate. In 2008, a three-year graduation rate for associate student in California was 31.1% and for a six-year graduation rate for bachelor students was 63.1%, according to http://www.higheredinfo.org. Also that only 13% of Hispanics get their bachelors degree; and that 15% of African Americans get their bachelors degree is 2010, according to CBS interactive business network. One reason for that is traditional schooling makes you take the same classes over and over again. It makes students not want to attend school or even drop out of these classes. For example, a Criminal Justice major that’s trying to become a cop doesn’t need to talk classes like Art, History, English, and etc. In the Criminal Justice field they teach you all that; teach you how to write a report, history of policing, and etc. So why make students talk all these extra classes, when most major don’t even need them. Also tuition fees are getting more and more expensive. With tuition fees going up, fewer students are able to pay for school. They all have other bills to pay for too, like credit card bills, car payments, insurance, etc. For example Kamenetz says, “college is becoming a riskier investment” (pg32). Basically college is becoming more risky because we students pay for school and do not get classes that they need. We pay thousands of dollars for school and now a Bachelor degree is basically the same as a high school diploma. Student loan debt totals out to be seven hundred-thirty billion dollars. Families struggle because of traditional schooling. They have to pick up loans, work fewer hours, or even spend less time with their family for them to go to school. For example, when Kamenetz was talking to students from Dutchess Community College; the students were telling her their struggles to balance their classes with full-time jobs and childcare. With the economy like this people have to work full-time jobs to make a living to support themselves, with traditional schooling in the way; its hard for people to work full-time while they are going to school. With tuition going up people are getting into more debt. For example, on the back of the book it says, “the price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Almost half of U.S. college students don’t graduate; outstanding student loan debt totals $730 billion.” With almost half of U.S. college students don’t graduate, the people of America are in a $730 billion debt because the rise of tuition. This one reason why people cannot finish traditional schooling because it takes up a lot of time and most people cant afford it so they have to pick up loans that they can’t pay back. Kamenetz argues about how online learning and hybrid classes can be useful as well as resourceful and that traditional schooling is getting worse day by day. Technology nowadays is taking over in class learning. You can find anything and learn anything on the World Wide Web. For example, “Google has scanned and digitalized seven million books. Wikepedia users have created the world’s largest encyclopedia. YouTube EDU and iTunes U made videos and audio lecture by the best professors country available for free.” (pg 82) Basically students do not have to buy a lot of books for school anymore because you can find them anywhere online. Google search and Google books lets you search any book you are looking for, Wikipedia gives you any info that you are looking for, And YouTube EDU and iTunes U lets you watch lectures and listen to them so you don’t have to be at school to learn. Basically with all this new technology why go waste gas, money, and time, just learn in the comfort of your own home. With traditional schooling going down the drain Kamenetz gives and argues about a better alternative that will be better then traditional school; online and hybrid learning. With online and hybrid learning, why go to traditional schooling and waste money and time when you can just learn at home. I believe that online learning and hybrid learning will change the world and schools. --Harman Badwal

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stanley Turner

    Nice Information... A very informative book on the history of the university and its transformation over the centuries. I was quite turned off by it’s political spin at times. Most conservatives are not anti education; however, they are for education reform to methods that work. Every time Kamenetz mentions the name of a conservative, it’s right winger or conservative, there is no reason for identification in her narrative. Over all I very useful book, that I recommend for anyone interested in hi Nice Information... A very informative book on the history of the university and its transformation over the centuries. I was quite turned off by it’s political spin at times. Most conservatives are not anti education; however, they are for education reform to methods that work. Every time Kamenetz mentions the name of a conservative, it’s right winger or conservative, there is no reason for identification in her narrative. Over all I very useful book, that I recommend for anyone interested in higher education, although it seems to be getting getting some age...SLT

  17. 5 out of 5

    Debi G.

    Some chapters are thorough while others provide overviews and lists. There are informative portions, and there are schools that appear to be promoted by the author without full disclosure regarding their nature. It was alarming to see Michael Clifford taken seriously, for instance, and this makes me skeptical about other portions of the book. If for profit schools and facilities known for educational malfeasance are included as reasonable options, I’ll not be recommending this book to my student Some chapters are thorough while others provide overviews and lists. There are informative portions, and there are schools that appear to be promoted by the author without full disclosure regarding their nature. It was alarming to see Michael Clifford taken seriously, for instance, and this makes me skeptical about other portions of the book. If for profit schools and facilities known for educational malfeasance are included as reasonable options, I’ll not be recommending this book to my students. The content doesn’t consistently live up to the title, and that’s disappointing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Drtaxsacto

    This is vapid. Better is Clayton Christensen’s book which recognizes the foibles of the current model of higher education but also has some perspective on its strengths.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    The book is broken down into 2 sections, essentially a “how did we get here” and then a “where do we need to go.” I’m not going to do a book report, but this review will center on the things that stood out to me. Anya touched on the Rudolph text that many of us saw in grad school as well as research that sounded as if it came from her “Generation Debt” series. Essentially her argument can be boiled down to several critical points. Higher education in the US was founded as an institution for the w The book is broken down into 2 sections, essentially a “how did we get here” and then a “where do we need to go.” I’m not going to do a book report, but this review will center on the things that stood out to me. Anya touched on the Rudolph text that many of us saw in grad school as well as research that sounded as if it came from her “Generation Debt” series. Essentially her argument can be boiled down to several critical points. Higher education in the US was founded as an institution for the white male elite. Many things have changed in 2010 but essentially our society still mainly benefits these elite, white males over everyone else. If you come from privilege, you will be privileged. Things like ratings systems for colleges and the lack of real quantitative data to help us understand student experience on a deeper level only perpetuate these inequities Access has stagnated since the 1960s percentage wise and because of lack of support from states and tuition that is growing at an unsustainable rate, the money to increase access will not be there. Also, we already spend as much on higher education as anyone in the world so it seems that spending more money is illogical. Instead we need to increase return. The population of students is changing as is the value of a bachelors degree due to the market being slowly flooded with bachelors degrees. Also, the nature of work is changing as the jobs of 40 years ago do not exist anymore. Some of this was surprising to me and some was not. Who hasn’t heard your parents say that a bachelors degree is worth what a HS education was worth to their generation? I know mine did. It was striking to see some of the numbers that were thrown around about debt and access; I had known these things to be true from story but had never really seen the numbers in front of my face. Even if you’re not on board with the technology changes, it’s worth picking up DIYU just to learn a little more about the state of higher education and what we actually face as a profession. The second half is about what to do: Rethink educational delivery. How can we serve underserved populations through connecting with different ways that people learn? Can we educate people outside of the bounds of the traditional classroom? Can we better prepare people for actual jobs? Is the traditional liberal arts education of value in the 21st century? Anya addresses all of these questions. The internet is lowering the cost of doing education and changing the way that people connect. Let’s use the internet to aid us in making education better. Listen, we all know the data on outcomes for online learning (it’s active – this isn’t rocket science), but the forums we’re using to deliver this content right now are by and large clunky (blackboard). We can do better The innovators are already out there. Anya highlights a large number of folks who are out there innovating and creating this next wave of education delivery, from our friends at P2PU (startups) to Grand Canyon University (for profits) to MIT Open Courseware (the academy itself). I was personally fired up by this section but also slightly discouraged. I feel like I’m paying attention constantly, reading and keeping up with the cutting edge of what we’re doing to deliver education and yet I was still behind on what was going on apparently. I can’t imagine how behind those folks are who haven’t even opened a Facebook account or seen Google Docs. We have a long way to go, but I think there’s hope. I think Anya’s comparison between higher ed and the journalism industry are right on the money. While the changes have already occurred and the journalism industry is having to make major changes to stay alive, many in the industry are still trying to provide the same service that they did a few years ago before things began to change. Those days are gone, folks. With higher ed, the changes aren’t in the offing, they’re already here. The question is whether we’re going to be the first institution to adapt and grow with the changes in our field or the last to be dragged in kicking and screaming. I would like to thank Anya for writing this wake-up call of a book. I highly recommend all that work in higher education to pick it up and read it. I don’t know that all of the changes are completely viable or will even come to fruition exactly as they seem they might. However, I do know that change is here and it’s not going anywhere. Reading DIYU may not give you the answers, but it will at least get your brain thinking about the possibilities. And to be honest, that’s exactly where we as an industry need to be in 2010.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Disclosure: In the interests of full disclosure I am an admissions representative for a selective school (not a tier 1 Ivy, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech, ect) but a tier 2 so I am a firm believer in the value of a selective school education, the contacts and experiences that you get and the cost behind it. DIY U provides an interesting look at a possible transformation in the world of higher education through technology and open source sharing that can lead to a degree to certification. The first half Disclosure: In the interests of full disclosure I am an admissions representative for a selective school (not a tier 1 Ivy, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech, ect) but a tier 2 so I am a firm believer in the value of a selective school education, the contacts and experiences that you get and the cost behind it. DIY U provides an interesting look at a possible transformation in the world of higher education through technology and open source sharing that can lead to a degree to certification. The first half of the book takes a look at the failing system of higher education looking at graduation rates, debt ratios and soaring costs to attend college. It looks at the admissions systems, financial aid processes and strive to build the newest and best equipment for student services that are demanded by today's college consumers. After assessing what she considers the flaws in higher education she goes on to suggest the ways in which people are addressing and creating new opportunities. She breaks these new opportunities into two classes of people such as Edupunks who are those that want to revolutionize the system and not in for a profit. They look to provide mostly course content and information sharing in new and different ways. The edupreneurs look to provide these services to make a profit and look to end of sale services such as the degree or certification. Much of what this book comes down to is students doing research about what is right for them. From finding out the certifications required in their fields to learning what each field is about. While I can agree with that basic argument the problem comes that that the majority of students do not do that research especially the ones who need it the most. Even in high schools that have the resources for career counseling the students who are not going to college take advantage of it. Providing it through social media as the author suggests may be an effective way to go. As I have done my job I have been amazed at the number of students who want to be a forensic crime scene investigator but have never taken chemistry in high school and have no idea their curriculum will be comprised of primarily science courses. Overall you see a trend that alternative education methods enhance learning which can be adapted in not only the brick and ivory towers but for profit ventures which dominate the federal aid market. This is commonly adapted in higher education although not taken to the extreme here. Overall DIY U provides the extreme version that higher education may move towards. While we see it lurching in this direction the more that traditional schools adopt these policies the less likely a revolution will be to occur and one may not be necessary if these tactics can improve upon the traditional educations. The first half of the book is a well done look at how higher education is falling apart and the second half provides one version of how to fix it although one that is in the extreme direction of thinking and requires bigger steps than have been taken so far. Worth the time if you are interested in higher education.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ebony

    DIYU is inspirational. I unlearned the history of higher education in the United States. Eye-opening. Made me rethink sending the kids to college, and I’m a professor. It also made me rethink my job. I’m definitely a monk. I’m totally down for educational reform, the liberation of ideas from the ivory towers, and the knowledge revolution. I’d just rather research than push my institution in that direction. I certainly have more respect for the folks who are doing the legwork to hack the universi DIYU is inspirational. I unlearned the history of higher education in the United States. Eye-opening. Made me rethink sending the kids to college, and I’m a professor. It also made me rethink my job. I’m definitely a monk. I’m totally down for educational reform, the liberation of ideas from the ivory towers, and the knowledge revolution. I’d just rather research than push my institution in that direction. I certainly have more respect for the folks who are doing the legwork to hack the university and flatten the world. The first part of the book seemed written for people working in education or those generally curious about the history of education in the U.S. This history usually doesn’t appeal to the average college student, but part two is directly targeted towards college age youth. The outlined steps and resources were actionable and aimed at helping them make the best decisions for themselves whether or not those decisions included traditional college education. The best part of the book is its resources. I kept noting sites I wanted to visit and concepts I wanted to learn. Kamenetz knows her facts, but she was myopic about the reality of pursuing one’s educational dreams. She encourages self-discovery without acknowledging what a luxury it is to have a “gap” year, to travel the world, or not have to self-support at 18. She’s unclear on how to monetize one’s dreams. Without money to live on, many of those dreams will simply dissipate into the ether of bills, children, ailing parents, etc. She also fails to consider that everyone doesn’t have the same access to cultural capital. Some people don’t know anyone who knows anyone who could serve as a role model/resource outside of the norm. Although she’s the best advocate I’ve read for student debt reduction, she’s still writing from a privileged place. I’m not mad at her, but I couldn’t help but notice. Overall, if you’re sending a child to college or thinking about it yourself, in this day and age you must consider DIYU. Considering the possibility of doing it yourself is the only way to make an informed decision about your education.

  22. 5 out of 5

    A. T. Adlen

    I think this book is an excellent example of the great divide between generations. Now, much larger than a gap, this "new" divide is between those who are still pursuing education/information/reason, and those who are clinging to it with the last breath in their ancient body. It is a wonder that already intelligent, free-thinking individuals find themselves caught holding a very empty bag. Well, actually, that bag is not quite so empty as it is filled with the surmounting debt required for this " I think this book is an excellent example of the great divide between generations. Now, much larger than a gap, this "new" divide is between those who are still pursuing education/information/reason, and those who are clinging to it with the last breath in their ancient body. It is a wonder that already intelligent, free-thinking individuals find themselves caught holding a very empty bag. Well, actually, that bag is not quite so empty as it is filled with the surmounting debt required for this "education". Bottom-line, those same students have the power of language and a love of knowledge and want more control over the process of attaining more and pursuing their highest self. This was once the purpose of a higher education. Unfortunately, the purpose of higher education now is to line the pockets of higher-up administrators, politicians, and lobbyists. Often villainized, tenured professors only see a fraction of that payout. It comes no where near the grubby little hands of undergrad students, destitute grad students, and hopeful yet slighted non-tenure track profs and adjunct faculty. In this economy one can't afford to go into the red for the job they will never find with the help of their college or university. This book encourages the self-reliant, like a dissatisfied customer, to take their business elsewhere. This book continues to fight that good fight against that sad, pathetic problem in higher education, festering and growing by the day. And to that I say: "God Bless, America!"

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janie

    This book is comes with its share of flaws and frustrations. Overall, it is *awesome*. It's both descriptive and prescriptive. It's magnitudes more nuanced than I expected (in both description and prescription). It doesn't disappoint in breadth and it satisfies most of the time in depth. (Whenever I got critical of the depth, I ended up circling back to the autodidacts' creed: "Need depth? Pursue it further yourself." And "One book won't give you everything.") It isn't an edupunk panacea. There This book is comes with its share of flaws and frustrations. Overall, it is *awesome*. It's both descriptive and prescriptive. It's magnitudes more nuanced than I expected (in both description and prescription). It doesn't disappoint in breadth and it satisfies most of the time in depth. (Whenever I got critical of the depth, I ended up circling back to the autodidacts' creed: "Need depth? Pursue it further yourself." And "One book won't give you everything.") It isn't an edupunk panacea. There is no such. :-P I learned more about (legislative) policy, about the obstacles to embracing alternative edu, (one: parents don't look into it because of their goals for their kids; when asked "should everybody need to go to college?", 75% will say "no", yet when asked "should your kid(s) go to college?" 80% say "yes"!!), and about the possibilities (I totally want to say "burgeoning possibilities", I totally do! Cliche can be true! (*coughmetacough*!)) out there. Now that Ross is dead and also now I am in pecuniary straits I have a harder time remembering lessons I see here. Do what you love. You do love something. Credentialing ranges from time-wasting to toxic. Knowing yourself is step one. I hope I can remember this long enough to survive this trailblazing fatigue.

  24. 5 out of 5

    g BRETT

    Lots to think about on the history of higher education in the US and why it is the way it is today. Thoughts on the value of a traditional education, especially in the context of the amount of debt you take on in order to get the diploma. Some discussion of why tuition costs rise so much faster than everything else. Some good discussion about alternative paths to learning, and as the title implies an argument that everyone is - or can be - in control of their own educational future. Anyone can, w Lots to think about on the history of higher education in the US and why it is the way it is today. Thoughts on the value of a traditional education, especially in the context of the amount of debt you take on in order to get the diploma. Some discussion of why tuition costs rise so much faster than everything else. Some good discussion about alternative paths to learning, and as the title implies an argument that everyone is - or can be - in control of their own educational future. Anyone can, with very few limits, learn whatever they want to learn. The resources are available. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed that Kamenetz didn't take advantage of an obvious reference to the story line of "Good Will Hunting", especially when she discusses MIT's publishing of all course material for free online. The challenge for now, and for the foreseeable future, is how all of these "uneducated" people who have taken their own learning path can make a place for themselves in the world of work. I would recommend they read a couple of the other books on my list, especially anything by Seth Godin, "Ignore Everybody" and "Rework".

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    In first section of the book, Kamenetz examines the social-structural and economic issues in higher education which drive costs up and graduation down. This section works reasonably well and should give people pause. Kamenetz did a fair job of convincing me that current methods cannot merely be scaled up to educate substantially more students; new players and approaches will be necessary (possibly including new philosophies about the uses of education and credentials). The second section, in whic In first section of the book, Kamenetz examines the social-structural and economic issues in higher education which drive costs up and graduation down. This section works reasonably well and should give people pause. Kamenetz did a fair job of convincing me that current methods cannot merely be scaled up to educate substantially more students; new players and approaches will be necessary (possibly including new philosophies about the uses of education and credentials). The second section, in which Kamenetz tours the various technological means for delivering information, isn't as successful. It reads like a mere catalog of various options, not critically examining any of them. Everything is presented as "potentially revolutionary"; options aren't even compared to each other, let alone existing pedagogical strategies. It devolves into a gee-whiz tour, more in the style of the Travel and Leisure section of a newspaper than a work of investigation or analysis.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Feisty Harriet

    Kamanentz theory is that traditional higher education is on it’s way out and the only way to education the workforce is to completely reboot the way we learn, the way institutions grant degrees, and the entire education process. She makes some excellent points, and in some respects I agree with her. But I also think there is more to college than churning out degrees, or even devouring knowledge. There is a work ethic, an expansion of the mind, and an exposure to new ideas that are not generated Kamanentz theory is that traditional higher education is on it’s way out and the only way to education the workforce is to completely reboot the way we learn, the way institutions grant degrees, and the entire education process. She makes some excellent points, and in some respects I agree with her. But I also think there is more to college than churning out degrees, or even devouring knowledge. There is a work ethic, an expansion of the mind, and an exposure to new ideas that are not generated by a social media platform that also focuses on celebrity gossip. Perhaps I’m a snob. Or perhaps my position of working in higher education is showing through a bit and coloring my opinions. Again, Kamanentz has some good points, but about halfway through I decided that I just couldn’t agree with her call for a complete and total overhaul of the post-secondary education system.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susannah Skyer Gupta

    As timely as can be! Kamenetz leads us through a brief history of American education (the Ivies were never as great as they'd like us to think, especially at their starts), a view of the current economics of paying for higher ed (her first book was Generation Debt), then gets right down to the breaking news of how online resources are changing how one acquires post-K12 learning. There is so much in here to ponder and pursue -- from investment tips (think for-profits), to the myriad of open cours As timely as can be! Kamenetz leads us through a brief history of American education (the Ivies were never as great as they'd like us to think, especially at their starts), a view of the current economics of paying for higher ed (her first book was Generation Debt), then gets right down to the breaking news of how online resources are changing how one acquires post-K12 learning. There is so much in here to ponder and pursue -- from investment tips (think for-profits), to the myriad of open courseware, to how to best hybridize what's already out there online with what we can leverage in our classrooms and communities. And, let's DIY K12 too, shall we ;) ? Many, many thanks to Wes Beach on GHF for this excellent book recommendation.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Not only is this the most comprehensive book on the history of higher education in the U.S. that I have ever laid eyes upon, but it is also a lightbulb inducing, innovation affirming read for an "edupunk" who isn't positive whether they qualify as an "edupunk" (read: me), but who is nevertheless enticed by the idea. It will also resonate with those who have never viewed learning as confined to bricks and mortar or text on ink and carbon. Whether you're a lifelong learner or just starting out on Not only is this the most comprehensive book on the history of higher education in the U.S. that I have ever laid eyes upon, but it is also a lightbulb inducing, innovation affirming read for an "edupunk" who isn't positive whether they qualify as an "edupunk" (read: me), but who is nevertheless enticed by the idea. It will also resonate with those who have never viewed learning as confined to bricks and mortar or text on ink and carbon. Whether you're a lifelong learner or just starting out on life's learning journey, this book will arm you with the knowledge and resources needed to implement and/or maximize your unique combination of learning realities in our exciting open source-centric digital age.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As a fan of lifetime learning, I appreciate the spirit of the book. As a part of higher education currently, the first half of the book found me nodding half the time and wanting to argue the other half. It's also pretty tedious. The second half has some great ideas and references; I've already sent a couple on to people in my department. The missing third part doesn't address the bigger question seriously: how does open source education obtain enough regulation and consistency within to be viabl As a fan of lifetime learning, I appreciate the spirit of the book. As a part of higher education currently, the first half of the book found me nodding half the time and wanting to argue the other half. It's also pretty tedious. The second half has some great ideas and references; I've already sent a couple on to people in my department. The missing third part doesn't address the bigger question seriously: how does open source education obtain enough regulation and consistency within to be viable and robust? I'm not suggesting accreditation is the end all, and within our college we deal with inconsistencies. But how do we evaluate the progress and understanding of students across the globe watching a video on YouTube? Also, the author seems very fond of potatoes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Interesting deconstruction of higher education -- where it has been, where it is, and where it is heading. While scathing in its criticism of how many colleges and universities currently operate, the overall tone is optimistic, impressive in a reform-minded book. It mixes ideology with practicality and gives detailed notes on what to watch for and how to navigate the system. With all the do-it-yourself open courseware available, you have no excuse for not studying whatever, whenever, and whereve Interesting deconstruction of higher education -- where it has been, where it is, and where it is heading. While scathing in its criticism of how many colleges and universities currently operate, the overall tone is optimistic, impressive in a reform-minded book. It mixes ideology with practicality and gives detailed notes on what to watch for and how to navigate the system. With all the do-it-yourself open courseware available, you have no excuse for not studying whatever, whenever, and wherever your heart desires (unless, of course, you actually want a degree at the end -- that part isn't coming along quite as quickly). Now I'm off to explore those free courses . . .

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