EDUKWEST Sunday Review

Sunday Review for the Week of April 14th 2014

In this week’s Sunday Review we learn that experience without humility is not very helpful (when it comes to leading Coursera), that you can earn a MBA without spending a single dollar for tuition, that the SAT is useless, that school children in Ireland code 3D worlds and use the Oculus Rift, that you should not listen to music when you learn and much more.

And Happy Easter from the EDUKWEST team!

Must Reads

The U.S. educational system is under attack from multiple fronts and is on the verge of being reshaped by a profound entrepreneurial uprising. [TechCrunch]

I taught America to beat the SAT. That’s how I know it’s useless. [msnbc]

Debbie Time, a 48-year-old who has attended University of the People from her Florida home since 2009, paid $0 in tuition for her entire business administration bachelor’s degree. [Fast Company]

Experience Without Humility Is Not Very Helpful At All [Hapgood]

Cambodia’s $45 Scholarships: What Is the Impact? [The World Bank]


Have we as a society become so perverse that we are now begging colleges and universities to “relieve us” of $150k to 200k for a basic bachelor’s degree? Is it a good idea even when we know that most degrees do not guarantee that we’ll find a job that could pay back that kind of money? [Forbes]

If you want to know how U.S. schoolchildren are performing, you don’t have to look far: A wealth of information is available, thanks to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. [CNN]

Too little, too late? Can government and big business save STEM education? [eSchool News]

Stories of cheating in schools often make national headlines and are frequently met with widespread shock. How could such actions occur on the campuses of elite colleges and high schools? What’s going on with kids these days? [Edutopia]


Microsoft is investing £334,000 into a partnership with Computing at Schools (CAS) to train teachers and prepare them for the new computing curriculum coming into effect in September. [Computer World UK]

Microsoft’s Youthspark initiative aims to close the education gap in New York City [OnWindows]

Intel has tried various methods to infiltrate the classroom, from its Classmate netbook to various education tablets (including the Studybook and Education Tablets). Now it appears to be merging the two device types with the new Education 2-in-1 convertible laptop. [ZDNet]

School children in Ireland have been using a open source version of Second Life to learn coding, 3D modeling and to create virtual spaces of recent field trips. Their most recent project: recreating the monastery of Clonmacnoise and exploring it with an Oculus Rift. [Engadget]

Higher Education

Kenya has signed a ground-breaking partnership with French public financier Agence Francaise de Developpement, or AFD, that intends to set up credit lines to fund university expansion and student loans. [University World News]

The University of Maryland, College Park, has announced a new master’s degree program that will focus on technology entrepreneurship — and, appropriately, it will be offered online. [EdTech Magazine]

These are agonizing times for small, private colleges. Enrollment is falling. Debts are rising. Tuition is high as it can go. And since the financial crisis, schools have been shuttering more often than normal. [Slate]

Now that Flat World Education has officially left the 1776 incubating nest, the edtech company announced the opening of its new 5,400 square-foot office at 1111 19th Street NW Tuesday. [In the Capital]

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is cracking down on institutions that provide distance education to students in the state. But the commission has a problem: It doesn’t know who those distance education providers are. [Inside Higher Ed]

The hottest young economist in America studies the media, not monetary policy [Quartz]

The United Kingdom’s 10 top-ranked universities have a combined total of more than 400,000 followers on Twitter, according to new research – but they are failing to engage with potential students and “stand out from the crowd through social media”. [University World News]

Minerva’s Plan to Disrupt Universities: A Talk with CEO Ben Nelson [Xconomy]

Survey & Research

Universities in at least 16 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, are to benefit from a GBP375 million (US$630 million), five-year Newton Fund aimed at boosting research and innovation in ’emerging powers’ through international research collaboration. [University World News]

With more than six million American children having received a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, concern has been rising that the condition is being significantly misdiagnosed and overtreated with prescription medications. [New York Times]

Americans’ trust in the quality of online colleges and universities is steadily rising. More U.S. adults, 37%, now agree or strongly agree that these institutions offer high-quality education than did so in2011 (30%) when Gallup first asked this question. Roughly one in four (27%) disagree or strongly disagree. [Gallup]

Don’t Listen to Music While Studying [Edutopia]


The bonds between Riyadh and Beijing in the fields of education and technology have developed rapidly and positively over the past few years. [Daily Sabah]

Joel Klein has become a master at not mentioning Rupert Murdoch’s name during interviews — and for good reason. Amplify Education, the nascent education division within News Corp that Klein runs, might be dependent on separating itself from the highly politicized, controversy-laden Murdoch name. [BuzzFeed]

Global Indian Schools Holdings, which runs a string of schools in various Asian countries, including India, has sued private equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia over allegedly conspiring to prevent the educational services provider from expanding through acquisitions as part of a plan to seize control of the firm. [VCCircle]

It was a revolution moving higher education from bricks to clicks… and now it’s started to go back to bricks again. Online university providers, which offered people the chance to study from home, are turning full circle by creating a network of learning centres where students can meet and study together. [BBC]

DataWind plans to bridge the digital divide by providing an affordable tablet thus enabling internet access for millions of consumers in India. The company aims to harness the potential of ICT Technologies for a positive developmental impact on quality of education through its range of UbiSlate/Akash Tablets. [India Education Diary]

The federal E-Rate program has been a boon for schools and public libraries across the country, helping them acquire Internet access and telecommunications products at affordable or vastly discounted rates. But the sleek new computers, laptops and tablets do not mean much without high-quality broadband service to match. [New York Times]

Kay Alexander is the co-founder and creative director of EDUKWEST. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+