EDUKWEST Sunday Review

Sunday Review for the Week of May 19th 2014

In this week’s Sunday Review: Is student debt tied to the income of university presidents? Google’s rise in the education technology market. Harvard’s Hollywood-like MOOC production. The Future of textbooks. Unizin, a potential threat to edX? The cult of college drop-outs and more.

Must Reads

At the 25 public universities with the highest-paid presidents, both student debt and the use of part-time adjunct faculty grew far faster than at the average state university from 2005 to 2012, according to a new study by the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning Washington research group. [New York Times]

Back in 2012 Apple had a 50% share of the education market between its iPad tablets and Mac computers while Google with its still-new Chromebook had just 1%, according to Futuresource Consulting. By the fourth quarter of 2013 the same researchers estimate that Chromebooks had climbed to a 25% market share. [The Motley Fool]

Quietly, Harvard has built what amounts to an in-house production company to create massive open online courses, or MOOCs, high-end classes that some prestigious universities are offering for free to anyone in the world, generally without formal academic credit. [Boston Globe]

Private sector and students profit at the college they call ‘the ATM’. Undercover Guardian investigation reveals how colleges are booming in wake of government changes to loan system. [The Guardian]

Why Unizin is a Threat to edX [e-Literate]


What will the future hold for the college textbook business, and what should that future be? [Education Dive]

There is a quiet revolution taking place in education. One day in early January, a million teachers downloaded lesson plans and ideas from other teachers, principally through the TES Connect website. Of those downloads, something over 70 per cent were user generated, created by teachers for teachers. [Irish Times]

Some of tech’s greatest superstars never finished college. So what? [Slate]


While many of the major gains in the South since the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education have been reversed in recent years, a new report says that, at the very least, things are not as bad as they were before the court ruled to desegregate U.S. schools. [Huffington Post]

Advancements in educational technology may have found a way to personalize a student’s coursework to maintain engagement. But as the ability to personalize technology continues to increase, some ed tech companies, according to a study done by POLITICO, are monitoring students’ activity online and mining data about their usage, a subject of growing concern for privacy advocates. [fedscoop]

Researchers should continue to explore the use of technology in early childhood education, but the focus should be on how to best use it, not whether to use it. [WESA]

Higher Education

The story of the past four decades isn’t just about how master’s degrees became as common now as bachelor’s degrees were in the 1960s. It’s about how the US has redefined which fields need or reward postgraduate study. [Vox]

Andrew Ng is the man who helped launch Google’s wildly ambitious effort to recreate the human brain with computer hardware and software. And now, he will oversee a similar project at Baidu, often called “the Google of China.” [Wired]

IIT Bombay has launched its first three Massive Open Online Courses ( MOOC) on edX platform, the online learning initiative founded by Harvard and MIT. [Economic Times]

North­eastern University has appointed entrepreneur Nick Ducoff to the newly created position of vice president for new ventures. Ducoff comes to Northeastern from Boundless Learning Inc. [Boston Business Journal]

Booming Chinese investment in Africa could prove to be beneficial for France. With historical and lingual ties to several countries on the continent, France has seen an increase in Chinese students keen to learn French and establish ties with French industry. [The Pie News]

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