Sunday, October 3, 2010

Out-of-the-Box Re-Education

Out-of-the-Box Re-Education - An Idea Whose Time Is Now

John David Mann is author of an article titled “The Promise of Universal Education” which is the lead story in the September & October 2010 issue of the popular SDI (Self Directed Income) magazine called Networking Times. I agree with John David Mann, we do need universal education but more importantly we need “Out-of-the-Box” re-education and we need it NOW!

This particular article is a summary of a conversation with Anya Kamenetz, author of a new book titled “DIYU (Do It Yourself University) with a subtitle “Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education,” with some added suggestions for “Out-of-the-Box” re-education.

Anya Kamenetz previously authored a book titled “Generation Debt” in 2006, wherein she discusses student loans, credit card debt, the ever-changing job market and the seemingly fiscal irresponsibility being displayed by the current generation of XY youth was are the most recent university graduates.

It is Anya’s prediction that the economic prospects for current university graduates in 2010 and beyond are very dismal indeed. She even suggests that this will be the first generation of youth to be worse off financially then their parents.

I concur that Anya may be correct in this assumption unless we-the-people become the facilitators for change. Perhaps the last, best hope for the current graduates (and students) is to explore the SDI (Self Directed Income) industry and build a portfolio of entrepreneurial earnings on a part-time basis as financial insurance in case of future layoff by corporation or institution employers.

Anya talks about earning her university degree from Yale on 2002 and her experiences as a writer with The Village Voice. It was during 2004 and 2005 that she did the research for the book “Generation Debt.”

While writing the book “Generaion Debt,” Anya was focused on what’s wrong with higher education and she even came up with some solution-oriented ideas on how it can be fixed, but to my knowledge, she did not directly address the design flaw of usury and its role in crippling the graduates financially.

Anya states: “Our system has never really been adapted to meet the promise we made as a society, which is that a higher education will be available to all who qualify.”

Anya points out that four years of undergraduate schooling no longer guarantees the youth of a good job. In short, the graduates are no longer securing the corporate or institution job that the graduates of the 20th Century secured upon completing their university education.

Anya identifies technology as the key element that is transforming the way information is exchanged and collaborated in this 21st Century. She suggests that we need a new approach to education and that new structures must be designed and implemented to optimally use the available technology tools. I suggest that we need a new curriculum dedicated to truth, integrity, honesty and justice.

Anya uses a couple of new labels (edupunk and edupreneur) for people who are playing key roles in the field of DIYU. Although Anya did not coin these words, she makes reference to them. In Josh Cole’s review of the book DIYU he writes:

“The striking term "edupunk" was coined in a 2008 blog post by Jim Groom, an instructional technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington. In it, he railed against corporations who were co-opting the work of people (like himself) fusing "Web 2.0" technology (that is, information technology based upon user-centered design, file-sharing, the collaborative creation of content, and so on -- as seen in Wikipedia and Facebook, for instance) and education in new ways, and selling those ideas and technologies back to schools and universities in substandard form, and at exorbitant prices. Groom called upon his readers to go "edupunk," and reclaim this technology for grassroots, liberatory ends. Edupunk as a buzz-word quickly went viral after being picked up by The Chronicle of Higher Education in the U.S. and The Guardian in the U.K. The term "edupreneur" -- that is, someone who wishes to make money through education -- is, by comparison, self-explanatory.”

Click here to read the complete book review by Josh Cole.

According to Anya, an edupunk embraces the concept of DIYU and fosters open-source, open platform technologies intent on sharing knowledge and information beyond the historical walls of formal education while edupreneurs are pushing the envelope to earn money in the education industry through their entrepreneurial skills.

Anya suggests that edupunks and edupreneurs will continue working to fulfill the possibility that every child will experience the right to access future learning opportunties through open-source university.

Anya envisions higher learning to become more diverse and decentralized as we progresss into this 21st Century with a blend of various forms of worthwhile educational experiences.

With the concept of open-mindedness applied, Anya sees more people experiencing true freedom, doing more potential good and thriving in the world whether or not they have a couple of letters after their name.

Anya suggests that universities are run by a “self-interested cabal of elites.” I daresay that these elites are influenced by the global banking cartel who not only design the curriculum but also constantly seek a new generation of graduates from the middle class and the upper class, who will be subservient, earn their degrees and take their orders in their careers without asking too many questions. I can agree with Anya that the poverty-stricken and minorities are commonly neglected by our formal system of higher education.

I further maintain that our formal system of elementary, high school and college or university education is dedicated to doing a dis-service to our youth. The message “A Dad Talks (Types) To His Graduating Daughter” explains why modern education is not functioning for the benefit of our youth.

I now draw your attention to a couple of innovative, online re-educational resources that will be especially beneficial to those youth who are budding entrepreneurs - or should I say edupunks or edupreneurs?

The UsuryFree SDI University offers various free lessons and related resources and welcomes input from potential students who are ready and willing to follow a self-imposed course of study on topics commonly neglected by our formal institutions of higher learning.

The UsuryFree SDI University seeks to offer information and resources to those who are ready and willing to become students and teachers simultaneously - since we all learn from each other. The economic arm of the UsuryFree SDI university is the blog The UsuryFree Eye Opener where there is an abundant of information about the problems associated with our orthodox, economic system of usury-based, debt money.

The SDI university does not charge any tution fees at this time as it is currently being established. More information is posted at the blog The SDI Eye Opener where there is an informative article titled “Introducing UsuryFree SDI University."

The Networking University (NU) also offers online educational instruction especially targeted at people who are committed networkers within the SDI industry - otherwise known as network marketing or multi-level marketing. Tuition can be paid on a monthly or annual basis. Here are a couple of paragraphs from Networking University website:

The Mission of Networking University is to educate networking professionals who aspire to personal freedom by serving others, with greater skill, integrity and responsibility.

Networking companies generally provide excellent training on their products and services. Most, however, provide little or no training in three other areas critical to your success: personal development, professional development and business development. In order to best serve the networking profession, NU has chosen these three areas in which to focus its programs. (a) The Personal Development Department (b) The Professional Development Department and (c) The Business Development Department.

As core competencies are identified in each department, you will have an opportunity to demonstrate competencies that will lead to Professional Certification by the University. Our intention is that this certification goes hand-in-hand with your proven success, showing others in your organization and throughout our profession the value of ongoing learning.

We believe that the best learning comes from doing. To the maximum extent possible we will offer courses that include demonstration, experiential activities, practice, and feedback. Course material will be presented in a number of formats. There will be the familiar workshops, teleconferences, and web conferences. Another technology we are excited about is web-based delivery that will give you access to instruction at your own place, time, and pace (just like your business!

More information at their website:

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