[iDC] Hackademia as New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Wed Jul 27 23:32:49 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 8:35 PM, Anya Kamenetz <anyaanya at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've done a lot of reporting on the role of the private sector in the future of higher education.There is no doubt that the business community, including > venture capitalists, consultants at Harvard Business School, and maybe hundreds of young entrepreneurs are very interested in new models of
> higher ed, to say nothing of the eight or nine publicly traded companies that control the for-profit higher ed market, with over 10% of all students,
> and still dominate the public image of online ed.

Yes corporate interests hold a lot of sway.
Sometimes in terms of financing but also in the form of the kinds of
systems they contribute to these contexts.
Often these tools do shape the kind of discourse which is possible and
digital literacy can become simply product knowledge.
Microsoft currently shapes somewhat more than 10% of student expression.

> However, in the cases you mention, I find it inexact to assume that the
> donations made by the nonprofit Gates Foundation and the personal
> enthusiasms of Bill Gates should always be considered identical with
> "business interests,"

It is a patent collecting organisation and perhaps is a cost effective model
for undertaking business when you are in a high tax bracket.

Yes Gates has a strong interest in shaping education.

"Get Schooled: You Have the Right formally kicks off "Get Schooled," a
five-year national initiative co-developed by the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation and Viacom that creates a platform for corporate and
community stakeholders to address the challenges facing America's
public schools")

Which feels related to the conversation about whether advocacy is a
fluency within a system or whether it is also a questioning of the
expressions of power in networks.(Castells)

A teacher expressing thoughts about science v. brand awareness.

> Case in point: this is one of the Thiel Fellows' entrepreneurial projects.
> It's a tool to make it easier for teachers to create multimedia lessons and
> upload them for their students and others to share. It's currently in
> private beta testing with about 200 classroom teachers.
>  http://www.opentheclassroom.com/

What does open mean in that context?
How will the tool be licensed?
Will it make open standard formats?
Would there be api's for moving data to other systems and formats?

Sorry I am a bit sceptical. The word open is popular. The intent can vary.


More information about the iDC mailing list