Monday, September 16, 2013

Not sure that Bacharach shouldn't have split this into to two but both halves are worth reading anyway

Via Thoreau, Jacob Bacharach has has an excellent albeit somewhat disjointed post that hits on a few of our ongoing threads. It starts out as a beautifully cynical insider's view of MBA programs then jumps (a bit abruptly) to a blistering take down of Joel Klein's efforts, working with the Rupert Murdoch family of companies, to sell tablet computers to school districts.

Here's a taste:
And in any case, when you look at the sales pitch, you see the same old clichés about the workplace of tomorrow peddled as the great social inflection point whose crisis-borne arrival necessitates the adoption of these critical tools that just happen to cost $199 a pop. The simple fact of that traditional dollar-short-of-an-even-hundred commercial pricing model ought to tip you that something may be slightly crooked here, the transformative promise more marketing than prophecy. “Robin Britt, the Personalized Learning Environment Facilitator (PLEF)”—no, really—leaps Ballmer-like to the front of the room and engages in a little future-is-nowism for the crowd:
I've been meaning to write about the tablets-in-the-classroom movement for awhile, particularly since the recent blow-up in here in LA. It represents one of the most notable of the many cases where ddulites and movement reformers intersect with predictably disastrous results.

For the record, disadvantaged students would much better off if we gave them laptops running Ubuntu rather than the latest tablet. It's worth noting that the latest snag in L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy's iPad initiative came because no one thought to budget money for keyboards. (Deasy isn't really a think-things-through kinda guy. Unfortunately, he's in a think-things-through kinda job.)

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