The Gravest Threat to Colleges Comes From Within

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
October 6, 2015
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The Gravest Threat to Colleges Comes From Within
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • We are experiencing one of the greatest threats to the university as we know it. It is not about enrollments, revenues, or rankings. It is about the assurance of intellectual freedom, about what can and cannot be discussed.
  • Our newest and greatest threat comes from inside the university itself. From students and others uncomfortable with the points of view expressed in the classroom, but they seem to forget that many of the things we take for granted were once controversial.
  • Throughout history, the creative spirit of the scholars in higher education and academic freedom have ensured innovation. That is why higher education must be prepared to uphold academic freedom.
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Keywords: higher education, intellectual freedom, innovation, knowledge, opinion
Caution on Competency: U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General 
Inside Higher Ed
  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General has pumped the brakes on competency-based education (CBE), partially due to concerns about the level of interaction between instructors and students in some of those programs.
  • The inspector general issued a critical audit that shows the need for clarity and more communication on the definitions, requirements and processes for competency-based education. 
  • “This could have a huge impact on how we offer different kinds of education,” said Amy Laitinen, deputy director for higher education at New America. “Folks are going to be really nervous.”
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Keywords: competency-based education, CBE
World University Rankings 2015-2016: Results Announced
Times Higher Education
  • The world dominance of universities in the US has further waned in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016. 
  • A total of 147 US universities feature in the top 800 including the California Institute of Technology, which claims pole position for the fifth consecutive year.
  • The US now has 63 universities in the top 200. Six of these make the top 10; after Caltech, these are: Stanford (3rd), MIT (5th), Harvard (6th - its first time outside the top four in the rankings’ 12-year history), Princeton (7th) and the University of Chicago (10th). 
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Keywords: rankings, universities, higher education, Caltech
What Classrooms Around The World Look Like
Celebrating World Teachers' Day
The Huffington Post
  • October 5 marks the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Teachers' Day -- an initiative to empower teachers and call attention to their role in building sustainable societies. 
  • To celebrate the day and and honor teachers who strive to educate, regardless of the environment, Reuters photographers took photos of teachers, students and classrooms around the world.
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Keywords: education, teachers
Brian Schmidt: Universities Must Back Young Researchers to Win Nobel Prizes
Times Higher Education
  • According to Brian Schmidt, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics and incoming vice-chancellor of Australian National University, universities must provide funding and job security for talented young researchers if they are to nurture the next generation of Nobel prizewinners.
  • Professor Schmidt said that institutions direct most of their money to academics who are over 50 years old, despite the fact that the “apex of productivity” for researchers is usually far earlier. 
  • “So what’s my advice if you want Nobel discoveries at your institution? Put more of your research spend into your under-forties. Provide these people with career structures that have certainty over more than one three-year contract,” he said.
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Keywords: research, science, funding, Nobel Prize, higher education
How Higher Ed is Becoming More Learner-Centered
  • Following their emergence around 2011, digital badges began transforming the way learning and accomplishment are recognized. Badges are now integral to growing numbers of associations, formal and informal educational institutions. But is badging equally useful in all contexts? Where does badging make sense, and where does it not?
  • In this ELI brief, a team of researchers from Indiana University take a close look at current digital badging efforts in an effort to understand the context where they work and where they don’t. 
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Keywords: learning, innovation, digital badges
First Syrian Refugee Welcomed to Mexico on Scholarship Scheme
Times Higher Education
  • A programme to enable 30 Syrian refugees to continue their university studies in Mexico has welcomed its first student: Essa Hassan, who will be able to resume his engineering studies at the Universidad Panamericana in Aguascalientes.
  • The Habesha Project is an initiative funded through private donations and designed to “send a message of solidarity to the Syrian nation” by providing “full scholarships in some of the most prestigious Mexican universities, health insurance and a monthly stipend” to students who have fled the conflict in Syria.
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Keywords: Syrian refugees, scholarships, higher education, Mexico
5 Things Colleges Should Know About the New Secretary of Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • John B. King Jr., who will lead the Education Department through President Obama’s final year in office, isn’t well known in higher-education circles. 
  • Here’s what readers need to know about him: He has four degrees from three Ivies; He has tremendous respect for teachers, but has clashed with teachers’ unions; He’s a fan of charter schools; He’s passionate about education reform; and he isn’t likely to change course. 
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Keywords: education, United States, leadership
Neuromyths in Education
It’s time to bust these widely held myths about the brain

  • Recent studies have shown that teachers often believe in common misconceptions about how the brain works. These neuromyths can be problematic for education, as they may cause teachers to use educational practices that are not entirely compatible with their students’ brain function. 
  • This article presents and discusses the three most prevalent neuromyths. The first myth pertains to learning styles; the second relates to the notion of being “left- or right-brained”; and the third concerns coordination exercises that improve brain function. 
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Keywords: learning, neuroscience, education
Pupils Choose YouTube Over Teachers For Careers Advice
  • Fewer schoolchildren are turning to their teachers for careers advice, while YouTube, Google and social media sites are becoming increasingly popular with youngsters, new research has found.
  • The new research, for which more than 1,000 children aged 11-18 were interviewed, concludes that more traditional sources of advice are becoming less popular. In three years there has been a 12 per cent drop in the number of young people who speak to teachers about jobs. 
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Keywords: pastoral care, careers, mentors, education, educators
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Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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