"Students get plenty of teacher interaction: Finland and New York City have the same number of teachers. But Finland has nearly half the number of students. Standardized testing is kept to a minimum: before a New York student reaches high school, he or she will have taken 10 standardized tests. Collectively, US students take 100 million standardized tests a year. Finland's only standardized test is taken when students are 16 years old. Kids have more time to be kids: an average us 5th grader has 50 minimum of homework per day. Finnish students rarely do homework until their teens. And while us elementary students average 27 minutes of recess students in Finland get about 75 minutes a day). Finland knows good teachers are essential: teachers in Finland are all required to have a Master's degree (which is fully subsidized by the state)."
(OnlineClasses.org, 21 January 2013)
"We are on the brink of an extraordinary revolution that will change our world forever. In this new world everyone, everything and everywhere will be connected in real time. We call this the Networked Society, and it will fundamentally change the way we innovate, collaborate, produce, govern and sustain. When one person connects their life changes. With everything connected our world changes."
(Ericsson Limited, 2012)
Fig.1 Published on YouTube 19 October 2012 by Ericsson
"Singer Billy Bragg has warned that the government's education reforms risk stifling creativity and leaving the pop charts the preserve of a well-off public school elite.
Bragg used a lecture in memory of broadcaster John Peel in Salford to criticise education secretary Michael Gove's plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of an English baccalaureate. He also turned his ire on and 'culture-clogging shows' such as Simon Cowell's The X Factor on ITV1.
The singer and leftwing activist said the government's proposed new education system threatened to exclude creative subjects from the core qualifications expected of 16-year-olds.
'At a time of cuts to the education budget, the pressure on schools to dump subjects like music and drama in favour of those that offer high marks in performances tables will only grow,' said Bragg.
He criticised the 'insistence that knowledge is more important than creativity', adding: 'As Albert Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the whole world'.
Bragg, delivering the second annual John Peel Lecture at the Radio Festival on Monday, said: 'Under the English baccalaureate, with its reliance on a single end of course exam, the child with the creative imagination will always lose out to the child with the ability to recall knowledge learned by rote."
(John Plunkett, 12 November 2012, The Guardian)
Billy Bragg "John Peel Lecture", photograph: Andrew Stuart/Radio Festival/PR.
"The postgraduate system in the UK's universities is failing to produce the number of highly skilled staff needed by a modern economy, a report warns.
The Higher Education Commission says the system is geared towards attracting overseas students, rather than training more UK students.
The report warns that the UK is falling behind in investing in research.
A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokeswoman said: 'We recognise there are some concerns.'
The study from the Higher Education Commission calls for urgent reform of the postgraduate sector, saying that in its present state it will cause long-term problems for the UK's economy.
Postgraduate research has become increasingly important for innovative, hi-tech industries."
(Sean Coughlan, 23 October 2012, BBC News)
"Yes you know there’s this view that only special people are creative and it's not me. It's not it's not anybody I really know. It's a very isolated sort of genius you know to be really creative. And you know people doubt their own strengths and their own capacities. So I meet all kind of people who don't really get much fulfilment from the work they do. You know they just get through it and wait for the weekend. But I also meet people who love what they do. And couldn't imagine doing anything else. You know if you set and don't this anymore they wouldn’t' know what you were talking about because this is who they are. You know I mean like I don’t know what else I would do. They are so to speak in their element. And so the book is about that. It's about the journeys people took to discover their own talents and what difference it made in their lives. And I talk to all kinds of people. It's not just interviews. But the book is seasoned as you know with interviews with people in science in business in the arts in sports in technology all kinds of different fields and what's interesting to me is of course it's different for everybody and this is really a key point you know that human ability and talent is highly diverse. You know what turns somebody on might totally turn somebody else off. What excites some propel does not excite other people and I know when I am signing the book these days I always ask people what they do. And when they tell me I ask them if they like it. And I always think it's great when people say I love it. Because you just never [inaudible].'"
(Ken Robinson, Conversations from Penn State)
Fig.1 Conversations from Penn State Episode 207: Sir Ken Robinson, Uploaded by WPSU TV/FM/Online on 6 Nov 2010, YouTube.