To segue from astrophysics and the opposite of employment; planetary mining slaves and the super-robots our MISGUIDED GENIUSES are developing; we know the pathway in that super-robot will take here on EARTH as development continues is as PRISON/JAIL guards working towards that ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER movie ROBO-COP. As planetary colonization develop moves forward these few decades our super-robots here on EARTH will get mighty AUTHORITARIAN AND MILITARISTIC getting ready to be good planetary wardens.
Our national military has been gutted of staff with the asymmetric warfare by drones and defense intelligence offensives with the next round of military job loss being to field combat by these super-robots. Now, no one laments getting our US citizens out of combat but what is worse is the disconnect of WE THE PEOPLE from what will be continuous warfare and instability which IS COMING TO OUR US CITIES. So, rural areas fighting to have that private super-prison for jobs will see robotics replacing guards----inside and around the perimeter. DEEP, DEEP, REALLY DEEP STATE MOVING FORWARD.
We can believe that this prison robot is R2-D2 simply because that is to where robotic development has gotten. These ASSIGNMENTS of robots to the prison industry is geared to build programming capacity for artificial intelligence.
South Korean robot prison guards: R2-D2 maybe, not the Terminator
December 5, 2011 | 8:04 pm
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -- Think of it more as R2-D2 than the Terminator.
South Korea is ready to wheel out its latest weapon in the war against crime: a 5-foot-tall, four-wheeled prison guard robot that will patrol the behind-bars hallways of penal institutions, even assess the mental states of prisoners.
This won’t be just any new guard to join the team. There will be no breaks, no demands for higher pay, no unprovoked attacks and not even a chance of accepting a bribe.
As South Korea battles Japan for supremacy in robot technology, designers have invented what they call a team of “friendly robots” that will not just guard prisoners but keep an eye on their well-being to boot.
Witness the smile etched into the boxy white head and the lumbering body that exudes more Elmo than executioner.
The Ministry of Justice, which developed the robots under consultation with a South Korean research group and a nearby university, has said the project will cost $864,000 and will be launched in a jail in the city of Pohang for a monthlong trial starting in March.
The droids will conduct night patrols, rolling along prison corridors to scan cells with sensors that can detect suspicious activity or injured or hostile inmates.
“The robots are not terminators,” said one professor associated with the project. "Their job is not cracking down on violent prisoners. They are helpers.”
Meanwhile, designers are making last-minute changes to the robot guards to make them look more “humane and friendly” behind bars.
In 2013, South Korea also plans to unveil Robot Land, a $600-million theme park celebrating famous science fiction cyborgs and motion picture androids. The theme park will feature 11 rides, seven attractions and eight shows on 190 acres. Included will be an aquarium where visitors control robot fish and a robot arena where boxer-bots fight a la "Real Steel."
South Korea has already used artificial intelligence robotics to carry out household chores and even guard the border with North Korea. So could prison be the final frontier?
So far, not everyone here is lining up behind the experiment in any robotic way. Wrote one Internet commentator: “What if someone just poured water over its head?”
The answer of course to controlling prison costs is to STOP PUTTING SO MANY PEOPLE IN PRISON. We know our prisons in America are now full of POLITICAL PRISONERS...people being jailed for the simplest of infractions or guilty of no crime at all. PRISON PIPELINE to private prison free labor will be replaced by planetary mining slaves along with pesky political dissidents like ME!
Reduce the costs of prison to boost profits---what could be wrong with that? IT'S ALL AMERICAN FILLED WITH FREEDOM AND JUSTICE!
As the articles say these robots are still in development learning how to react to human emotions to predict behavior.
As the articles say these robots are still in development learning how to react to human emotions to predict behavior. This was where technology funding was directed these several years of Obama and Clinton neo-liberals in Congress getting insider trading on all these new corporations saying in this march to totalitarianism ----SHOW ME THE MONEY!
But Obama and his US AG gave amnesty to thousands of prisoners held on minor drug offenses ---that makes them civil rights heroes right? PLEASE STOP ALLOWING THESE LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE BONES FOOL US.
So we will hear of our rural America losing even those jobs----including some mining jobs.
Are robotic guards the answer to controlling prison costs?
- By Ray Walters on April 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm
With roughly ten million people incarcerated worldwide, the amount of money that is being poured into keeping them confined is mind-boggling. At last estimate, $200 billion a year is being funneled through the world’s prison facilities to maintain their operations, money that could be used elsewhere. With governments around the globe looking to cut costs, often by either privatizing their prisons or by taking drastic actions like reducing the amount of meals they feed inmates each day, South Korea has decided to apply technology to the problem. Depicted in the video below is one of the world’s first robotic prison guards that is starting its one month trial to see how effective non-human “screws” can be inside a dangerous penitentiary.
Developed by the Asian Forum of Corrections (AFC), the robot is designed to cut down on the amount of human help that’s needed in prisons. Armed with 3D technology, as well as pattern recognition algorithms, its able to detect when trouble might erupt or if an inmate is displaying behavior that’s out of his or her normal routine. By analyzing past interactions with a prisoner, the robotic guard can alert its human controllers to potential trouble like a riot or a suicide attempt. This allows a prepared team to respond quickly to intervene.
The hope of the AFC is that by spending a large amount of money up front to develop these advanced machines the cost over the long term will decrease as prisons reduce the number of guards needed for each facility. The organization’s argument is that the robots are immune to many of the dangers their human counterparts are; bribes, injury, sickness and death. Most importantly, they don’t draw a weekly paycheck to keep them happy.
Of course, anyone who has ever seen The Terminator is going to begin the Skynet comparisons, but it’s obvious that this is the most logical direction to take the world’s prison systems (at least until we can invent carbon freezing in the real world). There are large hurdles to overcome since any kind of computer driven technology can be hacked and modified to gain access. But just like the auto industry did several years ago, the penal market will need to begin to move over to automated systems of care for the incarcerated. With more countries exploring privatization as an option to unburden their economies from the cost of keeping those people locked up, you can bet the different companies that are placing bids to take over are looking on this development with interest.
My prediction, based on what I’ve seen, is that within ten-years or so we’ll begin to see this become commonplace around the globe in countries that can afford to invest in it. South Korea also plans on creating a robot that is capable of searching prisoners, although there is no word on whether or not they will be tasked with conducting the body cavity checks when an inmate is processed into the system.
Here is to where all those ex-con minor drug offenders released and all those rural prison workers out of jobs are being pushed----to what will be slave labor in global labor pool coding and programming robotics to do our jobs. Where last century we were being trained for jobs as managers, professionals, executives----MOVING FORWARD has pre-K to 12 public schools vocationally geared toward global technology online corporations and all that coding and programming for robotics and robots in the workplace.
Any organization pushing coding and programming while allowing our local community economies to remain DEAD----take the heel of your shoe and come down hard on their TOE----and say NO THANKS we have a local economy to rebuild for strong, first world quality of life for ourselves and our children and grandchildren! GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET PLAYERS!
04/12/2015 10:46 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2015
Coding vs. Programming — Battle of the Terms!
By Kiki Prottsman
With the recent rise in computer science classes across all grades, we’re starting to grow our personal vocabularies in ways that make the average person uncomfortable. To complicate matters, many of these “new” words seem to have such intimidating histories that we don’t take the time to properly understand their usage — instead we repeat them blindly, whether we know what they really mean or not.
One such example of complex wordsmithing is the synonymous use of the terms “coding” and “programming”.
Like “geek” and “nerd,” these words may seem to mean the same thing from the outside, but to those who identify with one or the other, the distinction is real. While the differences may be subtle, there are differences none the less, and it benefits any tech user worth their salt to know what those are.
For a long time, “programming” was the word most commonly associated with entering instructions into a machine to execute commands. There really was no debate. Programming was the formal act of writing code, and the term also encompassed the greater nuances of computer science.
With the increase in popularity of the home computer (and more importantly, the home-educated computer programmer) a subculture began to develop of “hacker” types that viewed their craft with less focus on pretense and more emphasis on wit, skill, and purpose. With the influx of newly self-taught technophiles, the term “coders” began to gain momentum to describe those who could technically “create code,” but did not necessarily have the knowledge or grace of the traditionalists. It was said that they were “coding” versus truly “programming.”
In recent years (read: post-Hour of Code, circa 2013) the term “coding” has resurfaced as a much more playful and non-intimidating description of programming for beginners. On an informal level, it is used to convey the beginning steps of programming, or programming with a tool intended for beginners, such as Code Studio, Scratch, or App Inventor 2.
Whether or not you accept that there are defined differences between the words “coding” and “programming,” you should at least be aware of the differences in connotation...especially if you want to keep from hurting the feelings of your friendly neighborhood software developer!
One thing global Wall Street likes in statistics is today's public schools in US and UK are filled with children from poor families----they like that because it shows the elimination of the middle-class and movement to over 80% of Americans into poverty the next decade of two so what does global Wall Street do with public schools filled with children from poor families? Tie them to STEM vocational tracking into the lowest tier of global labor pool jobs-----LIKE CODING AND PROGRAMMING. Remember, that 80% of Americans in poverty will be followed very quickly by 99% of Americans as that 5% to the 1% is thrown under the bus.
A REAL ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS TO STOP EXPOSING OUR CHILDREN AND STOP TAKING JOBS TIED TO THESE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY TRACKS. LET'S TALK THIS WEEK ABOUT WHAT JOBS CREATE A REAL LOCAL ECONOMY!
Let's shake a fist at Trump and ignore that Obama and Clinton neo-liberals dismantled our public K-12 and are moving our children and citizens into third world poverty and global labor pool employment=====ALL THAT IS OKEY-DOKEY.
Should everyone understand coding and computer programming----OF COURSE----but we all know this global technology is already designed to move patents/business bringing any wealth at all to the global 1% and their 2%. It does not create a stable, long-term career pathway to climbing the income ladder.
Coding at school: a parent's guide to England's new computing curriculum
From the start of the new term, children as young as five will be learning programming skills in the classroom
Coding is on the curriculum for primary and secondary school pupils in the UK. Photograph: AlamStuart Dredge
Thursday 4 September 2014 07.32 EDT Last modified on Tuesday 21 February 2017 13.31 EST
Getting more kids to code has been a cause célèbre for the technology industry for some time. Teaching programming skills to children is seen as a long-term solution to the “skills gap” between the number of technology jobs and the people qualified to fill them.
From this month, the UK is the guinea pig for the most ambitious attempt yet to get kids coding, with changes to the national curriculum. ICT – Information and Communications Technology – is out, replaced by a new “computing” curriculum including coding lessons for children as young as five.
This has been coming for a while: the new curriculum was published in September 2013 to fanfare within the technology industry. But it seems many parents will be surprised when their children come home from school talking about algorithms, debugging and Boolean logic.
A survey of 1,020 parents of 5-18 year-olds in England commissioned by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, found that 60% were unaware or unsure about the changes to the curriculum. Similar surveys by tech firms O2 and Ocado Technology yielded similar results: 64% and 65% of parents (respectively) who were unaware of the changes.
If you’re one of those parents, here’s a guide to what your children will be studying under the new computing curriculum; why there is more of an emphasis on programming skills; how teachers have been preparing for the changes; and how you can support your children and their schools over the coming months.
Why is this happening?
The shakeup of computer studies in schools has been trailed for a while, after criticism from ministers and technology companies of the existing ICT curriculum.
The education secretary (at the time), Michael Gove, outlined the political rationale for the changes in a speech this January:
“ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching pupils, over and over again, how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs already creaking into obsolescence; about as much use as teaching children to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin.
Our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology and digital literacy: teaching them how to code,and how to create their own programs; not just how to work a computer, but how a computer works and how to make it work for you.”
This plays directly in to the complaints of technology companies that the UK has not been producing enough graduates qualified to fill vacancies. Microsoft and Google, along with BCS and its Computing at School working group, and the Royal Academy of Engineering were all involved in the new curriculum.
There is more to this than jobs, though. Campaigners argue that learning programming skills will benefit children in other ways whatever their ultimate career – almost akin to the reasoning for giving children the chance to learn a musical instrument or foreign language.
“We’re not just trying to encourage people to become developers. We’re trying to encourage children to become creative,” says Sophie Deen, head of Code Club Pro, which has been running training sessions for teachers this year.
“At primary level, it helps children to be articulate and think logically: when they start breaking down what’s happening, they can start predicting what’s going to happen. It’s about looking around you almost like an engineer at how things are constructed.”
“If you teach computing and do it right, you can help children develop their learning in literacy and numeracy,” says Bill Mitchell, director of education at BCS, citing children using the Scratch programming language to make animations for their creative writing, and suggesting that studying algorithms can help their understanding of sentence structure.
“To me, the basic idea of computing is you have to get a computer to solve a problem: you have to come up with an algorithm, a set of instructions. If you can do that, it’s a hugely valuable skill whenever you’re working as a team for any kind of project,” he says.
“Also, think about other subjects. When you learn physics, you think about physics. But when you learn computing, you are thinking about thinking. About how thinking works. You have to try to imagine how this computer is going to do something for you. There are lots of transferable skills.”
What will your child be learning?
There are three distinct stages for the new computing curriculum:
Key Stage 1 (5-6 year-olds): Children will be learning what algorithms are, which will not always involve computers. When explained as “a set of instructions” teachers may illustrate the idea using recipes, or by breaking down the steps of children’s morning routines. But they will also be creating and debugging simple programs of their own, developing logical reasoning skills and taking their first steps in using devices to “create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content”.
Key Stage 2 (7-11 year-olds): Slightly older primary-school children will be creating and debugging more complicated programs with specific goals and getting to grips with concepts including variables and “sequence, selection, and repetition in programs”. They will still be developing their logical reasoning skills and learning to use websites and other internet services. And there will be more practice at using devices for collecting, analysing and presenting back data and information.
Key Stage 3 (11-14 year-olds): Once children enter senior school they will be using two or more programming languages – “at least one of which is textual” – to create their own programs. Schools and teachers will be free to choose the specific languages and coding tools. Pupils will be learning simple Boolean logic (the AND, OR and NOT operators, for example), working with binary numbers, and studying how computer hardware and software work together.
At all these levels, children will also be studying computer and internet safety, including how to report concerns about “content or contact” online. The full breakdown of the changes can be found here.
How have teachers been preparing for this?
As with any major change to the curriculum, teachers will be at the sharp end of the syllabus. That includes tens of thousands of primary-school teachers who may be new to programming themselves being tasked with teaching it to their pupils.
There has been plenty of activity around trying to train teachers for this. The government announced £1.1m of funding for BCS in December 2013 to develop a programme for primary school teachers who are new to teaching computing, then a £500,000 fund in February 2014 to attract businesses to help train teachers.
You can see the kind of materials teachers have been getting by reading BCS’s two Computing in the National Curriculum guides, which have been sent to schools and published online in PDF form – one for primary teachers and one for secondary teachers.
Code Club took £100,000 of funding from Google to introduce its own training program in February, while Microsoft invested £334,000 in a partnership with Computing at School to run “Back to School” training sessions for teachers. Meanwhile, companies making apps or services that teach children to code have been releasing lesson guides and other teaching material.
There has been controversy around the involvement of private companies in training teachers: for example, Code Club director Linda Sandvik resigned earlier this month, saying she had been told not to criticise sponsors (eg Google) over issues like mass surveillance. In response Google said it did not order any such silence, while Code Club has published guidelines on its relationship with funders.
If you’ve got this far in the article, you’re no longer one of the 60%-plus of parents who do not know about the changes to England’s computing curriculum. That’s a decent start.
Talking to experts about what else parents can do, I found a common theme: simply be interested. Just as parents chat to children when they come home about what they have been reading, writing, drawing and discussing at school, so they can talk to them about what they’re doing with computing and coding.
BCS’s Mitchell adds that for parents intimidated by the idea of programming, talking through what their children have been doing – particularly at primary level – may be a good way to demystify the subject. “I suspect children will be delighted to tell parents something they don’t know about!”
Code Club’s Sophie Deen agrees: “Parents can learn with their kids, if they’re worried about being daunted by it,” she says, adding that parents can also show schools that they are interested in how computing is being taught. “Asking teachers what they’re doing with the curriculum and what training they’ve done puts it on the agenda and shows they know and care about this,” she says.
There are ways to go further, including learn-to-code apps like Tynker, Hopscotch, ScratchJr and Hakitzu that can be downloaded and used at home; an online coding contest Shaun the Sheep’s Game Academy began earlier this year. The BBC is getting coding into some CBeebies and CBBC TV shows in the coming months.
The Scratch programming language, already used widely in schools, is freely accessible online at home too. Meanwhile, Codecademy, which runs online courses in programming and is working with a number of schools already, has plenty of courses suitable for secondary-school children.
The Kano build-it-yourself computer may be worth a look: it goes on sale soon, and includes its own visual programming language designed for children. If you’re flush with cash, the upcoming Play-i robots may also appeal: two personal robots with companion apps that encourage children to code to control the devices.
And then there are after-school coding clubs: Code Club has a network of nearly 2,500 around the UK for 9-11 year-olds, CoderDojo has dozens in the UK too, and a growing number of schools are running their own, run by enthusiastic teachers and/or parents and developers from local companies.
But this is not to imply that the best way to support your children is by buying products and signing them up for services and clubs. The most important support remains showing an interest in what your children are doing at school.
Even if you’re daunted by programming as a subject, seeing it through the eyes of a child will hopefully make it much less intimidating.
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If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.
Race to the Top is killing our K-12 professional teaching staff to replace them with part-time education tech adjuncts just as with our university professors. The transient step is tying our classroom teaching staff to being that BUSINESS GRAD who has that degree in technology. What will be a TEACH FOR AMERICA or VISTA college grad working off student loans will soon be replaced by simply a tech college grad looking for work and allowed a part-time job as a corporate pre-K to career school education tech.
Here are two global Wall STreet players taking over all control of K-12 testing and evaluation products -----there's that YALE AND HARVARD----the only pathway to that extreme wealth and extreme poverty paradyme
WAIT UNTIL THOSE GLOBAL IVY LEAGUES CULL THEIR ACCEPTANCE TO A VERY TIGHT-KNIT GROUP OF GLOBAL 1% AND THEIR 2% TO SEE A 99% OF AMERICANS IN GLOBAL LABOR POOL POVERTY.
So those pre-K -career corporate schools will spend their school funding purchasing these testing and evaluation products and save money by getting rid of full-time K-12 teachers replacing them with part-time education tech grads earning next to nothing.
THIS IS WHAT RACE TO THE TOP AND COMMONER CORE HAD AS A GOAL FROM THE START AND LOCAL TEACHER'S UNIONS, LOCAL GLOBAL WALL STREET 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' ORGANIZATIONS PUSHING THESE CORPORATE K-12 POLICIES KNOW THIS IS THE GOAL.
The reward for all that coding and programming in K-12 will be at best an opportunity to be that part-time ed tech in a global corporate campus school competing with global citizens for those jobs.
If we notice all those movers and shakers gaining wealth these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA often dropped out of college to be handed a patented business already developed.
By Joseph LinMonday, May 10, 2010
PETER KLAUNZER / epa / Corbis
Most college students use their dorm rooms to sleep, study, or do things their parents probably don't want to know about. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his. Originally meant only for Harvard students, the popular social networking site quickly spread to the rest of the Ivies and other colleges across the nation. As Facebook's popularity exploded, Zuckerberg packed up his bags and relocated the fledgling company to Palo Alto, California, forever leaving behind Harvard's hallowed halls.
Zuckerberg, Kutcher Bet On Yale Grads' K-12 Feedback System
Peter Cohan ,
Do a startup's prospects soar if its investors are A-listers? Cambridge, Mass.-based Panorama Education -- "which helps K-12 schools improve through data analysis and feedback surveys of teachers, parents and students" -- is a good test case.
On October 21, Panorama announced $4 million in seed funding from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Startup:Education and Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC, with additional participation from Google Ventures, Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Investments, and Yale University.
Zuckerberg and his wife sound excited about Panorama. As Zuckerberg said, "Priscilla and I are excited to support Panorama Education and its mission. Their company is an exciting example of the way technology can help teachers, parents and students make their voices heard."
In an October 22 interview with Panorama co-founder, Aaron Feuer, I learned that the Los Angeles native comes from a background of lawyers and school administrators. "My mother is a lawyer with the National Resources Defense Council and my father is an elected City Attorney for Los Angeles. And my grandparents were teachers and principals," explained Feuer.
Feuer attended a public high school in LA and was shocked by how few students graduated. As he said, "My high school had 5,000 students and there were 1,600 students in my freshman class -- 800 graduated."
He got himself elected to a position where he could do something about the problem. Feuer noted, "I was elected president of the California Association of Student Councils -- an organization set up by the state in 1947 to encourage students to fight to make their high schools better. In 2008/09 I realized that providing feedback to teachers could help. So I helped to get a law passed in the California legislature that would encourage students to give teachers feedback."
From there, Feuer went on to Yale. As he said, "I fell in love with the school. It was wonderful, fun and had a spirit of public service. I majored in Political Science. But about two years ago, I was disappointed to see that the California law required student feedback had gone nowhere."
Panorama -- Feuer co-founded it with Yale classmates Xan Tanner and David Carel -- is his effort to make it easy to provide and analyze that feedback. And thanks to Feuer's grandparents, Panorama got its first customer.
As he said, "My grandparents sent me an article from the Los Angeles Jewish Journal about a Princeton graduate on the La Canada United School District board who was trying to give 360 degree feedback to teachers. I contacted the board member and the school's superintendent vetted us. Our system worked and the other bidders were two to three times more expensive."
This summer, Panorama participated in Mountain View, Calif.-based Y Combinator where Feuer got some valuable introductions. "We started Panorama our junior year at Yale and my professors were kind enough to let me graduate. This summer we were in Y Combinator and we met Mark and the other investors there. They invested because they care deeply about our mission to help schools improve through data and feedback."
Feuer chose investors whom he thought could help Panorama. "We did not expect them to introduce us to new customers but we think they will help us build the business with advice on how to hire and how to outreach. We are tremendously excited to have Mark Zuckerberg involved because of his passion for technology and education."
Panorama is located in the Cambridge Innovation Center in Kendall Square. "We are within driving distance of potential customers and Boston is an education town. As we grow from seven to 20 people, we will be able to draw on students from leading graduate schools nearby," said Feuer.
According to Feuer, Panorama plans to use the proceeds from this seed round to launch a new free tool for individual teachers and to add new data analytics features to its platform. Panorama is also expanding its outreach efforts. “We aim to help every school use data to tackle the issues that matter most in their communities,” he said. “We’re excited to expand our work.”
While Feuer cited Gates Foundation research showing that students of teachers who received good student feedback scored better on tests, the Panorama feedback questions are different from the ones in the Gates Foundation study.
So it remains to be seen whether schools that use Panorama's system will experience better student performance and whether Feuer and his team can turn Panorama into a business that rewards its high profile investors with more than media buzz.
Of course this is what Bill Clinton and neo-liberals during 1990s did to our public university professors---same thing only now K-12----complete dismantling of a strong middle-class category in what for the 99% is vital BROAD, DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION.
Oh, those overpaid teachers-----
This coming decade if MOVING FORWARD continues will see our K-12 teaching profession disappear replaced by global corporate education products and increasing third world wages. Baltimore is ground zero for hating public education and dismantling all that is tied to it. Our entire public K-12 administration has been dismantled ---long-time public education employees fired, replaced by technology staff.
When I hear a local citizens say that our organization is trying to stop citizens from having jobs when I shout not to follow this path we need to remember who those K-12 teachers are---they are the grandmothers and grandfathers able to give their extended families some housing and quality of life while their children and grandchildren were left long-term unemployed captured by black market economy opportunities only. Today's young adults who think partnering with the CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA machine for jobs is putting money in their pockets need to think a few decades from now where they, their children, and grandchildren will be.....IT IS NOT JUST ANY JOB.
Our K-12 teachers are being made into our university adjunct staff while public universities close and corporatized to corporate research and development killing all professional teaching pathways----DON'T NEED DEMOCRATIC, PUBLIC EDUCATION INSTRUCTORS in K-career vocational tracking into a global labor pool.
Economy & Work
University Adjuncts Walkout, Protesting Pay and Working Conditions
February 26, 2015
by John Washington
About 300 people protest at the University of Arizona on February 25, 2015 as part of a nation-wide action calling for better wages and working conditions for adjunct professors. (Photo/John Washington)On Wednesday, adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona (UA), myself included, walked out and taught-in as part of the first-ever National Adjunct Walkout Day. At least 300 of us — adjunct professors, students and tenure-tracked faculty — came out to the campus mall, deciding to dig in and call for fair wages and better working conditions for the part-time, temporary employees who make up the majority of higher education instructors.
I’ve been teaching creative writing classes at UA since the fall, and have a one-year contract, which is good for an adjunct.
What most provokes my students about the situation facing the adjuncts who teach them are the numbers. Even fans of our top-seeded basketball team think $1.9 million a year — the salary of UA head coach Sean Miller — is grotesque. The next cringe comes when considering UA President Anne Weaver Hart’s potential performance bonus of $170,000, which would be the cherry to her $600,000 annual salary. And then this: UA English Department adjuncts teach over 100 writing courses to 2,500 students each semester. Teaching full-time, and often putting in more than 40 hours a week, we earn a salary of just $33,050 a year. And many adjuncts haven’t received a pay raise in over a decade, not even a cost-of-living adjustment.
Newly seated Republican Governor Doug Ducey recently slashed higher education spending in Arizona by $75 million dollars, while sending nearly the same amount of state funds, $70 million, to private prisons. Arizona State University (ASU) President Michael Crow responded by calling for “modernization,” wanting the state’s public universities to be “as free and able to operate on an entrepreneurial basis as possible.” (ASU is governed by the same Board of Regents as UA.)
Crow’s modernization is a euphemism for privatization, which is another leap towards corporatization, a trend that is happening at universities across the country. The focus is shifting away from the horizon of higher learning and toward the bottom line of profitability, paying adjuncts as little as administrators can get away with.
I’m expecting to have to go back on the job hunt in May. Many, despite having doctorate degrees, strong publication history and expertise in their field, work on a semester to semester basis and are often contracted mere weeks before the start of classes. This insecurity is part of what we’re trying to change.
I’m still regarded as contingent, less-valuable, dispensable — in a word: adjunct.
Working for a public university, I’m trying to establish a good relationship with the public. Like any decent relationship, it should be a give and take. I take a salary and give my heart and knowledge to the classroom and the community. I’ve been holding up my end. Despite the congenial chitchat with the administration on campus, however, I’m still regarded as contingent, less-valuable, dispensable — in a word: adjunct.
Most adjuncts I know are in the business because they love teaching, because they believe in its power. Fellow UA English Department adjunct Sean Rys wrote that the classes adjuncts teach “do more than cultivate robust reading and writing practices; they also teach students how to orient themselves to the world, how to inquire and question.” This is what is at stake when we cut funds and exploit our teachers. We cut students loose. We unanchor them from the foundations of critical thinking. We shove them into the world with less direction, less knowledge.
It comes down to respect. In order to respect students we have to respect their teachers. As Rys explained, adjuncts are walking out “to illustrate that non-tenure track faculty are not, as the ‘adjunct’ label suggests, subordinate or auxiliary.” Adjuncts are walking out to illustrate that while the education of future generations is in our hands, our hands are being tied.
I know I could give more to my students if I didn’t have to scramble with all the extra work — I’m also a freelance journalist and translator. I know I could establish stronger relationships with my students and deeper community ties if I didn’t have to start job-hunting again in May.
Cynthia Diaz, an undergraduate and first generation college student, said at our teach-in: “I thought all professors and TAs who taught classes were living a great life, but our [adjunct and non-tenure track] teachers are being treated unfairly. I pay a large amount of money to be here, but less than a quarter goes to our instructors.” The UA currently only spends 24 percent of its revenues on instruction, which is an eight percent decline from 2003. Diaz, in a statement much more profound than it may at first seem, concluded: “We want our teachers to teach.”
This is what all of the above looks like. Baltimore has outsourced all that is public K-12 to private education non-profits, subsidiaries of global education corporations made to look like local startups----with what are 99% of Baltimore citizens being told they need to volunteer at those corporate non-profit education after-school programs to HELP THE CHILDREN.
We have an entire education structure based on college VISTAs=====college grads working off student debt-----college grads wanting ANY KIND OF JOB taking part-time and volunteer internships ALL IN OUR LOCAL PRE-K -12. This is what used to be a K-12 teaching career completely fragmented.
Of course it is tied to GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS ----GLOBAL AMAZON AND ITS ROBOTIC----with free labor filling this US Foreign Economic Zone from children to adult.
Global Wall Street 5% to the 1% pushing all this as great for our low-income families while the percentage of poverty in Baltimore grows. No, those wealthy students settling in Baltimore for a few years tied to all these temporary education structures should not be included in local salary/wealth data.
As our public schools wither on the vine====classroom teachers protesting lack of funds----here is to where all education funding in Baltimore is going.
'As technology transforms classrooms, a booming industry is sprouting in Baltimore to respond.
School districts spend millions of dollars a year training teachers in ways to improve instruction'.
While Baltimore's global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice organizations pretend to fight for more funding for our schools----Baltimore looks more like Asian global neo-liberal education corporation structures than any in America. Meanwhile, our Maryland Assembly pols PRETENDING to be protecting against all this corporate education by passing LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE POSING legislation saying they support and protect public schools are watching this gorilla-in-the-room corporate school platform being installed in BALTIMORE.
Baltimore fostering 'thriving, emerging' industry of education technology firms
Scott DanceContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
As technology transforms classrooms, a booming industry is sprouting in Baltimore to respond.School districts spend millions of dollars a year training teachers in ways to improve instruction.
It's rarely effective, contends Nicole Tucker-Smith — if lectures bore students, why force teachers to sit through them? The former Baltimore City teacher and Baltimore County school administrator had another idea.
After watching creative teachers who could share their successful methods with colleagues move on to training jobs elsewhere, she developed LessonCast, a mobile application that allows the sharing of lesson plans and classroom videos. School districts can use the app to create, share and save training materials, rather than paying expensive consultants to lead development conferences.
Tucker-Smith is among a growing number of entrepreneurs, many of them former educators, who are turning efforts to improve student performance into for-profit ventures. Investors are joining them in predicting a windfall — investment in the "ed tech" field is booming as the technology is seen as increasingly effective and easy to use in the classroom.
Baltimore is re-emerging as one of the industry's hubs with a growing number of ed tech start-ups and efforts to attract and sprout more of them. The region can boast a history of successful education companies, such as Sylvan Learning and Laureate Education; a well of experienced investors; and a pool of teachers eager to make a difference for students.
Annapolis startup launches slip-booking site "I tell people, if you want to start up a company in Baltimore, we've got really all the resources you'd need," said Frank Bonsal III, a former educator who's invested in more than two dozen ed tech startups and is Towson University's first director of entrepreneurship.
But there is competition for those entrepreneurs. New York and San Francisco attract thousands of people to regular ed tech "meetups," while such events in Baltimore draw several hundred — still nothing to sneeze at, said Betsy Corcoran, CEO and co-founder of EdSurge, an ed tech news and information website based in Burlingame, Calif. Boston, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., are also among the nation's developing ed tech hubs.
While some of those cities may have a deeper roster of investors than Baltimore, this region's strength is people like Tucker-Smith, Corcoran said.
"One of the things we see that's fundamental in the ed tech ecosystem is you need both sides of the equation — entrepreneurs that are interested in starting companies, but you also do really need a community of educators who are interested in collaborating and interacting with those entrepreneurs," she said. "Maryland is really, really strong in its community of teachers."
The region first emerged as an ed tech hub during the Internet bubble as Sylvan Learning funded a number of other startups. One of those was Connections Education, a developer of online and virtual education tools, which was acquired by the British publishing conglomerate Pearson Plc in 2011 after growing into a $200 million-a-year operation.
But the state's ed tech work force peaked at around 450 people in the mid-2000s before tumbling to about 300 by 2010 amid the recession, according to data compiled by the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. The most recent data showed there were nearly 50 ed tech companies employing nearly 400 people in 2012.
And advocates say it's grown more in recent years.
Bonsal and John Cammack, a former T. Rowe Price executive who also invests in local ed tech startups, have been working to attract companies like Citelighter, which is developing a software system that helps students improve their writing, and ThreeRing, maker of an application that allows teachers and students to share work across mobile devices. And both men said they are wooing several more at any given time.
For Citelighter, which moved from New York in 2013, the effort included multiple stays at Cammack's North Baltimore home as co-founders Saad Alam and Lee Jokl met with local ed tech veterans and investors to refine their ideas.
"It wasn't something on our immediate radar, moving to Baltimore," Jokl said. "We realized not only was there a knowledge base here, there's also smart money. That was something we hadn't been exposed to very much in New York."
Ed tech is an increasingly easy sell with investors, though as with any startup, it can be a challenge for the youngest startups to gain momentum. Ed tech companies raised $1.36 billion in investment last year, up from $1.2 billion in 2013, according to EdSurge.
The industry doesn't usually promise investors the same returns as, say, a young drug company, Cammack said. But the chance to have a larger impact on education can make up for that among wealthy individuals who might choose to back young companies.
"If I make three to four times on my money in any of these companies, which is a low return for the risk I take, I accept that because I'm making the choice to have this social impact," he said. "That is something not everyone is comfortable with doing."
Robb Doub, general partner with New Markets Venture Partners in Fulton, said his firm has focused on ed tech for the past eight years with steady successes. Its local portfolio has included Calvert Education Services, a distance-learning venture sold to a private equity-led investment group in 2013, and Moodlerooms, an open-source education software company sold to Blackboard Inc. in 2012.
He said he sees more successes ahead for ed tech investors.
"We think there's a lot of opportunity and the education space is ripe for change and innovation," Doub said. "We continue to look aggressively at ed tech both in the region and across the country."
Baltimore also has a large and growing pool of entrepreneurial teachers.
The region is home to more than 700 alumni of Teach for America, the organization that places high-achieving people without backgrounds in education in urban and rural schools. Another 300 of its corps are currently teaching in Baltimore schools, according to the organization.
And at Towson, Bonsal is working to ignite an entrepreneurial spark in the minds of some of the hundreds of students the university trains in education each year. This fall, he will teach for the first time in years, leading a class of undergraduates, and continue running a business incubator that moved into new space on the campus this year. The incubator shifted its focus to ed tech in 2013.
Other efforts are sprouting in Baltimore's technology community.
The Digital Harbor Foundation and Betamore, two tech organizations in Federal Hill, announced a partnership in April with Federal Hill Preparatory School to establish "EdTech Lab," an effort to connect startups with students to work on design and testing of products.
EdSurge's second annual Baltimore Tech for Schools Summit in February drew 600 teachers and 85 other education leaders.
"There's definitely a thriving, emerging community of education technology in the Baltimore area," Corcoran said.
One of those former teachers turned entrepreneurs is Jess Gartner. She found her way to a Baltimore classroom through Teach for America six years ago, and then turned that experience plus a brief stint in venture capital into Allovue.
The Baltimore company gathers data on student performance and school district finances and combines them to help administrators find the best ways to spend their budgets to improve learning. Ed tech companies like hers are gaining in value because of the larger social impact they can have, said Gartner, Allovue's founder and CEO.
"It comes down to, are you solving a problem that has an inherent value to it?" she said. "The solutions that are providing great value will naturally rise to the top and will probably be profitable as a result. The other ones will probably cease to exist."
Though Tucker-Smith's focus is on helping teachers get better in the classrooms, she acknowledges the business of ed tech is also about the bottom line. She is in the throes of pitching to investors, and her message is clear: The industry depends on school spending.
"Education has an $8 billion problem," she said, referring to an estimate of spending on teacher training across the country. "It's not all about the money, but investors need to hear there's a market, a real problem and a real solution. … This is money that has to be spent every year. It has to go to somebody."
IBM was that regional/national computer corporation just getting that start towards going global during Clinton era 1990s. Guess what education reform by Clinton included in 1990s? IBM calculators filled our public schools and classroom teachers were told at the lowest grade level to have children use calculators in learning math because that would be all they would need in coming careers---pushing that total button.
This is of course why a few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA our public schools graduate a majority of students as remedial not knowing math and reading. IBM brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from selling those calculators for schools and of course they expanded overseas taking those strong middle-class jobs with them as well as all the corporate tax base.
Here we are today with IBM thinking it may hire 25,000 US citizens given students are being made child apprentices and college is replacing high school calling it free 4 year college tuition. IBM says---well, maybe we can get us some of that free labor so they are moving to a US Foreign Economic Zone like Baltimore well on its way to third world Asian wages and workplace conditions.
IBM Promises To Hire 25,000 Americans As Tech Executives Set To Meet Trump (reuters.com)
Posted by BeauHD on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @11:30PM from the lick-and-a-promise dept.
IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty has pledged to "hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States" as she and other technology executives prepared to meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. Reuters reports: IBM had nearly 378,000 employees at the end of 2015, according to the company's annual report. While the firm does not break out staff numbers by country, a review of government filings suggests IBM's U.S. workforce declined in each of the five years through 2015. When asked why IBM planned to increase its U.S. workforce after those job cuts, company spokesman Ian Colley said in an email that Rometty had laid out the reasons in her USA Today piece. Her article did not acknowledge that IBM had cut its U.S. workforce, although it called on Congress to quickly update the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act that governs federal support for vocational education. "We are hiring because the nature of work is evolving," she said. "As industries from manufacturing to agriculture are reshaped by data science and cloud computing, jobs are being created that demand new skills -- which in turn requires new approaches to education, training and recruiting." She said IBM intended to invest $1 billion in the training and development of U.S. employees over the next four years. Pratt declined to say if that represented an increase over spending in the prior four years.
Let's look at those DUBIOUS UNEMPLOYMENT STATS we have shouted these several years how they are being juked by Obama and most certainly Trump.
The US must create around 190,000 new jobs each month in order for unemployment stats not to rise. As this article states all of last year failed to reach that level and this March 2017 is worse than ever. Spring is generally when hiring is highest-----we have an economic crash looming so hiring is going to drop and remain low. Remember, the Federal Labor unemployment stats are based on how many citizens are RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS----and indeed fewer and fewer and fewer workers displaced are in categories allowing for unemployment claims---this is why those very low 4.5% unemployment figures exist. It is a reflection to the Federal unemployment program being eliminated as job categories in new hiring almost always fail to meet the terms of a worker let go qualifying for Federal unemployment.
Unemployment in US has been since 2008 economic crash going from 10% to now 35-50% for all Americans. Those working are largely in temporary/part-time employment with around 60% of Americans near or below poverty. This is happening because of the policies Obama and Clinton neo-liberals installed and by allowing global corporation and Wall Street keep massive fraud expanding to multi-national corporations through merger and acquisition these several years.
All of the job structures being created now as with our Pre-K-12 public schools are preparing for massive losses in that sector ---moving students to corporate schools with adjunct business degree part-time education technicians.
Unemployment drops to 4.5 percent, but only 98,000 jobs created in March
Posted 6:55 am, April 7, 2017, by CNN Wire
WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in March, the lowest level since May 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.
However, hiring slowed substantially in March, President Donald Trump’s second full month in office. America only added 98,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.
It’s a disappointment, given the U.S. added 219,000 jobs in February and averaged 187,000 new jobs a month last year.
A bright spot is that workers are starting to get substantial raises as businesses want to keep their best workers happy. Wages were 2.7 percent higher in March compared to a year ago.
For much of the recovery, wages were only growing about 2 percent, so it’s welcome news that they are now inching toward 3 percent.
To end today's look at employment blending our super-robots with dismantling of our teaching profession----we of course know being an education tech takes no more than installing one online lesson plan after another tied to online student testing and evaluations----a robot would of course be able to do that.
What It’s Like to Have a Robot for a Teacher
A telepresence robot, that is.By Nichole Dobo
The telepresence robot at the Nexus Academy of Columbus is an option for virtual teachers at the school. It allows them to log on and motor around the school.Photo by Nichole Dobo
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Thomas Hatch noticed something unusual in a reflection on his laptop screen as he worked on a lesson one day in his pod at high school.
The teenager turned around. He was face to face with a teacher of an online course. Well, sort of. The teacher’s face was encased in a small video screen. His body was a 4-foot-tall plastic tower on wheels. He maneuvered the telepresence robot around the classroom and spoke to students using controls on his computer from a remote location.
“It was, um, different—definitely different,” Hatch said of his first encounter with the robot last year, when he was a junior at the Nexus Academy of Columbus.
The public high school in central Ohio blends online and in-person instruction in an open, office-style building located in a small industrial park. The school has some in-the-flesh teachers, but many teachers never set foot in the building, because they teach only online courses—some from locations quite far away. Most of the time, the remote teachers interact with their students through a computer screen or phone call. The new telepresence robot provides another means of communication with students and staff in the building.
“I was excited about it,” said Thomas Fech, a social studies teacher who logged on from his home in Arizona last year to use the robot to maneuver around the Ohio school. “I was so far away, but with the help of this body I could walk around the building.”
The Nexus Academy of Columbus is part of a network of seven charter schools in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. They started with one telepresence robot in one school three years ago and then added a second, in the Columbus school, last year. This school year all the schools have one robot.
What makes these robots better than a video chat on a stationary computer screen? Some teachers and students at the Columbus school said it creates a different dynamic. A phone call or a Web chat requires two people—someone has to answer on the other end of the line. With the robot, the teacher can log in and zoom around without anyone lifting a finger inside the school building. It gives the teachers a measure of control. If they need to speak to someone, they can log in and go find the person, without waiting for someone else to take action.
Lights flash on the robot body when a teacher signs in to control the robot. A screen the size of a small tablet computer shows a live video of the teacher’s face. A webcam flips open above the screen, revealing the Cyclops eye that helps the long-distance teacher “drive” the robot. They zip around the school just like any other teacher—except for when the robot crashes into walls and doorways. The depth perception and peripheral vision aren’t great, Fetch said. But the technological hiccups don’t bother him.
Teacher Thomas Fech, who teaches high school students remotely in a Columbus charter school, operates a telepresence robot.Photo by Nichole Dobo
“It’s fun,” Fech said. “I like driving it around and feeling like I am in the school. It’s neat to feel like I am part of the classroom.”
The school’s brick-and-mortar location is open abbreviated hours; students can choose either morning or afternoon sessions offered four days a week, and are required to do at least 12 hours of schoolwork off campus. The curriculum is designed to be preparation for college. The 120 students and 10 in-person staff report to the school building a few days a week at required times to work together. An additional 50 staff are online-only teachers who instruct a variety of classes, both here and in other schools.
“This does a really good job of prepping them for college,” said Jessica Hursey, the principal of the Nexus Academy of Columbus. “They have to manage their time wisely.”
Students use technology to log into classes when the school isn’t open. They must do work remotely—they can’t accomplish everything if they don’t, Hursey said. Each student has a laptop. The school tests additional technology on a small scale before making a big investment, Hursey said. The robots cost about $6,000 each to buy, plus $1,100 in yearly upkeep, she said. That’s why they started with one robot in one school to see how it worked before buying one for each school. The leaders and the teachers constantly reassess all technology used in the schools, she said, to make sure it’s used and useful.
Use of telepresence robots is not unheard-of in schools. Some schools have used them to give students with medical issues a way to attend class. There is some research about the psychology of communication through telepresence robots, which are used outside of schools, too. In a sign of the growing popularity of this technology, a TV show on CBS, The Good Wife, featured an episode in which office assistants used telepresence robots to work from home. Those robots crashed into walls quite a bit, too.
The humor in robots lurching around the school isn’t lost on the teachers and students at the Nexus Academy in Columbus. The principal considered putting a T-shirt on the robot body to provide the futuristic tower with a more humanlike form. She decided against it. “It might make it weirder,” Hursey joked.
Hatch, who is a senior this year, said he was unconvinced of its value when the robot first approached him in school last year. It seemed silly. After time, however, his feelings changed. It made the teacher he never met in the flesh seem less abstract.
“It sort of grew on me,” Hatch said. “Seeing the teacher’s face, and they would be there, showing up in the room—it felt more personal than just a screen.”