MMD: Freedom and Access in Education

MMD: Freedom and Access in EdGood morning and happy Monday! We’re back to keep you updated about different happenings in education. For this week, we focus on two very highly contested issues in the world of education: freedom and access.

We begin this week with a focus on the freedom to become a teacherpreneur in New York City and the conflict of interest law. Although educators typically have the best intentions in diving into the booming education technology industry, some New Yorkers have received fines and been barred from mixing business with business.

Why? A NYC ethics law “prohibits public employees from incurring financial gain from an operation separate from their job when it relates to selling something to their own place or district of employment.” As a result, such educators can neither sell their products to schools nor can they participate in Dept. of Ed. initiatives or programs.

As always, there are two sides to an argument. Those for teacherpreneurs claim that many great business ventures can come from educators, who have a great perspective on what occurs inside the classroom. Those who favor the policy cite troubles in the past where people have taken advantage of their position to put their own financial benefit ahead of their duties. All arguments aside, one thing is for sure, non-educators who desire to be entrepreneurs, in this situation, have the true upper hand. Want to take a side? Read more at the link and please feel free to leave a comment below.
Arrested Development for Teacher-Led Startups (EdSurge)

Iran’s president calls for academic freedoms (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)
Next up in terms of education and freedom, we have an article from the week before last, but still relevant. One of the reforms called for by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has been a drive for more academic freedom. Though welcomed by many, Rouhani’s initiatives have run afoul of hardline student groups have questioned such reforms and his overtures to Washington.

Drone Delivery Textbook Service (EdSurge)
Maybe those who have used the phrase “when pigs fly” should rethink the likelihood of long-shot events, because pigs might just be next after flying books. Yes, books! Two startups in Australia have plans to use aerial drones to deliver books directly to a customer’s location, with a maiden flight hoped for in November.  Giving textbooks wings and one-way tickets to the customer might be a boon to procrastinating students who forgot to hit the bookstore before class…

World Bank, Coursera to take MOOCs to developing world (University World News)
And last, but not least, the World Bank Group and Coursera have joined forces on the Open Learning Campus, an endeavor to bring access to MOOCs in the developing world. “’The campus aspires to improve delivery by monitoring delivery for effective, evidence based and adaptive learning,'” said Abha Joshi-Ghani, director of Knowledge and Learning for the World Bank. This collaboration represents a next step for existing e-learning programs sponsored by the Bank.

Have a great week! In other news…
Facebook Founder Supports Educational Survey Startup (Education Week)
Seven States Agree to Pilot Teacher-Prep Changes (Education Week)

Signs of Hope for the Hermit Kingdom
(Chronicle of Higher Ed.)

Photo Credit: swruler9284 via photopin CC BY 2.0

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