Showing posts from January, 2021

How we made the Pandemic?

Last spring, people who could not understand, or could not accept, the difference between a Computer virus and a naturally occurring one, were pushing hard the idea that the Novel Corona Virus - which was raging through Europe and the Eastern Seaboard of North America at the time - was made in a Chinese lab and then sent out to the world. Whether or not one believed it then, come Winter 2021, there is no doubt that we have made this pandemic our own. Then, I believed that the simpler explanation - that the Pandemic occurred from Bats and through Pangolins - was more plausible; a price we paid for careless exploitation of the natural world. China was guilty, of delayed action, of obfuscation and of - at another level - allowing potentially dangerous practice of eating exotic meat, but not of making the Virus which would affect and kill a lot of their own citizens and dent its global prestige.  Now, as the contagion shows no signs of slowing down and the virus is creating new, potentiall

What is the point of college?

I have spent a long time making the case for college education and I see I used two different arguments interchangably. The first of these was the human capital argument, the one about skills. Usually, given my line of work, this was about telling employers about work-ready graduates and students about jobs and income. After the universities, I used to cite 'graduate premium', not telling the whole story - that the figure is inflated out of proportion by the incomes of a few winners and collapse of the non-graduate income; most graduates have seen their income stagnate or decline in real terms ever since 2008. I used to argue that the quality of education is best expressed in the starting salary of the graduate (a desperate oversimplification that takes the labour market and all the implicit issues of race and gender out of the consideration) and that the countries should invest in colleges to gain competitive advantage in the knowledge economy.   The other argument was the dem

Why technologists will not save education?

Post-Covid, will technologists save education? It certainly needs saving. We are perhaps looking a whole lost cohort - may be two - who will graduate in a terrible job market and struggle to make a start. Too many pupils, coming out of forced loneliness of a year, would struggle to adjust in colleges. Those who deferred their studies, will have to find the momentum again. And, as if after a great reset, the conversation what education is for has to start in earnest. Technologists will offer no answers to any to these big, burning questions. In fact, after the year when technologies became so embedded in education, it's role will be seen differently. In a way, this has been the best of the years and worst of the years for education technology: Technology's role as infrastructure has been recognised and technology's limitations to revolutionise education have been exposed. We now know that while technology may have answers to our many questions, technologists are often asking

2021: Going back to go forward

2021 has started with a whimper, for me. Fittingly I spent the last two weeks of 2020 in the sick bed, as the virus finally caught up with me. I never said so, but I had to learn first hand that this is no flu: It was a virulent disease that makes one feel really sick. Now that I am back in action, I am still feeling sub-par and tired all the time.  That was, however, a fitting end of a year in waiting. Nothing moved forward and my life went in cycles. The worst nightmares I was having when deep in fever were not imaginary, but real - that feeling how pointless everything I do have become. It is as if I got caught in time and never moved forward since 2011, when I used to be optimistic. However, the good thing of this illness and recovery cycle is that one eventually looks forward. As I get back on my feet, I am telling myself that it's time to be optimistic again. Of course, it's hard under the circumstances. Regardless of what I feel, the reality has not changed much outside.

Creative Commons License