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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the many-of-them-deserve-disrupting dept.

Education 106

waderoush (1271548) writes "In April 2012, former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson provoked both praise and skepticism by announcing that he'd raised $25 million from venture firm Benchmark to start the Minerva Project, a new kind of university where students will live together but all class seminars will take place over a Google Hangouts-style video conferencing system. Two years later, there are answers – or the beginnings of answers – to many of the questions observers have raised about the project, on everything from the way the seminars will be organized to how much tuition the San Francisco-based university will charge and how its gaining accreditation. And in an interview published today, Nelson share more details about how Minerva plans to use technology to improve teaching quality. 'If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,' Nelson says. 'That is not what we provide. Similarly, there are faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they've been giving for 20 years. We have a different model,' based on extensive faculty review of video recordings of the seminars, to make sure students are picking up key concepts. Last month Minerva admitted 45 students to its founding class, and in September it expects to welcome 19 of them to its Nob Hill residence hall."

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"Education" (1, Insightful)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 7 months ago | (#46792119)

To meet the diminished cultural needs of decaying imperialist capitalism.

Only the dictatorship of the proletariat can save human culture.

first the college athletes want to form a Union... (3, Interesting)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 7 months ago | (#46792181)

and now this? can the NCAA and the AAUP form a strong enough political bond to thwart this freedom-thingie?

ok (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793619)

s0o long no bad---> http://looveandmir.blogspot.com/

meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793691)

Academia squanders vast sums on quasi-professional athletics programs, and other activities that basically qualify as student entertainment, but administration is actually where all the big money gets wasted :
https://chronicle.com/article/Administrator-Hiring-Drove-28-/144519/

We absolutely need "start up" universities that disrupt existing universities by minimizing administrative costs, well administration almost never shrinks except by replacing the whole institution, but..

All these new for-profit education projects fail to address those inefficiencies because the whole profit motive differs little from squandering resources on administration.

Ivy League Schools (5, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | about 7 months ago | (#46792221)

'If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,' Nelson says.

Yeah, I'm sure that's an accurate portrayal of Ivy League schools, and not some capitalist's attempt at devaluing the competition.

Re:Ivy League Schools (1, Interesting)

Mr_Wisenheimer (3534031) | about 7 months ago | (#46792251)

The Ivy League was basically a formal gentleman's agreement (you know, back from the good old days where they banned women and blacks from campus and had strict quotas on Jews) that they would mutually agree to be terrible at sports in order to maintain high academic standards.

Everyone who attends an Ivy League school to play sports is someone who would have been a serious consideration for admission without their athletic ability.

Re:Ivy League Schools (2, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 months ago | (#46792269)

The Ivy League was basically a formal gentleman's agreement (you know, back from the good old days where they banned women and blacks from campus and had strict quotas on Jews) that they would mutually agree to be terrible at sports in order to maintain high academic standards.

Everyone who attends an Ivy League school to play sports is someone who would have been a serious consideration for admission without their athletic ability.

Of course they're going to be terrible at sports. They don't have any black people on their team!

Re:Ivy League Schools (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792445)

the good old days where they banned women and blacks

That Republican lie needs to die. You people keep spouting the lie that that no longer happens. We know it still happens. Hey Mr Republican, go fuck yourself. We here know the truth.

Re:Ivy League Schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792467)

Since the Republicans were the ones responsible for emancipation, why don't you just go running back to your KKK congressional Papa and cry about it.

The ones who know history know far more than you, who have filled your own head with lies to the point you can't even see the truth when it flourishes before you.

Re:Ivy League Schools (5, Insightful)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46792535)

The Republicans who were responsible for emancipation (as an act of war against the rebellious South) is only vaguely related to the current Republican party. The Democrats have a closer link, and again, the civil rights movement was a political attack against the Dixiecrats, who pretended to be Democrats, but actually had an independent agenda.

P.S.: Given what the Federal Govt. has become, are you so sure states' rights was a bad idea? You can trace the current Federal Govt. back to the centralization imposed (by both sides!) during the Civil War.

P.P.S.: Under privitization, prisons have become defacto sources of slave labor. So don't claim that slavery has been eliminated. It's nature has been changed, but it isn't gone.

Re:Ivy League Schools (1)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 7 months ago | (#46795431)

P.S.: Given what the Federal Govt. has become, are you so sure states' rights was a bad idea? You can trace the current Federal Govt. back to the centralization imposed (by both sides!) during the Civil War.

And the 17th Amendment didn't help either, now that there's no representation of state government interests in Congress.

Re:Ivy League Schools (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 7 months ago | (#46795459)

And what are state interests as opposed to the interests of a state's citizens?

Re:Ivy League Schools (2)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 7 months ago | (#46795671)

In theory, but most of the people from those states don't really know anything about their state government's problems. And they seem to be happy to let the federal government grab every bit of power and money from the states, until suddenly they wake up wondering why their state government is so useless and on the brink of collapse, and the federal government is such an all-powerful bully.

Re:Ivy League Schools (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792537)

Republicans were the ones responsible for emancipation,

Yes, but that didn't actually free any slaves. The Republicans knew that, and that is the only reason their racist party supported it since they are so die-hard pro-slavery.

Re:Ivy League Schools (1, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | about 7 months ago | (#46792721)

No, but the 14th amendment did free slaves, and it was passed mostly by Republicans.

Re:Ivy League Schools (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792865)

Similarly, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed with stronger Republican support in Congress (80%) than Dem (60-70%).

And the only Senator in living memory to have been a Klansman was Robert Byrd (D).

Re:Ivy League Schools (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792987)

The Republicans of 2014 resemble the Republicans of 1964 as much as Sara Palin resembles Steven Hawking.

Re:Ivy League Schools (2)

schnell (163007) | about 7 months ago | (#46795421)

Similarly, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed with stronger Republican support in Congress (80%) than Dem (60-70%).

True, but that is an artifact of the unusual configuration of the Democratic Party from the 1880s to the 1980s, and is not reflective of the two parties' identities today. For many decades, the South was dominated politically by "Dixiecrats [wikipedia.org] " - Democrats in name (because the Republican Party was so identified with the North) but much closer to modern Republican values in terms of social and fiscal conservatism, hawkish defense views, religious issues, etc. Dixiecrats were something of a historical anachronism, and they defected en masse to the Republican Party in the '80s as the Democrats moved too far to the Left and the Republicans under Reagan embraced the ex-Dixiecrats.

So basically the Democrats from the South who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act would be Republicans today, and that % number you cite above would be neatly flipped in the opposite direction.

Re:Ivy League Schools (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 7 months ago | (#46795473)

Manju, is that you?

Re:Ivy League Schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802235)

It was the 13th amendment which freed the slaves, not the 14th.

And yes it was the republicans that passed both. The 13th was born out of the Emancipation Proclamation which was fronted by Lincoln to keep foreign interests, mainly the french, out of the war. Before the EP, slavery was technically legal in the north, in so far as any ex slave in that territory should have been shipped back south (as the North never recognized the CSA, but considered them in open rebellion.)

The roots of the 13th was in keeping promises made to Lincoln, who went way out on a limb with the EP. The 14th however, was not done by any noble "protect the ex slave" sentiment, but to punish without mercy or charity the south. Oh, there were the occasional Repub that cared genuinely for the ex slaves, but most of em wanted to punish the entire south for the rebellion. Its hard for current Americans to understand, but the Civil War was a nasty war and at the end much of the North wanted to see the south burnt down and salted, and any remaining people serving life sentences at hard labour.

 

Re:Ivy League Schools (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792583)

The Republican party of the 1860's in addition to being the Civil Rights party, also supported higher taxes, trade barriers (in the form of tariffs), fiat currency, expansion of the railroad network, and supported public education.

Re:Ivy League Schools (1, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 7 months ago | (#46793303)

Oh, did that hit a little close to home? What does it say about our elites when they can't take a little (well-placed and accurate) criticism? Why are you using a word like "capitalist" as an epithet?

A quick question: how many corrupt government officials will the Ivy League graduate this year? How many of them will go on to oppress the American people with outrageous, unworkable ideas while all the time enjoying the approval of their own consciences? The Ivy League exists to perpetrate a culture of class warfare and hatred of ordinary folk. Life would be better without it - and yes, I'm including all the scientists and whatnot.

Of course, such a conclusion is poison and cannot be accepted, and normal people who get uppity need to be shown their place with the greatest of rudeness, and a couple of knocks in the head from the mercenary troops, er, I mean private security guards.

Post-Scarcity Princeton: Abundance vs. Elitism (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 7 months ago | (#46794165)

From my essay discussing excellence vs. elitism & privilege: http://www.pdfernhout.net/post... [pdfernhout.net]
----
So, the question becomes, how do we go about getting the whole world both accepted into Princeton and also with full tenured Professorships (researchy ones without teaching duties except as desired? :-) And maybe with robots to do anything people did not want to do? This is just intended as a humorous example, of course. I'm not suggesting Princeton would run the world of the future or that everyone would really have Princeton faculty ID cards and parking stickers. Still, that's a thought. :-) That motel for scholars, The Institute For Advanced Study, is already a bit like this (no required teaching duties), so it's an even better model. :-)
        http://www.ias.edu/about/missi... [ias.edu]

But you might object, who will run the kitchens, repair the roofs, plant Prospect Garden, and so forth? Essentially, who will be the Morlocks to support and maybe eat the Eloi on staff? :-)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

Well, that's where this analogy breaks down, although one could perhaps imagine robots as the Morlocks (maybe without the whole eating PU staff for fuel thing).
        http://www.wired.com/gadgets/m... [wired.com]
    "A prototype robot capable of hunting down over 100 slugs an hour and using their rotting bodies to generate electricity is being developed by engineers at the University of West England's Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory."

So, for the rest of this essay, I'll assume the "scarcity" world (at least in the USA) currently works more like, say, G. William Domhoff suggests:
        http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whor... [ucsc.edu]
        http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whor... [ucsc.edu]
    "Q: So, who does rule America?
    A: The owners and managers of large income-producing properties; i.e., corporations, banks, and agri-businesses. But they have plenty of help from the managers and experts they hire. ... I will try to demonstrate how rule by the wealthy few is possible despite free speech, regular elections, and organized opposition:
                * "The rich" coalesce into a social upper class that has developed institutions by which the children of its members are socialized into an upper-class worldview, and newly wealthy people are assimilated.
                * Members of this upper class control corporations, which have been the primary mechanisms for generating and holding wealth in the United States for upwards of 150 years now.
                * There exists a network of nonprofit organizations through which members of the upper class and hired corporate leaders not yet in the upper class shape policy debates in the United States.
                * Members of the upper class, with the help of their high-level employees in profit and nonprofit institutions, are able to dominate the federal government in Washington.
                * The rich, and corporate leaders, nonetheless claim to be relatively powerless.
                * Working people have less power than in many other democratic countries."

And what is the current result of that system of social organization? We create a self-fulfilling prophecy of scarcity in part through fearing it, and then acting on that fear. (And the only antidotes to fear are things like joy and humor. :-) Consider, say the US military and Iraq. The USA invades Iraq and produces terrorists that now justify having invaded as well as now devoting more money to the military. :-( Now people are saying the Iraq war, promised as a "cakewalk" will cost about three trillion US dollars before it is done. So, now we need to cut back on US social programs like R&D and nursing homes and also reduce aid to poorer countries (which might have truly helped prevent more problems). Thus we ensure more scarcity at home and abroad.

How much of the US monetarized economy goes into managing "scarcity" in terms of person-hours of work?
* A big chunk of the prison system,
* A big chunk of the legal system,
* A big chunk of the military and police,
* Cashiers,
* Most guards,
* Most of the management chain,
* Most of the banking system,
* Most sales people,
* Most of the insurance industry,
* Most of the Welfare and Medicaid government program staff (eligibility and oversight),
* Most lawyers and related proceedings,
* Much of the schooling and grading system, and
* Most of the government.

Add it all up, and maybe it is 90% of the person-hours consumed by the money economy by now? That's just a wild guess, of course. :-) I'm sure someone else better with numbers could refute or affirm that. But it is loosely based on a study mentioned in the essay linked below.

If you consider that a lot of service work is unnecessary if people had more free time (babysitting, restaurants, teaching, home construction, entertainment) then even less hours in the money economy are really needed in a society with a lot of leisure to raise children, cook meals, putter around the house, take on apprentices or educate neighbors on demand, and sing their own songs or make up their own stories.

And of course, child-rearing and day-to-day housekeeping and volunteering probably represents many more person-hours than the 10% or so of the total person-hours that the money economy uses for real production (actual work on factory goods, actual labor in agriculture, actual work making energy etc.). So clearly people will do important tasks for intrinsic benefits.

Things may have been different 100 years ago when most US Americans still lived on somewhat subsistence farms, and so most work was local and for one's own family and business. But somewhere during the past century, I'd speculate a shift happened where the amount of hours spent guarding exceeded the amount of effort spent producing. And then it probably just got worse from there, to the current situation where most work was related to guarding, even though work that is mostly guarding may also euphemistically be called "cashiering", "teaching", "managing", and so on. Pick almost any job and take most of the guarding out of it and it becomes more enjoyable.

It's important to look at the hours people work on various tasks, not the money value assigned to the tasks. If all those person hours are going into guarding functions, then of course there is little time left over for playful productive work.

And note, this estimate is without even giving a long hard look to rethinking how things could be done to be easier or more fun. Down the road, once tasks are redesigned to ignore the guarding aspects, they might be more efficiently done. For example, think of all the time people waste waiting in supermarket checkout lines or at toll booths. Or the time educators devote to attendance and grading.

The above is all an echo of this essay by Bob Black :
        "The Abolition of Work" (written as I graduated in 1985, but I only saw it a couple years ago through the internet)
        http://www.whywork.org/rethink... [whywork.org]
    "Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you'd care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working."

How might a "post-scarcity" society really work?

So, how might a "post-scarcity" society really work? How could a "post-scarcity" society emerge at all, given this (obsolete) elite social deadlock Domhoff outlines?

What if some people get some "free" stuff somehow, and they use it, and in the process of using it they make more free stuff than they got? Let's assume these people then freely give this extra stuff away for free to others who use it to make even more free stuff. If everyone starts doing this, soon there could be an enormous amount of free stuff going around. A chain reaction (but a good one). Of course, as with any exponential process, with ever more free stuff on the way from more and more people, the problem becomes, where to find the space to put it all? (Hint: maybe "Space". :-) ...

Re:Ivy League Schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794641)

He probably formed his idea of Ivy League campuses from the film "Animal House". Actually football, Greek life, and not doing any work for class is about the exact opposite of the reality for most Ivy League students. They are lousy party schools and their football teams have been lousy for decades (Yalies still brag about Calvin Hill, who graduated in 1969).

What a load of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792229)

University is not so much about education but enforcing a two-tier social system.

why not just go the trades / apprenticeship system (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#46792245)

So people can learn real skills in a real work place settings.

Re:why not just go the trades / apprenticeship sys (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792371)

Because no-one would learn anything in the vast majority of businesses. Big business is too bureacratic to teach apprentices and small business is too pathetic and underfunded.

Re:why not just go the trades / apprenticeship sys (3, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about 7 months ago | (#46792409)

Because that would require real "work" and they've spent the last 15-20 years telling people that trades and apprenticeships as worthless. That's why there's such a demand for them these days.

Re:why not just go the trades / apprenticeship sys (3, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | about 7 months ago | (#46792869)

In many cases what you suggest is sound. In many other cases, it is not.

For instance, you could probably get away with an apprenticeship for computer programming. Yet you would not get away with an apprenticeship for computer science. There is too much background knowledge that must be acquired for that to be viable. Besides, universities are pretty much an apprenticeship for computer scientists once they hit graduate school. (Assuming that the student is going into research, of course.)

Universities also serve many other functions. At least that is the case for students who are going about things in an intelligent manner. Since the goal is learning, rather than training, the student is free to think. You also have opportunities to make contact with other people in the field, may they be your peers or your instructors. This opens up both research and employment opportunities.

That all assumes that the student is doing more than attending lectures, reading books, and completing assignments. It assumes that the student is being more than a student. One of my professors put it best when he said that he isn't the instructor and we aren't his students. Rather, we are all colleagues. Unfortunately, most of the students didn't get that.

SHUT THE FUCK UP JOE DRAGON (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793657)

Jesus, STFU. You keep talking about fucking apprenticships over and over and over and over again. I hope you chock to death on a huge black cock you fucking nigger.

Re:why not just go the trades / apprenticeship sys (1)

matthewv789 (1803086) | about 7 months ago | (#46795441)

Because then companies would have to pay for employees' training and education instead of letting people pay for it themselves. Didn't get overqualified enough for that internship or gain enough relevant skills on your own time and dime? No job for you, we'll just find somebody from India who did.

Technology does not improve education (5, Insightful)

students (763488) | about 7 months ago | (#46792293)

Using a wide variety of teaching techniques and evaluating their quality improves education. This is essentially what Minerva is proposing. The video conferencing is incidental.

This Republican scam to destroy education... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792413)

needs to be stopped. We get it. You don't like learning and especially hate the idea of minorities and women learning to read. You people have every right to say that you don't, but your right to that stops when you start actively trying to prevent us from learning. Ben Nelson and his fellow racists that are helping him destroy education need to be put in prison now.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46792455)

Umm, have you looked at who runs the schools that are failing to teach minorities to read? In particular you might want to take a close look at the party affiliation of those running the school boards, and the rest of the political machinery of the local government in those place. Further, you might want to look at the history of the political party in question. Then you should ask yourself, if they still held to the political philosophy and beliefs they held in 1860, what would they do differently to better accomplish goals in line with that political philosophy?

Clueless. (5, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | about 7 months ago | (#46792655)

You people are no more education experts because you were students than you are dental experts because you've had cavities!

It has little to do with the political parties. The political system is a big factor in today's problems but it is not the parties who are to blame; other than for their contribution to a dysfunctional political process and for their pandering to an ignorant public demanding idiotic things with no basis in reality. Things were better when only 1 party pandered and education was much lower of importance to voters. It became important as everybody wanted their brat to have more earning potential. People don't really want their kid to THINK, they want them to get a high paying career (the nutty sports parents are a good example.)

There is plenty of science on how poor kids are greatly impacted by their lifestyle; it has more impact than the education system; but it is far easier to blame things disconnected from your responsibilities! The conditions under which poor children live are collectively OUR responsibility; and that goes for abused and messed up children who are not poor but who damage the learning environment. We can't demand responsibility from parents or their children for their actions-- that doesn't poll well, so as a result any successful politician of either side picks the best lies to tell the voters.

Doesn't matter if you vote for those who "reform" the system or hire private; they both pitch a set of metrics to sell the parent - and selling is not the goal. Public education didn't put anything into marketing itself in the past; but now public elementary schools budget for marketing (which just reflects a larger societal problem.)

Then you have the matter of trying to succeed 100% with no margin of error. It's a great example of perfect being the enemy of good. You can break a good thing by trying to get that last few % not to mention all the effort and resources that last few % can cost... Yeah, I'm saying it is ok to have an acceptable failure rate. It happened in the past and they got us here to our constant reform mess when we are going down hill trying to perfect it... or more like perfect the perception of it.

Re:Clueless. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46793183)

Awesome. Wish I had mod points and I could award all of them to this post as Informative or Insightful.

Zontar the Mindless - backup your libel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793985)

"Your hosts file app is SPYWARE, dude." - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @02:43AM (#46702387) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

You said MY program's a spyware?

Ok: CONTRARY PROOF from a REPUTABLE security community source http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] who hosts my app (malwarebytes hpHosts) which you are FREE TO VERIFY by email if you like as MY proof!

Now: Is YOUR SOURCE Computer Associates REPUTABLE? See here http://www.bing.com/search?q=c... [bing.com]

---

"for a crapware host files app that nobody in his right mind wants to allow anywhere close to his system" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:24PM (#46769393) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

You say my program's crapware?

Disprove 17 points here showing hosts give uses more speed, security, reliability, & anonymity then since YOu say my program's "crapware" http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

---

"You barge into discussions with your off-topic hosts file nonsense" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:51PM (#46731153) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Show us a post where I put up material on hosts where it doesn't apply.

You can't, can you? Nope - That makes YOU a liar.

APK

P.S.=> You FAIL...

...apk

Re:Zontar the Mindless - backup your libel (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46794071)

No, what I actually said was [slashdot.org] ,

Your "host files engine" is a useless, CPU-sucking piece of crap, and I am very far from being the first one to say this. (Furthermore, you actually boast about its horrid performance as if it were something to be desired.) In addition, it overrides the Task Scheduler for no good reason whatsoever. That in my opinion qualifies it as something I would never in a million years permit anywhere near any machine that I use or administer; IOW it is for all intents and purposes malware and no amount of your ranting and raving and trolling and crapflooding is ever going to change this fact.

Are we clear on this? Great! Guess that means you're free to sod off now.

What you said's quoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794189)

Back it up (you clearly can't) -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> Are we clear on this? Great! Guess that means you're free to sod off now... apk

You don't even program... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794213)

Thus, You most certainly can't justify this UTTER LINE OF ERRONEOUS BULLSHIT:

"it overrides the Task Scheduler for no good reason whatsoever" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @08:23AM (#46794071)

WTF? How does it 'override the task scheduler? Stupid, it uses the Process Scheduler kernelmode subsystem to do its job, faster (by requesting higher cpu prioriity in its scheduling tables) - which HELPS since it's working on a VERY CPU INTENSIVE TASK - string processing.

APK

P.S.=> YOU don't know what the "F" you're talking about & THAT is what kills you (along with libeling me saying my ware is a spyware - you used A SOURCE THAT IS KNOWN TO BE DISREPUTABLE, vs. my source which is ANYTHING BUT that by comparison...)... apk

Re:You don't even program... apk (-1, Flamebait)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46794861)

it uses the Process Scheduler kernelmode subsystem to do its job, faster (by requesting higher cpu prioriity in its scheduling tables) - which HELPS since it's working on a VERY CPU INTENSIVE TASK - string processing.

TRANSLATION: It overrides the Task Scheduler for no good reason whatsoever.

Gee, that does sound a lot like what I said earlier, doesn't it?

Bwahahaha - wrong again... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46795065)

It raises its CPU priority as needed (or manually) to do a job faster...

* What about that do you NOT understand?

APK

P.S.=> e.g. - It is WHY I am in UltraDefragt64's credits in fact (good defragger) - for helping potentially solve an issue they had that dealt with needing to do a job faster (they do that in kernelmode though, in the driver) - nice part there is that IF they want features like Diskeeper has (big name good defragger)? You can go the OPPOSITE direction & lower cpu priority (which my app does also when minimized typically) for BACKGROUND operations with less intrusive behavior vs. other running processes... apk

Re:Bwahahaha - wrong again... apk (-1, Flamebait)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46795417)

Gee, it looks like people who've actually tried UltraDefrag don't seem too thrilled with it [techrepublic.com] :

I'm trying UltraDefrag on a well-fragmented hard disk (36% fragmented), and the UltraDefrag GUI leaves me unsure if it is doing anything or not. It has been up for an hour and a half, and the display hasn't changed a pixel since it displayed the original analysis. The progress bar on the bottom still shows 100%, so that is obviously meaningless. The process explorer shows that it is taking up CPU and an increasing amount of memory, but I still can't tell if it is actually doing anything. I think it is time to uninstall it and move on.

Installed on a relatively fast Vista business machine with a 650 gig HD of which 8 gigs were used. Analyze showed 12% fragmentation. I ran the program. Next day (7 1/2 hrs later), it showed being only 30% done. Trash can!

All applications, especially security software, must be closed/shutdown otherwise it is slow and does not do as well.

Can't learn how to use it; UD does not even install on Windows 7. So, it is worthless for me.

Since XP, Windows has offered disk optimization as a background process. I thought that using this was supposed to eliminate the need for periodic defragmentation with a separate tool.

Won't install properly on Win7 64bit (no icons to executables). Puts all it's stuff in the windows system32 folder and the executables won't run manually either. Also caused a one-time boot failure. Maybe installed a virus (I'm hunting)? POS and/or dangerous?

I tried out this tool recently on 2 laptops I was servicing. When using the consolidate space option the defrag driver caused a system crash/reboot on both laptops. If it had just been 1 laptop I would have put it down to the machine, but 2 out of 2 makes me somewhat wary of this app.

I find the user interface limiting and lacks feedback. Almost childlike in it's design.

Speed, huh? It took UltraDefrag almost 45 minutes just to ANALYZE a 150GB partition that had 35% free space. (Running Vista Business) Actually, I STOPPED it when it reached 70%. Yeah, it only got to 70% complete in 45 minutes. I'm not talking about the freakin' defrag time... no no no... just to A-N-A-L-Y-Z-E the drive. There was no way in hell I was going to actually run a defrag after waiting 45 minutes... and even at that point it was only reporting 3 fragmented files. WTF?!?!? If I didn't know any better (and if it wasn't September) I'd say this was some kind of sick April Fool's joke.

And so on, and so on... Saw no favourable comments whatsoever.

You've written a BETTER one? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46795493)

Show us - you're simply posting 1 person's "opinion" (which is probably a competitor only imo).

* I think it's a very good program, written by ONLY 2 guys... & I, for one, have NEVER seen the "issues" that your quoted "estimation" extolls.

APK

P.S.=> Opinions vary: HOWEVER I still note you won't go NEAR backing up your libel of myself, calling my program a 'spyware', here -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] why's THAT, Zontar the Mindless?? We KNOW why... apk

Re:You've written a BETTER one? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46796097)

You should really look before you leap, Smart Guy.

It's *not* "one person's opinion".

I quoted *nine different comments* from *nine different people* who said they tried the product and found that, basically, it didn't work. And I didn't see a single positive comment amongst the entire bunch.

BTW, whether or not *I've* ever written a disk defragmenter has fuck-all to do with the issue of how well *this* disk defragmenter works or doesn't work, so don't even bother with the attempt at misdirection.

And for the last time, you need to take the "spyware" assessment up with Computer Associates, not me. Make sure you discuss it with the folks at CA that actually test software and not with their accountants.

Runs fine for rme on Windows 7 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46796187)

64-bit too, no less. Good enough for me, & iirc? Not sure but it's "Open SORES" too - lol!

* :)

Which MAY 'endear it' to SOME (yea, most) around here, too.

APK

P.S.=> Anyways, guess what? You're FREE (as I've made my point regarding you too many times)... apk

Thereis no threat in APK Hosts File Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798831)

I took it up with CA & won, & they lowered "threat" to zero (not on my hosts engine, you had the WRONG app, lol) & Computer Associates = disreputable, caught in accounting scams -> http://www.bing.com/search?q=c... [bing.com] )

So you can continue to ATTEMPT to libel me (& you are wrong, I've shown you that, & a ZERO THREAT LEVEL on another app of mine, not APK Hosts File Engine is what you pointed out, fool...)

APK

P.S.=> So, NO THREAT EXISTS on that app (background invisible process launcher), & certainly none @ ALL on my APK Hosts File Engine exist whatsoever & that I had to prove also -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] via malwarebytes' hpHosts, ArcaVir, Norton/Symantec, Intel/McAfee, Comodo, ClamAV & MANY OTHERS @ JOTTI online scan tests... apk

Re:You've written a BETTER one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799049)

Too bad 100's of others experience the opposite of what you posted.

Look before YOU leap, Zontar the Mindless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46799163)

Rated 5 stars @ CNET as "outstanding" http://download.cnet.com/Ultra... [cnet.com]

* :)

(... & 1,000's of others (vs. your 9 b.s. ones) feel completely the opposite of "your findings" - including myself, since I have YET to see issues with their wares, & I even helped them fix a couple things...)

APK

P.S.=> Have you done a BETTER disk defragger than they have? Clearly not - have YOU helped projects of that nature, as I have to GOOD ends?? Hell no.. lol!

... apk

More of your crap quoted you cant backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794235)

"Your "host files engine" is a useless" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @08:23AM (#46794071)

Oh, really? You're MORE THAN WELCOME to disprove 17 points enumerated @ its download page extolling the virtues of using a custom hosts file for added SPEED, SECURITY, RELIABILITY, & ANONYMITY online... go for it.

APK

P.S.=> You can't back up THAT crap either - no more than you can stating my app is a spyware & YOUR "source' is KNOWN disreputable (whereas mine, is not)... apk

Re:More of your crap quoted you cant backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794683)

Are you really serious about having 650 thousand lines in your hosts file? I can't imagine why you'd need that many. It also has a crippling effect on one's computer. [4chan.org]

To test this, I created a sample copy of a hosts file with that many entries, using the "0" shorthand for IP address and a randomized hostname of average 32 characters. Total size of this file is 22855 kilobytes, and after an hour the DNS cache had only loaded a third of it in. ...

I decided to try with the DNS cache disabled. This isn't a good idea, as it forces uncached name resolution to be done for every single lookup. This is indeed what it did, and the original 650,000 entry hosts files added around 3 seconds onto every single name lookup, the amalgamated effect of which slowed general Internet access down considerably.

In conclusion, using the hosts file to store tens of thousands of entries has a negative effect on the performance of Windows' name resolution. You should really consider another option to filter all those hostnames.

Bwaaahaha (wrong)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794761)

Testing in USERMODE != valid. It operates 100's of times FASTER than that, where it actually operates!

Hhosts operate in kernelmode via the IP stack as a filter for it - a highly PRIVELEGED kernelmode subsystem.

DNS cache with LARGE HOSTS FILES slows you down - this is a design flaw in Windows itself (one I've confronted MS on no less & I am 110% correct on it, & I am NOT the only person who knows it)!

So, how to overcome that (with large hosts files only)? You turn off the SLOW USERMODE dnscache clientside service is how...

* THUS - You compensate YET AGAIN, gainging speed, by saving CPU cycles, RAM, & other forms of I/O by turning off the faulty with large hosts files dnscache usermode slow service too & those items wasted on it....

Hosts are also the FIRST thing the IP stack queries by default.

I also do my caching using KERNELMODE services (tcpip & the kernelmode diskcaching subsystem) for speed of RAM operation.

Unsorted. Very KEY for how I layout the internal structure of hosts:

Which gains more speed for your FAVORITES you HARDCODE @ THE TOP OF HOSTS.... equating to up to 3 million or so INDEXED seeks.

You gain the rest of your speed blocking adbanners & also resolving your fav. sites (where if you're like me, you put them into the top of hosts as noted, which my app does, regaining index speeds lost - & I spend my time on news aggregators like slashdot - so I don't "hop all over the place" or needing DNS with all of its security faults)!

I miss a lookup? I go to OpenDNS (secured vs. DNS redirects in the Kaminsky flaw, & also uses DNSSEC between it & its upstream updaters (ICANN, iirc)) - safe as THAT gets & only maybe 5% of the time here since I use news aggregators (stopping dns usage much of the time).

APK

P.S.=> You FAIL again using the faulty "tests" of others I disproved LONG ago... apk

Re:Zontar the Mindless - backup your libel (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 7 months ago | (#46797011)

It is beyond me why you waste your time replying to this guy. What he does is just attention-seeking behavior, and you're encouraging it by acknowledging him. Just ignore him; nobody in hell is taking him serious so you don't need to worry about defending your reputation.

I would even go as far as saying that even the sig is unnecessary. Hanging out the dirty laundry of someone who is clearly suffering from mental illness is a bit like beating up a little child for calling you names. Stiff upper lip and all that.

Zontar's "so-called 'points'" were dismantled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798865)

Totally, here http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] + Zontar's unable to validly disprove what was used by myself to defend myself vs. his libel, AND, to destroy those 'points' of his, point-by-quoted-point - period.

APK

P.S.=> He's finished now, & did it, to himself - that is that... apk

Zontar the Mindless = mental (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46798873)

Proof in his own words manic depression http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] and multiple personality disorder http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Zontar: Downmods to *hide* your b.s.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794417)

"Your hosts file app is SPYWARE, dude." - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @02:43AM (#46702387) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

You said MY program's a spyware?

Ok: CONTRARY PROOF from a REPUTABLE security community source http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] who hosts my app (malwarebytes hpHosts) which you are FREE TO VERIFY by email if you like as MY proof!

Now: Is YOUR SOURCE Computer Associates REPUTABLE? See here http://www.bing.com/search?q=c... [bing.com]

---

"for a crapware host files app that nobody in his right mind wants to allow anywhere close to his system" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:24PM (#46769393) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

You say my program's crapware?

Disprove 17 points here showing hosts give uses more speed, security, reliability, & anonymity then since YOu say my program's "crapware" http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

---

"You barge into discussions with your off-topic hosts file nonsense" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:51PM (#46731153) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Show us a post where I put up material on hosts where it doesn't apply.

You can't, can you? Nope - That makes YOU a liar.

---

Per my subject-line above: Downmodding to *VAINLY* attempt to "hide" you're FULL of it too? Please -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] LMAO!

APK

P.S.=> You FAIL, libelous troll...

... apk

Re:Clueless. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46793947)

Did you fail to notice that the person I was responding to was saying that this was a Republican scam to destroy education?
More importantly the idea that we are collectively responsible for anything is part of the problem. The only kind of responsibility that matters is individual responsibility.

Re:Clueless. (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 7 months ago | (#46795053)

No. I reply to the post that looks like it'll get noticed quicker by the moderators. don't take it personal.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (1)

dasunt (249686) | about 7 months ago | (#46792679)

Umm, have you looked at who runs the schools that are failing to teach minorities to read? In particular you might want to take a close look at the party affiliation of those running the school boards, and the rest of the political machinery of the local government in those place. Further, you might want to look at the history of the political party in question. Then you should ask yourself, if they still held to the political philosophy and beliefs they held in 1860, what would they do differently to better accomplish goals in line with that political philosophy?

Without looking, it seems that, at least in inner urban areas, it would lean Democratic. Which makes it seem like failing to teach minorities to read would be in line with their belief in 1860.

On the other hand, such districts can be poorer. While the suburban schools are wealthier. My state used to have heavy state funding of schools, to even out disparities), but that started to be cut. According to a quick google search, the year it came under heavy attack involved a state congress that leaned Republican.

So depending on your political affiliation, you can blame whatever party you choose!

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46793959)

On the other hand, such districts can be poorer. While the suburban schools are wealthier. My state used to have heavy state funding of schools, to even out disparities), but that started to be cut. According to a quick google search, the year it came under heavy attack involved a state congress that leaned Republican.

That would make sense if not for two things. First, those inner city schools were already failing before the state funds were cut. Second, there is no correlation between how much a school district spends per student and its success at teaching those students. A few years back, the Washington, DC school district was spending more per student than any other school district in the country, yet was one of the worst school districts in the country (I have not seen the numbers for a few years, so it may no longer be spending the most per student).
Also, the urban areas don't "lean" Democratic, they are overwhelmingly Democratic. There are occasions when a Republican will win the Mayor's office, but that is rare and the overwhelming majority of other elected offices are controlled by Democrats.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (1)

winwar (114053) | about 7 months ago | (#46795229)

You really want to state that there is no correlation between what a school district spends per student and success? Then I propose that you take a school district of your choice and educate them with no money (that means no facilities, no transportation, no teachers, no curriculum, no materials, etc) and I'll take the Washington DC school district. They will go to class every day for their entire K-12 education. Then we'll compare outcomes.

But, as a rule, you can predict how students are doing on a broad scale by looking at the statistics of the communities that they live in. Wealthy areas have students that do well, poorer areas, less so. It takes a lot of money to fix that. Much more than most districts have available.

Now if we fixed the inequalities, then we would have to spend less on schools. But people don't like that form of redistribution. So we use the less effective method of schools.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46795349)

Wealthy areas have students that do well, poorer areas, less so.

Right the explanation must be the fact that they have more money to spend on schools. It could not possibly be because those who have values that encourage their children to value getting an education are more likely to be wealthy, while those who do not encourage their children to get an education are more likely to be poor. It is not possible that the same factors which cause the parents of children in wealthy neighborhoods to be wealthy are the same factors which cause those parents to raise well-educated children.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794373)

That guy is a troll. He makes the same stupid post in every slashdot article. No reason to respond to him.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 7 months ago | (#46797053)

if they still held to the political philosophy and beliefs they held in 1860

I'm not judging the rest of your post, but this here is a silly argument. In multidimensional political space, the one-dimensional Democrat-Republican axis of American politics has turned 180 degrees since 1860. It's like two fencers who were so busy fighting each other they didn't notice they switched position. Which is a nice demonstration of how ridiculous a two-party system is.

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46797143)

Really? Then why do the policies of the Democratic Party, when enacted, have results that look like they were designed by the Democratic Party of 1860?

Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792495)

You are the ones keep blacks in a ghetto so you can control them, keeping the poor and stupid and breeding. You are just afraid they will break free of the chains you have spent so long carefully attaching, slowly slowly to make sure the clank of the latch sliding into place was never heard.

The same lecture for 20 years, so what? (5, Insightful)

khchung (462899) | about 7 months ago | (#46792503)

Similarly, there are faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they've been giving for 20 years.

This may sound bad (as Nelson no doubt intended) for subjects that are relatively recent, such as anything IT related, or the more advanced courses. But tell me, how much meaningful changes were there in the past 20 years for introductory subjects like algebra or calculus? Or the introductory to intermediate courses for most physical sciences?

Go read the Feynman Lectures and tell me how much change was needed due to advances since it was given? Except for maybe a mention of Higgs and LHC somewhere?

Education is not entertainment, if the subject matter have not changed, why should a good lecture needs to change for the sake of change? It's not like we are giving the lecture to the same audience 20 times. Except, maybe, due to the decrease in competency of the students?

It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (4, Insightful)

students (763488) | about 7 months ago | (#46792631)

Lecturing is an ineffective way to teach because most people cannot pay attention to and retain a traditional lecture. Someone who has been giving the same lecture for 20 years was teaching sub-optimally 20 years ago and has not improved. You are correct that they may not have gotten worse either.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46792923)

I enjoyed lectures when I went to college. You either had poor presenters or didn't care about the topics.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (2)

students (763488) | about 7 months ago | (#46793241)

Perhaps you enjoyed them, but it is highly unlikely you remember them. Physiological measures of attention, such as heart rate, show students do not pay as much attention to lectures past the first few minutes.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 7 months ago | (#46792939)

However, watching a video taped lecture may be a very good way of learning. You can always pause the lecture and go back.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793071)

>> However, watching a video taped lecture may be a very good way of learning. You can always pause the lecture and go back.

As someone with a learning disability, I occasionally need someone to repeat themselves because I process information differently than most people. Being able to go-back in video, along with closed captioning, is invaluable to me.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46793283)

Not as good as a real lecture where you can ask questions at the end if there's something you can't pick up from the lecture. Watching the same thing you don't understand twenty times is not going give you the same missing piece that a lecturer can give you by explaining something in a different way.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793633)

Concur. However, when I took an online course on Coursera I paid more attention to the lecture than I ever did when getting my M.Sc. Why? Because the videos so frequently had pauses with questions about the preceding ~10 minutes of the lecture and I had to answer those before I could continue the video.

Of course some of the lecturers at my university asked questions during their lectures to make us pay attention but the probability that you in particular would be required to answer was of course very low - especially when the nicer lecturers that only asked someone who seemed eager to answer. The "penalty" for getting it wrong then was embarrassment whilst on Coursera it was the "inconvenience" of watching the part you hadn't paid attention to again. Furthermore, nobody sat next to me at home chatting with his buddy making it harder to hear what was said and any time I wanted to look at a slide for longer I could just pause the lecture. Thus there were plenty of advantages compared with "real" lectures and we shouldn't dismiss those.

The lecturer on Coursera, however, had one annoying trait which had nothing to do with the online lecture format. Every single time he demonstrated the Android application he had to show how he launched it by browsing through the menus on the emulator. On a f'ing programming course with java experience as a prerequisite one would think that all students already know how to launch an app and showing it over and over again during every lecture is a complete waste of time. In fact, the very format would've enabled him to skip that - unlike a lecturer that wants to demo an app during a real lecture.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46795437)

Any kind of lecture is low-rent bullshit pedagogy. Real education has students read/experience "static" material on their own time and do interactive problem solving in face-to-face time with instructors. That, however, costs money.

+1 on video lectures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46802887)

I just completed Udemy's AngularJS course (https://www.udemy.com/angularjs-jumpstart/) and without a doubt it is the 2nd best class I've ever had (1st being a high school class I took with a man who lived and breathed calculus.) Per exhaustion (watched many too late at night), family interruptions or browser-tab switching, I did 'rewind' a few videos and was able to retain the material and ace every quiz. However, the instructor is quite engaging and the presentations quite styled and this probably contributed greatly to my completing the course. I've previewed another Udemy course on Arduino which looks very thorough WRT content, but per the previews I see that the instructor is not particularly engaging - thus I'm reluctant to add this course to the pile of MOOCs I've signed up for but never finished.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

dkf (304284) | about 7 months ago | (#46794031)

Lecturing is an ineffective way to teach because most people cannot pay attention to and retain a traditional lecture.

That's why students are told to take notes. That's why students are told to study outside lectures; tutorials and — where appropriate for the course — practical sessions in labs reinforce the lecture. You don't learn by just listening to someone, but it is part of how you learn.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (2)

khchung (462899) | about 7 months ago | (#46797531)

Lecturing is an ineffective way to teach because most people cannot pay attention to and retain a traditional lecture.

That's why students are told to take notes. That's why students are told to study outside lectures; tutorials and — where appropriate for the course — practical sessions in labs reinforce the lecture. You don't learn by just listening to someone, but it is part of how you learn.

THIS. Students that have problem learning from lectures most likely are treating the lecture as a movie (as the article alluded to), they expected to be passively entertained (a.k.a. spoon fed), instead of making an effort to learn actively. Then they wonder why they didn't learn anything and complained the lectures are too boring (i.e. not entertaining).

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46794657)

In my experience, paying attention and retaining info from a video is massively more difficult than from a lecture. On my groggiest day in class it was much easier to take in everything happening in class compared with slogging through a video. Not to mention the interaction you get when there in person, including before and after class.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46795377)

Professor here. A few comments:

1. There's lots of us who hate lecturing, but basically have to do it because of pressure to teach as many students at once as possible. It's difficult to organize contact with large numbers of students simultaneously in formats other than lecture.

2. I'm not opposed to online lectures, and think they're probably the best option in some situations, or at least good supplementary options. However, are they really an improvement? People bash lectures, but unless you're lecturing hundreds and hundreds of students, students do ask questions, and professors answer them (at least I do). There's scientific studies showing that people attend to lectures more than online videos because the live nature of lecture, plus the possibility of questions from the audience. Online videos are worse than in-person lectures because they're totally on the rails. A good lecture is interactive--maybe not as interactive as other forms of teaching, but it should be interactive. The fact that the majority of students fail to finish MOOCs is probably partially related to that.

3. Related to the second point is the role of students. I'm tired of students sitting in classes not engaging with the material and then blaming the universities. Students often seem to see a degree as something they consume rather than do. There's lots of great students out there, certainly, but a lot of them seem to see their role as being really passive. In that regard I see all these things as scapegoats for an underlying problem that's totally different, which is more closely related to students who should be doing something else and don't belong in college.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

students (763488) | about 7 months ago | (#46795689)

On the whole I agree with you - learning is hard work and expensive for both teacher and student. I have several times heard your argument that good lectures are interactive. It is equivalent to saying good lectures include things which are not lecture.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

khchung (462899) | about 7 months ago | (#46797519)

Lecturing is an ineffective way to teach because most people [nowadays] cannot pay attention to and retain a traditional lecture.

There, corrected it for you. 20 years ago, most people in college have had no problem paying attention to lectures. YMMV.

Someone who has been giving the same lecture for 20 years was teaching sub-optimally 20 years ago and has not improved. You are correct that they may not have gotten worse either.

That's your prejudice showing. All the great teachers in college in the past century had no problem doing their great teaching with lectures (among other means).

If you have trouble paying attention to lectures and learning from it, have you considered that, perhaps, you shouldn't be in college to begin with?

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

students (763488) | about 7 months ago | (#46799665)

Based on physiological evidence, normal attention span is only a few minutes. I am not aware of any studies of how attention span is changing, but I doubt it is changing much. Great teachers of the past were great compared to their peers, not compared to modern techniques. And many of them did not lecture.

Re:It is not the timelyness, it is the format. (1)

students (763488) | about 7 months ago | (#46799745)

If you have trouble paying attention to lectures and learning from it, have you considered that, perhaps, you shouldn't be in college to begin with?

This is a discriminatory attitude. Disadvantaged students (for example, those from poor families) are less able to cope with ineffective teaching. Based on controlled experiments, good teaching benefits all students, but it has a bigger benefits for those who used to be considered "not college material".

You addressed your comments to me personally. Notice my user ID number. It has been some years since I passed all my lecture classes.

Research. (4, Insightful)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 7 months ago | (#46792981)

I think a major point is wasted. Certain researchers fund their research by teaching. Recently I read some blog, ( I'll try to find it ), where a mathematician asked that if Calculus is replaced by video lectures, how will mathematicians find the money to continue doing their research?

I'm not saying that we should continue to force students to listen to crappy lectures by teachers that only give lectures cause it funds their research. What I am saying is that research is often times important and we need an alternate way of funding it.

Re:Research. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46796267)

Math: paper, pencil, and a trashcan - pretty cheap research.

too risky (3, Insightful)

semenzato (445337) | about 7 months ago | (#46793141)

My daughter was quite interested in this for a while, but there is one serious problem: they are making a lot of changes at once, and evaluating the results will not be easy, especially with such a small sample of students who, by self-selection, are going to be anything but representative of the rest (for one thing, they are going to be big risk takers). It will take years to see how well this works, considering how difficult it already is to evaluate the quality of the education at various colleges.

I don't know how much these considerations influenced my daughter, but she ended up picking a conventional college, partly because she applied Early Decision and got in. Minerva might have been on her list for a second round. (And yes, she is a risk taker, and not interested in Greek life or football :)

The founders are smart people and what they say makes sense, but I know many smart people who made a lot of sense, and their startups still didn't quite work out.

Lesser Universities (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 7 months ago | (#46793143)

It strikes me that at some point these coursera type systems will become solid enough that the major universities will begin issuing some sort of real credits for their completion.

The below ignores the other aspects of university such as meeting people, and that many courses do require very hands on interaction such as a chemistry lab. While this is true it there is potentially still many courses that do avail themselves to a pure online experience.

This then presents a few interesting things to ponder:
One is that some kids will start knocking off university credits from prestigious universities. If you have completed some fairly serious stuff from well respected universities then why continue with High School?
How does one assemble a degree if you you complete courses from 12 different universities? Where did you attend? Where do you graduate from?
If you have proven that you can do Stanford level coursework at an A level, does this help you get into Stanford?
If the elite universities start graduating 100,000+ students online what is the value of such an elite degree?
Assuming that you can do all of the above, why would people attend 3rd rate universities?
What will be the cost structure? For some whole degrees physical attendance won't be a requirement (maybe a bonus, but not a requirement) so how do you price those students? Plus if you have 30,000 people attending the course of a single professor and a handfull of his TAs plus no facilities costs then the cost to provide the course should be fairly low.

Even if people are attending a 3rd rate university it will become ever harder to justify having 300 kids attend a lecture on a basic subject when there is a vastly superior lecture series online.

My prognostication is that after all the dust settles that local universities will become adjuncts to larger more respected universities where a portion of the courses are fully remote, group work is done locally, and the stuff that requires full hands on is definitely local. So you will get a degree from 3rd Rate U but now 3rd Rate U will have some of the gravitas from the larger institution that they have chosen to associate themselves with. So the reality is that the local University will reduce the number of lesser professors and increase the number of TAs. But the university will largely remain unchanged with just less crappy lecture time.

But where I see the devastation is in the high schools. Quite simply kids (starting around middle school) will start to do online courses because their local teachers suck. Some of these kids will do Algebra 101 from a fair university, but many will end up with Calculus II or more (plus other university level basics) from a better university well before they finish Highschool. Thus the highschools will very quickly find themselves devoid of any halfway smart students with any ambition or drive. Thus the high schools will begin to become populated with the left-overs which will drive the even vaguely motivated and halfway smart kids out. With the bar lowered so much the remaining kids will become even less motivated and drive away most of the teachers who just can't take whole classes of kid who don't give a single crap.

I can see a very simple argument that any kids who are capable of properly completing first year or better university are going to have to be eligible to attend in some fashion. If one university won't take them then there will be many others that will.

The way I see this evolving is fairly slow. Universities don't really change that quickly. But I suspect that if any of the big universities make a big leap that this will be what drives this hard and fast. I laugh when I see these small universities make these big pronouncements about how they are making big changes. Quite simply they can only make small ripples in a big pond. But if Harvard offered almost any degree tomorrow in an online only format with a nearly 100% acceptance rate (the idea being that you will fail out instead) that the number of people who would sign up (even if the price was massive) would be shocking. Quite simply at this point most people would still love to say that they have a degree from Harvard, even if it were 100 online. Yes there are all kinds of networking benefits that people would miss out on but again I am 100% sure that the buy in would be astronomical.

But if my local 3rd Rate U tried this it wouldn't even make slashdot.

The last government cash cow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46793565)

Education is the next cash cow. It seems to be the last chunk of big government money that is not managed by private enterprises (defence, public transportation, and health are already divided between big players with rather monopolistic practices). The moment you see Bill Gates invest heavily in the field, you can be sure that you are gonna pay (through taxes). As to the guy cited in the post, he sounds like a real-estate developer with an idea on how to rent his campus over market price. Otherwise, I can't understand his talk about "faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they've been giving for 20 years" and "video recordings of the seminars, to make sure students are picking up key concepts". Man, the most valuable thing university gave me was the ability to interact in person with persons (some professors/TAs/students) that make the field advance. University is not a technical college, neither it is a video library.

My RSS feed had me worried (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46793859)

Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Univers...

That's pretty amibitious.

My kid applied for one of 45 spots (2)

retroworks (652802) | about 7 months ago | (#46794175)

And we aren't all "sour grapes" about not getting admitted. Minerva offered free tuition to the first class of 45, which seemed like both a good deal, and appropriate given they were still going through "shakedown" (the interview by skype process was more like a high school play than a Broadway performance). There is no doubt that the model, given the time and attention these 45 kids will get, will provide for a stunning class. As does United World College, another free tuition experiment started by Armand Hammer which relies on subsidy to maintain recruiting excellence.

What remains to be seen is whether it succeeds in creating a sustainable economic model. Yes, the USA's universities have probably overinvested their endowments in a "country club" gyms and campus accouterments. But Minerva is "pure play", the equivalent of penny stock. Will the fact that these 45 students are impressive today cause impressive students to pay tuition tomorrow, and will the lack of accouterments generate savings for the student consumer, or be siphoned into the startup costs of Minerva? Since it will probably take 10 years before any of these graduates have a chance to be recognized, they have to either produce evidence of superior education and training, or continue to make it a high value, or have to compete more seriously with a Stanford/Harvard than they had to a $0 tuition. The fact that free software attracts smart users doesn't prove your software will take significant share from Microsoft, and the fact that you get smart students to enroll in free education doesn't signify the universities charging tuition are doomed.

If the impressive kids come out in 4 years and say the Minerva experience was "not ready for prime time" and that they wish they'd gone to college, will Minerva be able to fix the bugs in the software? By the way, my kid's going to a top Canadian university, $6K per year, and is certain to have a recognized degree in 10 years. The strong arguments Minerva makes about the true value of Harvard speak well for Kings and McGill. Twin goes to UWC, btw.

Re:Correction UWC (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 7 months ago | (#46794179)

Sorry UWC was not started by Armand Hammer, though he was one of a few billionaires to suppport it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

No lab courses - no meaningful science education (4, Insightful)

GAATTC (870216) | about 7 months ago | (#46794259)

I teach Biology at a small prestigious liberal arts college. My students do their real learning in the laboratories associated with each course and in their independent research projects. Their research projects often run for more than a year and include full time summer research experiences - it is an apprenticeship. This is where they learn to be Biologists and where they get the value out of the college. No amount of book learning or seminar participation can prepare them for the challenges of actually doing science. Growing living organisms, troubleshooting experimental protocols, interpreting data, and having to write and talk about their results (which are rarely 'clean') gives them the skills to make discoveries which will drive technology forward.

Re:No lab courses - no meaningful science educatio (3, Informative)

GAATTC (870216) | about 7 months ago | (#46794271)

Just to clarify. Lab experiences = building recombinant DNA constructs, making transgenic organisms, using $500k microscopes, taking advantage of staffed greenhouses and animal facilities. No amount of online simulation can come anywhere close to replicating time spent in a real research lab.

Re:No lab courses - no meaningful science educatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46796287)

And a giant waste of effort: http://www.ascb.org/ascbpost/index.php/compass-points/item/285-where-will-a-biology-phd-take-you

Memory implants (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 months ago | (#46794457)

What we need is memory implants. That will make both the ivy league and Minerva obsolete.

Disrupt high schools first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46795205)

First we disrupt the high school

I plan to do they by eliminating private and charter schools along with home schooling.

By the elimination of private and charter schools, the parents of children who have money will be forced to get involved in the education system and have a vested interest in actually fixing the schools.

Right now if parents have money, they don't bother with trying to fix the school, they just vote for anti-education representatives and board members who will reduce their so-called financial of having to send their little shits to private schools at the expense of the public schools.

Chemisty Lab (1)

byteherder (722785) | about 7 months ago | (#46795221)

Chem lab should be fun. Watch a video and then go mix up some chemicals. No professor present. No adult supervision.

What could possibly go wrong?

it's = it is. its != it is (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 7 months ago | (#46799723)

how its gaining accreditation

... will do what?

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