Zuck turned American classrooms into nonconsensual laboratories for his pet educational theories, and now they're rebelling

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/22/summit-learning.html




Hmmm…customized means a bespoke straitjacket now?


Capitalists are gonna do a capitalism. To them, everything must be a product or else it’s worthless.


I don’t know that I have ever agreed with you more than in this piece. And now the billionaires’ evidence-free notions of how education should work is starting to seep into higher education as well. Administrators love it! Professors, less so, but professors’ voices are increasingly ignored. We used to have shared governance to help prevent this sort of bullshit, but now shared governance means that the administration (and the rich people who own them) make the decisions and share those decisions with the faculty.


More and more it seems like any word spoken in American English may actually be used to define it’s antonym.


It’s the best way to control a population that money can buy. Look at how much cash folks pour into Turning Point USA. They’re desperate to turn the world into a Jesus loving libertarian dystopia.


The biggest advantage of personalized education is it can be more caring and empathetic. Instead of a one-size-fits-all curriculum set by state legislatures, individual teachers who know and care about the students can design education that is best for them. This of course requires skilled teachers and individual expertise (what corporate power hates most). Replacing the teacher’s expertise by a computer program is terrible for students even without factoring in that the code is probably written by people who have never taught


I agree with the capitalists. we can’t promote a free thinking society it would be like having to many cooks in the kitchen. so the answer for everyones sake is to dumb down eduction. keep the masses in line so intellectuals of the upper crust can do their jobs unhindered… oops sorry I was trying this new stunt hit my head and confused easter with april fools never mind.

If these efforts weren’t so woefully inept, I’d be afraid that the other danger in this trend is that it will create a patronage system where our public institutions exist only at the largess of these ultra wealthy corporations/maniacs and their personal proclivities.

But the more I think about it, that’s where we’re headed… Can’t wait till my kids pick up their Pepsi Co tablet from the Walton Library to take their history “quiz” about how the founding fathers were the original “disrupters.” Hope they do well too, because if not, the interest rate on our Chase mortgage will go up again.


This! I have a kiddo at a high school that uses the learning platform referenced. It is just a tool. Fortunately he has amazing teachers and the school uses a mentor program. The school isn’t perfect but it has the right school for my child out of the local options. I can also see how that tool could be used in not so good ways.


This kind of shit is going to keep happening as long as everyone (right and left) keeps saying “X is the fault of our failed education system”. If the premise is that the education system is failed or is failing, then of course people will try random crap to “fix” it.

That our education system has failed is one of the few tennants that almost every axis of our political spectrum agrees on, but it doesn’t really seem to be the case. Not to say that it couldn’t do better, but the education system is not primarily to blame for poor test scores, graduation rates, or basic ignorance.

The culprits are income inequality, mass incarceration, and old fashioned american anti-intellectualism. Students who aren’t sure where there next meal will come from or are worried that they will lose their home are going to do worse in school. It is pretty insane to assume that this is a problem with the school. And when parents and pastors and politicians tell people that book learning is pointless, or that “you are never going to use” algebra in “real life”, or that everything is so complex nobody can understand it and the people who dry are delusional it is no wonder that they grow up to be anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers. Expecting teachers and schools to not only teach children well, but to overpower the idiocy of their parents and other role models is… sometimes possible but certainly not foolproof.


Does Zuckerberg’s kid use this? No? That’s all you need to know.


Well, no. Zuckerberg’s oldest kid apparently just started pre-school.

The program is a terrible idea and I am all for getting the billionaires out of education but come on.

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Kind of misses the entire point, as education is a collaborative effort in that sort of thinking…

They fully believe because they are good at one thing (making billions) that they are good at all the things… And the people who’ve been keen to destroy what they see as the biggest problem of higher ed (that a liberal arts education produces critical thinkers who understand how the world works), are on board with that. Taking power out of the hands of the departments has been a disaster.


So trying to force everyone to learn like a smart sociopath doesn’t work well? Imagine that.

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Sounds like the “learning machines” from the 1950ies/1960ies with a snazzy user interface.



If the education is free, the kids are the product. Facebook exists by selling everything about its users to anyone who will buy it, including access to their minds. Putting Facebook in charge of children’s education is like letting FoxCo run the henhouse.

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I give this latest Zuckerberg scheme three mouths down!

You notice these reformers never consult with real-life teachers? If these people believe in expertise so much, why not trust the expertise of those who are in the trenches, day after day. But that would mean respecting the people who actually teach, and you can’t do that!