Loans in education

Forbes released an article named “Price of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster than Wages” that made me reflect if the current system is sustainable. Students loans can determine the future of a person, since there are so many cases that they decide where to work to pay the loans instead to fulfill their passions.

Day by day, we have more student cases where they do not want to pursue a higher degree for fears related to money and loans. Some other issues that loans generate, is the major that a student select. For someone yet to begin their college education, I would encourage to select a major based on their interest. However, in terms of money I would caution them from going to a private university to study liberal arts, unless they have a very clear idea for what they are going to do with that degree, or unless they will be receiving meaningful financial support from a parent or another source.

Education should be based on persons interests to maintain the engagement. However the cost of a education is skyrocketing and impacting in future students decisions and lifestyles.


To refelct.. micro-credentials

Big companies and private industries looks to hire specialized people according to their needs. Currently, micro-credentials are used to fulfill those needs.

Microcredentials are a competency-based digital form of certification. They can be issued for formal and informal professional learning experiences that support educators developing skills and acquiring knowledge to improve professional practice that supports student success.

Some thoughts to reflect are: Would micro-credentials replace majors in higher education? How institutions could incorporate micro-credentials to the educational system? Would it be fare that companies or private industries create their own “education institution” to fulfill their specific needs?


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Blogs and posting

Nowadays, the use of technology in higher education is implied and blogging is one of the most popular exercises that encourage students and professors to be updated. Moreover, by posting thoughts, sharing experiences, and information through media platforms encourage conversations beyond the academic world. Community members, students, faculty, government officers, public and private industry use networks to learn communicate and future bonds.

The continuous exercise of writing brings benefits and improves the brain performance. The advantages could bring money by attracting people or institution interest. Overcome challenges by introducing new ideas or discovering new methods. Besides, it is a flexible tool that enhance creativity on students and readers.



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In conclusion, blogs offer many benefits in education since it promotes autonomous learning by providing opportunities for students to take more control of their learning. Motivates students to become better readers and writers.

Women in High-ed

Before the 19th century, higher education was designed primary for men. At that time woman’s role was narrowed to households, wives and mothers. However, through activists’ efforts that fought for the right of higher education for females, women started attending to universities and earning higher degrees.

A report released in 2017, shows how women are becoming more active in higher education and contains several recommendations and suggestions on how to best move the needle and increase the number of women leaders in academia.

For example, that the governing board and the senior staff should annually review the institution’s commitment to diversity to evaluate how well it is working. Identify, support, and advance women and women of color to become chief academic officers, provosts, and senior executives. Look beyond sitting presidents in order to increase the pool of potential presidential selections. Because women are more likely to have followed a nontraditional career path, the best candidates may come from farther afield.

Women are gaining territory and gender disparities are decreasing in the higher education world. Being aware of the issue can help to maintain good quality on institutional standards and statues.

Changing the future on High-Ed

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Higher education is facing changes through innovation strategies to improve the teaching-learning process. Traditional methods are evolving, roles of professors are more inclined to engage students to think out of the box, use the lates evidence and technology for the active learning process. So, why do the system is not evolving?

Now a days, scientists and researchers spend years of unpaid positions before moving forward to an actual position as professor. Mary Anne Mason et al. 2009. Reported that most of the doctoral students change their minds about becoming faculty members while there are in graduate school due to the system. The challenges to overcome institutionalized systems involve different sectors where administrators, faculty, staff and students are crucial. Real recognition for innovation in the system should be important to focus efforts to work in transdiciplinary teams in order to develop new approaches and improve the ongoing system.

Transdiciplinary teams are gaining momentum in the academia and are needed in order to successful enhance the complexity and challenging system. Population in higher education is getting more diverse with the time, including disciplines and ethnicity. The variety of perspectives are essential to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness to meet goals and engage everyone involved.

Administrators have to be willing to commit funds and time to create new mechanisms and quit old-fashioned mentalities. Faculty and staff should raise their voice expressing the obstacles that they have overcome and share experiences to learn from the past. While students must take charge of expressing interests and being active in the process to define new career approaches.

Technology and education disparities

Technology is transforming education with the evolving society.  Now a days people Is expanding access through the use of internet where is not necessary to be in the same place to be connected. Platforms are creating linkages between people that encourage collaboration with flexibility. However, not everything is fairy tale. While some countries and regions in the world are using technology to evolve and encourage connectedness despite the place it is also creating disparities in education for those who does not have the fortunate to afford and access technology.

I believe that education and use of technology is fostering authentic learning by opening the opportunity to learn through experience and encouraging creativity and innovation. Therefore, is important to create and generate new opportunities and solutions in spaces where technology is not accessible. Educators need to be motivated to improve education by engaging in professional development and other institutions to collaborate and support new ideas to close the gap.

Digital tools can be effective if integrates to the learning process. However, we must have in mind that not everybody is iterate in terms of technology. The use of a device or certain platform requires specific skills. Simplifying and making easy to use  platforms, softwares and other technological tools could help to increase digital fluency and avoid lack of digital fluency.

The use of technology in education engages students in critical thinking, problem solving, links and connections with others. For that reason as educated people involved in the academia, we should try to provide opportunities to those that do not have access to technology for education to decrease education disparities.

Corruption in open access publishing?

Now a days, technology makes the information more accesible than ever where academia is not the exception. Publishing science is taking new approaches to facilitate broad access to the most recent evidence.

35082857Free access to research findings can accelerate discovery since individuals involved in science can read and enhance their investigations from others findings without restriction. Moreover, in high education Open access provide the opportunity to professors and students to improve education by acquiring the latest research findings throughout the world.

Even grant funding agencies such as NIH are demanding publications to be publicly accessible to reach broader audiences. However, publishing in open access journals includes a high cost which most of the times is transferred to the authors. Is estimated that the cost to publish peer-reviewed articles in open access journals ranges between $1,350 USD . to $3,500 USD. Therefore, a conversation on the profits and business behind open access is arising which could lead in knowledge corruption in academia.

So, what can be done to avoid corruption and maintain veracity about scientific open access publishing?



What is behind research misconduct?

Tenure-track, funding, peer-review publications, teaching, advising, graduation, dissertations, preliminary exams, certifications… are just some examples of the constant pressures that academics and researchers (including PhD and post-doctoral students) face daily. However, does this justify taking intellectual property of others, commit plagiarism, claim undeserved authorship, violations of rules, or falsification of data?

Nowadays, misconduct among researchers is happening more and more, and probably individuals think that they would never get caught? Several agencies constantly overlook this cases. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services, constantly reports findings of research misconduct.

On December, 2018 a PhD Student was accused for research misconduct for falsifying and fabricating data to manipulate data and increase statistical significance on 9 published studies. The student entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement to be excluded of any contracting with any agency of the United States for a period of three years, to serve as advisor, committee bard, or peer review committee.

Read full report:

Even if sometimes succeeding in the academic world results in tempting situations to ignore the ethic codes, misconduct is considered a serious violation on the scientific community. Scientists who commit research misconduct typically face corrective actions from employers and funding agencies, as well as significant professional stigma.

Despite all the pressures behind research misconduct, it is always better to have in mind that many are going nowhere fast.


“Mission”: more than just a goal

Image result for mission statementThe word “mission” is commonly used in our daily lives, often used by individuals or organizations to refer an assignment or goal either for short or longterm.

When it comes to organizations and institutions, the mission reflects more than just a task. As Julián David Cortés-Sánchez has pointed in his blog, “mission” reflects purpose, ambition and values. If we stop for a second and reflect how some institutions influence on society (e.g. universities) the mission become a serious element.

Universities are the providers of education to thousands of students and have impact on other thousands of people that are involved with (e.g. professors, staff, family and the surrounding community). Therefore, their mission that states their believes and strategies is fundamental to determine how would the institution would operate to achieve its purpose.

After exploring a couple of mission statements of universities, I realized that the inclusion, diversity and, no-boundaries are common. Which make sense, nowadays people are connected worldwide through technology and many other forms. These elements on the mission statements are enabling globally connected education.

Based on the brief conducted research on mission statements of universities, I was happy to discover that the improvement of communities and society for future generations were on the statements of the three explored universities, despite that one is from the U.S (Yale University), other from Mexico (Universidad Iberoamericana), and Australia (Deakin University).

After reading about mission statements, my vision regarding Universities changed. Now, I understand that the contribution to their students, faculty, alumni and others involves goes beyond of just providing high-quality information and content regarding a specific area.



Taking teaching into the next level

Personally, I think that by creating, sharing and applying knowledge to a student forum are fundamental to teach. But, one of the element secrets to take teaching into the next level is understand and take advantage of diversity in all senses.

Katherine W. Philips states “This is how diversity works: by promoting hard work and creativity; by encouraging the consideration of alternatives even before any interpersonal interaction takes place”.

Diversity of learners emphasizes the ideal that teachers can facilitate the learning process in diverse types of learners. To recognize and respect individuals is fundamental, as the President of Virginia Tech “Tim Sands” mentioned in a special statement on October 2017, which also is a strong principle of the institution.

Moreover, for teachers and professors, diversity needs to be taken as a key strategy, because it allows making better decisions as group due to the different backgrounds and multiple lived perceptions. The inclusion of different backgrounds bring as consequence new information, different perspectives which enrich the information. Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces creativity and innovation.

Finally, as professors we need to facilitate clear messages, Shankar Vedantam emphasized that “The conscious messages that we give as being the most powerful education that we can give”.

About the author,

Sofia Rincon Gallardo Patino, have an obsession with coffee and almond milk.