Archive | Book Reviews

Will College Pay Off? A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make

Will College Pay Off? A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make

In his latest book, Dr. Peter Cappelli tackles the complex subject of Will College Pay Off? in consumer-friendly terms understandable by parents, students and policymakers. I admire his bold approach (full disclosure: he was a member of my doctoral dissertation committee) but as an active higher education participant, wonder if anyone can adequately describe and summarize all of the issues related to whether or not attending a particular college will pay off for a student.

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Wally Boston

‘THE END OF COLLEGE: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere’ by Kevin Carey

The best non-fiction tells a story rather than provides an analytical narrative. Kevin Carey’s new book, The End of College, weaves a compelling story about innovations in information technology that will disrupt the meritocracy of elite colleges and universities and enable low-cost education for hundreds of millions of people worldwide: “The University of Everywhere.”

Instead of attending traditional institutions, students will access books, lecture videos, and digital learning environments through the Internet.

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Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education

Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education

Since the 2008 recession, higher education “experts” have surfaced by the thousands. Some hold political office, some are entrepreneurs, some are writers, and some self-qualify simply because they graduated from college and believe their personal perspective is all that matters. Sadly, most of these so-called experts form their opinions based on a narrow view of higher education without examining the broader, more diverse landscape of institutions educating a wide spectrum of students.

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What Stays in Vegas

What Stays in Vegas

Adam Tanner’s new book, What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data – Lifeblood of Big Business – and the End of Privacy as We Know It, is both enlightening and frightening. Tanner, a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, has also been a reporter and bureau chief for several news agencies and newspapers.

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Review of The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Like most avid readers, I enjoy reviewing cover jackets for their short promotional summaries of the books I peruse whenever I get a chance to visit my local bookstore. In the case of The Second Machine Age, I bought the book online after reading an article referencing it and didn’t think about reading the jacket until after I read the book.

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The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy

It may have been the subtitle that drew my attention to Bruce Katz’ and Jennifer Bradley’s book or it may have been a reference to the text in an article that I read. Regardless, the book opened my eyes to the increasingly important role of metros and cities in our national economic recovery. According to the authors, the nation’s top 100 metropolitan areas occupy 12 percent of the U.S.

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Checklist for Change: Making American Higher Education a Sustainable Enterprise by Robert Zemsky

When I was a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, Bob Zemsky constantly reminded my classmates and me of two important things to remember when writing research papers or dissertations. The first was to show the reader the evidence; making statements or conclusions based on flimsy evidence was not a pathway toward graduation or a means of building a successful academic career post graduation.

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College (Un)Bound by Jeffrey J. Selingo

As a writer, editor, and now Editor-at-Large for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeff Selingo has observed and written about higher education for more than 15 years.  My assessment of his observations noted in his book, College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students,  is not unlike a statistician analyzing a very large dataset where every independent variable is technically significant. 

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Contagious: Why Things Catch On

 

It’s hard not to hear about a YouTube video that goes viral these days.  With billions accessing the Internet globally, anyone with a product to market can theoretically tap the power of the Internet to  create demand for their product after generating a positive buzz on any number of consumer accessed websites.  Jonah Berger is the James G.

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Higher Education in the Digital Age by William Bowen

Bill Bowen is an economist, president emeritus of Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as founding chairman of ITHAKA. His most recent book, Higher Education in the Digital Age, received much advanced press so I pre-ordered a copy through Amazon. Stanford University President John Hennessy invited Bowen to deliver the 2012 Tanner Lectures given last October. Higher Education in the Digital Age is a revised publication of the lectures given. The book is organized in a way to explore two current topics in higher education: 1) the cost disease and productivity concept in higher education and 2) whether the deployment of technology and online learning in particular can cure the cost disease. Stanford arranged for formal responses to the lectures with participation by President Hennessy, Andrew Delbanco of Columbia University, Daphne Koller of Stanford University and Coursera, and Howard Gardner of Harvard University. Those responses and Bowen’s comments are included as part of the book.
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