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posted by janrinok on Monday April 28 2014, @07:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-what-could-go-wrong-with-that dept.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education delegated teacher recruitment to Microsoft (RFP, pdf). 'The decision to turn over TEACH to [Microsoft] Partners in Learning serves to expand the already outsized influence Gates and his fortune have on public education,' wrote the Washington Post at the time. So, 'what happens when a public institution in a democracy - the US Department of Education - outsources its goal of recruiting good teachers to a private industry?'

Well, in addition to Teach.org and redundant social media efforts on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube, the U.S. is now relying on 'Innovative Microsoft Advertising to Recruit the next Generation of Teachers'. From the press release:

'The Ad Council and TEACH have formed a unique outreach campaign with Microsoft's Advertising team in an effort to recruit the next generation of teachers who will drive innovation and redefine teaching in K-12 classrooms. Microsoft donated over 125 million impressions across Xbox 360, Windows 8, and MSN in order to encourage consumers to rediscover teaching through interactive ad units. This media effort is an extension of the Ad Council and TEACH's public service advertising (PSA) campaign, Make More...Throughout March, consumers were able to engage with TEACH "NUads on Xbox", via gesture, voice or controller on their Xbox 360 consoles...Most recently, Microsoft leveraged their Windows 8 platform to provide a unique experience to consumers, enabling them to navigate through a series of questions to help "discover their true passion," along with the opportunity to play challenging mind and word games, such as a word scramble and tangrams.'

Check out the demo of the Windows 8 platform experience [YouTube], in which a person is advised 'You'd Make a Great Science & Tech Teacher,' on the basis of a 'Personality Quiz' consisting of five dragged-and-dropped photos. (Apple and BSD/Linux users need not to apply..?)

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  • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Monday April 28 2014, @07:13PM

    by BsAtHome (889) on Monday April 28 2014, @07:13PM (#37345)

    Soon there will be the School of M$, the iSchool, the School of Penguin and the Devil School. None are interested in any of the other's teachings. A war is acoming, the first and last war of technological blindness.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Monday April 28 2014, @07:17PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday April 28 2014, @07:17PM (#37346)

    There's no shortage. Its just like tech. There's a shortage of top 1% grads willing to work for minimum wage under horrible management in awful locations with no hope of advancement. Everything else, they got tons of unemployed. We're already graduating more that there are openings, so whats the point of graduating even more unemployable grads?

    I checked the PDF to see where there's a supposed shortage in my state, they don't list districts or counties, just statewide job titles, and they're all varieties of special ed not tech. Everyone smart in STEM's figured out STEM might be dead but STEM education will be hot for awhile longer, so they're on that gravy train, where teaching 4th graders how to use Excel 97 will obviously guarantee them jobs decades later.

    One problem they run into is the staff to teacher ratio is now approaching 1:1 so if you "fix" the problem and hire more teachers, that's great, but to keep the ratio 1:1 they now need an assistant vice chairwoman of diversity studies or whatever, and where is she supposed to come from?

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday April 28 2014, @07:31PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday April 28 2014, @07:31PM (#37360)

      I'd happily go into teaching if it were lucrative and didn't require an additional four year degree.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Monday April 28 2014, @10:55PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Monday April 28 2014, @10:55PM (#37431)

        > I'd happily go into teaching if it were lucrative and didn't require an additional four year degree.

        It doesn't. At most it requires an additional 2-year degree, a masters in education. But it is very common for people with regular 4-year degrees to simply get a teaching certificate which is mostly just passing a test.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by SunTzuWarmaster on Monday April 28 2014, @11:48PM

          by SunTzuWarmaster (3971) on Monday April 28 2014, @11:48PM (#37442)

          This. Essentially, if you have a BS, they will take you. Hell, they'll even forgive some loans and give you an MS (http://www.teachforamerica.org/) while paying you.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday April 29 2014, @02:12AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @02:12AM (#37467) Journal

      The awful insight: "There's a shortage of top 1% grads willing to work for minimum wage under horrible management in awful locations with no hope of advancement."

      Bug present, fix or suffer ;-)

      Oh and if you are male then add the constant threat of sexual accusations.

      Business proposition - FAIL.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday April 28 2014, @07:21PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday April 28 2014, @07:21PM (#37351) Journal

    And let's make sure to hire only people who know Windows only, even if they are terrible teachers.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid USA.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday April 28 2014, @08:08PM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Monday April 28 2014, @08:08PM (#37375) Journal

    I have a bad feeling about this. Remember when everyone who was not able to keep a job was a MSCE? I can only imagine how this will work when it is a MSCT!!

    And I really think it is time to tell college drop-outs that they really have no business making education policy. Revenge is best pursued by improving education, not be destroying it through privatization.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday April 29 2014, @02:16AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday April 29 2014, @02:16AM (#37469) Journal

      Many see MSCE as equalient to certified idiot but are they really that bad at keeping a job? and why?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28 2014, @09:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28 2014, @09:04PM (#37391)

    If the government is outsourcing advertising, what is their criteria for success, i.e. what quantitative goals must MS meet to get paid? There must be clear, measurable objectives to judge the success of this campaign. Or is the government just giving MS taxpayer money with no accountability to meet goals?

    • (Score: 1) by Horse With Stripes on Monday April 28 2014, @09:24PM

      by Horse With Stripes (577) on Monday April 28 2014, @09:24PM (#37400)

      Their criteria for success?
      #1 - If the project fails we have a big name scapegoat.
      #2 - If the project succeeds, well, we picked Microsoft.

      Either way they aren't to blame, which is the ultimate agenda of any government project (just above going over budget and pinning failure on the opposition).

  • (Score: 1) by MajorTom on Monday April 28 2014, @10:51PM

    by MajorTom (2246) on Monday April 28 2014, @10:51PM (#37429)
    This explains why Microsoft is determined to get everyone on the Win 8 Metro interface, to be able to push advertising to the apps and panels right on the desktop where it will be difficult for 3rd party applications to filter them out. They want to be able to push ads over all their devices and services that's why the push for the common UI. From the ad network website:

    Ads in Apps offers a unique creative canvas for advertisers to drive meaningful consumer engagement, where messages are an integrated and seamless part of the user experience, rather than an interruption.

    Any advertising on my PC is an interruption.