1:1 Devices - each student has a tablet or laptop of their own to connect directly with cloud-based vendors, and with teacher activities run through their management programs
Personalized / Adaptive Learning - students are assigned individual packets with a unique computer login we can automatically customize each child’s education based on their data file. Questions adjust in difficulty in response to student answers, optimizing their performance to meet every state standard.
Hybrid / Blended Learning - rather than expecting student access to a teacher for a full day, emphasizes the efficiency of them working on their computer assignments for many blocks and having direct contact with the teacher for a tiny portion of the day.
Standards / Competency / Mastery / Proficiency-Based – emphasis on electronic portfolios listing the skills in which one has attained mastery, proficiency, or a competency. Standards-based grading is part of this transition. The ultimate plan is to move education out of school buildings and use devices to gather the data on skills and standards rather than spending money on heating buildings and paying salaries. Public monies will only be spent on programs that deliver consistent, measurable results. Measurable results are front and center for impact investors.
Credit Flexibility – goal of removing education entirely from school buildings by undermining state laws that require a specific amount of instruction take place in a school. Delinks public funding from “seat time” minimums and asserts digital vouchers (see programmable money) instead. By eliminating “seat time” and replacing it with mastery-based learning, skill attainment data (badges) can be tracked more readily as children move to online education platforms and Internet of Bodies monitoring in community-based settings. In this way digital education vouchers support social impact investment interests (and surveillance) under the umbrella of lifelong learning and human capital speculation.
Digital Badges / Micro-Credentials - The MacArthur Foundation, and Mozilla have been working on developing a wide variety of badging systems for over a decade. They recently joined with IMS Global to scale open badging systems globally. Digital badges are suited to an educational model where acquisition of skills is valued above integrated knowledge. Instruction has been aligned to an exhaustive framework of standards, Common Core and its rebranded successors. This framework normalized the idea that education is something that can be broken down into discrete pieces and represented by blockchain tokens for AI sorting in the planned tele-presence gig economy.
College and Career Readiness –efficiently slotting children into the globalized economy using predictive analytics that maximize returns on educational investment. Emphasis on post-graduation outcomes means copious student data will be compiled, encompassing college enrollment, degree completion, workforce placements, and income levels for lifelong learners. Public education will assign children to pathways into regionally designated sectors of the workforce as outlined in the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA). This will be done despite growing concerns about the future of work given increased automation and advances in artificial intelligence portend serious disruptions in labor markets.
Assessment Reform – the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces a single horrible test with an equally-horrible nationally-recognized one like the SAT or ACT. “Reform” means MULTIPLE accountability measures tracked so those in power can harvest more data, including soft skills; and incorporate performance assessments which will hasten the shift to the competency model.
Deeper Learning - a type of machine learning where unsupervised computers refine their artificial intelligence capabilities by analyzing unstructured data. Hewlett Packard has committed $30 million to advance a “deeper learning” approach to public education. They are also making significant investments in Open Education Resources (OER). Once OER and VR-OER (virtual reality open education resources) are adopted and 1:1 devices become the norm, learning in relationship will be supplanted by an isolating “playlist” version of education where students are disconnected from teachers and one another. Students will spend most of their day watching videos and consuming modular education content aligned to standards, just like those unsupervised computers. Knowledge and wisdom be limited to those who can afford real, human instruction.
Whole Child Learning / Social Emotional Learning – tracking of social-emotional behaviors, traits, and mindsets in educational settings including the Big 5 OCEAN traits – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Gamified and avatar-based online programs like Class Dojo and Classcraft make collection of sensitive data more palatable to adults. Efforts are being spearheaded by CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning) whose financial support comes from numerous foundations with ties to social impact investing and digital curriculum. This conditioning often includes classroom token economies for positive reinforcement that acclimates children to a future of behavioral scrip.
Growth Mindset / Grit / Resilience / Self-Regulation – the premise that children will be raised to believe they can enjoy a stable future if they work hard and obey. Not being afraid to fail, even when the entire system sets you up for one failure after another, is a trait reinforced at all levels of society. The debt-finance, war economy places power in the hands of a few at the expense of the many. To maintain such a system those in power trick children into internalizing the idea that discipline, conformity are the only options. Burn out the minds of the young early, break their spirits so upending the system and creating a new one becomes impossible to conceptualize.
Learned Helplessness – psychological state researched by Martin Seligman, University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s, where animals intermittently exposed to negative stimuli from which they could not escape eventually became unable remove themselves from harm even when the means of escape was made available to them.
Evidence-Based - privately controlled “what works clearinghouses” set up to collect and analyze data on the outcomes of public programs, with no oversight on their own conflicts of interest. They are already being given the power to approve or bar public expenditures and rate the success of individual programs.
Cognitive Sciences – interdisciplinary field that emerged in the 1950s to study how the mind functions with a goal of creating intelligent machines. Areas of investigation include attention, perception, information processing, language, emotion, reason, logic, and decision making. These topics are examined through behavioral experimentation, brain imaging, and computational models.
Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence – Rockefeller Foundation funded initiative to launch the field of cognitive sciences in partnership with IBM and Bell Labs in 1956
Macy Conferences – ten gatherings of mathematicians and physical and social scientists held in New York City by the Josiah Macy Foundation between 1946 and 1953 with the goal of synthetizing ideas around behavior and information-feedback of humans and machines, cybernetics.
ARPANET (Advanced Projects Research Agency) – US Department of Defense project launched in the mid 1960s to connect Pentagon-affiliated computer networks, predecessor of the Internet
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) – created by President Eisenhower in 1958 as ARPA in response to Sputnik, issues seed funding for advanced technological research and development from partners in academia and the private sector to shape the modern world
BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research Defense Agency – project of the Department of Health and Human Services launched in 2006 to develop countermeasures against bioterrorism and pandemic influenza; coordinates with private industry to develop diagnostics, therapeutics, and related devices.
IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency) - program launched in 2006 reporting to the Office of National Intelligence that invests in high-risk, high-return projects to give the United States a strategic intelligence advantage in the areas of mathematics, computing, quantum computing, physics, linguistics, chemistry, psychology, and biology
Minerva Initiative – Department of Defense-funded social science research effort focused on the cultural, political, economic, and environmental aspects of international affairs begun in 2008
Stanford Research Institute (SRI) – technology incubator originally affiliated with Stanford established in 1946 to spur economic development in Silicon Valley. Carries out research in biomedical sciences, computing, space systems, education, energy, and environmental technology on a contract basis for private corporations, academic institutions and the US Government.
Institute for Creative Technologies – research institute affiliated with the University of South California, the US Army research lab, and Disney created in 1999 to advance the field of digital art and simulation, including the creation of synthetic people in virtual reality
Social Physics – approach to studying human interactions, networks, and engagement using data from gathered from devices / sensors in order to assess and influence community behavior. Pioneered by MIT professor Alexander (Sandy) Pentland
Neurotechnology – technologies used to visualize and manipulate brain function though implants, direct electric or magnetic stimulation, cell therapy, or pharmacology
Cognitive Liberty – the rights of living beings to control their own mental faculties and cognition
Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Score – rubric developed based on research done in the 1980s-1990s by Kaiser Permanente health system regarding the impact of childhood trauma on long-term health. People who experienced greater levels of abuse or neglect as children were found to experience chronic illness and poor health at higher rates than people with stable, nurturing childhoods. The devastating impacts of childhood trauma as a potential cost off-set make ACEs rubrics a perfect tool for pay for success finance tied to social determinants of health.
Executive Function – skills of working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. Area of particular interest to social impact investors in technology-based education and brain training, incluing the Gates and Chan Zuckerberg Foundations
Epigenetics – study of how behaviors and environmental factors affect how a person’s genes are expressed, turned on and off
Opportunity Zones – 8,700 low-income census tracts throughout the United States were designated tax shelters by this federal program launched in 2017. It allows investors to pour their capital into commercial or industrial real estate, housing, and start-up businesses, transforming communities formerly targeted for disinvestment and redlining. After being held for ten-years no capital gains taxes are required be paid for investments in designated Opportunity Zones. There is no protection for local communities from the gentrification and displacement that will result from these programs.
Opportunity Atlas – data-driven framework established by Raj Chetty of Harvard outlining how a child’s social mobility and future economic output as an adult can be shaped by relocating families to more affluent zip codes. Will be used to break up social cohesion in marginalized neighborhoods under the guise of equity and justice.
Universal Housing Choice Voucher – tool for the privatization of public housing whereby local housing authorities gradually divest themselves of publicly-owned assets in favor of landlords and a scattered-site model. Vouchers can be programmable as digital money, conditional on demonstrated compliance with pay for success pathways that will fuel human capital finance schemes. This is a particular concern given rental housing around the world has been scooped up for predatory management by multinational investors such as Blackstone.
Housing First – approach to homeless services developed in California in the late 1980s with a precedent in Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker’s Movement that sought to put people in permanent housing immediately and THEN provide support interventions. Before widespread adoption of this approach, recipients of assistance were expected to demonstrate readiness to live independently. While Housing First is on the surface a more humane approach, it is one that also suits the structure of pay for success finance deals. Housing becomes a hub through which investors access vulnerable people, assign them social impact wrap around services, put them on self-improvement pathways, and force them to comply in the digital Internet of Bodies panopticon. A future is not far off where privatized Housing First initiatives become enmeshed in “smart” housing surveillance, picture Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, yielding real time data to shape futures market bets on human capital.
Recidivism – the degree to which people involved with the judicial system become re-incarcerated after release, the cause of which is often structural. Costs of court proceedings and incarceration are HUGE offsets from which pay for success profits are taken (estimated at $25 billion per year). The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (formerly Enron) has been a pioneer in financing big-data profiling of judicially involved people. Risk scores associated with bail are incorporated into myriad structured finance deals. There have been numerous HUD (Housing and Urban Development) / DOJ (Department of Justice) pilot programs that provide “pay for success” supportive housing to returning citizens (those formerly incarcerated). People involved with the system are thus transformed into raw material (as human data commodities) for ongoing “evidence-based” interventions tied to education/training, chronic illness, addiction, and mental health. In this way, global capital can be channeled through captive bodies both in and out of prison. Profit generated from this condition means there will never be an incentive for true economic or judicial reform.
World Wellbeing Project – research project based in the Positive Psychology Department of the University of Pennsylvania by Martin Seligman in collaboration with Stanford and Stony Brook Universities with a focus on developing computational tools that analyze the language of social media to assess and predict mental and physical wellbeing in individuals and populations
Hughes Research Labs – research facility established by Howard Hughes in the late 1940s, affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Hughes Aircraft. Demonstrated use of the first laser with decades of research into photonics, integrated circuits, ion propulsion, augmented reality, micro-lattice, graphene, and artificial intelligence for commercial and military applications. As of 1997, based in Malibu and co-owned by General Motors and Boeing.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute – created in the 1950s with support of Howard Hughes and funded today through the proceeds of the sale of Hughes Aircraft, the organization is one of the world’s largest private funders of biomedical research and science education. It was founded in Miami, FL but relocated to Chevy Chase, MD. The current endowment is over $21 billion in assets funding research into cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology.
Telegeoinformatics – discipline associated with location-based information and computing: geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing.
Lidar – “light detection and ranging” technology using lasers for measurement and surveying to create high-resolution maps of the Earth and for autonomous vehicle navigation. Developed in the 1960s by Hughes Aircraft.
MEM (Micro-Mechanical System) – micromachine (1-100 micrometers in size) with an integrated circuit that processes data and sensors that interact with the environment. Used in accelerometers, pressure sensors, biomedical applications, piezo-electric energy harvesting, display technology in consumer electronics. See also NEM – nanoscale machine.
Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) – a ranged device (used for targets beyond the reach of hand-to-hand combat) that harm though deployment of highly-focused energy: microwaves, particle beams, lasers, sonic waves, and plasma. Weapons include Active Denial System (Raytheon 2001) heats up liquid in the skin to inflict pain; Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD, Genasys 1996) soundwaves for “crowd control;” Solid-State Lasers for UAV and missile destruction including High Energy Laser Weapon Systems (HELWS, Raytheon for the US Airforce) and Navy Laser Family of Systems (NLFoS).
ELF (Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields) – radio waves with frequencies between 3 and 30 Hz that can naturally occur from lightning strikes. Man-made uses employed to communicate with submarines. Also found in high power lines. Research has been underway examining the potential of ELF to suppress melatonin, which may trigger leukemia, depression, and neurodegenerative disease.
Impact Verification – documentation that an entity has achieved agreed upon performance metrics linked to “sustainable” practice. Standardized metrics have been created by global agencies to facilitate ESG investing (Environmental Social Governance). The intent is to expand sensor networks, automate collection of data stored on blockchain, and speed payments made to investors.
Impact Capitalism – investments in “evidence-based” solutions for social or environmental problems. Returns on investment are contingent on documentation of performance metrics. Profit is generated from perceived savings associated with the cost of the social problem to governments if the problems had remained unaddressed.
B-Lab – non-profit organization headquartered in Berwyn, PA outside Philadelphia that was set up in 2006 by three former private equity professionals with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and other social impact philanthropies to promote and guide the development of benefit corporation certification
Behavioral Currency – alternative to legal tender granted to a person for compliance
ESG Investing – Environmental, Social, Governance screen used to evaluate companies for investment purposes. Aligned with social impact investing where specific performance metrics are required to generate payouts depending on demonstrated outcomes
Heckman Equation – developed by University of Chicago professor and Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman based on his Perry Preschool Study that advances a 7-13% return on investment for funds put into “evidence-based” early learning and health programs targeting pregnant women and children from birth through third grade. The Heckman Equation Toolkit was underwritten by the Pritzker family and The Institute for New Economic Thinking / Open Society. Heckman’s equation sets the stage for public acceptance and advocacy for home visits for maternal health, universal pre-k, and early literacy initiatives. While they sound well-intentioned, in reality these efforts have already birthed such abominations as: Hatch Education “We Play Smart” surveillance play tables in Head Start classrooms; Waterford’s UPSTART online preschool; LENA listening devices slipped into babies’ onesies; Pam Omidyar’s “GoalMama” behavior tracking app that monitors the behaviors of expectant mothers on Medicaid; dystopian playgrounds bedecked with QR codes and sensors to track “smart” play; and third grade reading guarantees that use corporate standardized test scores to determine a child’s right to advance to fourth grade. All of these “solutions” gather data to fulfill the performance metrics of Heckman’s equation while legitimizing surveillance of the most vulnerable members of targeted populations. The solutions offered are steeped in predictive profiling and channel global capital to generate profits for hedge funds dabbling in the trading (and shorting) of human futures.