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April 10, 2011
Rather than a long, blog post on a single topic, this morning I offer some bits and pieces.First, about the NITLE Conference held last week in Arlington and reported on in IHE on Friday, a couple of impressions. NITLE's emphasis is shifting from technology to the meaning -- and future -- of a liberal arts education in the United States.
April 9, 2011
You’re going to want to keep your eye on Scott McClanahan, since he’s a terrific writer and a little sly. Who knows where this all will end?
April 7, 2011
A few weeks ago I promised a piece on remedial levels. It’s a huge topic, and my own expertise is badly limited. That said...Community colleges catch a lot of flak for teaching so many sections of remedial (the preferred term now is “developmental”) math and English. (For present purposes, I’ll sidestep the politically loaded question of whether ESL should be considered developmental.) In a perfect world, every student who gets here would have been prepared well in high school, and would arrive ready to tackle college-level work.
April 7, 2011
Very often over the last five years, my friends from the academia have kept me informed about their changes of affiliation, towns, countries and continents. The contracts for their projects are limited to a couple of months or years (in the happiest scenario), and in-between projects they are on high alert for securing their next professional step: tensed months of job hunting, preparations and hopes for interviews, documenting and writing new projects (at times in areas of research they are not familiar with, but with high chances to benefit from proper funding).
April 7, 2011
How many people do you know who started their careers in academic libraries are now in leadership positions within academic computing? How many great educational technology folks that you have worked with have taken positions in libraries? The future of campus computing belongs to the librarians and the libraries, and that is a very good thing. Here is why:
April 7, 2011
I ran into the chair of the Sociology department the other day as I came out of my Calculus class. He stopped me to ask me about a question that had come up in discussion in his class. He wanted to know why it seemed that women were still avoiding majors that were focused on math and the sciences, since he and his students, like one of the responders to my column a few weeks ago, realized that high pay is strongly correlated with the amount of math and science education one acquires in their educational journey.
April 7, 2011
It's too expensive.It would cost too many jobs.We don't have time.There isn't enough land on the planet.It's not reliable enough.The density (units of energy per unit of weight or volume) isn't high enough for transportation purposes.All of the above have been put forth as ostensibly rational reasons that the world can't convert to clean, renewable energy.
April 7, 2011
A returning correspondent writes:
April 7, 2011
It's about time a sociologist wrote an amazing and accessible book for a non-specialist audience. Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts is that amazing book. For too long, the economists, psychologists, historians and evolutionary psychologists have owned the popular non-fiction category. No longer. Sociology is back!
April 7, 2011
My friend Steve Lawson made an interesting discovery the other day as he did the kind of research one naturally does when working as a librarian at a liberal arts college.

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