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March 14, 2012
MOOCs seem to be gathering a lot of media attention lately, particularly on the heels of the popularity of Stanford's AI class. But how do these new computer-science focused classes, several of which are being offered now by for-profit startups rather than non-profit educational institutions, differ from earlier MOOCs? Are these new manifestations centered on the learner and the learning? Or something else?
March 14, 2012
A returning correspondent writes: I am trying to figure out whether and how to give advice to colleagues at another public institution in my state, in my field, where it's fairly clear the chief academic officer has set up insane internal incentives ...
March 14, 2012
What's the appeal of a massive open online series of lectures? Why did I agree to do it?
March 13, 2012
It was a good day in class. We’ve reached the end of the “here’s how things get published and how libraries deal with all those publications” section of the course (a semester long workshop on how information works) by tying off a couple of loose ends. We visited the college archives to get a sense of how archivist organize things and what researchers might get out of using archival materials. Then we took a quick cruise through the reference section, with a special focus on specialized encyclopedias.
March 13, 2012
What do we really mean when we say that we're being ourselves? 
March 13, 2012
Are you a "Downton Abbey" fanatic? I finally succumbed after seeing The Onion headline that "Watching Episode of 'Downton Abbey' Counts As Reading a Book." That, and the fact that all my colleagues seem to be able to talk about is Downton Abbey.
March 13, 2012
Beginning school year 2012, incoming Philippine first graders will toil through 12 years of basic education instead of 10 years; high school freshmen will clock in 6 years rather than the usual 4. The two year addition is supposed to bring our students on par with other school systems in the region, and will also stream students into the more rational vocational versus college bound tracks that fill employment demands. While our legislature cooks up the sort of curricular changes and mandates for these two additional years, universities like mine fret and worry about the impact all of this would bring.
March 13, 2012
The latest accoutrement of world-class universities, or those aspiring to world-class status, is an international advisory group. The useful goals of such committees, which meet on an occasional basis to review and evaluate the institution’s plans and performance, include bringing new ideas and analysis from the experience of academe beyond the borders and especially from the pinnacles of higher education globally, and hopefully assist the institution to understand itself and to improve. The committee members have a continuing relationship with the university and, presumably, a commitment to its welfare and improvement. 
March 13, 2012
We've all been here: A deadline for a dissertation chapter, conference abstract, or presentation looms ever largely on the horizon. At first, work sessions proceed in a regular fashion. Progress is being made, and stress levels are low. Then, at some point, panic sets in because it seems like the task at hand can't be completed--at least in the desired fashion. If only there was more time!  
March 13, 2012
An ongoing labor dispute between teachers and the government in my province of British Colombia came to a head last week with a teacher strike. Although teachers were only out of the classroom for three days (after giving a few days’ strike notice), parents were sent scrambling to juggle schedules, arrange for childcare, and keep their kids occupied.

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