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March 29, 2012
What is this day even for and how we can use it to create real change.
March 29, 2012
I am fortunate to have found a group of other women faculty members who like to gather on a regular basis. As I join them for lunch weekly, I am reminded of the concept from Algebra of a “group”, in which members individually and collectively share certain properties.
March 29, 2012
Last week I was so inspired by John Duffy’s essay, “Virtuous Arguments,” that I sent it to the director of our first term seminar program, thinking it would be worth discussion among the faculty who teach this course. I try not to do this too often; the poor man is busy, and I could easily fill his inbox regularly with advice he doesn’t need. But I was particularly taken with Duffy’s notion that what we really are teaching when we teach first semester writers is how to make an ethical argument. This idea resonated with me because I think the most important thing students can learn by using a library is how to go about making up their minds - or changing the minds of other people - in an ethical manner.  And yet, I’m not sure how well we actually convey that when we help students learn research skills.
March 29, 2012
A few days ago I mentioned that the credit hour must die, and several readers asked for clarification. (In a Leslie Neilsen voice: “Death is the end of life. But that’s not important right now.”) 
March 29, 2012
It's March. Conference season is in full swing. Events have been taking place since the beginning of the month. Recently, I was chatting with a friend and told him that I "had made a mistake." He asked what I had done. My response: "I went to some sessions." Oh snap!
March 29, 2012
Pop quiz. In what year did newspaper revenues peak? Way back before the Internet? Wrong. The answer is in the year 2000. The fall of newspaper revenue, driven by the steep decline in advertising dollars, has been as dramatic as it was unexpected. The newspaper business (as measured in everything from newsroom staff to profitability to newspapers ceasing publication) is not in good shape - or at least is a pale shadow to what it once was. 
March 29, 2012
I planned to respond to David Levy’s egregious attack on higher ed but Kaustuv Basu and Dean Dad have already penned very smart, satisfying responses. I particularly like Jill Kronstadt’s offer to Levy that he shadow her on a typical day teaching at Montgomery community college. And I urge everyone to follow Lee Bessette’s suggestion to make Monday, April 2 a “Day of Higher Ed” by recording your day’s work in detail.
March 28, 2012
A new correspondent writes: "Is there any hope for getting my university to expand its commitment to my admittedly esoteric discipline? My classes are popular and pique students' curiosity, but they have to go to another institution to study it more. Is there an appropriate way to bring that popularity to the administration's attention?"
March 28, 2012
Our ed tech community should offer our full support to both Chuck Severance and Blackboard on his ascension to Blackboard's Sakai Strategist. In his role at Blackboard, Chuck will maintain his faculty appointment at the University of Michigan as a Clinical Associate Professor of Information in the School of Information. Blackboard will support his consulting, research, and summer salary - but my understanding of the relationship is that Chuck will retain a high degree of autonomy and discretion.
March 28, 2012
My Grandma Katie used to send out weekly postcards to my family. She would type them on her typewriter and tell us about her week. When dial-up internet became available, my Grandma, then in her mid-70s was able to get online via the slowest computer I have ever had the pleasure of using. She would send out regular emails to her grandchildren. Her connection was as slow as her computer, but she thoroughly loved being able to connect using what was at the time -- super fast, super new technology.

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