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June 23, 2010 - 8:14pm
Have you figured out any methods for mitigating the proximity problem? This problem is particularly acute in higher education, where technology enabled and infused courses rely on the inputs of people who work across departments and buildings. The modern course is no longer a solo faculty act, as the ability of technology to help bring active learning engagements to large classes depends on the coordination and ideas of a range of learning professionals.
June 23, 2010 - 3:51pm
The Center for International Higher Education at Boston College presents a new blog, The World View, which will offer commentary, news, and analysis collected from an international network of experienced observers and researchers — global perspectives by global analysts. The opinions and analyses posted will be written to stimulate reflection and debate on the central issues facing higher education worldwide. Our community of bloggers will provide a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives.
June 23, 2010 - 3:48pm
The University of Kentucky, a public institution, used to hold the papers of that state's most esteemed living writer, Wendell Berry. But Berry, disgusted by the university's prostituting itself to the coal industry, pulled his papers last year. They will be housed someplace other than the house of ill-repute that UK has become.
June 23, 2010 - 7:41am
When my son was in kindergarten his teacher gave the class an exercise designed to help the children define what was important in their lives. They were asked to draw a series of concentric circles, with room within each circle to add drawings. In the center circle, the children drew the people or things that were most important to them, while the outer circles contained things of decreasing importance. When my son showed me his drawing, I saw that he’d made several perfect circles, but his only drawings, at the very center, were of our two cats.
June 23, 2010 - 1:21am
Five inches of rain fell here in the first two weeks of June, after a wet May. Lush plants I’ve never seen before have shot up from the mud, earwigs squirm out of lit barbecue grills, snakes slide sibilantly in the grass, frolicking squirrels pause in their orgies to wonder at their comrades smashed in the road, and crows the size of ravens bluster from the trees.
June 22, 2010 - 9:59pm
My town is dealing with the same economic pressures as most -- declining state aid, declining tax revenues -- so it’s facing some unpleasant budgetary choices. (The culprit behind declining state aid is mostly Medicaid. Until we get a handle on that, we’re in trouble. But that’s another post.)
June 22, 2010 - 9:37pm
I love being wrong in this space. It is much better to be wrong here than in my day job, as this blog is a safe place to explore ideas and ideally to tap the wisdom of our crowd.
June 22, 2010 - 4:28am
In a brief conversation with a professor on campus recently, I was reminded of a basic assumption gap. I made a reference to pass rates -- the percentage of students who achieve passing grades in any given semester -- and the efforts we’re making there. My assumption was that pass rates are scandalously low, and that we need to improve them. He concurred that there was a problem with pass rates, but defined the problem differently. To him, the issue was that our pass rates are much too high.
June 21, 2010 - 9:16pm
I’m delighted to report that my daughter has indeed found gainful summer employment. It’s not full time, but it will do — she’s got a series of childcare gigs lined up that should keep her busy and reasonably well remunerated through the summer.
June 21, 2010 - 8:36pm
Dear Clay Shirky,Please make the subject of your next book higher education. I loved Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, and think you would be the perfect person to analyze higher ed and offer suggestions for change.Some specific questions and issues I think you should tackle:


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