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September 22, 2011
As readers of my column here know, I like to start my entries out by providing a “hook” from either math or economics, and then relating it to some aspect of parenting as a professor. Usually it is easy to choose which topic to use. Today, however, I am following the lead of my daughter, who, when faced with two good options, will often say “I want both.” For today, I cannot choose between writing about “randomness” or about “Venn Diagrams”, as both are equally appropriate for what I want to say.
September 21, 2011
If at first you don’t succeed...a. You’ve revealed your incompetence. Hide the results or shift the blame, quick!b. What are you suggesting? How dare you, sir?c. Some blithering half-wit must have sabotaged you. Burn the heretic!d. Do the exact same thing over and over again until you bend the stupid universe to your will.e. Tweak, tinker, try again.In the abstract, we all know that e is the right answer. But in the real world, answers a through d are surprisingly popular.
September 21, 2011
Are we ready to support online learners? This is the question that I posed in a previous post this month. The answer, as read in the post comments, seems to be that we are not yet ready. So who is? Well, it turns out that a company in New York City might be stepping in to fill the void while student affairs figures out how best to support online learners.
September 21, 2011
Instructure's Canvas learning management system (LMS) keeps popping up in the conversations I've been having. I'll be speaking to someone at a peer institution about this or that, and they will mention that they are either going with Instructure or considering going with Instructure. Or they will ask me what I think about this new Instructure Canvas LMS. The buzz seems to be positive.Common threads about Instructure Canvas that I'm hearing:
September 21, 2011
I’ve seen two films recently that reflect on the lives of women who work away from their children for jobs, opportunity and money. The Help, based on Kathryn Stockett’s successful Southern novel of the same name, and The Learning, a POV documentary about four Filipino women who leave their families for a year to teach in Baltimore’s public school system.
September 21, 2011
I recently re-read Charles Mackay's classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions. It contains perhaps the best-known account of the Dutch tulip mania of the early 17th century, but the section I found most interesting described the somewhat later "South-sea bubble" in England.
September 21, 2011
The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2011: Innovation and Growth in Knowledge Economies report was released on 20 September.
September 21, 2011
 Periodically in the world of intercollegiate athletics, we cycle through a set of controversies, changes, and challenges that cause our many constituencies and the legions of interested fans and observers to generate remarkable noise levels. The commentary ranges from absurd to rational and from passionate to disdainful, and the rhetorical flights rise to stratospheric heights. For those of us who have lived through multiple iterations of this cycle, and others who have read the history of college sports, this all produces a sense of deja vu.
September 20, 2011
Is this desire to shed ownership of things a life cycle story, a digital story, or something else? Do you share my desire for life as a service? Has owning stuff also lost its appeal to you? 5 Things I No Longer Wish to Own:1. Software: Software as a service (SaaS) today may not always be possible or pragmatic, but SaaS is clearly the future. What enterprise or personal applications that we currently host on our servers or laptops will not eventually move to the cloud?
September 20, 2011
“I have a locker!”You forget what’s important when you’re ten.TW and I went to the parents’ open house at The Boy’s school. Now that he’s in fifth grade, he’s in a new building that unites the kids from the various elementary schools in the district. And yes, he gets a locker.



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