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June 3, 2010 - 8:06am
The media and the sciences… They mix like oil and water. Commercial media seeks narrative personas, two-sided conflicts and attention-grabbing images of disaster. The sciences demand careful process, time to uncover truths and talented storytellers to achieve a big audience.
June 2, 2010 - 9:56pm
Every syllabus should be published, indexed, and freely available online.Where possible, the online syllabus should have these 5 traits:1. Published in Web format, in addition to a PDF or Word document (which is better for printing but not for quickly scanning).2. Contain links to full-text openly available curricular documents and media.3. Provide learning outcomes at the course and modular level.4. Include links to the instructor's C.V. and any other online resources or places that can connect the learner with the instructor.
June 2, 2010 - 9:15pm
The recent Memorial Day holiday was more than welcome. In truth, that's the case most years. Given that the last previous administrative holiday was in mid-January (faculty get Good Friday off -- staff don't), it had been a while between long weekends. Also given that the period right after Commencement is the time a whole lot of facilities projects kick off at Greenback, planning and preparation activities get pretty intense from mid-April through mid-May.
June 2, 2010 - 6:30am
It’s damp. It’s dreary. As I write this, I look out my window and fog obscures the mid-morning light. After a teasing May taste of summer, the sun seems to have disappeared and with it my get-up-and-go. Why should I be in such a slump when I’m thankful for so much in my life? It’s after days like these that my brain thinks the middle of the night is the best time to stir the stew of worries in my head. No concern is too trivial—“The basil plants I paid $1.25 for are shrivelling up! What’s happened to my career? Those wrong notes I sang in choir last night were so embarrassing!
June 1, 2010 - 9:56pm
We make tons of screencasts for our FAQ pages. Voice-over screencasts are great ways to show people how to accomplish tasks in the LMS, on the Web, or in specialized applications. A movie is no substitute for good step-by-step directions, as many people would prefer to have the steps written out for them to follow. But as screencasting is much faster, and in these days of unlimited demands and limited time, having a screencast available is better than not having anything. (The gold standard is to have both a screencast and step-by-step instructions).
May 31, 2010 - 9:48pm
Every now and again a book comes out that deserves to be read and discussed by your entire campus (or organization). Nudge and The Wisdom of Crowds are two such books.
May 31, 2010 - 9:41pm
I know that, for many families, Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of summer. Here, it's more like the end of winter. The last frost is now safely past, so it's time to put in the kitchen garden. Cash crops on my side-hill are pretty much limited to hay, corn and apples. Folks lower down can do root vegetables and some cruciferous crops, but I don't have the dirt for one or the growing season for the other. At least, not to do them in marketable quantities. A few rows for domestic consumption, on the other hand, can get dug, and covered, and tended.
May 28, 2010 - 5:42am
I'll be off next week, returning to the blog on June 7. The book keeps on refusing to write itself, oddly enough, so it's time for some woodshedding. And those fact-checkers are brutal! Okay, technically, I never actually had an affair with Ashley Judd, but you have to admit it livened up chapter three! I mean, sheesh.Back to the drawing board. See you in a week!
May 27, 2010 - 9:29pm
Dean Dad's "A Nerdy Academic's Tech Wish List" got me thinking about what tech behaviors and abilities that I wish every academic would adopt and posses. If I could wave my magic wand and set a floor, a baseline, for instructor use and adoption of technology in teaching then which behaviors and competencies would I wish into existence?
May 27, 2010 - 9:16pm
In economics, we talk about education as a way to build “human capital”, which will later be put to productive use in the labor market. It is one way that people can improve their chances of earning income, and the level of income earned. This is something that my parents, children of my immigrant grandparents whose education stopped at “continuation school”, knew instinctively as they navigated the world of education for me and my sister. This led them down paths that included religiously-focused education, at a Catholic grammar school and a Catholic high school.


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