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August 24, 2010
Hello, Readers!
August 24, 2010
I'm currently attempting NOT to multi-task, given recent reports that increasing, device-facilitated (arguably, device-driven) high-frequency task-switching not only makes us less efficient at everything that we do, it's also gradually destroying our capacity to concentrate and even our ability to form long-term memories. After all, if you can't concentrate and you can't remember anything that happened more than 48 hours ago, how can you even hope to deal with complex, global, long-term problems?
August 23, 2010
Last week, when I challenged readers to think about how to make open access happen, Jason Baird Jackson had a ready answer: the Open Folklore project. This project is drawing a terrific map for societies unsure of how to proceed.
August 23, 2010
We signed up today for the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2010 Online Fall Focus Session - "Blended Learning: The 21st-Century Learning Environment". The sessions are on September 15th and 16th (noon to 5:30), and include keynote and plenary sessions, follow-up Q&A's, project rounds, and scenario discussions.
August 23, 2010
A week ago on Monday afternoon — the time when I usually write this blog post — I was in a car headed back to Richmond after a long weekend visiting family in Connecticut and upstate New York. Today, I’m in my office, having met my advisees last week and my first group of new students today. I’ll meet my second class tomorrow and then the school year will be well and truly underway.
August 23, 2010
The nieces came to visit this weekend. The older niece is three, and the younger one is five months.The glory of an infant niece -- I’d imagine grandkids work the same way -- is that you get all of the cuteness, without the hard labor. When Younger Niece made the untoward digestive noises they make at that age, I could look at my brother without guilt. And when you’re a few years out of having an infant around, a little one makes a great nostalgia trip.
August 22, 2010
Quick: name your five best school teachers or college professors, the individuals from primary school through graduate school who made a difference – a big difference – in your education and your life. Ok, pencils down.What made these men and women effective instructors? Great teachers? Memorable mentors?How do you know? By what metrics do you assess their impact and effectiveness? Which teachers and professors “added value?” Why do their names linger while other names are lost?
August 22, 2010
Who’s qualified to teach college level math?This isn’t limited to math, but I’ll start there because it’s concrete. Similar issues arise in any number of other disciplines.According to some in the math department, you either have a master’s (or higher) in mathematics, or you do not. Engineering isn’t math; computer science isn’t math; physics isn’t math; mathematics education isn’t math. The folks who hold this view claim that they’re upholding standards, and preventing a slow but presumably inevitable slide towards perdition.
August 22, 2010
Atlanta in August – hot, humid, and sticky.It had been seven years since I had attended the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting. I had been finishing up my PhD and planned to join the ranks of the tenure-track – the annual conference was mysterious and terrifying. Since then, my life has taken a very different path. I finished my PhD in 2004 and was pregnant within the month. The following year I was offered a high-powered academic dean position and turned my back on tenure-track.
August 22, 2010
I decided to read Sheena Iyengar's new book, The Art of Choosing, after watching her TED Talk. The opportunity to give a TED Talk must rank just below inclusion in the Oprah book club. Does anyone know just how big the book selling boost is for authors appearing on TED?

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