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June 30, 2011
Apparently, college radio has fallen on hard times. This should come as no surprise, since radio generally has fallen on hard times.I was a denizen of college radio in the late 80’s, just before the music we played broke out as “alternative.” In those days, a new release by R.E.M. or The Replacements was a Very Big Deal. (I vividly remember the disappointment when Don’t Tell a Soul came out.) It was a blast, but it was the kind of blast that relied on a specific historical moment.
June 30, 2011
The world is divided into two types of people: those who prefer Track Changes in Word and those who prefer to write collaboratively in Google Docs. Which one are you?I'm firmly in the Google Docs camp. This presents some challenges, as I work in a diverse writing team - with some of us more comfortable in the Word and Track Changes world, and others of us letting it all hang out in Google Docs.
June 30, 2011
I had the opportunity to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Annual Conference and Exposition this week. With almost 13,000 attendees and more than 10,000 backchannel tweets (via #ISTE11), ISTE is the largest #edtech event in the United States. Primarily a K-12 event, ISTE felt quite a bit like the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.
June 30, 2011
I recently found myself working a problem on the board in Statistics in which two values were subtracted to find the difference that turned out to be 0.1972. As I read the value from the board, reading it as “zero point nineteen seventy two” when I stopped for a second and asked my students “ok, so who else in here remembers 1972?” I expected a wave of groans from people born since 1990, but instead discovered that most of the students in that particular class were close to my age, with several being older.
June 30, 2011
And to finish off my journal month, a fitting quote copied out from Chekhov's book on Sakhalin: "They keep writing, they keep writing, they keep writing, Oh, Queen of Heaven!"
June 29, 2011
An interesting question came up the other day on COLLIB-L, a discussion list for college librarians. A librarian reported that a student who was abroad discovered he couldn't access videos in a library database. An error message appeared saying access would constitute a "copyright violation." Though the library had licensed the material for its patrons, including that student, he was unable to view it because he happened to have traveled to another region. He wondered whether he might have the same problem with articles in databases.
June 29, 2011
I’ve been a fan of Richard Florida’s for several years now. He’s a student of cities who has famously argued that the key to growth is in the “creative class” which tends to cluster in major urban centers. In contrast to Tom Friedman -- admittedly, that’s sort of like contrasting Sonny Rollins to Kenny G -- Florida argues that the world is “spiky.” Cities with high concentrations of creatives are the economic engines of the future; they stand out on charts like spikes.
June 29, 2011
The Google news this week is all about Google+, the company's next effort to break into social networks. I say this is great, as I'm another one of those outmigrants, or maybe conscientious objectors, to the Facebook nation. The real reason I'm excited about Google+ is not social networking (which I think is sort of tiresome), but because Google+ is an important building block for a killer Google LMS (learning management system). Learning is social. Incumbent LMS tools not so much.
June 29, 2011
The first round of divorces hit our social community this year, prompting questions from our seven-year old daughter: "Will you and Daddy get ever get divorced?" and "Is Sally sad because she misses her mom?" To be honest, I think we adults were more shocked: these were not couples who fought or seemed mismatched in any way; in fact, they seemed to have very amicable partnerships. (I am starting to agree with a friend who once remarked of a particularly acrimonious couple, "Fighting is the glue that keeps them together.").
June 29, 2011
This exchange from The New Inquiry has been wending its way around the intertubes of late. (Thanks to @colinized on twitter for flagging it for me.) It’s a dialogue between “Teach,” an adjunct professor of philosophy, and “Cheat,” a term-paper-writer-for-hire. It’s surprisingly thoughtful in its consideration of the motivations behind plagiarism and the ways that faculty deal with it.

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