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July 12, 2011
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan FreinkelA Challenge: Write down every object that you use in one day that is all or part plastic. Also write down a list of the objects that you use that day that contain no plastics. Maybe even share your list with all of us.
July 12, 2011
Climate change. Energy supply. Economic activity. Employment. Public health. Water pollution. Species die-off.Penn State. Pitt. Cornell.Research. Public funding. Industry funding. Policy. Regulation. Taxation. Is it OK for academics to be advocates on one side of a political issue? Is there a standard for the base of evidence that must exist before academic advocacy is appropriate? Is that standard uniform, regardless of whether the advocacy is for or against the side of the issue the powers-that-fund prefer?
July 12, 2011
A few weeks ago I attended the First International World Views Conference on Media and Higher Education in Toronto. A major theme of this innovative conference (to which I contributed on a panel focusing on the developing world) was “How media coverage of higher education has changed over the past two decades and where it is headed.” My thesis –more below—is that the English language media dominating the news about global higher education is biased in favor of an Anglo/American perspective.
July 11, 2011
The Girl had her seventh birthday yesterday. TW’s parents made the journey for the occasion, and we did the whole cake-and-presents celebration.Even allowing for my bias, she’s a remarkable kid. Last week we caught the end of a documentary about feats that people have performed in emergency situations when the adrenaline was pumping. The narrator ended with “Superman isn’t from the planet Krypton. Superman is inside each of us.” TG sat bolt upright and declared “Or SuperWOMAN, Mister!” I gave her a high-five.
July 11, 2011
The other day, as I was tracking down the text of a classic article in JSTOR to refer to in a blog post, I was struck by the pop-up box that required me to agree to terms of service before it would let me see the article. I actually read it this time instead of clicking through. It reads:
July 11, 2011
Windows 7 Phone. Anyone out there have one of these bad boys in their pocket?
July 10, 2011
Gmail, Google News, Google Talk, AdSense - all the fruits of Google's policy of reserving 20% of the developer's time for self-initiated projects. Great policy, but one that has completely failed to make Google an innovative or disruptive player in higher education. Google's higher ed failures would not be so disturbing if higher ed was not so critical to the company's core mission and belief system."Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful."
July 10, 2011
It is the beginning of the summer period again when I am no longer teaching and when I take some time to assess how the year went. After my experiences in the classroom this year, I am convinced more than ever that teaching with the traditional methods of lecturing does not work anymore on the students of the new generation. I am afraid that the failure to realize this is likely to create a gap between professors and the students, and thus stand as an obstacle to success in our classrooms.
July 10, 2011
I had the pleasure of attending my local high school graduation last week. This was a class that was recognized for their social action, for their sense of purpose, and for their involvement. A nice change in priorities from the “me” generation that we suffered through not that long ago. Early in the ceremony, there was a speech by the class valedictorian who as you can imagine was very bright and articulate, and had a sense of humor besides. Certainly an impressive young man with a great combination of positive attributes.

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