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September 30, 2011
Earlier this week, I saw part of the premiere of the new program, Terra Nova. It started on a world that reminded me of Blade Runner (but without the rain, and the sheep) but soon shifted to a kind of Jurassic Park in reverse (the dinosaurs are on the outside of the fence). I thought it might be worth watching on the basis that two of the producers are Rene Echevarria and Brannon Braga (Star Trek TNG, The 4400), but I notice that they're only two out of a whole lot of producers. Could be good, could easily be too many cooks. We'll see.
September 29, 2011
A full software bake-off, one that involves an in-depth comparison and review of competing software platforms and and solutions from a variety of vendors, is the gold standard for software selection. This bake-off should commence following the development of a full set of requirements and use-case examples, so that the products can be evaluated and scored against a rubric. Bake-offs usually commence from an industry scan, progress to webinars, elevate to face-to-face demos, and culminate in pilot projects.
September 29, 2011
-- This week a student reminded me of a side of college I sometimes forget. He’s openly gay, and his mannerisms fit the stereotype pretty conspicuously. He mentioned that high school -- just last year -- was sheer hell for him, with his always being subjected to, as he put it, “faggot this and faggot that.” Having been here for a year, he said that he never hears that here. Now that he feels safe, he’s able to stop always looking over his shoulder, and his grades have improved dramatically.
September 29, 2011
I remember being part of a meeting many years ago where the term “STEM” (to describe the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and/or Medicine) was used lightly, under the assumption that everyone knew what it meant. Although I am technically not from a “STEM” discipline, since I am an economist, I teach in a math department, so was familiar with the term.
September 29, 2011
September's UVenus question comes to us from Meg Palladino -- What is your favorite proverb or saying, and why?Afshan Jafar (US) My favorite proverb: "He teaches ill, who teaches all." As a teacher, I love the wisdom of this proverb: a good teacher leaves some room for students to make their own discoveries and arrive at their own conclusions instead of spoon-feeding all the answers to them.
September 29, 2011
In today's IHE article on the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid Committee's survey of higher education regarding regulation, the conclusion suggests that higher education may perceive the burden of regulation to be greater than it actually is. Maybe so, I am not an expert on the whole thing. But I do know something about the last decade's file sharing debacle. My experience based on that example makes me skeptical.The Higher Education Opportunity Act's peer to peer file sharing provisions are discriminatory toward higher education.
September 28, 2011
1. Will Devices and Content Merge? At $199 for the Kindle Fire, and $79 for the basic Kindle, prices are getting low enough that some higher ed programs will think about bundling the devices with tuition / fee paid for content. Many professional and executive education programs provide the course and learning content as part of the educational service. At $199 for the Kindle Fire, a program could pre-load all course video (including lecture capture recordings), and other rich media directly on the device.
September 28, 2011
I was informed recently that my son Nick will receive free tuition from my partner’s university, as long as Ted and I declare a domestic partnership. I was pleased to discover that Nick may attend Columbia College Chicago (CCC) with tuition waived, but embarrassed that I did not actually know the details for how to declare a partnership. Ted and I have been together for more than a decade, but we have never signed any legal affidavits together beyond a bank mortgage.
September 28, 2011
Could community colleges attract more funding by attracting more white kids?
September 28, 2011
Greenback U, this academic year, has experienced an influx of bicyclists. We've always had a small number, but this semester we've experienced an order of magnitude increase. I attribute it largely to the installation of lots of bike racks around campus. And the creation of well-marked bike lanes. And, perhaps, the efforts of the sustainability staff. But mostly, racks and lanes.

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