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September 30, 2009 - 8:25am
A radio interview I heard yesterday completely derailed the blog theme I’d planned for this week (I’ll have to save the sex topic for next time). Let’s just say I’ve become a little obsessed with obsessiveness since hearing the program. The interview (from CBC radio’s “The Current”) was titled “Obsessive Work” and featured an ornithologist named Glen Chilton who’s just published a book about his 15 year obsession with tracking down every stuffed specimen of the extinct Labrador duck.
September 29, 2009 - 9:37pm
A new correspondent writes:Most department heads/chairs are fair. That's something I'll just spot for the sake of agreement.Some are not. When it comes to dealing with course approvals and appointments and class schedules, chairs are in a position to reward friends and treat less well those they find objectionable, pains in the ass, or the invisibles. The problem is, especially for the untenured, no one would file a complaint, for obvious reasons. Deans often don't know of the crap that goes on, or if they do, there is blessed little they can do about it.
September 29, 2009 - 8:25pm
Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has two recent NYT op-ed pieces, It's Easy Being Green and Cassandras of Climate. Krugman points out that the reason we (the whole world, but most clearly the USA) aren't doing something about climate change is that we lack the political will that results from looking further than the end of our collective nose. The truth is too inconvenient to the economic powers that be.
September 29, 2009 - 8:08pm
Podcasts are essential for keeping up with news and trends at the intersection of learning and technology. Time is our scarcest commodity, and podcasts allow for the consumption of news and information while doing other things. Driving home from work today I plugged my iPod into the minivans stereo and happily cruised the streets of Hanover while catching up on the weeks technology news from NPR.
September 28, 2009 - 10:45pm
Once a week or so I leave my house in the morning at the usual time, bag packed, computer stowed—but instead of heading straight to my office I go elsewhere. Specifically, I head to a very public, chain bookstore café — one with free wifi — where I order a cup of coffee, plug in my laptop, and work for a few hours before heading in to my office. The place is hardly welcoming. It’s the opposite of “Cheers,” where “everybody knows your name” — in fact, that’s part of its appeal. I am anonymous here, and I relish the anonymity.
September 28, 2009 - 10:23pm
Most everything I know about learning design I learned from my former colleague Frances Rowe, Director of Instructional Design at Quinnipiac University Online. The QUOnline team has launched a new blog called Digital Pedagog.Digital Pedagog is a gorgeous group blog. A great example of the power of team blogging. All the contributors to Digital Pedagog are experts within different domains of learning design and online/hybrid learning.
September 28, 2009 - 9:22pm
Word has it that my state is considering requiring students to file FAFSA (Federal financial aid) forms as a condition of admission to a cc. The idea, as near as I can figure, is not to leave any Federal money on the table.That said, I have one reaction:Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.
September 28, 2009 - 8:53pm
The first recipient of the Pen/Pinter Prize, in honor of Harold Pinter, and dedicated to writers who, as Pinter put it in his Nobel address, "define the real truth of our lives and our societies," is Tony Harrison, author most notably of the long poem titled V. We'll take a look at some of V (1985) in a moment.
September 27, 2009 - 9:40pm
One of my major growth moments as an administrator came in my first year. In a meeting about course scheduling, I made a crack about how teaching too many sections of composition in a single semester can be excessively draining. (My language was a bit less polished.) I had actually done that load myself, so I spoke from experience, but it was very much with my faculty perspective.
September 27, 2009 - 9:08pm
The main reason I go to the annual EDUCAUSE conference is to spend quality time with the educational technology vendors on the exhibitor floor. You can see an interactive map of all the companies signed up for a vendor booth at this link.


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