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June 10, 2012
Last weekend, I traveled to Virginia to visit my first college roommate. As described here, I took an instant dislike to Peg based on such substantial attributes as her slender good looks and nice wardrobe, and the fact that my mother approved of her. Thanks to her decency and good sense, I was eventually able to see past my ridiculous prejudices, and we became good and lasting friends.
June 7, 2012
In which I find "MOOC" doesn't adequately describe massive online open stuff any longer.  Even the acronym -- massive open online course -- doesn't seem quite right.
June 7, 2012
In academia, the summer break inevitably leads every professor to confront the very tasks he/she has put aside during the busy semesters of teaching: finish that research project; complete that journal article or book; catch up on more readings of favorite authors; brush up that syllabus; weed/add class materials, etc. To many, summer is really not a breather of one’s academic self, but merely a dedicated time to concentrate on things other than teaching. Except for the shorter library and office hours, and the minuscule number of students roaming about campus, summer is business as usual to many of us whose work follows wherever one goes.
June 7, 2012
A few months ago, I wrote a GradHacker post on studying for comprehensive exams. This post is a follow-up, with suggestions on how to successfully write the exams themselves.
June 7, 2012
The other day I sat in on an online synchronous session in a graduate blended degree program. As I watched the session I kept thinking to myself "YES!" Yes - this is the sort of learning that technology can catalyze. Yes - this is the educational experience we would would construct if getting learners and faculty together at one place around an oval table is not feasible. And yes - we need to find a way to share the potential of education at a distance to match the quality of a face-to-face seminar.
June 7, 2012
Money magazine did an uncharacteristically good piece on how to choose a community college.  It assumes a little more geographic mobility than is typically the case -- most people pick one within commuting distance of home -- but for people who have multiple practical options within driving distance, it may be useful.
June 7, 2012
When Summify came on the content curation scene last year, I was instantly enamored with the service. Keeping up with vast amounts of tweets and Facebook updates can easily become a full-time occupation for folks like myself who are regularly "plugged in." Summify provided a daily email of the best bits of the social media day. Sadly, Summify was acquired by Twitter. Most likely, Twitter wants to use Summify's service as a way to boost readership and potential ad revenue. (Although, the whole thing reeks of the Facebook Camera / Instagram situation…) What the acquisition means for users is that what was once a great product is now no longer available.
June 7, 2012
When you have to travel for conferences or research, the change of place and space can lead to some deeper questions about where we are.
June 7, 2012
There is a function in math called the “Greatest Integer Function,” which assigns a value to every number that is the largest integer less than or equal to that number. For example, the numbers 1, 1.2 and 1.9 would all have a value of 1 for this function. As you can imagine, this leads to a graph that looks a lot like a set of stairs, and is the typical example used when describing what a “discontinuous” function looks like. I found myself thinking of this over the past week, as I watched my daughter move up a grade in school.
June 7, 2012
What happened to me when I had a chance to meet one of my writing heroes.

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