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June 6, 2010 - 4:52pm
In addition to having a long weekend, Memorial Day should be appreciated for its original meaning. And during the actual day or during the weekend, we should all make time to remember, reflect and honor those who gave their lives to protect our country and our quality of life.
June 4, 2010 - 2:21am
My sons and I didn’t drive three hours south over Memorial Day weekend to score candy; we went to see friends in my hometown, visit the graveyard, attend an Italian heritage festival, and watch the parade, which was basic but authentic: A VFW color guard, dignitaries in Chryslers, local marching bands and a pom-pom squad, students from a dance academy, a howl of fire trucks, Shriners in tiny waxed cars, a giant American flag borne by a platoon of citizens, men walking Harleys like hobbyhorses while pouring on the throttle, and the mascots for a minor-league baseball team—a muscled-up miner
June 3, 2010 - 9:49pm
The marvelous Barbara Fister writes in our discussion yesterday about my argument that Google should provide a syllabus platform:
June 3, 2010 - 9:16pm
I have written in this column before about the concept of "opportunity cost." This topic from economics says that every choice involves a cost, that when we choose to do one thing, we automatically choose not to do something else. When I think of the sacrifices my parents made so that my sister and I could obtain college educations, I realize that there were many opportunity costs to the decisions they made.
June 3, 2010 - 8:06am
The media and the sciences… They mix like oil and water. Commercial media seeks narrative personas, two-sided conflicts and attention-grabbing images of disaster. The sciences demand careful process, time to uncover truths and talented storytellers to achieve a big audience.
June 2, 2010 - 9:56pm
Every syllabus should be published, indexed, and freely available online.Where possible, the online syllabus should have these 5 traits:1. Published in Web format, in addition to a PDF or Word document (which is better for printing but not for quickly scanning).2. Contain links to full-text openly available curricular documents and media.3. Provide learning outcomes at the course and modular level.4. Include links to the instructor's C.V. and any other online resources or places that can connect the learner with the instructor.
June 2, 2010 - 9:15pm
The recent Memorial Day holiday was more than welcome. In truth, that's the case most years. Given that the last previous administrative holiday was in mid-January (faculty get Good Friday off -- staff don't), it had been a while between long weekends. Also given that the period right after Commencement is the time a whole lot of facilities projects kick off at Greenback, planning and preparation activities get pretty intense from mid-April through mid-May.
June 2, 2010 - 6:30am
It’s damp. It’s dreary. As I write this, I look out my window and fog obscures the mid-morning light. After a teasing May taste of summer, the sun seems to have disappeared and with it my get-up-and-go. Why should I be in such a slump when I’m thankful for so much in my life? It’s after days like these that my brain thinks the middle of the night is the best time to stir the stew of worries in my head. No concern is too trivial—“The basil plants I paid $1.25 for are shrivelling up! What’s happened to my career? Those wrong notes I sang in choir last night were so embarrassing!
June 1, 2010 - 9:56pm
We make tons of screencasts for our FAQ pages. Voice-over screencasts are great ways to show people how to accomplish tasks in the LMS, on the Web, or in specialized applications. A movie is no substitute for good step-by-step directions, as many people would prefer to have the steps written out for them to follow. But as screencasting is much faster, and in these days of unlimited demands and limited time, having a screencast available is better than not having anything. (The gold standard is to have both a screencast and step-by-step instructions).
May 31, 2010 - 9:48pm
Every now and again a book comes out that deserves to be read and discussed by your entire campus (or organization). Nudge and The Wisdom of Crowds are two such books.


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