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May 19, 2011
As recent fellow bloggers’ posts reflect, many of us are experiencing some form of end-of-the-semester burnout. We’ve been working hard and fast, racing toward the deadline, anticipating a joyful release once grading is done. For many of us in Wisconsin, this spring semester has been particularly eventful and exhausting.
May 19, 2011
On the first day of class, I always try to do an ice breaker. One of my favorites is to ask students to tell us about their name. Why was this name chosen? What does it mean? Often this exercise helps me remember students’ names and helps me learn a little more about them.
May 18, 2011
Wise and worldly readers, I need the benefit of your experience.This summer, my college will migrate from one Course Management System to another. (A CMS is the web platform used to run online courses or the online components of hybrid courses. Common examples include Blackboard, WebCT, Angel, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai.) The motivation is partly based on features, and partly based on a history of shoddy treatment by the sole vendor of a proprietary product.
May 18, 2011
Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World by Doug Saunders
May 18, 2011
It used to be that one of the best known images in the climate change discussion was the "hockey stick" graph -- a long-term chart of atmospheric temperature variation that showed a pattern of stability for centuries, and then an accelerating secular trend upwards in recent times. But then a Congressional report was issued, some statisticians called the science unreliable, and a large portion of the American public got the idea that -- somehow -- a simple and intuitively obvious chart of empirical observations didn't signify.
May 17, 2011
Puma, the German sports shoe maker (I'm sorry, I meant "Sportslifestyle company"),has just published an Environmental Profit & Loss report, making it perhaps the first firm to quantify the environmental impacts of its products. Brief analyses of this event are available here and here.
May 17, 2011
I am willing to bet I can pin-point one common source of frustration for academics: that we are perceived as having an easy life, or not really working a full-time job. Just the other day somebody, not in academia, talked at length about how my situation is ideal: I only work a few days a week and have the summers “off”. To add insult to injury, he concluded with comparing my job as a full-time tenure-track professor to having a part-time job with flexible hours!
May 17, 2011
Here's how I think I understand the Pearson and Panopto deal works:
May 17, 2011
Dear readers, I am announcing my candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Presidency of the United States. Any questions?Q: Who the hell are you?A: I’m a middle-aged white guy with a wife, two kids, a dog, and a house with a white picket fence. (Seriously!) I have a birth certificate showing I was born in the USA, and I meet the height requirement.Q: Okay, but how about a name? A picture?D: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reality shows, it’s that Americans love the “big reveal.” They’ll get it at the inauguration.

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