This week I’m teaching Frankenstein in a lower-level women’s literature course. Among the host of meaty issues, we discuss the ways that Mary Shelley’s novel critiques the male scientist’s obsessive and isolating pursuit of knowledge at the expense of family/romantic/community ties. At the novel’s end, Victor Frankenstein counsels the explorer, Captain Walton, to “seek happiness in tranquility, and avoid ambition.”
Techsmith is my choice for the hottest company in educational technology.
1. Trajectory: The company's products and/or services are on a fast growth trajectory of adoption and usage.
2. Innovation: The company's products and/or services are leading and facilitating innovation in learning.
3. Value: The company's products and/or services offer a compelling value proposition for higher education.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.