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October 12, 2011
Good conferences are like a good partnership—they get better with age. Or maybe it’s my age that allows me to engage more directly with the ideas around me. I felt this way last weekend when I assisted with interviewing several participants at a Flannery O’Connor conference for a documentary. Many of the interviewees, such as Bill Sessions, knew the great writer personally before her untimely death at thirty-nine from lupus. They understood how important her religious faith had been to her.
October 12, 2011
Ok, so the campus LMS market is in transition. Blackboard’s announced plans to retire its legacy LMS applications is a major catalyst for this transition: upwards of 700 Blackboard LMS clients, primary but not exclusively colleges and universities, confront “up or out” decisions regarding their current campus implementations of retiring Angel, WebCT, and other older Blackboard-branded LMS applications.
October 12, 2011
The academic marketplace is expected to be democratic and it is therefore assumed that women should be represented in continuously increasing numbers. But although research has shown a clear trend of women gaining improved access to academic positions for some decades, barriers to equality are still at play.
October 12, 2011
The word “occupation” has been getting a workout lately.The Occupy Wall Street movement, which seems to have gone viral around the country, is emerging as a welcome and badly-needed counterweight to the Tea Party. It has given rise to an Occupy College movement, in which students protest excessive tuition increases, student loan burdens, and, implicitly, the lack of well-paying jobs available upon graduation.And then there are occupations, as in jobs. The lack of occupations is causing occupations.
October 12, 2011
My six-year-old is too young to understand the impact Steve Jobs will have on her life. However, she unintentionally paid homage to him this past week with a special craft project of her own design and execution. With duct tape, scissors, and markers, she turned an old cardboard box into a laptop computer, complete with keyboard, touchpad, mouse, and Apple logo (in the appropriate orientation on the screen, of course). She and her friend decorated cardboard mouse pads and played computer store in our den. Computers are nothing out of the ordinary in their world.
October 11, 2011
The news from Neftlix CEO Reed Hastings "no change: one website, one account, one password … in other words, no Qwikster."In jettisoning the plan to create two separate (and non-communicating) sites for streaming and DVDs, Netflix has made its first smart move in many months.What can we learn in higher ed from this Qwikster debacle and Netflix's reversal?Lesson 1 - Admit (Quickly) When Your Are Wrong:
October 11, 2011
“What’s the point of this?”“Poorly argued.”“This isn’t about anything.” Lee Skallerup
October 11, 2011
This kind of situation gives administrators fits, since there’s no easy answer.Let’s say a student is so disruptive in class that he’s making it impossible to teach. The professor exercises the prerogative to kick the student out of class. The professor files disciplinary charges, but it will be a week or more before the charges can be heard (and the student can give his side of the story). The class will meet at least twice, if not more than that, before the hearing can be held.Should the student be allowed back in class, pending the hearing?
October 10, 2011
Columbus arrived triumphantly here in the Midwest this past week, dressed in his embroidered robes and that pincushion hat thing he wears. At some point he no doubt strode ashore and had some buffalo wings and a Diet Coke at The Loading Dock, where families and bikers were already enjoying the long weekend. But then he's always gotten to the party a little late--about 18,000 years after those who crossed the Bering land bridge into North America, and 500 years after the Norse.

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