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February 16, 2012
Where Google has real potential to make a difference in higher ed is not services, platforms or apps - but ideas. Google changed the economics information. A revenue model based on advertising and scale allows for (requires) the delivery of great platforms such as Google Apps, YouTube, Android, and hopefully Chromebook.
February 16, 2012
Somehow, like an unusual alignment of planets, SOPA, PIPA, RWA, and Penguin’s decision to withdraw the ebooks and audiobooks they publish from public libraries have all contributed to an unusual tidal swell. People are beginning to notice that big publishers are not really all that interested in authors or readers; they are interested in consolidating control of distribution channels so that the only participants in culture are creators who work for little or nothing and consumers who can only play if they can pay.
February 16, 2012
Inspiration can sometimes come from the most unusual sources. In my case (and in the case of one of my colleagues at University of Venus), the Muse was none other than Tina Fey in her book Bossypants. In retrospect I should have known that academia and the world of comedy writing would have much in common.
February 16, 2012
In thinking about developing an online presence, participants were worried about exposure: what facets of one’s professional/academic/personal selves should be revealed online, and to what extent? Their reservations about writing publicly, particularly about their research, mirrored my own when I started blogging. I’ve figured out how to negotiate those issues, but I still struggle with an important issue related to my professional, digital presence: Do I want to make my CV available online? If yes, where should I post it, and what platform should I use? Furthermore, what version of my CV should I use? (That’s right: the academic CV is not one-size-fits-all.)
February 16, 2012
In economics, we talk about a free market bringing consumers and producers to an allocation that will be in everyone’s best interest, a result that does not require any consideration by the participants of the well being of others in the economy. This idea, sometimes called the “Adam Smith Hypothesis”, relies on several assumptions, some of which make sense and some which might be suspect in our modern economy. One of the assumptions needed for such a powerful result is the assumption of free information, that those in the economy have access to reliable information that they do not need to pay for. This assumption comes to mind when I realize that I am one of the last people in North America who is not yet a member of Facebook.
February 16, 2012
Inspired in part by a recent talk by Stephen Downes on "E-Learning Generations" and by the work I'm doing in thinking about how technologies enhance (or not) the way we learn, I've decided to start chronicling some of my own experiences -- two decades ago now -- getting my Bachelor's Degree by piecing together a series of distance learning, face-to-face, and correspondence courses.
February 16, 2012
I recently commented on the poor attendance at a black history month event on our campus. Last night, however, I had the great honor of introducing one of the original Freedom Riders, Hank Thomas, to a room filled beyond capacity with students, staff/faculty, high school students, and community members.
February 15, 2012
The campus conversation about data must attend to both numbers and nuance.
February 15, 2012
A new correspondent writes: Six months ago, I accepted an assistant deanship at an institution that requires a long daily commute. I've since come to regret my decision, finding that the 60+ hours away from home is damaging my family life, which, in turn, makes me ineffective in both work and family roles.  
February 15, 2012
We are crazy busy. We get to work early. We eat lunch at our desks. If we manage to get home at a reasonable hour then the laptop comes open after dinner. E-mails to read and send. Documents to edit and compose. Presentations to prepare. Spreadsheets to crunch.

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