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October 22, 2009 - 7:15pm
When my daughter was barely five years old, I told her the phone number of someone we knew, a number that went something like “8448”. I then told her that the number was special, since it was a “palindrome”, and was the same forward and backwards. She looked up at me, and, without missing a second, said “Like Hannah Montana?” It took me a few seconds to realize that the word “Hannah” in Hannah Montana is, indeed, a palindrome, as it is spelled the same forward and backward.
October 22, 2009 - 3:31pm
(On the way to work: "My Roots Are Showing" by Natalie MacMaster. If this doesn't do it for you, check your pulse -- you might be dead!)
October 22, 2009 - 8:20am
A lot can be said about the ‘challenges’ of Facebook, but one of the great things about social media is that it puts you back in touch with old, college friends. (By ‘old’ I mean friends who attended college more than 20 years ago.) In a weird coincidence, I had two of my former undergraduate roommates come through Chicago during the past week.
October 21, 2009 - 9:03pm
The headlines about the enrollment booms at community colleges are accurate, as far as they go. But I realized yesterday that they leave out part of the story. Locally, our credit-bearing programs are bursting at the seams. The library is literally standing-room-only at peak hours; veteran staff tell me they've never seen that before. English as a Second Language is through the roof.
October 21, 2009 - 8:46pm
Have you guys seen Microsoft's video on technology enabled collaborative learning?The video description reads:What if learning was an adventure? What if we could cross the boundaries of language, location, and devices? This video presents a vision for a learning experience that is more collaborative with easy sharing of information. Microsoft technologies aim to deliver a seamless flow between lifestyle and learning, and new ways to collaborate.
October 21, 2009 - 4:22pm
State workers here are required to take and pass an annual, online, ethics refresher course (it takes 30-60 minutes), and state university employees are no exception. The format has varied over time, but the requirement inevitably draws complaints. Since money is always tight, and the state employs many people, the course's design has been one-size-fits-all.
October 21, 2009 - 4:21pm
(Music for the drive in this morning was Mulgrew Miller's Landmarks. His playing is remarkably expressive through a very wide range of styles, and this album (assembled from three different session, each with different personnel) is remarkably well-balanced.)
October 21, 2009 - 8:24am
We celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada not long ago, and I spent the holiday weekend in deep contemplation and reflection about all I have and where my life has brought me. Aside from the obvious things for which I feel thankful — health (a big one this year), family, home, and food on the table — I feel particularly grateful for the invaluable time I can spend with my children in their young years.
October 20, 2009 - 9:41pm
My college, like so many others, has tried to deal with the Great Recession by having a series of public meetings about what's most important to us. The idea has been to give stakeholders from around campus -- including students -- input before decisions are made, so the decisions can be made with a clearer sense of what we all think matters. No secret decisions, no hidden agendas, no "why weren't we consulted?" objections. And some of the conversations have been wonderfully productive, with a surprising degree of consensus around a couple of major issues.
October 20, 2009 - 9:36pm
Learning tech needs some new blood. We need to recruit young people to go into our discipline (actually - we need to define our discipline - but that is a larger debate). We need to encourage people in their twenties to work in academic technology units, to join learning tech companies, and to start their own learning technology companies.

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