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Revisiting 'Grapes of Wrath'

From being taught a novel to teaching it, in less than three decades.

GradHacking the MOOC

It is undeniable that we are currently living in the time of the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course, just in case you were catching up on Downton Abbey and missed it). Every day new headlines pop up at Inside Higher Ed and The New York Times discussing the impact of MOOCs, who's joined forces with Coursera or Udacity or edX or some combination of the three, what Higher Ed thinks about MOOCs, what Silicon Valley thinks of MOOCs, who's doing well with MOOCs, and who isn't doing so well at MOOCs.

Big (MOOC) Data

By now it seems clear that MOOCs can generate vast quantities of data, from course completion rates, to assessments, to student experiences.

Changing Places

On a recent trip to the UK, I visited a friend who works at the University of Birmingham. She took me on a tour of its really quite beautiful campus, ending at the Muirhead Tower, a brutalist monstrosity built in 1971. Its recent renovation has smoothed over some of the worst features of the original design, including the shards of concrete which had begun to fall off its exterior.

The Internet at $0.75 Per Minute

Would you take a vacation if you could not access the Internet? What would you pay per minute to get online? Having just returned from a week of vacation I can answer both questions.

Sequestration

The one very minor positive for me in the current economic cliffhanger is that my vocabulary has expanded to include sequestration and I even find myself unfortunately using this word on a regular basis. In the next few weeks, I may even get to the point of asking friends and acquaintances how they are and how they will be after sequestration.

Elder Rap

One element of musical improv that I (and many others) find challenging is rhyming. It is hard enough to express a strong emotion melodically, in regular rhythm, often switching off verses or even lines with a partner, without worrying about how to end the line with a rhyme that actually makes sense and is emotionally consonant with what has gone on before.

The Particle Accelerator of Learning

Peter Stokes takes a peek inside the latest laboratory spawned by MIT and Harvard -- edX, the nonprofit MOOC provider.