All those topics that i wish i had time to pursue more earnestly.
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Category — Higher Education

YouTube – No More “Learners”

we are all in this together.

February 28, 2009   No Comments

Facts should be avoided.

Technical knowledge was to be strenuously avoided: “Facts are the core of an anti-intellectual curriculum,” he observed. “Facts do not solve problems. . . . The gadgeteers and the data collectors have threatened to become the supreme chieftains of the scholarly world.” The true stewards of the university, said the career administrator, should be those who deal with the most fundamental problems: metaphysicians.

[From Middlebrow Messiahs by Brendan Boyle, City Journal 16 January 2009]


This is an interesting take on the great books model of higher education. The model where we read in order to learn to think, to learn to create, to learn to be. I think it is an interesting model, and I find that my students are generally unread in terms of classics and well unread in almost everything else longer than 10 pages too, but such is life.

January 23, 2009   No Comments

IT Index

Amherst College, in western Massachusetts, enrolled 438 first year students this fall, for a total student population of 1680+. I gathered the following to tell the story of the changes occurring here and now in the life of the College. [From IT Index]


Here’s a great index of a small college’s it needs. I’d love to see several tiers of colleges produce things like this.

September 26, 2008   No Comments

Student Shortcomings – Anything but Masters of Technology –

When it comes to today’s kids and their use of technology, a new report sponsored by the British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee reveals some very interesting results. The biggest shock to many will be one that is actually quite obvious to those who work in education.

[From Student Shortcomings - Anything but Masters of Technology - ]


open education has a nice revealing report about student’s skills with technology.

as an online teacher, most of my students are fairly adept. they have to be to choose this way of learning, but… all students have some problems with technology as this report suggests. those problems are not the ‘plug it in and play’ variety, they are the epistemological and judgmental variety. Our students need higher order skills. However, unlike many people. I won’t say those higher order skills are related to the use computers. It is merely that they lack those skills in that arena also.

September 15, 2008   No Comments

Research Blogging

Posts – Research Blogging]

Research blogging is a blog for people who blog about peer reviewed research. It is a place to share and read about that research across many disciplines.

September 3, 2008   No Comments

Fellowship and Conference

Since Tuesday I have been in Milwaukee visiting SOIS and CIPR as part of my Information Ethics fellowship. I attended a discussion about a possible future conference on translating intercultural information ethics across the situated understandings that term implies across a plurality of contexts. That seems like a great project, I’m happy to help out there. For the rest of the time, I attended the conference Thinking Critically:Alternative Perspectives and Methods in Information Studies. It was an excellent conference and I met many interesting people in the field of information studies, most of which are leaders in their field or soon to be so. I also attended the 2008 Samore Lecture: “Interpreting the Digital Human,” by Professor Rafael Capurro, at the Allis Museum, which provided an excellent end to the conference. I had excellent dinners and conversation with colleagues that I’ve not seen for some time, and with new friends and colleagues. I suspect that I’ll be seeing many of these people again over the years. It was a great experience all around, though I did not get enough writing done on a promised paper that is overdue. It really looks like the CIPR and SOIS are up to some great things and I’m happy to be affiliated with them as an Ethics Fellow for another year.

Unrelated to the conference and my fellowship, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Thomas Malaby who has a book forthcoming on Linden Lab. We spoke at length about problems of research, computer game studies, his work with Linden Lab and his related work. It was a fantastic conversation and I hope to have similar conversations in relation to my work in Second Life in the future.

All in all the problem of alternative methods and the communities that support them is an important issue in my career. I have been affiliated with many groups on this topic from Phil Graham’s old NewMediaResearch, heterodox economics, and the political science perestroika movement list, to my current work with InterpretationandMethods and Theory, Policy and Society, not to mention my work with the Association of Internet Researchers. The work that I perform is primarily interpretive methods, from ethnography to textual analysis, though I’ve been known to use quantitative when it adds to the argument. The key to me though is to come to notion of understanding and being able to communicate what actually leads to certain understandings of the world. It concerns me that there are so many people with so many of the same issues across so many different disciplines and there is so little conversations amongst them. Though there are broad interdisciplinary efforts and efforts toward inclusion.

May 18, 2008   No Comments

About TELOS : Telos Press

Since 1968, the quarterly journal TELOS has provided an international forum for discussions of political, social, and cultural change. It has built a bridge between intellectual debates in Europe and the United States, exploring matters of contemporary concern to both sides of the Atlantic. Over its long history, TELOS has promoted the awareness of dissidence in Eastern Europe during the Soviet era, debated the state of US-European relations, and examined topics central to post-Communism and the Iraq Wars. TELOS offers an exciting exchange of ideas for anyone with an interest in the vital international issues of the day.

[From About TELOS : Telos Press]


telos press can now be found with 1998-2008 online:)

March 31, 2008   No Comments

Blackboard wins initial round on patent suit damages awarded 3+million

The verdict, announced this afternoon, allows Blackboard Inc. to demand a ban on sales of Desire2Learn’s products in the United States.

[From - News - Local: Jury rules against Desire2Learn in patent case ]


I cannot help but wonder why this patent has not been invalidated. There has to be innumerable examples of this actually occurring in universities before blackboad, and beyond that, the patent does not seem to be particularly innovative in context, it seems to me to be mapping practices, but hey that’s my opinion, and the court disagrees.

February 24, 2008   No Comments

morning IM chats on teaching with technology

A colleague brought up the recent inquiry on technology in the classroom here which led to my general use of high technology in the classroom as found below:


10:33 way back when i started teaching

10:34 my colleagues introduced me to the most handy bit of kit

10:34 it’s called a codex

10:34 it is a collection of paper bound at the edge with glue or other means

10:34 now quite amazingly… you’d think that this bit of technical kit, well, it’s useless.

10:35 but people have appropriated it and filled it with all kinds of things, pictures, drawings, and words

10:35 some people have even taken the explicit step of ordering these things, pictures and words in a way that apparently is intended to convey meaning


10:36 well that’s crazy


10:36 and i’m like ‘holy cow!’

10:36 you mean someone

10:36 has gathered all their knowledge on a topic

10:36 and put it in a codex

10:36 and students can get hold of this thing

10:36 isn’t that dangerous?




10:36 i mean what if it tells them how to skip class

10:37 or worse, how to fold their graded assignments in to lewd origami?


10:37 I’m shocked and apalled


10:37 but then i saw one of these things, and tried to use it in class

10:37 and OMG

10:37 the students that could read and spent time reading it…

10:37 their performance improved dramatically

10:37 no more did they just have to reiterate what i said before

10:38 though that is always appreciated, and some still strive for that

10:38 they could actually ‘interpret the meanings’ in the codex and occasionally you find one or two that will combine those meanings with other meanings and actually teach me something

10:38 man… that’s scary

10:39 but it adds a new exciting edge to the classroom

10:39 so… technology in the classroom, it’s great!


10:41 I dunno

10:41 it sounds…dangerous


10:42 well, I have to admit that it is actually slightly less dangerous than having the students re-enact the lessons of history with pointed sticks and rocks, though that was all in all very learning intensive on many levels

February 24, 2008   No Comments

Weblogg-ed » What Do We Know About Our Kids’ Futures? Really.

What Do We Know About Our Kids’ Futures? Really.

[From Weblogg-ed » What Do We Know About Our Kids’ Futures? Really.]


there is an interesting discussion occurring at weblogg-ed about kids and learning. my addition is that kids have learned to be compartmentalized, not taking intellectual risks, and losing to some extent their curiousities in favor of performance of others’ goals.

February 17, 2008   No Comments