By Tracy Mitrano. The Swedish Foreign Minister's letter to The New York Times this week could have been written before the Snowden disclosures, but surely it is the product of them. Spoken from a premise of Western individualism and democracy, it calls for International Internet Law in support of those principles. His specific seven-point plan is worth repeating here:
- First, surveillance should be based on laws, and these must be adopted in a transparent manner through a democratic process. The implementation of these laws should be reviewed periodically to ensure that the expansion of surveillance capabilities due to technological advances is properly debated. Read more...
By Simon Schwartzman. The bad news: Earlier in October the Brazilian press announced the sad news that the University of São Paulo (USP) usually considered the best university south of Rio Grande, had disappeared from the top list of 200 institutions of the Times Higher Education rankings, together with the prestigious State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). USP went from the 158th place to join the 226-250 group, while UNICAMP disappeared from the top 300 list completely. During the following days, many articles appeared in newspapers, magazines and blogs, trying to explain this sudden fall. The fact that USP remained among the best 150 in the also prestigious ranking of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University was no consolation. Read more...
By Barbara Fister. A friend Tweeted a link to a New York Times “death of the humanities” piece recently. You may have read it. The title is “As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry.” It triggered in me a kind of autocomplete fugue state. I tweeted back a string of inanities.
- As interest fades in the public welfare, colleges pretend they care as they scramble to pay for the stadium and tuition rises.
- As interest in learning fades, colleges make sure they have climbing walls.
- As interest in scientific inquiry fades, colleges slip science into the premed curriculum and hope they'll get away with it.
- As interest in being premed fades, students scramble to choose other majors.
By Rosemarie Emanuele. I recall one professor from graduate school who would often say that when he told people that he taught Economics for a living, the listener often reacted by being appalled. “That was the WORST class I ever took” they would often tell him, leaving him in a position of explaining why the class was really useful and actually very cool. As a math professor, I often encounter the same reaction (and sometimes doubly so, when the person learns that I am not just a math professor but also an Economist.) I found myself thinking of this recently when I ran into a former student as I made my way across the campus. Read more...
By Joshua Kim. Are you working with a learning designer?
Have you consulted a learning design professional on your campus to help you think about:
- Leveraging learning technologies to assist you in meeting your teaching goals?
- Evolving your face-to-face course to a more blended teaching methodology, one in which some of year teaching is done on your campus learning management system (LMS)?
- Creating a fully (or mostly) online course?
My hypothesis is that the ability to collaborate with a learning designer is the single most important determinant of faculty successfully integrating technology into their teaching. Read more...
By Joshua Kim. As of this writing Twitter has a market capitalization of $24.46 billion dollars.
To put Twitter into some context, look at Hershey. (Founded in 1894, and on my mind during this Halloween season).
Hershey is valued at $21.66 billion. Last year Hershey took in $6.94 billion, and recognized $2.86 billion in profits. Read more...
By Joshua Kim. Look around at your campus edtech platforms.
It is a good bet that in 4 years these platforms will all have changed.
In the past it seemed like our edtech platforms stuck around forever. We were slow to choose because we knew we’d be slow to change. We worried about switching costs, about the pain for faculty and students in moving from one system to another. We talked about the opportunity costs in lost time to engage on course design and development if we would be forced to teach faculty how to use the new systems. Read more...