20 avril 2014

A Soliloquy on Contingency

By . I don’t share the sheer outrage that some adjunct professors are directing at the tenured ranks. I really do believe that the majority of tenured faculty — I obviously can’t speak for all of them — want every professor to be offered the benefits that were once the norm for university professors: stable employment, resources, research leave, health care, etc. I do believe this. However, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I sometimes bristle when I am forced to gape at the wide divide that separates me from those very, very few of my peers who have been fortunate enough to get on the tenure track. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:40 - - Permalien [#]


Practice and Performance: Teaching Urban Literature at the Less than Liberal Arts

By . To say that being the only African American woman professor at a small, liberal arts college in the rural United States is a series of racial microaggressions (and macroaggressions) waiting to happen is something of an understatement. And still, you are hopeful that the aspirational institution that sent for you will be able to support you on its campus. Initially, you may ignore being regularly mistaken by your colleagues for the other (only) Black woman on campus, or be willing to patiently explain that the institution’s expectation that you mentor every Black student is not only unreasonable, but not conducive to successful tenure. By the time you encounter the catch-22 of seeming uncongenial, in part, because you carefully consider the social spaces you inhabit and very few of your colleagues seem to notice the confederate flags that casually drape the windows of cars parked in front of too many local watering holes, you begin to feel less hopeful. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:36 - - Permalien [#]

Literature is not Data: Against Digital Humanities

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Literature is not Data: Against Digital Humanities.
I don't think there's anything wrong with the digital humanities per se but I accept the criticism that it would represent a misapplication of big data. As Stephen Marche writes, "Literature cannot meaningfully be treated as data. The problem is essential rather than superficial: literature is not data. Literature is the opposite of data." In particular, "algorithms, exactly like fascism, work perfectly, with a sense of seemingly unstoppable inevitability, right up until the point they don’t.`Well fine. But why is this the case? I would say that it's because data (as we know it) is about mass, while meaning is based on context and connection. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:21 - - Permalien [#]

Educating Modern Learners Is Live!

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Educating Modern Learners Is Live!
Audrey Watters announces the arrival of her online publishing venture with Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon, Educating Modern Learners, "a site dedicated to news and analysis about the future of teaching and learning through a progressive education (and progressive ed-tech) lens." It will, sadly, cost you $35 a month to read. Not open content, obviously. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:21 - - Permalien [#]

Ethics and soft boundaries between Facebook groups and other web services

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Ethics and soft boundaries between Facebook groups and other web services.
Fances Bell explores some of the murky issues surrounding access to 'closed' sites and services such as Facebook groups. These are not accessible to people without a Facebook login, and as such may be inaccessible to people who for one reason or another don't want Facebook. But also as such, these may carry a presumption of privacy on the part of members, some of whom may think posting to the course group isn't 'public' in the way posting a blog port or web page is. Meanwhile, can you post what was said on one Facebook group (or mailing list, or whatever) on another Facebook group? What if it's a 'closed' (members only) group? Tough questions. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:20 - - Permalien [#]


When Evidence Backfires

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. When Evidence Backfires.
People like me sometimes are inclined to think that if people had more and better education, they would not believe anti-scientific myths. For example, they they were told that the Sun is in a cooling cycle, they would not be inclined to blame Sun cycles for global warming. Actual evidence, however, suggests that people continue to believe myths despite the scientific evidence. Myths provide explanations, and merely debunking a myth leaves a gap in that explanation. In some cases, the provision of evidence contrary to the myth can actually strengthen their belief in the myth. Why do I raise this? Education is not a magic remedy for misinformation. See also the Debunking Handbook (PDF) by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:19 - - Permalien [#]

I am the New Flickr. I am an Ass.

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. I am the New Flickr. I am an Ass.
Alan Levine is not too pleased with the new Flickr interface. Neither, for that matter, am I. It's getting increasingly difficult to do the things with photos that give them meaning, like adding notes and comments. The 'sets' have been renamed 'albums' and are basically invisible now. I'm not sure how people can view my photos, if at all, other than through the photostream. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:18 - - Permalien [#]

“Blogs are the Vinyl Records of the Internet”

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. “Blogs are the Vinyl Records of the Internet”.
I don't think this metaphor works. I accept that "personal blogging is retreating in favour of corporate social media sites such as Facebook, twitter, and tumblr." But it isn't clear to me that "Just as vinyl records are still listened to, and considered better than the digital format, they exist without having a real impact on the music industry." I think that the internet would be very different without blogs. There has to be more to life than Upworthy and Huffington Post. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:16 - - Permalien [#]

2014 Future of Open Source Survey Results

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. 2014 Future of Open Source Survey Results.
Slideshare slide deck. From the summary: "The eighth annual Future of Open Source Survey results, presented by Black Duck and North Bridge, point toward the increased strategic role that open source plays in today’s enterprises, its crucial function within new technology development, and the growth of both first-time developers within the OSS community and the impact open source has in daily life." The overall message: "Open source continues to eat the software world." More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:15 - - Permalien [#]

Measuring MOOC Media

By Stephen Downes - Halfanhour. Here's the information I sent Steve Kolowich for his Chronicle article on the (possible?) decline of MOOC mentions in the media:
My data measures news articles from selected (and reasonably representative) sources (including Google News) and counts instances of the term ‘MOOC’ in title or descriptions. It is essentially the number of items published each day in the MOOC.ca newsletter http://www.mooc.ca/news.htm (filtered to remove duplicate listings). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:13 - - Permalien [#]