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Ed Webb

The threat to our universities | Books | The Guardian - 0 views

  • It is worth emphasising, in the face of routine dismissals by snobbish commentators, that many of these courses may be intellectually fruitful as well as practical: media studies are often singled out as being the most egregiously valueless, yet there can be few forces in modern societies so obviously in need of more systematic and disinterested understanding than the media themselves
  • Nearly two-thirds of the roughly 130 university-level institutions in Britain today did not exist as universities as recently as 20 years ago.
  • Mass education, vocational training and big science are among the dominant realities, and are here to stay.
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  • it is noticeable, and surely regrettable, how little the public debate about universities in contemporary Britain makes any kind of appeal to this widespread appreciation on the part of ordinary intelligent citizens that there should be places where these kinds of inquiries are being pursued at their highest level. Part of the problem may be that while universities are spectacularly good at producing new forms of understanding, they are not always very good at explaining what they are doing when they do this.
  • talking to audiences outside universities (some of whom may be graduates), I am struck by the level of curiosity about, and enthusiasm for, ideas and the quest for greater understanding, whether in history and literature, or physics and biology, or any number of other fields. Some members of these audiences may not have had the chance to study these things themselves, but they very much want their children to have the opportunity to do so; others may have enjoyed only limited and perhaps not altogether happy experience of higher education in their own lives, but have now in their adulthood discovered a keen amateur reading interest in these subjects; others still may have retired from occupations that largely frustrated their intellectual or aesthetic inclinations and are now hungry for stimulation.
  • the American social critic Thorstein Veblen published a book entitled The Higher Learning in America: A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Businessmen, in which he declared: "Ideally, and in the popular apprehension, the university is, as it has always been, a corporation for the cultivation and care of the community's highest aspirations and ideals." Given that Veblen's larger purpose, as indicated by his book's subtitle, involved a vigorous critique of current tendencies in American higher education, the confidence and downrightness of this declaration are striking. And I particularly like his passing insistence that this elevated conception of the university and the "popular apprehension" of it coincide, about which he was surely right.
  • If we are only trustees for our generation of the peculiar cultural achievement that is the university, then those of us whose lives have been shaped by the immeasurable privilege of teaching and working in a university are not entitled to give up on the attempt to make the case for its best purposes and to make that case tell in the public domain, however discouraging the immediate circumstances. After all, no previous generation entirely surrendered this ideal of the university to those fantasists who think they represent the real world. Asking ourselves "What are universities for?" may help remind us, amid distracting circumstances, that we – all of us, inside universities or out – are indeed merely custodians for the present generation of a complex intellectual inheritance which we did not create, and which is not ours to destroy.
  • University economics departments are failing. While science and engineering have developed reliable and informed understanding of the world, so they can advise politicians and others wisely, economics in academia has singularly failed to move beyond flat-Earth insistence that ancient dogma is correct, in the face of resounding evidence that it is not.
  • I studied at a U.K. university for 4 years and much later taught at one for 12 years. My last role was as head of the R&D group of a large company in India. My corporate role confirmed for me the belief that it is quite wrong for companies to expect universities to train the graduates they will hire. Universities are for educating minds (usually young and impressionable, but not necessarily) in ways that companies are totally incapable of. On the other hand, companies are or should be excellent at training people for the specific skills that they require: if they are not, there are plenty of other agencies that will provide such training. I remember many inclusive discussions with some of my university colleagues when they insisted we should provide the kind of targeted education that companies expected, which did not include anything fundamental or theoretical. In contrast, the companies I know of are looking for educated minds capable of adapting to the present and the relatively uncertain future business environment. They have much more to gain from a person whose education includes basic subjects that may not be of practical use today, than in someone trained in, say, word and spreadsheet processing who is unable to work effectively when the nature of business changes. The ideal employee would be one best equipped to participate in making those changes, not one who needs to be trained again in new skills.
  • Individual lecturers may be great but the system is against the few whose primary interest is education and students.
Jeff Johnson

Copyright & Fair Use in Teaching Resources -- Center for Social Media at American University - 0 views

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    The Center for Social Media in the School of Communication at American University, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property in American University Washington College of Law, and the Media Education Lab of Temple University are conducting a project 2007-2009 to clarify fair use in media education, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This project will help media literacy educators understand their rights under the doctrine of fair use in order to help them more effectively use media as an essential part of their teaching.
Claude Almansi

Retreat of Reno's Command - C. Szwedzicki: The North American Indian Works - 0 views

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    "Collection: C. Szwedzicki: The North American Indian Works Work Record ID: 219 Reproduction Record ID: 219 Work Class: depictions Work Type: print Title: Retreat of Reno's Commnand Title Type: constructed title Title: Sioux Indian painting Title Type: collective title Measurements: 11.40 x 19.05 in (28.96 x 48.39 cm) on sheet 15.30 x 19.50 in (38.86 x 49.53 cm) Measurement Type: dimensions Material: paper (fiber product) Material Type: support Inscription: Image Top Center: Custer Battle Field / June 25 and 26 1876 / Crazy Horse Inscription: Above Image Right: 8 [Plate Number] Creator: Bad Heart Bull, Amos, 1869-1913 Creator Dates: 1869-1913 Creator Nationality: Oglala Lakota Creator Name Variant: Bad Heart Buffalo (Tatanka Cante Sice) Creator Type: personal name Creator Role: painter Date: 1938 Location: Little Bighorn Battlefield (Mont.) Repository: Archives and Rare Books Library, University Libraries, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio Repository Type: current repository ID Number: 8 ID Number Type: plate number ID Number: ARB RB Oversize E98.A7 S568 1938 Vol. 2 ID Number Type: call number Style Period: Plains Indian Style Period: Indian art--North America Culture: Native American Culture: Oglala Lakota Subject: Belts (Clothing) Subject: Breechcloths Subject: Face painting Subject: Feathers Subject: Fringe Subject: Leggings Subject: Moccasins Subject: Beadwork Subject: Body painting Subject: Shirts, Men's Subject: Breastplates Subject: Hair pipes Subject: Bridles Subject: Horseback riding Subject: Horses Subject: Chokers Subject: Arrows Subject: Metalwork Subject: Picture-writing Subject: Saddle blankets Subject: Indian warfare Subject: Rifles Subject: Military uniforms Subject: Sabers Subject: Bow lances Subject: Crazy Horse (Tashunca-Uitco), ca. 1842-1877 Subject: Fixed-stone-head clubs Subject: Hats Subject: Saddles Subject: Saddlebags Subject: War shirts Subject: Reno, Marcus A. (Marcus Albert), 1835-1889 Subject: Indians of North America--Wars Subj
Dennis OConnor

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education - 4 views

  • Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
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    The Center for Social Media is a project of the School of Communication at the American University in Washington, D.C. The Center in conjunction with the Media Education Lab at Temple University in Philadelphia and The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, a project of the Washington College of Law at the American University in Washington D.C. has developed a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. The National Council of Teachers of English is signatory to the document, along with various other legal and educational groups. The code was funded by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Ford Foundation through the Future of Public Media Project. (Annotation by Larry Michaud - UW-Stout E-Learning Practicum)
Vicki Davis

Esther Wojcicki: Give Yourself A Free University Education at University of the People - 1 views

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    University of the people, a site offering free degrees in business administration and computer science continues to gain momentum as leading the effort to "democratize education." Things are underfoot that will radically change the expensive landscape known as higher Ed. The bottom line is that universities without solid online platforms won't be ready for the changes they will need to made. Their greatest commodity will be excellent teachers who can now be beamed from one end of the planet to the other. This crazy upheaval in education is only beginning and the competition is no longer limited by geography.
Martin Burrett

The Scale of the Universe 2 - 8 views

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    An amazing sequel to Scale of the Universe. See the smallest and biggest objects in our universe. This version is animated and has lots more objects to view. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Science
Martin Burrett

Group work can harm memory - 2 views

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    It's probably one of the most commonly used strategies evident in classrooms around the world, but researchers from the University of Liverpool have concluded that group work can actually harm memory. In a joint study, psychologists from the University of Liverpool and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) have revealed that collaborating in a group to remember information is harmful...
Vicki Davis

New Research: Spending DOES Make a Difference, Especially for the Poorest Children | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    ", new research demonstrates that spending does matter. The authors-C. Kirabo Jackson, associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, Rucker C. Johnson, associate professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, and Claudia Persico, a doctoral candidate in human development and social policy at Northwestern University-show that "increased school spending is linked to improved outcomes for students, and for low-income students in particular…Increasing per-pupil spending yields large improvements in educational attainment, wages, and family income, and reductions in the annual incidence of adult poverty for children from low-income families. As they also show, it matters how the new money is spent-such as on instruction, hiring more teachers, increasing teacher pay, hiring guidance counselors and social workers. Money well-spent "can profoundly shape the life outcomes of economically disadvantaged children and thereby reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Money alone may not lift educational outcomes to desired levels, but our findings confirm that the provision of adequate funding may be critical.""
Martin Burrett

Early intervention is better for children overcoming reading difficulties - 0 views

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    "A University of Alberta education researcher who achieved dramatic results with early assessment and intervention to help Grade 1 and 2 students with reading difficulties says there's still a chance to help these students in Grade 3. George Georgiou, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, along with his collaborators Rauno Parrila at Macquarie University and Robert Savage from the University College of London, started working with 290 Grade 1 students from 11 Edmonton public schools in 2015-16."
Martin Burrett

Gold, silver and bronze - A new rating system for university courses proposed - 0 views

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    "Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has launched a new tool that will rate universities either gold, silver or bronze by subject - holding them to account for the quality of their teaching, learning environment and graduate outcomes."
Martin Burrett

LGBQ adolescents at much greater risk of suicide than heterosexual counterparts - 0 views

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    "Adolescents who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning are much more likely to consider, plan or attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Specifically, of a nationally representative sample of 15,624 high-school age participants, 40 percent of sexual-minority adolescents seriously considered suicide compared to 15 percent of their heterosexual counterparts. Nearly a quarter attempted suicide compared to approximately 6 percent of those in the sexual majority."
Claude Almansi

College-Made Device Helps Visually Impaired Students See and Take Notes - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

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    "August 1, 2011, 5:51 pm By Rachel Wiseman College students with very poor vision have had to struggle to see a blackboard and take notes-basic tasks that can hold some back. Now a team of four students from Arizona State University has designed a system, called Note-Taker, that couples a tablet PC and a video camera, and could be a major advance over the small eyeglass-mounted telescopes that many students have had to rely on. It recently won second place in Microsoft's Imagine Cup technology competition. (...) The result was Note-Taker, which connects a tablet PC (a laptop with a screen you can write on) to a high-resolution video camera. Screen commands get the camera to pan and zoom. The video footage, along with audio, can be played in real time on the tablet and are also saved for later reference. Alongside the video is a space for typed or handwritten notes, which students can jot down using a stylus. That should be helpful in math and science courses, says Mr. Hayden, where students need to copy down graphs, charts, and symbols not readily available on a keyboard. (...) But no tool can replace institutional support, says Chris S. Danielsen, director of public relations for the [NFB]. "The University is always going to have to make sure that whatever technology it uses is accessible to blind and low-vision students," he says. (Arizona State U. has gotten in hot water in the past in just this area.) (...) This entry was posted in Gadgets."
Martin Burrett

Magnifying the Universe - 3 views

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    A great resource for viewing the very biggest and very smallest things in the universe, ranging from galaxies to insects, nebulae and stars to molecules and atoms. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Science
Martin Burrett

Oldest in class do better, even into university, study finds - 1 views

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    "It's been known for years that the oldest children in class perform better in school than their youngest classmates. But according to a new study co-authored by University of Toronto Scarborough economist Elizabeth Dhuey, that gap can persist, with older children more likely to attend post-secondary school and graduate from an elite University."
Michael Walker

Now Playing - Night of the Living Tech - NYTimes.com - 3 views

  • “Change has changed qualitatively,” says Janet Sternberg, an assistant professor at Fordham University and president of the Media Ecology Association, a research organization.
  • Adaptive innovation and experimentation, experts say, is the rule in a period of rapid change that can be seen as the digital-age equivalent of the ferment after the introduction of the printing press. “We’re experiencing the biggest media petri dish in four centuries,” observes Paul Saffo, a visiting scholar at Stanford University who specializes in technology’s effect on society.
  • Technology is by no means the only agent of change. Cultural tastes have a big influence, sometimes bringing quirky turns in the evolutionary dance.
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  • Turntables have made a niche revival, and vinyl record sales have increased 62 percent over the last decade to 2.4 million last year, reports Nielsen, a market research firm.
  • Yet evolution — not extinction — has always been the primary rule of media ecology. New media predators rise up, but other media species typically adapt rather than perish.
Ed Webb

What's Wrong With the American University System - Culture - The Atlantic - 6 views

  • it's awfully difficult to say, "Here's knowledge we don't need!" It sounds like book burning, doesn't it? What we'd say is that on the scale of priorities, we find undergraduate teaching to be more important than all the research being done.
  • Those people were teachers, in the true sense of the word. They were just as knowledgeable about their fields as anyone, but they had playful, imaginative minds. They could go on TV—Carl Sagan could talk about science, John Kenneth Galbraith could talk about economics. They weren't dumbing down their subjects. In fact, they were actually using their brains. The more you rely on lingo—"regressive discourses," "performativity"—the less you have to really think. You can just throw terms around and say, "Look, Ma, I'm a theorist!"
  • We believe the current criteria for admissions—particularly the SAT—are just so out of whack. It's like No Child Left Behind. It really is. It's one of the biggest crimes that's ever been perpetrated. I mean, you took the SAT! It's multiple choice, a minute and quarter per question. What does it really test? It tests how good you are at taking tests! At a big university like Berkeley, where there are going to be 30,000 applications, here's what they do. On top of each folder, without even reading through it, they write your SAT score. That's the first winnowing. So the 1600s get looked at first, and then down from there.
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  • One of the things that I find scariest at the moment is that so many bright people have no conception at all of life for any people but those in the upper middle class and above. They live a sheltered suburban life, go to college with other sheltered suburban kids, and assume that everyone's life has been like theirs. Some years ago a relative of mine graduated from Cambridge. I asked what his classmates would be doing after graduation and he said "management consulting." These were very bright people with zero experience in the business world who had spent the last three years barely able to manage their binge drinking, let alone manage any business. I'd trust the high school grad who rose through the ranks way more than these bright young things.
  • www.highereducationquestionmark.com
Ed Webb

Mind - Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits - NYTimes.com - 3 views

  • instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing. “We have known these principles for some time, and it’s intriguing that schools don’t pick them up, or that people don’t learn them by trial and error,” said Robert A. Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Instead, we walk around with all sorts of unexamined beliefs about what works that are mistaken.”
  • The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.
  • Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out. “With many students, it’s not like they can’t remember the material” when they move to a more advanced class, said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s like they’ve never seen it before.”
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  • cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future.
  • An hour of study tonight, an hour on the weekend, another session a week from now: such so-called spacing improves later recall, without requiring students to put in more overall study effort or pay more attention, dozens of studies have found.
  • “The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.”
  • “Testing not only measures knowledge but changes it,” he says — and, happily, in the direction of more certainty, not less.
  • “Testing has such bad connotation; people think of standardized testing or teaching to the test,” Dr. Roediger said. “Maybe we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.”
  • The harder it is to remember something, the harder it is to later forget. This effect, which researchers call “desirable difficulty,”
Felix Gryffeth

In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth - NYTimes.com - 0 views

  • The study of the humanities evolved during the 20th century “to focus almost entirely on personal intellectual development,” said Richard M. Freeland, the Massachusetts commissioner of higher education. “But what we haven’t paid a lot of attention to is how students can put those abilities effectively to use in the world. We’ve created a disjunction between the liberal arts and sciences and our role as citizens and professionals.”Mr. Freeland is part of what he calls a revolutionary movement to close the “chasm in higher education between the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs.” The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently issued a report arguing the humanities should abandon the “old Ivory Tower view of liberal education” and instead emphasize its practical and economic value.
  • Derek Bok, a former president of Harvard and the author of several books on higher education, argues, “The humanities has a lot to contribute to the preparation of students for their vocational lives.” He said he was referring not only to writing and analytical skills but also to the type of ethical issues raised by new technology like stem-cell research. But he added: “There’s a lot more to a liberal education than improving the economy. I think that is one of the worst mistakes that policy makers often make — not being able to see beyond that.” Anthony T. Kronman, a professor of law at Yale and the author of “Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life,” goes further. Summing up the benefits of exploring what’s called “a life worth living” in a consumable sound bite is not easy, Mr. Kronman said. But “the need for my older view of the humanities is, if anything, more urgent today,” he added, referring to the widespread indictment of greed, irresponsibility and fraud that led to the financial meltdown. In his view this is the time to re-examine “what we care about and what we value,” a problem the humanities “are extremely well-equipped to address.”
Vicki Davis

Northern Colorado Business Report - Business News Focused on Northern Colorado - 0 views

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    This announcement came in recently: "The University of Northern Colorado is about to launch the Education Innovation Institute. University and government officials will detail plans on Sept. 24 for what is being billed as the "leading authority on education policy research and analysis." UNC has been a leader in the field of education since its founding in 1889 as the State Normal School." I hope that they will blog it, for if they truly want to influence educational innovation, they will share their findings and become part of this amazing grassroots network of educators. Be part of change or be irrelevant.
Adrienne Michetti

Universal Design in Education: Principles and Applications - 11 views

  • to make all aspects of the educational experience more inclusive
  • philosophical framework
  • include
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      I love that this is not just being restricted to technology, but is including spaces and texts.
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  • Equitable use
  • Ronald Mace,
  • the design of products and environments to be usable to the greatest extent possible by people of all ages and abilities"
  • diversity and inclusiveness
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This is very reminiscent of MYP.
  • seven principles for the universal design of products and environments
  • a design foundation for more accessible and usable products and environments
  • Flexibility in use
  • applications in educational settings: physical spaces, information technology (IT), instruction, and student services.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      ALL educators should be participating in UD.
  • Perceptible information
  • Tolerance for error
  • Low physical effort
  • Size and space for approach and use.
  • benefits all students
  • Simple and intuitive use
  • UD can be applied to physical spaces to ensure that they are welcoming, comfortable, accessible, attractive, and functional.
  • Output and Displays.
  • Input and Controls.
  • Manipulations.
  • Documentation.
  • Safety.
  • it is possible to create products that are simultaneously accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics.
  • institutions can express the desire to purchase accessible IT and inquire about the accessibility features of specific products.
  • UDL as "a research-based set of principles that together form a practical framework for using technology to maximize learning opportunities for every student"
  • curriculum designers create products to meet the needs of students with a wide range of abilities, learning styles, and preferences.
  • Multiple means of representation
  • Multiple means of action and expression
  • Multiple means of engagement
  • the following first steps for curriculum developers and teachers:
  • Unfortunately, most educational software programs available today do not apply these recommendations. Instead of including flexible features that provide access to students with disabilities, they continue to unintentionally erect barriers to the curriculum.
  • Universal design can be applied to all aspects of instruction—teaching techniques, curricula, assessment
  • Class Climate.
  • Interaction.
  • Physical Environments and Products.
  • Delivery Methods.
  • Information Resources and Technology.
  • Feedback
  • Assessment.
  • Accommodation.
  • When universal design is applied, everyone feels welcome,
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