Hendrix College To Cover All College Costs for Arkansas Students

I love working for Hendrix College. I work with great people and teach smart, inquisitive students. Today, I love Hendrix College even more. The college has announced a new program that will meet the financial needs of all Arkansas students,  “who have a 3.6 or higher GPA and who have a 27 ACT or above or 1200 SAT (excluding Writing) or above.”

Wow. See you on campus next year?

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Blue Sky Instructional Technology Budget

Let’s pretend for a moment that money was not part of this conversation. If you worked in instructional technology for a college or university and could implement any program or technology regardless of money (and administrative / faculty approval) what would be on your list?

Are tablets in? Or, have we decided that extra device is not necessary?

Would you start a series of discussion groups over lunch, where faculty talked about how technology did or did not help in teaching and learning?

Would you bring speakers to campus to talk about the transformative nature of technology in education, or would you offer stipends to faculty so they may redesign their courses?

I invite you to share your ideas below. Think of this as a brainstorming session and let’s see what rises to the top. 

Photo credit https://flic.kr/p/a49oXq used under CC License.

I Like Learning, But MOOCs Are So Boring

Hi, I’m a statistic. I’m one of the many people who sign up for a MOOC, in this case, Introduction to Game Design, offered through EdX and then quit. I love learning, but it’s time to admit that MOOCs are seriously boring.

Learning Environment

I work at a computer for most of my day. Watching videos, regardless of how many scenes of a person walking and talking like it’s an episode of The West Wing, is more of me sitting at a computer. I don’t care if the videos have interviews with famous people. I’m at my computer being a passive watcher.

When you think of engaging learning environments, what comes to mind? For me, there are people. There are discussions, questions, answers. Sometimes there are lectures and sometimes there are activities. It’s a mix. I’ve had great lecture-based courses, but it’s a much different dynamic being able to interact with a person than watching a screen.

Books

If I want to know something to help me in a programming task, I’ll use videos and hunt around online. But, if I want to learn something in-depth on a subject, I turn to books. Will a prospective employer be more impressed that I read a handful of books on technology and writing, new media, and the effect of technology on communication or that I “completed” a MOOC on said topic? Of course, I can’t ask the author questions while reading, but as a medium, books are far more engaging. Moreover, I learn better from books.

Why Aren’t MOOCs Fun?

This is the part where you respond. If you enjoy MOOCs, please share your thoughts below about why they are enjoyable and how they engage you. If, like me, you struggle with MOOCs, what is it for you that impedes the learning process?

Are Rockstar Librarians The Phil Fish of Libraries?

You’ve been known to move. Perhaps you shake. You’re emerging. Just about there. So close. So soon. Or maybe you have thousands of followers on Twitter. Someone has dubbed you a rockstar. A library rockstar. Or, maybe you dubbed yourself a rockstar. It doesn’t matter. It’s been said. However, there aren’t really famous librarians. Instead, there is library famous. You are not a rockstar. You are the Phil Fish of libraries.

 “The correct answer is C: who the hell is Phil Fish? Phil is not famous the way we are used to think about celebrities. Despite being in a movie, a documentary about video games, the average, random passerby has no idea who he is. Nor do they know John Blow, and while they’ve probably heard of Minecraft, they probably don’t know who Notch is, same for Cliff Bleszinski, same for Ken Levine. The world at large does not know or care who makes video games…Phil is sub-culturally important, not culturally important.”

racismliveshere

Documenting Ferguson: Preserving the Protests; Remembering Michael Brown

The image was there for all to see. It proliferated online and through Twitter. There was a man, a teenager, face down in the road. There, in the median, lay Michael Brown. He’d been shot hours earlier. Continue reading “Documenting Ferguson: Preserving the Protests; Remembering Michael Brown” »