Sunday, April 10, 2016


The 'glass terrarium' of classrooms, wikispaces, open vs. closed environments, the value of the web vs. the need to control and contain learning spaces.....lots here to unpack.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Small Teams Doing Important Work

Haven't posted for a while, but this manifesto from Seth Godin about how small teams should operate is definitely worth it.

A couple of key ideas....
  • Question premises and strategy.  Don't question goodwill, effort or intent.
  • Yesterday's hierarchy is not nearly as important as today's project structure.
  • And, talk to everyone as if they were your boss, your customer, the founder, your employee. It's all the same.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Two pieces on gratitude recently caught my eye.  

The first is a synopsis of Oliver Sacks' new book, published posthumously, on the subject.

The second was published in the Sunday Review section of the NY Times, by Arthur C. Brooks, entitled, Choose to be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier.

Indeed.  And, what better time of the year to recognize that fact than Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Online Ed - Shirky, Cheating, etc.....

Clay Shirky posits that the digital revolution in higher ed has already happened.  Among the many key quotes, 'If you rank countries by rate of college enrollment, the U.S. is #1. If you rank countries by rate of college graduation, we’re not even in the top 10. This gap gives us the lowest graduation rate of any developed nation. We don’t have an admissions problem, we have a completion problem. Recognizing this means re-thinking who college is for.'

And, the Atlantic notes that Cheating in Online Classes is Big Business.  If you've got the money, there's no need to study.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the interim

What's it like being an interim?  My brother died when he was 42.  My brother-in-law died when he was 60.   Surgeries, other health challenges, employment coming and going, teams readjusting, friends and family moving and growing and changing?  It's ALL interim.

Key quote, 'Life is what happens while we're busy making plans. The interim is forever, so perhaps it makes sense to make act in the interim as we expect to act in the long haul.'

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Post-Colonial MOOCs

A call for ideas and discussion:

I just returned from AAA and Maha's post prompted reflection about privilege, elitism and power in the academic world.   I attended two presentations about Massively Open Online Courses, and was struck by both the numbers of students enrolled (in the thousands) as well as the slickness of the courses.  Both benefited from instructional designers, professional-quality videos, but more so, from the market position of the well-established and well-known institutions who attached their brand name, their logos, and their prestige to the courses.  Neither of these two courses, or the people who taught them, really 'got' the notion of openness, sharing, broadly distributing content available to remix, reconfigure and redistribute.

When asked about the motivations to create and teach the courses, among the reasons the presenters cited was the notion that, if their institution didn't do this, someone else will, and it was a necessity to promote a comparative advantage that they had developed, a special expertise in a certain field, or to leverage their brand position, both expected reasons from a strategic business perspective.  But the decision to develop and distribute how they did also serves to reinforce and perpetuate a colonialist and even a paternalistic pattern of elite educators and institutions.     Maha's post is a welcome step in a different direction.