Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Rules!

Michele continues the discussion about how the environment the game and the rules have changed. What have we done to adapt?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thoughts While Walking the Dog

Here's the email I sent to my colleagues. Yes, I violated my own precepts by emailing a manifesto. So be it. I'll take my lumps....


After our division meeting on Friday and reading some information from other divisions, I walked my dog and developed these thoughts. Maybe its a personal wake up call to myself.

I hesitate to share them via email, as that is not a great way to communicate ideas like this, but here goes. If you want to chat about this in person, I welcome the opportunity. If you want to do so electronically, let's avoid email and use the EdCC Faculty group in Facebook. Your students use Facebook, so you might as well learn.

I feel privileged to work with all of you and share this in the spirit of helping us all get through our current circumstances.

The college budget crisis is real, and needs to be seen in the perspective of sustainability. Any organization that spends more resources than it receives is doomed. Depending solely on state support is a suicide strategy.

The college needs enrollments, students. Do everything to increase that overall, and in your classes. Ask them what they want and give it to them. Classes are what provides revenue to the college. Classes need instructors. See yourself as a revenue generator, not as a cost, and convince your boss of that fact. Convince them by the number of students enrolled in your classes, your programs. Convince them with your graduates, your victories, your students who have success stories.

Faculty will probably have to choose between doing more work for the same amount of pay, or doing the same amount of work for less pay. We may end up with more work for less pay (or no work and no pay) if we act like the problem and not the solution. I prefer more work for the same pay.

Extra things we used to get paid for will diminish or disappear. Get used to it. Volunteer to help. Make yourself indispensable. Make yourself flexible. The more you are valued, the more you can do, the better off you will be in the long run. Think of your students and the college as your customers. Give them more than they pay for. This is your only source of long-term job security.

It's better to cut support for administrators and faculty than it is to cut support for students.

To argue that we need to preserve 'Academic Quality' (or frankly, most other "values") is a losing strategy, especially if that means low enrollments, high costs, or just being a pain in the butt.

The seeds of destruction (inefficiencies, laziness, poor responsiveness to students, self-centeredness) have been sown in the good times. The good times are over, and we need to get over it. The seeds of growth, innovation and adventure are sown in the tough times. The college will be a different place one, three, five and ten years from now. We can control that direction if we listen to what the students want, if we anticipate what they will need and we build the network that provides it.

It's time for our classes to be insanely great. It's time to rethink what we do, how we do it, when and where we do it. You'll get paid for this by keeping your job, or by building a new one.

Students come to college to earn credentials first, be part of a network (community) second, and to learn things, lastly. Help them with all three of these. Ultimately, they will determine how we survive, not the administration or the state government, or, especially, the union.

Don't expect too much from your administrators. They are facing the same problems we are, with the same lack of emotional support. They are scared, too. They don't have answers and, if it seems like they are making it up as they go along, that's probably because they are. Help them.

Some of us probably won't be here in the near future. Some may decide they have had enough fun. Some may not like what their choices are. Some may have to do things they don't want to do. Some may be told that the music has stopped playing and they don't have a chair to sit in. Uncertainty is the rule here. Help each other. Network, network, network. Talk. Don't email or write manifestos. Talk. And, listen. And, listening is not just waiting to talk. Really listen.

Focus on what you can control, your behavior and your communication with others. Gestures count. Little things add up. Your are responsible for your own morale. Be nice. Mean people suck. Cynicism, rumor-mongering, finger-pointing, negativity and jealousy are killers, not healthy and contagious. Avoid those who are infected with these diseases. Choose health and life.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Media Literacy

Slide Share presentation on Media Literacy in the Information Age. Good description of critical thinking skills needed for learners. Critical literacy for adolescents....and adults.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sequoia Capital's Presentation of Doom

We're in new times, ladies and gentlemen, where in Lee Iacocca's words, opportunities are disguised as unsolvable problems.

This is Sequoia Capital's view of the current situation.

And, this is Guy Kawasaki's analysis......

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Mad As Hell and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore!

An anonymous professor rants about the dismal state of Higher Ed, from Inside Higher Ed.

And, on the other side of the coin.......Michele advocates that we Start Something....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's Going On Down Under

I run across lots of good stuff about teaching via the web, web 2.0 tools, etc, from different sources in Australia. Here's another blogger with some interesting perspectives...

And, here's another....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Turn It Off

Interesting research on happiness, watching television, and reading.....

Kill Your Television!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alternatives to Bb

Haven't been in here in a while. But, still thinking about teaching and learning on the web, and still looking for new good ideas. Kluging together web materials, such as in this example, may make more sense than using BB, which seems to have a produced a series of breakdowns and 'temporarily unavailable' mishaps that are less than optimal.

Check out this alternative......Pageflakes.....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

The Education World has changed, and the publishers and educators who will figure it out have an opportunity. Students go to college for at least three things, acquiring knowledge, skills and values, earning credentials, and plugging into a network. Publishers have seen themselves as content providers, colleges have seen themselves as credential-granting factories, and the network has been ignored, sidetracked to the realm of foundations and alumni associations. But, that is where the value is, in plugging students, faculty, and everyone else in between into a loose weave of content, collaboration, assessment, feedback and a continuous improvement loop that evolves based on where the users want it to go.

At this current workshop, we continue to think of ourselves as accountants introducing students to the tools used 40 years ago and not as knowledge workers helping to transform a system to make it relevant in the next 20 years. Haven't we heard of the AECC?

Key quote, 'Briefly summarizing a large field, research has established that people do not develop true understanding of a complex subject like science by listening passively to explanations. '

Why Education Needs to Change

New University Model Needed

Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

How Education is Going to Change.....

Coordination Costs, Institutional Loss and Collaboration

How Kids Learn

Hole in the Wall Project

Power of Blogging and Why User Created Content is Important

And if we don't change?


I don't know where this is going, but I know that we can't stay where we are with old thinking and ways of doing and continue to attract the best and brightest to what we do. We won't have jobs, companies will continue to devolve and consolidate, and opportunities will go elsewhere.

Or, we can learn what it means to participate in content aggregation, provide meaningful assessment that are learning activities, not tests, and build the network.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Michele Rants

And, it's a good one......key quote, 'Web 2.0 isn't about the fact that learning professionals can now publish learning content without going to a webmaster or needing highly sophisticated tools. It's about the fact that EVERYONE can participate in co-creating learning. Our jobs as learning professionals shift from being primarily content producers to facilitating others in creating their own content, showing them how they can actively engage with information and learning materials, teaching them how to be self-directed learners. We have to get past this idea of the Web as simply a more efficient mechanism for dumping information. '

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


This book looks and sounds good...


Friday, August 1, 2008

Can't We All Get Along?

Encouraging research from the Freakonomics folks!

Balance and responsibility

This week, I've been working to restore balance to the relationship between the instructor as a facilitator and students using that facilitator as just another resource at this node in the knowledge diffusion network.

Buzz words, or different perspective?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rat Race

From the Chief Happiness Officer, with appropriate linkage...

Lily Tomlin
(and Jane Wagner) are usually right on, and mostly hilarious...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Comments on Trust

Michele Martin and I have been trading a few comments about trust and adoption of new tech tools by faculty.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Continuous Improvement

From Workplace Literacy....a discussion on the importance of learning how to learn in the 21st Century.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Internet Tidal Wave

Bill Gates' memo from 1995 recognizing the importance of the internet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Colleges and Web 2.0

Kevin pointed this one out in Ars Technica, an article about an article from the Ed Techie..

Key quote...'universities act as aggregators: they form collections of students with similar interests, and put them in contact with relevant material and experts. Weller argues that the online communities fostered under the Web 2.0 umbrella perform a largely parallel function, in that they foster groups with common interest and link them to relevant materials."

This is why we need to ramp up faculty capability with these tools.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Presentation Zen

This looks good......

More on presentation styles, design, using an underutilized resource, the brain, and other nuggets...

Time to pick up Brain Rules and the Back of the Napkin.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Krugman on Digitized Content

Bits, Bands and Books - Paul Krugman writes about digital content and the ease of distribution of same. Krugman speculates about the impact that electronic books will have on the publishing world (are you paying attention, textbook reps?), given the experience of the music industry.

Key quote, 'Bit by bit, everything that can be digitized will be digitized, making intellectual property ever easier to copy and ever harder to sell for more than a nominal price. And we’ll have to find business and economic models that take this reality into account.

It won’t all happen immediately. But in the long run, we are all the Grateful Dead.'

No, he wasn't referring to backing the Pranksters at the Acid Tests. Krugman uses the Dead's free taping policy as a model for the distribution of digital content.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

So, what are you reading?

Current reading...latest is at the top....

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell - Success is as much about being born at the right time to the right parents in the right culture as it is a function of lots of practice and hard work.

The Forever War
- Dexter Filkins - Amazing reporting by NY Times correspondent who was in Afghanistan in the 1990s, NYC on 9/11, and Iraq after the invasion and during the insurgency. The clash between the Islamic world and the US is complex and destructive to both sides.

The Post-American World - Fareed Zakaria. Columnist for Newsweek describes the impact of economic growth in the developing world on a macroeconomic and political level. Zakaria takes Tom Friedman's 'flattening of the world' ideas and applies them to the position of the post-imperial USA in global affairs.

The Chosen, by Chaim Potok. Wonderful story about two friends growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940's, about fathers and sons, and set amidst the backdrop of the end of World War II.

My Stroke of Insight - by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. After watching the TED video, I had to read her book. Brain scientist suffers stroke and recovers. In so doing, she describes the physical, mental and spiritual impacts. The book is much more than just about her medical experience, but delves into what it means to learn, to understand, how our brains function (or not), and ultimately, who we are and how we encounter the world around us. She gets a bit preachy, but well worth it.

Shut Up, I'm Talking - by Gregory Levey. Canadian law student gets internship with Israeli mission to United Nations. Ends up as speech writer for Ariel Sharon. Comedy ensues! Hilarious, and with keen insight into the issues whirling around the Middle East.

Maeda's book led me to Tom Wolfe's short discussion on modern architecture, From Bauhaus to Our House, which should probably be subtitled, Why Do We Have All These Ugly Buildings, and Who Can We Blame? More great stuff by the author of The Right Stuff.

The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda. Superb advice on design, teaching, organization, life by the new President of RISD. The ideas here are well suited to a discussion about how we teach our classes, online and F2F.

Here's Maeda's latest presention at TED.

Clemente by David Maraniss - Great biography of the Puerto Rican slugger. Reinforced my dream of going to the Caribbean World Series.

Originally posted for my spring quarter classes:

So, what books are you currently reading? The holidays and the break brought a number of books to my nightstand. I've got a habit of starting one and leaving it for a while, as another one grabs my attention. Here are a few recently completed or with active bookmarks.

Baseball and Billions and May The Best Time Win, by Andrew Zimbalist. Two books about the business and economics of baseball. These are in preparation for a class on the business of baseball that never got off the ground, although the subject is still fascinating.

Marley and Me, by John Grogan. Yes, it's sentimental fluff about a man and his dog, labeled the World's Worst Dog. But, it was a good distraction during some recent times when I needed some distraction.

The Brothers K, by David James Duncan. A gift from my daughter who insists that I read this novel about brothers growing up in the 60's.

Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy. Another gift, this one from my son. McCarthy wrote the novel No Country for Old Men, the Academy Award winner.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (and Persepolis 2) - A must read. Graphic autobiographical novels about a young girl growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran/Iraq war. The books provide a sorely-needed human perspective to the events that shaped modern Iran and the Middle East.

Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, by Nick Hornby. This is a compilation of Hornby's book reviews written for The Believer. Another great, quick read by an excellent writer. Also recently finished Fever Pitch, about Hornby's devotion to Arsenal, the English football team. But, this book is about being a sports fan and does the best job of capturing the obsession of following a favorite team. Being Hornby, it's also about growing up, relationships with his father, friends, women, all packaged around the matches that he's seen over the years.

Demon Box by Ken Kesey. A great set of loosely connected essays and stories by the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Kesey is insightful and hilarious.

From Summer, 07....

Songbook, by Nick Hornby – Hornby makes me laugh at loud as he describes pop songs he enjoys and that provide meaning to him. A great, quick read.

The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw. Picked this one up at the Seattle Public Library Book Sale. Was particularly inspired by the stories of everyday people performing extraordinary duties. And, was moved by the stories of women and non-white Americans during WW 2.

Waxwings, by Jonathan Raban – a novel set at the turn of the century in Seattle during the Dot-Com boom, the WTO riots, and terrorist threats. This is a great read that captures the tensions of our local culture, as well as highlighting the immigrant experience here.

A Year in the Merde, by Stephen Clarke – A Brit is hired as a consultant to a French company. Hilarious!

And, a few from the past that I also recommend...

Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott - Insightful, wonderful advice about how to do the difficult task of writing, being honest and living....

Let My People Go Surfing , by Yvon Chouinard – One of the best business strategy books I've ever read. Yvon Chouinard is the founder of Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and equipment provider. Chouinard shares his insights as a reluctant businessman, as well as his environmental and social philosophy. These folks walk the talk, practice what they preach, and put their money where their mouth is.

For perspective on the world today, my strongest recommendations are reserved for
The World is Flat - A Brief History of the 21st Century, by Thomas Friedman. This should be required reading for anyone who plans on living and working in that century.

BTW, what has Nick Hornby been reading?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stroke of Insight

An amazing TED lecture....Jill Bolte Taylor discusses her personal experience with a massive stroke as both a brain researcher and as a human connected the Big All.

And, another one......Yochai Benkler on Open Source Economics....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thought Provoking Pieces

I've posted these in my online classes for more than several quarters, but putting them in the T & L blog makes more sense....

Steve Jobs' Commencement Address at Stanford, 2005. Do what you love.

Rick Steves' Innocents Abroad. How Travel Changed His Life.

Robert Rubin Commencement Address at Harvard, 2001. Making difficult decisions in an uncertain world.

Let My People Go Surfing. Yvon Chouinard is the founder of Patagonia, and his perspectives on sustainability and building a company that will last 100 years are worth considering...

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.
Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, diagnosed with terminal cancer, has some words to live by that ring particularly true.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Cognitive Age

David Brooks describes the world in which our students will compete. Sure, he is a political writer, and one on the conservative side, but he is on target with his observations about the impact of technology and globalization on how business is done, and what students need to be able to do.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Roses and Bosses

Maybe this is about teaching and learning, maybe it's not, but Joe Posnanski has some great points to make about what it takes to be great in the long term.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

25 Tools

Another gem from the Bamboo Project Blog - 25 Tools, and yes, they are free!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Online Lectures Using Video

Here's another compelling example of how to use audio and video for a lecture in an online class.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Two by Jessica Hagy

Jessica Hagy is the author of Indexed, and two of her recent index cards caught my eye....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

David Pogue on Web 2.0

From his weekly Circuits column, David Pogue writes on Web 2.0.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chief Happiness Officer

Alexander Kjerulf seems to be leading the league in common sense this morning....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Word Press

My blogging has been done using Google's tool, Blogger. But, the Word Press tools seem to be more flexible and better capable of handlling graphics and picture files. Worth a look, and maybe worth the change....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Skeptical Futurist

Here's the Sceptical Futuryst's blog, with an interesting bit about the future, including the Historic Ruins of Highway 520....

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

More New Tools

Broadcast yourself with UStreamTV

Tumblr - Blogging made easy! Here's my example......


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Good writing

While we're at it, here's a little piece on good writing entitled, 46 Ways to Embarrass Yourself.

Part of what we are doing as teachers is getting our students ready for prime time, and learning to write well, or at least, not write poorly, is a large part of that.

Basic Concepts in Science

Here's an extensive list of resources that explain the basic concepts of science.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Here's an interesting use of the Wet Paint Wiki site to build an economics course...


Thanks for the reference, Eva!