I have been part of a Kickstarter campaign to fund a non-profit organization, Better Eating International, which wants to create videos to help people learn about, and transition into, a plant-based diet. The idea behind these videos is to educate people about the abuse of factory farmed animals, as well as to highlight the benefits of a plant-based diet. The organization does not intend to use shock value in these videos but, rather, animation to make its points. A lot of people can’t bear to watch the often graphic depiction of how animals are treated, thus the message can get lost; the idea is that a gentler approach might be more effective in reaching a larger number of people. As an educator, I appreciate the organization’s wish to educate, rather than to shock. The campaign overreached its financial target, which means that the project should go ahead. I look forward to the results.
Six trends that will accelerate the adoption of technology in higher education
According to the 2014 Horizon report on higher education, the following trends will accelerate the adoption of technology:
- Growing ubiquity of social media
- Integration of online, hybrid, and collaborative learning
- Rise of data-driven learning and assessment
- Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators
- Agile approaches to change
- Evolution of online learning
Teaching digital literacy
The Ph.D.’s guide to a non-faculty job search
This post discusses strategies for PhD graduates to find non-academic positions and addresses the following questions: Where do I look for jobs? How do I meet people if I don’t have contacts outside academe? Did I just waste the past eight years of my life on this doctorate when I should have been earning an M.B.A.?
LOL my thesis
This blog, published by a senior at Harvard University, invites students to submit plain English versions of their thesis titles to often amusing effect. Examples include:
- The dictionary can be a dangerous place to search for the meaning of a word.
- They knew a thing or two about computer security in 1641.
- We came. We saw. We set some limits.
- It is possible to build an academic career out of injecting globs of virus into people’s eyes
What 5 Tech Experts Expect in 2014
As discussed in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
- Connected learning pathways
- “MOOC” ends up standing for “marketing over other considerations”
- Actionable data
- Moving beyond ed-tech hype
- Greater focus on course design
- Touch interfaces
Top 15 Times Higher Education stories of 2013
Times Higher Education features the 15 most-read of its higher education articles in 2013.
Helping professors use technology
According to the Campus Computing Project’s annual survey of senior technology administrators, the top concern for campus information-technology departments across the country is how they can help faculty members move smoothly into the digital age of learning.
In higher education social media is your job
In his post about the importance of adopting social media in higher education, Jim Nolan says “I’m here to announce that in the world of higher education, we are no longer awarding cute points or righteousness points to naysayers of social media. Those presentations are uninformed, and to be honest, they just annoy the hell out of me.” While Prof. Nolan makes the odd sweeping statement, perhaps, I think there’s a kernel of truth to what he says. I’m not a fan of what I call “professional luddism,” particularly in higher education, where we should be open to change, possibilities, and opportunities.
The top 100 tools for learning, 2013
Summary from Analysis 2013:
- Twitter retains its no 1 position for the 5th year running
- Google Drive/Docs moves up to #2.
- PowerPoint moves up to #5.
- Evernote moves into the top 10 at #6.
- Google + and Hangouts moves into the top 10 at #10.
- There are 10 new tools on the list topped by Feedly (an RSS reader/aggregator) at #19 and Coursera (a MOOC platform) at #38, and 3 returning tools to the list, including Storify at #58.
- The highest movers within the list are Skydrive (Windows file storage area) at #43 up 55 places since last year, and Keynote and iMovie up 40 and 32 places respectively (showing the increase in popularity of Apple software).
- A significant descent down the list for some tools including Google Sites (down 60 places) and Wikispaces (down 50 places).
- Tools moving off the list include Google Reader (now retired by Google), Bing and Scribd.
- Although the list is still dominated by free online social tools, a number of e-learning authoring tools have had a good showing this year.
- As for trends over the last 5 years, it is interesting to note that Firefox (#1 in 2007) is now at #97 on the list, and Delicious (#1 in 2008) is now at #60. What will topple Twitter from the top of the list?