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A Classicist Goes to Work in Silicon Valley

Kristina Chew writes about what her friend called “the most creative career change ever.” It turns out a humanities Ph.D. can provide you with precisely the opposite of what people think—skills that are applicable and even useful outside the academy. Graduate training provides one with well-honed research and analytical skills as well as the steadfastness to soldier on with a project in which progress comes slowly and with little immediate…

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Ethics of standardized testing

A blogger who had a much worse day than I did writes: Today I finished administering the sixth day of New York State Common Core assessments. I was a facilitator in a process that made my 10 year old students struggle,to the point of frustration, to complete yet another 90 minute test. I sat by as I watched my students attempt to answer questions today that were beyond their abilities.…

Robo Grader

Standardized-test robo-graders flunk

“According to professor of theory of knowledge Leon Trotsky, privacy is the most fundamental report of humankind. Radiation on advocates to an orator transmits gamma rays of parsimony to implode.’’ ANY NATIVE speaker over age 5 knows that the preceding sentences are incoherent babble. But a computer essay grader, like the one Massachusetts may use as part of its new public school tests, thinks it is exceptionally good prose. –Standardized-test…

Google Stops Scanning Student Gmail Accounts for Ads

Google said Wednesday that it stopped scanning student Gmail accounts for advertising purposes after the practice was scrutinized during a recent court case. | Google Apps for Education, a free service used by more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators, offers Gmail email accounts, as well as calendars, cloud storage and document creation.Google Stops Scanning Student Gmail Accounts for Ads – Digits – WSJ.

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Student Newspapers Scurry to Make Ends Meet

“After 112 years as The Daily Emerald, they saw the tidal wave of change,” he said. “They re-branded themselves from a daily student newspaper into a multiplatform student media company.” It was not financial worries alone that prompted Ryan Frank, its publisher, to announce the decision in 2012 to print two instead of five days a week, and to develop a more robust online, mobile and social media presence. In…

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Confronting the Myth of the ‘Digital Native’

It’s one thing to be able use a service like Facebook or Instagram, and to use it well; it’s quite another thing to code a web page by hand, tweak a CSS file, or design the navigation for a large website. While I don’t expect my English students to be professional programmers, I do aim to expose them to code, so that they have some sense of what it takes…

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Go Forth and Conquer, but Postpone the Selfie

“We have about 850 graduates, and we have a professional photographer snapping their picture when they shake my hand and get their diploma,” said Ronald Machtley, the president of Bryant. “I don’t think their mom and dad and grandma want to get a picture of them holding up their cellphone.” –Go Forth and Conquer, but Postpone the Selfie – NYTimes.com.

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How professors use their time: faculty time allocation

Interesting social science approach to how university faculty spend their time. [O]n a recent trip abroad when an immigration officer asked how I could afford to be away from work for a month. I said simply that we were on winter break and the officer jokingly lamented about going into the wrong profession. I didn’t mention to him that I had busted my tail over the week (and weekend) before…

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What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

Victoria Blodgett, director of Graduate Career Services at Yale University, told me, “People who take their Ph.D.s into other realms are not necessarily being hired for their content expertise, but for their process skills: the ability to do excellent research, to write, to make cogent arguments.” These skills, it turns out, are in high demand. | So why are humanities Ph.D.s outside academia so invisible? One reason is that within…