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I Love Books: A Campus Library Evolves

I love books. I love smelling them, touching them, stacking them, unwrapping the plastic from a new purchase, and cracking the spine when I’m halfway through a hardback. (My wife *hates it* when I crack a spine). I love books. I love downloading them, searching them, copying-and-pasting passages, reading them to my kids at night when it’s dark save for the glow of my iPad (I read them the whole…

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The Bill That Could Save College Students $1,200 a Year

Faculty who need to publish for professional reasons can be motivated for reasons other than a royalty check, so this sounds like a good idea. The Affordable College Textbook Act, introduced by Durbin and Franken this month, aims to lower book costs by promoting the use of open-source textbooks. Open books, as defined by the bill, are texts that are “licensed under an open license and made freely available online…

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20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get

I expect my English majors not to balk when I ask them to learn new software. One good way to learn is to shadow someone who already knows it well. Even better, work with a classmate who’s just a step or two ahead — that way they can both learn together. In my “News Writing” class, I deliberately didn’t spend a whole week introducing students to InDesign. I could have…

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Do television and electronic games predict children’s psychosocial adjustment?

Wow… what a drab, unquoteworthy, unsoundbiteable, graphics-free presentation of findings that will be of tremendous interest to the general public. TV but not electronic games predicted a small increase in conduct problems. Screen time did not predict other aspects of psychosocial adjustment. Further work is required to establish causal mechanisms..

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Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course

Suddenly, something that had been unthinkable–that the Internet might put a free, Ivy League–caliber education within reach of the world’s poor–seems tantalizingly close. “Imagine,” an investor in the Professor’s company says, “you can hand a kid in Africa a tablet and give him Harvard on a piece of glass!” The wonky term for the Professor’s work, massive open online course, goes into such wide use that a New York Times…

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SHU Community Lines Up to Honor JoAnne Boyle’s Final Trip Up the Hill

JoAnne Boyle liked talking about tradition — from the Latin meaning “handed over.” One of her favorite traditions involved lining up with the administrators to shake hands with each incoming freshman, and again with all the faculty to hand off the new graduates to the world. Now, members of the SHU community are repaying both favors — lining up along Seton Hill Drive, welcoming her and sending her off. Post…

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Stop trying to figure out if screentime is good for students

Pro-technology response to the NYT “No Child Left Untableted,” skewing almost as much in the opposite direction. Conducting device-focused research makes as little sense as doing research on pens, papers, folders, book-binding, and three-ring notebooks. Where are the papers, studies and statistics on the negative impact of chalk dust, calling for blackboards to be limited? We must understand that it’s not about “the thing;” It is about what we do…

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“I don’t know how that Jerz guy thinks he’s going to procure an entire library in the middle of the ocean.”

“I don’t know how that Jerz guy thinks he’s going to procure an entire library in the middle of the ocean.” –student who didn’t listen closely to my speech (where I mentioned both a shipboard library and my iPad) in the “Vote to Drown Professors Representing Disciplines That Threaten Your Worldview Lifeboat Debate.” (Not the event’s real name… see Chemistry professor chosen for last seat in lifeboat)

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Writing, Coding and Education: Why They Matter

Back in my grad school days, I was called a “run-of-the-mill programmer” by a brilliant IT genius. For a guy whose only computer coursework consists of a Pascal class in high school (“taught” by a math teacher who didn’t know the language, and checked my answers against those in the teacher’s manual), I still consider that high praise. There’s no way I could compete, head-to-head, against an experienced programmer, but…