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Gotta Ditch the Fanny Pack, Dude

Fanny Pack This is great if you’re trying to create a singularity of pure geekness that will open up a portal to an alternate universe where they’re still making episodes of Reboot. But if there are even two working neurons in the style portion of your brain, the same neurons that explained that Mr. T’s haircut won’t look as good on you, then you’re going to want to pass on…

6

The Bill of Rights: Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. –The Bill of Rights: Amendment I The First Amendment, among other things, prevents the government from arresting or silencing a citizen for expressing an unpopular…

1

The s-word

I called a disabled colleague a spaz after hearing he’d spilt coffee over yet another expensive bit of computer kit…. I use the term with irony as someone who was regularly called a “spaz” in the school playground, though I’m visually impaired and not what we once called “a spastic”. To confuse the issue, a non-disabled colleague had overheard and told me that she found that term offensive and thanked…

The Silencer

“Wouldn’t shooting cell-phone users in research libraries be counterproductive?” you might well ask. “Wouldn’t that actually make the library more noisy?” A fair point. Yes, it would. But not for long…. –Scott McLemee –The Silencer (Inside Higher Ed)

2

Tickling the ELMO

Like most of the faculty on my campus, I typically just use the ELMO as an overhead projector to show handouts, but without having to go through the trouble of making a transparency, since it will project anything you put on it. In my mind, it’s even easier to operate than a PowerPoint presentation, and I’ll sometimes print out a quick outline for any lecture or class plan (in large…

1

Wal-Mart Rules: One Giant Company Controls Your Games — But How Much Longer?

Publisher sales reps inform Wal-Mart buyers of games in development; the games’ subjects, titles, artwork and packaging are vetted and sometimes vetoed by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart tells a top-end publisher it won’t carry a certain game, the publisher kills that game. In short, every triple-A game sold at retail in North America is managed start to finish, top to bottom, with the publisher’s gaze fixed squarely on Wal-Mart, and no…

4

Out of Control Admissions Hype

The Times article adds, from the CIRP survey, that the proportion of students who applied to 12 or more colleges increased by 50 percent from 2001 to 2005. The article does not go on to note that the 50 percent increase brought the percentage from 1.4 to 2.1. Most of the students who are using such strategies, and who turn up in such articles, are from a relatively elite background,…

Blackboard Blogging: Web Journals Become the New Fly on the Wall of Teachers' Lounges

On one level, blogs are little more than personal journals posted on the Internet for all to see. They provide a forum for teachers to share ideas with colleagues around the world or simply talk about themselves and others. But under a wider lens, the sometimes funny, sometimes searing blogs paint what may be the rawest portrait seen of the teaching profession in transition — and by some measures, in…

Gender Gap Greater in Reading

Michael Smith, professor in Temple University’s College of Education and coauthor of Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys, said the language of crisis was overblown but noted that the facts are plain: Boys read later than girls and lag them in both reading and writing across grades. They read fewer books, and value reading less. “If you go to your local high school, the basic-track classes are dominated by boys, and…