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The Xplor Store: The Forgotten Carnegie Science Center Exhibit? (Guest Post by Leigh Jerz)

The other day, my wife suggested a Carnegie Science Center-related post. Only once before — in 2003 — has she volunteered a topic like that, so I took her up on the offer. I’ve noticed that, on every trip to the CSC, my wife slips away to browse the museum store while I’m watching the kids. Here’s what she wrote about this important part of our family trips: After a…

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Hacking the WordPress Social Plugin to Include Pages in Addition to Posts

I love the WordPress Social plugin, which grabs Twitter and Facebook responses to a WordPress post, and compiles them as comments along with the original post. But I get plenty of social media attention on the stand-alone pages on my site — that is, instructional handouts that I use year after year, so it’s posted in a hierarchical layout, not a chronological order like my blog. Once I learned that…

Midsummer whimsy: How to write recommendations for 847 students

Imagine writing a letter of reccommendation for one of the hundreds of students in your money-saving Massive Open Online Course: I’m pleased to recommend the person who identifies herself as Amy Clayton in my MOOC of 11,389 students, Education and Society. I have known Ms. Clayton since she began the course on May 16, 2012 at 4:15 a.m. Her avatar visited the class website regularly, and its eyes were wide-open,…

Remediation Nation: Why College Students Say High School Needs Change

Why don’t states require students to take four years of English and math, and three or four years of science? Why isn’t there a class dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of writing? For that matter, why don’t we require more than two years of history or social studies and foreign language? The students want it—69 percent of respondents say high school graduation requirements are “very” or “pretty” easy, while 37…

When Tragedy Hits, Photojournalists Balance Reporting and Emotion

“I think this is a clear example of the fact that sensitivity matters as a photojournalist,” says Gutierrez. “If you can’t feel and if you can’t approach this like a human being you’re not going to make pictures that mean anything.” That sense of care works its way up the chain of command at newspapers and other news organizations around the country where editors are also faced with tough decisions…

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Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads

On the topic of massively open online courses, an academic says what many of us who teach online are thinking. Do you really WANT TO SAVE SOME MONEY using INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY? Ok, try this one on for size. Why weren’t you blathering on asking why the heck we all bought Blackboard or if you really want to go into the dark ages, WebCT, for years and then kept buying it…