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Editors and editorial board quit top linguistics journal to protest subscription fees

When I publish as a scholar, my goal is not to make money, but to share my intellectual creation. That’s part of my job description, so my university writes my paycheck with the expectation that I will publish. My publications will have more impact if more people read them. Hiding them behind subscription paywalls will reduce their audience. Scholars at public instutitons, whose salaries are paid by taxes, have a…

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Scaring People Can Make Them Healthier, But It Isn’t Always The Way To Go

As my freshman writing students assemble sources for their term research paper, I will point them towards this article, which raises ethical concerns about using fear as a persuasive tool. (Aristotle said that the appeal to fear, like that of lust, reaches our baser emotions; appeals to love, justice, patriotism, etc. are harder to create, but they lead us on the path that makes us better people in a better…

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Special ed teacher quits: ‘I just cannot justify making students cry anymore’

The disorder is in the system which requires them to attempt curriculum and demonstrate behaviors far beyond what is appropriate for their age. The disorder is in the system which bars teachers from differentiating instruction meaningfully, which threatens disciplinary action if they decide their students need a five minute break from a difficult concept, or to extend a lesson which is exceptionally engaging. The disorder is in a system, which…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu

Defunct Web Pages are Not Dead Ends to Journalists

In my “News Writing” class, I first warned students about doxing — the troll technique of harassing people by posting personal details (which enables pranks like ordering unwanted pizza deliveries or serious crimes like reporting fake hostage situations in order to send SWAT teams to the addresses of people you want to harass). I warned them not to dox anyone. Then I showed students how to use the Internet Archive’s…

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Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It)

Someone who thought Twitter was da bomb, and who apparently has very little historical awareness of previous forms of social media, now realizes that, human nature being what it is, this is why we can’t have nice things. We once glorified Twitter as a great global town square, a shining agora where everyone could come together to converse. But I’ve never been to a town square where people can shove,…

A school girl wearing a padded hood to protect her from falling debris, walks in school field during an earthquake simulation exercise at an elementary school in Tokyo
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Why Japanese Kids Can Walk to School Alone

It’s a common sight on Japanese mass transit: Children troop through train cars, singly or in small groups, looking for seats. They wear knee socks, polished patent-leather shoes, and plaid jumpers, with wide-brimmed hats fastened under the chin and train passes pinned to their backpacks. The kids are as young as 6 or 7, on their way to and from school, and there is nary a guardian in sight. Even…