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What Twitter Changes Might Mean for Academics

This is one of the reasons I still consider my blog to be my main presence on the internet. Twitter and Facebook and all the other commercialized social media platforms regularly change their algorithm in oder to suit their business model, without warning and without the consent of their user bases. Even though I am dependent upon WordPress (and my blog host, and several free plugins, and to Google for…

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A Prof Debunks Standardized Testing & Pearson Strikes Back

All this emphasis on standardized testing in the schools sure makes lots of sense to the purveyors of standardized tests. Stroup testified that for $468 million the Legislature had bought a pile of stress and wasted time from Pearson Education, the biggest player in the standardized-testing industry. Lest anyone miss that Stroup’s message threatened Pearson’s hegemony in the accountability industry, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) brought Stroup’s testimony to a…

Nervous job candidates.
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What employers really want? Workers they don’t have to train

I do teach a number of very practical courses, but my overall goal as a teacher is not to train students to use any particular software that might be in demand; rather, my goal is to train students to solve problems, deal with the unexpected, etc. Those skills will help them get internships, which in turn will give them the practical experience employers want. More companies are hiring from the…

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Highlighters and Intellectual Growth in College

Tucked away in this article on how to avoid being a helicopter parent is a little soliloquy on how a student’s use of a highlighter mirrors his or her intellectual growth. (In my freshman writing class, I usually make a big show, in the first week or two, of throwing one student’s highlighter out into the hallway, telling the class that with a highlighter, you can only agree with or ignore…

Joan Rivers

4 writing lessons from the comedy of Joan Rivers

All writers can learn from studying the work of great comics — especially in the age of Twitter, where economy and a sharp point matter. It is said that humor does not lend itself to analysis, that you either get it or you don’t. But I don’t buy that. I believe there are patterns to Rivers’ most interesting work that can be traced, not to imitate her voice or style,…