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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…

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Robot Dramas: Autonomous Machines in the Limelight on Stage and in Society

A thoughtful overview of robots in culture, addressing the fear and hope that go hand-in-hand when humans reflect upon, fictionalize, and create our relationships with with mechanical workers of all stripes. Aaron Dubrow, National Science Foundation media officer, includes his perceptions of a panel on robots in theater, where I brought up the legacy of the 1920s Czech play that introduced the word “robot.” Theater is not an arena where the NSF…

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Robert Morris University to offer video game scholarships

Robert Morris University’s video game scholarships make exactly as much sense to me as sports scholarships. “It’s a team sport,” Melcher said. “There’s strategy involved. You have to know your role in the game. Obviously it’s not cardiovascular in any way, but it’s mental. There are elements that go into it that are just like any other sport.” Since news of the scholarships broke last week, Melcher said, the school…

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Journalism is doing just fine, thanks — it’s mass-media business models that are ailing

Hmm… I warn my freshmen not to use the vague “Some people say…”, so I’m immediately biased against this author’s writing. Nevertheless, the internal links provide a useful overview. Some argue that the rise of the internet has destroyed — or severely crippled — journalism, but all it has really done is disrupted traditional mass-media business models. Journalism itself has never been healthier, and new players are finding new models.…