Teaching Computing with… Computers?

The NSF Prefers Strings, Crayons

After an unintentional hiatus, last week I resumed following Georgia Tech CS colleague Mark Guzdial’s Amazon blog. His latest salvo is a thought-provoking piece called Using computing to teach computing (Hint: Don’t use the “P” word). The post centers around a question Mark posed to Jeannette Wing, Director of the Computing & Information Science & Engineering branch of the NSF… read more

bad-fortune-cookie-medium

The Opposite of Good Fortune is Bad Fortune

Is 'adjunct activism' the only path to labor reform in higher ed?

At Chronicle Vitae, full-time adjunct professor Lori Harrison-Kahan writes “Blaming the Victim: Ladder Faculty and the Lack of Adjunct Activism”. The piece addresses tenured faculty’s apparent (or at least relative) silence in the ongoing debate over adjunct labor in higher education. Harrison-Kahan rejoins such faculty for failing to extend their ongoing defenses of marginalized communities to their own community: Why… read more

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Hyperemployment

or the Exhausting Work of the Technology User

In 1930, the economist John Maynard Keynes famously argued that by the time a century had passed, developed societies would be able to replace work with leisure thanks to widespread wealth and surplus. “We shall do more things for ourselves than is usual with the rich to-day,” he wrote, “only too glad to have small duties and tasks and routines.” Eighty years… read more

“Things Could Be Different”

A response to Kevin Werbach on MOOC "rock stars"

Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor who has been teaching a MOOC on gamification (I know, my two favorite tastes together at last!), has written a Chronicle post decrying the use of the “rock star” moniker for MOOC profs. “The rock-star meme implies that teaching is all about performance,” says Werbach. Of course, it’s possible that the rock star metaphor works… read more

The Condensed Classroom

"Flipped" classrooms don't invert traditional learning so much as abstract it

Some promote MOOCS as the future of lower-cost higher eduction, while others lament them a solutionist privatization of educational practice. Despite the polarization, both MOOCs and flipped classrooms enjoyed positive mentions last week from President Obama, who announced a White House plan to make college more affordable: A rising tide of innovation has the potential to shake up the higher… read more

What Grows when MOOCs Grow?

MOOCs scale for bankers and industrialists, not for students

You might want to read this New York Times article about Georgia Tech’s new online masters degree in computer science. The article is pretty good, reasonably balanced, and looks at the issue from (almost) all sides. Notable side missing, as usual: what students think. Anyway, I’ve said enough about this whole MOOC thing, but I did want to highlight one… read more

MOOCs and the Future of the Humanities (Part Two)

A roundtable at the LA Review of Books

On June 14-15, 2013, the LA Review of Books hosted a two-part roundtable on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). Participants included me, Cathy N. Davidson, Al Filreis, and Ray Schroeder. Below is my contribution to part two, which included responses to the statements in part one (which you can find here; this response won’t make much sense unless you read… read more

MOOCs and the Future of the Humanities (Part One)

A roundtable at the LA Review of Books

On June 14-15, 2013, the LA Review of Books hosted a two-part roundtable on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). Participants included me, Cathy N. Davidson, Al Filreis, and Ray Schroeder. Below is my contribution to part one, which included initial statements by each of the participa. Part two will include responses to these statements. Please visit the LARB website to… read more

“Of Questionable Value”

Why do we take course ratings seriously in light of the horror of anonymous ratings and comments online?

I woke up this morning to a flurry of Facebook links to Do the Best Professors Get the Worst Ratings? on Psychology Today. Everyone also seemed to be excerpting the same summary, and I now follow suit here: To summarize the findings: because they didn’t teach to the test, the professors who instilled the deepest learning in their students came… read more

ShillVille

The ouroboros only eats ouroboroi

Kevin Werbach, who has been teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification, spoke about teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification at the $1k-2k/head GSummit, the gamification conference run by gamification consultant Gabe Zichermann. Now you can pay $15 to watch a video of Werbach talking about teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification at the $1-2k/head Gsummit, the gamification… read more