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Showing posts from August, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff for Higher Education - Next - The Chronicle of Higher Education

This column offers solutions with which I disagree, but it is thought-provoking.
The Fiscal Cliff for Higher Education - Next - The Chronicle of Higher Education: Moody’s notes that the number of students accepting admissions offers from colleges that the agency rates has been dropping at a fast clip since 2008. That comes even as those institutions are spending more to enroll those students. The trend, Moody’s said, is particularly serious at the lower-rated private colleges, “which are increasingly competing with lower-cost public colleges and feeling the most pressure to slow tuition increases and offer more tuition discounting.” What bothers me is that online education is viewed as the savior of struggling campuses, not for pedagogical reasons but because online courses can generate revenue.
Southern New Hampshire could easily have been one of the many struggling small private colleges in the Northeast, but... it has transformed itself into a test-bed for ideas on the future of hig…

Technology Has Its Place: Behind a Caring Teacher - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education

I agree with this, and hope we eventually realize that technology-driven education (often how online is marketed) is a mistake. Technology should support pedagogy, not drive it. And, no matter what some universities claim, they are letting the technology lead, especially because they view online education as a revenue stream.
Technology Has Its Place: Behind a Caring Teacher - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education: After millennia of experimentation, we know a great deal about how people learn. We know that the best learning involves practices—lots of them. We know that effective learning is best achieved through the engagement of other deeply attentive human beings. The learning might occur in a traditional classroom, but it might happen in a different space: a lab, a mountain stream, an international campus, a cafeteria, a residence hall, a basketball court.  No PowerPoint presentation or elegant online lecture can make up for the surprise, the frisson, the spontaneous give-…

New Computer, Starting Fresh

The tools we use to write do affect our writing.

When I moved from legal pad to typewriter, I found I wrote more. I might not have written better, but I wrote more. Then, a PC clone (a Tandy 1000) entered my life and I found I typed even more. With a basic word processor and a good keyboard, typing was almost as fast as I could think.

Oh, and how I loved my Ambra PC. It shipped with an IBM/Lexmark keyboard. Computers contain less metal today than went into that keyboard. It was a metal case, with metal springs and levers inside. That keyboard was a thing of beauty. Only the Apple "tactile" matches the great IBM keyboard designs.

Maybe speed isn't the best way to compose documents, but I tell my students to get the words on paper and then worry about revising.

(Tangent: I do like dictation software, too, because it can type even faster than I can manually strike the keys. However, I can type on a keyboard anywhere, while dictation requires sitting in my home office…

The Responsive Web: Every Screen is Different

Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
August 6, 2012 Deadline
September 2012 Issue

The Responsive Web: Every Screen is Different

Websites should be viewable and usable on as many devices and computer screen sizes as possible. That sounds obvious and simple, but designers know that it is increasingly difficult to anticipate how people might visit a website.

If you have a website for your business or organization, you should test it on a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop and a variety of computers with a mix of screen sizes. Testing a website on one computer with three or four browsers is insufficient, though that remains an important aspect of testing a website.

No longer do we sit at 800-by-600 or 1024-by-768 screens to explore the Web. As a designer, this is frustrating. As a smartphone owner, I’m thrilled I don’t need a computer to read news headlines or read book reviews.

I’ve always tried to design websites that work well for most users. Before 2006, I designed websites for myself and others…