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Anthony Helm
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I wish I knew you were considering one. We've had one here in the AHRC since just before I arrived. I used at a couple of conferences and was duly impressed at what it does. The paper is pricey, but I'm glad to see that they have gradually released more form factors (smaller notebooks). I've had a few problems with charging it as well--plugging it in overnight, only to find that it didn't fully charge for some reason or another. Also, though you can share your files through the LiveScribe site, I wished there was another way to share among people you know. Or, perhaps, I need to revisit the site to see if things have changed. Also, I feel uncomfortable using it in a small familiar group, or here on campus in various meetings, as opposed to more anonymous use at conferences.
Toggle Commented Oct 26, 2009 on So you want to take some notes? at CC blog
Hey Josh, Again I am right on board with this approach and like the way that you have methodically presented this. Multiple choice quizzes should not be used exclusively to evaluate learning and progress towards goals, but offer a great opportunity for self-quizzing and reinforcement if students take advantage of the opportunity. And, in the scenario you have highlighted, this is not an option, but a requirement and is a good way to get students to engage with the textbook readings. Also, what is true for web design is true for quiz design as gotta have the content, which can be the hardest or most time consuming part to put together. The publisher's test question banks save a lot of that time. However, the problems I ran into a few years ago were technical. The publisher's content pack for Bb was all invisible to students by default and was chunked in such a way that it took WAY too much time to click through and enable all the material that a faculty wanted to use for quizzes or otherwise. It sounds like some of that may have been remedied with newer versions of both Bb and publisher content. I'm looking forward to how your approach turns out at the end of the term and to hearing about feedback from your students.
Should there be ubiquitous lecture capture or even the option for it? And/or, should there really be a fundamental re-thinking of "what," "why," and "when" to lecture capture? Ultimately, LC needs to serve the needs and desires of students, but it cannot be denied that public accessibility will naturally mean that the faculty members and Dartmouth will then come under greater scrutiny by a discerning audience. I hope we can help put the College's best foot (face) forward, so to speak.
Toggle Commented Jul 31, 2009 on Opencast gets funding at CC blog
Don't forget Meg's other blog, Maker's Table (
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2009 on Blackboard dashboard? at CC blog
Yeah, I like the alternative meaning too. But of course, as Brian has pointed out, the litigation continues. *sigh*
I'm pleased to see the feedback that this has generated. Josh and I are on the same page here. I'm not proposing that Kaplan is "doing it right, " but rather that they are putting out an alternative message that clearly challenges the traditional classroom lecture model. I even wrote, "I wonder if they are delivering on their message." Visually, they are certainly communicating the idea about reaching students anywhere , but I don't think that is all that they are saying. It isn't just about putting the lecture in your pocket.
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2009 on Time for a new university? at CC blog
I love the acronym, Josh. It is is both reminiscent of computing in the "cloud" and of the evanescence of digital bits (despite the fact that nothing ever disappears off the 'net)! Reading through your list, though, it strikes me that publicly accessible (though controllable) site tools that seamlessly blend the features of blogs and wikis may offer a better solution than that of our current CMS approach--the community garden model versus the walled-garden model.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2009 on BB world questions at CC blog
Josh, What isn't scaleable is having a full-time content-savvy employee present in every classroom to assist the faculty member. My point is that Twitter DOES provide a way to make this scaleable by handing it over to the students. But you are right, I think this is something that students have to learn or be taught how to do and to do well.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2009 on Tweeting in the back row at CC blog
Chris Anderson is making the audio book available not just to Audible customers via the Wired website. Here’s the deal: you can get a universally free version over on Wired’s website. The zip file is at
Thanks, Josh. I just got it. Although, on my Audible site, both the abridged and unabridged versions are free. Here's to Anderson for practicing what he preaches
Ground-shaking news out of Texas, where the governor has signed into law HB4294, which drastically alters the textbook model governing K-12 education in the state, and, by extrapolation, potentially the entire country. This article in T.H.E. Journal describes the new law:
Yay! The wordle returns!
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2009 on my audio book word cloud at CC blog
Malcolm, thanks for the posting and the link. Your quoted statement that "students are the professor's apprentices" is somewhat problematic, however, though I get the analogy. Apprenticeships are based on the idea that the apprentice will eventually assume the position or profession of the master, be it electrician, plumber, blacksmith, mathematician or jedi warrior. This analogy is great for students in majors and grad programs. The challenge, one of them at least, is how does a teacher apply the same principles to a room of 100 apprentices who do not aspire to advance in the same field nor even understand the traditional role of "apprentice" and the level of engagement that it requires. As for lecture capture, I am torn over its usefulness. A good lecture is a good lecture and can stand on its own, and as a student, it is great to be able to either review a good lecture or to watch a class that had to be unavoidably missed. But is it an effective disembodied experience academically, especially without post-production or modularity? If it is, then why do we even need face-to-face lectures any more? Let's record the professors in a studio, hire 3-4 good students to act as warm bodies, and deliver it all online. If I attended the lecture and have notes to go along with it, I can fast forward to review the parts that I need to review. If I missed the lecture, I might as well be the kid in the back of the room that never says anything. Maybe I can pass the tests and the course, but in what way have I been enriched? I find the resistance of faculty an interesting behavior, as well. On the one hand, lecture capture may "expose" poor classroom teaching. But on the other hand, it may also help perpetuate it. As an instructor I can put on my blinders and keep teaching the way I always have, only "NOW WITH ENHANCED STREAMING ACTION!" Why would I want to imagine and take the time to develop a truly new way of doing something?
You beat me to the punch, though I expected that you would. I'm pleased with the size and the PDF support, though Amazon is still locking that feature up behind a pay-for-prep model that requires you to send the file to the Kindle via an e-mail address attached to the device...for a fee! Its success will also depend on publishers' willingness to reduce the cost of textbooks. Maybe they will since, with the Kindle model, there are no aftermarket re-sales to take away original purchases. The other possibility is for more authors to become self-publishers, getting their books on the Kindle the way Indie artists get their music on iTunes and Amazon. Like the Kindle 2, I still feel that the DX is overpriced for a consumer device that is essentially a one-trick pony--an e-book reader. Yes, I know the cell service is included and it has basic browser capabilities, but it still has one primary function, and for that I think it is overpriced. Also, will Amazon make deals with publishers in other countries to allow foreign language materials to be purchased and downloaded to the Kindle? If I travel, I can pick up a book in any country, and in any language, with no technology limitations. Will that be possible with the Kindle? Nevertheless, I am considering getting one for the department when they come out.
Toggle Commented May 6, 2009 on kindle dx a game changer for higher ed at CC blog
These are interesting reads, Josh. Thanks for posting them. Together they read as a one-two punch on higher ed, from the finance perspective and from the academic perspective. One paragraph that stood out in particular was from Jarvik: "America's colleges and universities, says Wiley, have been acting as if what they offer — access to educational materials, a venue for socializing, the awarding of a credential — can't be obtained anywhere else. By and large, campus-based universities haven't been innovative, he says, because they've been a monopoly." While I acknowledge the point he's trying to make, I have issues with it as well. In particular, if it just boils down to the "credential," then we are failing on a much larger scale to educate. This has been my criticism of the "business model" approach to higher ed--bring 'em in, teach 'em a trade or specific skill, certify 'em, and send 'em out the door. This is also the problem I have with the "assessment model" that is so often called for by politicians, which usually involves standardized testing. I am often reminded of the the following quotes that I have heard or been asked in my life: "You're studying Spanish. Let's hear you speak some," "You went to college for four years and you can't even operate a [insert machine name here]," "Why do college educated people do such stupid things?" [the latter usually in response to some complex issue involving far too many people or elements]. Likewise, though, I think he is correct that there is a failure to innovate, which may be due to the tenure system, to schools resting on their laurels, or to the greater reliance on research dollars and prestige publishing at the expense of rewarding good teaching. Content alone will not "make" a successful education for the majority of people, nor will a classroom that only presents the same materials. If content is a school's "competitive advantage," then that school is doomed to irrelevancy. The faculty and administration of our institutions of higher ed really need to grapple with these issues to determine what their true competitive advantage is. Hopefully, I will be a part of that conversation here at Dartmouth.
Toggle Commented May 6, 2009 on why universities are in trouble at CC blog