Desert of My Real Life

Category: Teaching

The New Education

I recently read The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University and Prepare Students For a World in Flux by Cathy N. Davidson. Davidson has long been an academic hero of mine for, among her many accomplishments, co-founding of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), a community of folks interested in "changing…

National Survey of Student Engagement

Plymouth State University participates every other year in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which measures student participation in meaningful learning experiences. The survey is given to first year students and to seniors to help institutions of higher education determine their level of effectiveness in engaging students in experiences shown to be positively linked…

Disruptive Innovation in Education

I went to a conference sponsored by UBTech a few weeks ago. It was advertised as a "national summit on technology and leadership in higher education" and had a tag line of "Your future is being determined. Be there." Not surprisingly, many of the sessions were focused on "disruptive innovation," the idea that new technologies…

When is Failure Really Failure?

If you are involved in higher education in any way, you have heard about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). I first heard of them back in the Fall of 2011 when I was one of 160,000 students to sign up for an online class in Artificial Intelligence (AI). I have PhD in Computer Science and…

Gamification and Education

A trending buzzword in today's digital culture is gamification. According to most sources on the Internet, the term was coined in 2004 by Nick Pelling, a UK-based business consultant who promises to help manufacturers make their electronic devices more fun. Since then, the business world has jumped on the gamification bandwagon with fervor. Most definitions…

Technology in Education

I just got back from a three day workshop on academic technology.  As a computer scientist, I was intrigued by the idea of this workshop but I was worried that it would be a disappointment because so many of these workshops focus on what I consider to be the wrong things.  I am so glad…

Game Design Education

I belong to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) which has a fairly active listserv.  The most recent discussion on the listserv was prompted by Brenda Brathwaite's rant at the most recent Game Developers Conference, which ends today.  Brathwaite is a well-known game designer, educator, IGDA board member, and author.  She wrote one of my favorite game…

Original Research–Good or Bad?

I recently rewatched Julia, the 1977 film starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave.  It is based on a chapter in Lillian Hellman's memoir, Pentimento: A Book of Portraits.  That chapter tells the (probably fictional) story of Hellman's longtime friendship with Julia, a girl from a wealthy family who grows up to fight fascism in Europe in…

The iPad and Education

David Parry recently wrote a very interesting post on ProfHacker regarding the impact that the iPad is likely to have on education.  Parry is an assistant professor of emerging media and technology (what a cool title) at the University of Texas-Dallas and the author of academHack, one of my favorite blogs about technology and education…

Experiments in Online Education

Ian Schreiber, co-author of Challenges for Game Designers, is undertaking an interesting experiment in online education this summer.  He is offering an online course called Game Design Concepts via Web 2.0 tools (a blog, a wiki, a discussion board, Twitter and so on).  None of this is revolutionary.  What makes this experiment interesting is that…

Isn’t It Ironic?

The MediaShift blog on PBS's web site (written by Mark Glaser and which I highly recommend) recently reported an interesting story about the experience one of its interns had in one of her classes at NYU's School of Journalism. The class was called Reporting Gen Y and was supposed to be about the use of…