Weekend Reading: Labor Day Edition

Hot Air Balloon, Fire in the Hole

With September and the clear start of fall just around the corner, Labor Day weekend offers a reminder of summer–and a chance to regroup and organize for the challenges that the new school year brings. Here are few readings and ideas to accompany this weekend of transitions.

  • Natalie Tindall created a Storify with “Grad School Advice” for new and returning students: #gradschooladvice Build and continue your communities of support. Find a hobby that pulls you out of the books at least once a week.
  • Christopher Friend speculates on the potential of “E-verting Our Classes: Redirecting Focus“: Rather than simply inverting the classroom by changing the schedule, we need to turn the entire approach to teaching inside-out. I recently explained the differences in philosophy between MOOCs and flipped classrooms to one of my peers. She agreed that the MOOC does not take a basic, inverted approach to classroom reform. Her interest in researching the ecological contexts of rhetorical scenes suggest a different vocabulary. “That sounds more like everting. You know…like a starfish does with its stomach.”
  • Kevin Carey chronicles “The Siege of Academe” as Silicon Valley start-ups target higher-ed: Instead of trying to directly challenge American colleges—a daunting proposition, given the political power and public subsidies they possess—the new breed of tech start-ups will likely start by working in the unregulated private sector, where they’ll build what amounts to a parallel higher education universe. 
  • Whitson Gordon reminds us that the long weekend is a great chance to “Enable Two-Factor Authentication Right Now“: Passwords, unfortunately, aren’t as secure as they used to be, and if someone gets your password, they can access your account with no problem. Two-factor authentication solves that problem.
  • Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel consider the current state of online learning objects in “Udacity and Online Pedagogy: Players, Learners, Objects“: The problem with most online courses is that they attempt to neatly map what we do in classrooms into online space…In all these examples, the complex dynamics of classroom learning are reduced to the fetishistic bureaucracies that fail to adequately support them. Learning is perilously imagined as a series of learning objects that can be uploaded and redistributed to meet outcomes. This is a massive failure of imagination.

In this week’s video, Mike Eisenberg speaks at TEDxUofW on Information Alchemy and the power of knowledge:

[Creative Commons BY-2.0 Licensed Image by Flickr User Beverly & Pack]

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