Category: Future of Higher Ed

What will we be doing when THESE students get to College?

Pearson just came out with a press release about their new enVisionMATH curiculum, which they claim “meets the iPod Generation on its Turf.” Here’s Pearson’s marketing video – hard to tell from this how much of the system is book-based, how much is instructor resources, and how much is actual interactive computer materials. But, I keep saying that this kind of stuff is going to be arriving in higher ed one of these days. Read more about the software here. What will we be doing when THESE students get to College? I hope, by that point in time, we’ll have something better than whiteboards and markers. But I’m afraid that math instructors will have to stop being the “nomads” of the college, and get some of their own dedicated computer lab and classroom space first. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Reimagining Calculus Keynote Group Exploration in Math Adjuncts shouldn’t have to fix a broken...

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3-D Chemistry Models in Second Life

Anything that illicits me saying, out loud, “NO WAY!!!” is, in my opinion, worth posting here. And today is that day for chemistry. You may recall that I do occasionally deviate into cool chem and cool bio posts. Without further adieu… here is a chemistry video from second life that can build a 3-D molecular model from the InChIKey code. The video is by Hiro Sheridan. His site, containing flickr photos are worth a look as they show the Chemistry SN island in 2nd Life … complete with a presentation stage including deck chairs, wouldn’t this be a nice way to attend math talks… hmm… maybe if I am granted a sabbatical I’ll get to work on a Math island – on second thought, maybe MAA, AMS, or AMATYC will do it for us. Any takers? I particularly liked the photos of the chemist with goggles (goggles up or goggles down?) I hope Hiro doesn’t mind my reposting of gifs of a few of these images, as I am sending you to his flickr site too to view the whole set (there is more than one page). This week I just desperately feel like I NEED MORE TIME!!! I will never catch up with technology … does anyone else feel this way? Are we even remotely training/encouraging faculty in higher ed to “deal” with this new online/Web 2.0 environment?...

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Here comes the flexed-future…

Mike is blogging again and I wish I knew as much as he does about instructional design! He keeps telling me that I have to learn Adobe Flex and ColdFusion, but I don’t have time!!! Can I quit my regular job for a year just to learn all the programming I need to catch up on? Maybe I need to go in and modify my sabbatical application. I am going to visit Mike’s team at NKU in March (on my way to ICTCM), and I’m going to absorb as much as is humanly possible in my three days there. Anyone got good advice for maximum memory absorption? Also I’ll be giving a couple presentations to the NKU math department, in case you live in the Cincinatti area. Anyways, Mike has a link on his blog to a “flex hack” of a jeopardy game that they’ve created for the instructors on his campus. Pretty cool (although I wonder how well it will take on equations?). Let’s see one with categories of integrals… I could actually use it this week. I met Mike in Rhode Island at the Flash on the Beach workshop and there I realized two things: There was SO MUCH I didn’t know!!! (that Mike did) There was SO MUCH I DID know (and I was the only one, or at least, one of the few). And I...

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When Google takes over the world…

Today we’re watching Karl Fisch’s presentation called 2020 Vision. It is kind of a fluff piece in that it is a completely fabricated “graduation speech” for the class of 2020. However, he does a really good job of integrating ideas for where technology and education are headed. I should note that Karl produced this video long BEFORE Google announced it was getting into the energy business. I’ve noticed a LOT of articles lately about the possibility that Google has world-domination on their mind. If you want to read more about the video, see his blog post about it. So, when Google takes over the world, this is what it might look like… anyone else thinking about buying some Google stock today? Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Reimagining Calculus Keynote Adjuncts shouldn’t have to fix a broken...

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Suggestions from the Age of Distraction

A reading assignment for today: The Age of Distraction: The Professor or the Processor? by Michael Bugeja (published in The Futurist magazine) The question that Bugeja poses: Are digital distractions the cause of lowered performance measures for students? He argues that we’ve spent a lot of money on technology in education. Have we seen results? It’s a good question. It’s not an argument against technology, per se, I think he’s just making the point that we may need to retake our learning environments from technology distractions (like improper laptop use, cellphone texting, video games on calculators, etc.). Bugeja writes about what he calles “interpersonal intelligence” which he defines as “knowing when, where, and for what purpose technology is appropriate or inappropriate.” He suggests teaching incoming students some basic interpersonal intelligence. At my college, we have a seminar designed to teach students study skills, and perhaps this is where these questions belong, in addition to being reiterated in other freshman-level classes: Are you being exploited by the media? Is your internet impulse purchasing destroying your budget? When has using technology distracted you from accomplishing something? Do you have real-person communication skills, like meeting your neighbors or talking to the students in your group? How is instant feedback different from critical thinking? Hmm. I may need to revisit the third bullet point myself. I know that technology (specifically writing these blog...

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