Category: Edge of Learning

We (the world) feel better

Most of the time I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of technology and the Internet and “what’s out there” but sometimes I am completely blown away by something I find. Tonight is one of those nights. I am sitting at the computer, posting assignments for my fall classes while simultaneously browsing/watching/listening to stuff on the Internet (this is why I have so much viewing space). Keep in mind that I have been at it for several hours and it is now 1 a.m. (for those of you that think that instructors don’t do any work in the summer). I was perusing the new Ted Talks and watched this talk by Jonathan Harris about two of his websites, We Feel Fine and Universe. To truly understand just how amazing these sites are, you really have to watch the talk, browsing will probably not do them justice. The We Feel Fine website is constructed using up-to-the-hour blog data and computer programs that scan blogs for specific phrases about feelings. The software is absolutely stunning. For example, in the interaction below I discovered that at the current moment (in the world) there are 7,544 people feeling “special” and 128,155 people feeling “better.” You can also find really specific blogs… like from all the people 30 years of age in 40 degree celsius weather in Montenegro in 2007 (for example)....

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Peer pressure has forced me to blog…

When my husband (who generally does not advocate me doing any more than I already do) suggested that it was time for me to start blogging and stop sending mass emails with funny pictures of “what the dog did,” I finally decided that it was time to dive into the blogging world. (what did the dog do? She ate my husband’s Master’s diploma… which was framed and under glass.) Blogging is a strange beast in academia. The Chronicle of Higher Education has logged several stories related to how blogging might damage the credibility of academicians during their job searches. So their advice to the blogging academic might be to remain completely anonymous, with nothing to link your blog back to the school that you work for. However, I don’t see how it’s possible for me to divorce myself from my academic life. Nor is it appropriate to separate myself from my business (Andersen Algebra Consulting LLC) or my other web presence (http://www.teachingcollegemath.com/). So, I’ve decided to launch an experiment in careful blogging. I hope I can find a way to strike a balance between sharing the events in my life (for those that would like to read) without damaging my credibility or getting myself in trouble at the institution that I currently work for (Muskegon Community College). Why “Busyness Girl”? At a birthday party long ago, when I was...

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