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Education

July 23, 2014

"The 12 Most Popular Free Online Courses For Professionals"

For the online-interested autodidacts among you.

July 22, 2014

"Flaccid American Universities"

Imprecisely titled--the author means not the universities per se, but the students--but still interesting. And sad because the students in question attend my alma mater.

(And, come to think of it, "flaccid" is also a poor choice. Better would be a reference to Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver: "It's not that they're stupid, it's just they don't know anything.")

July 21, 2014

"Confession of an Ivy League teaching assistant: Here’s why I inflated grades"

"I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining." I can definitely relate, but it is what you're getting paid for.

See also "Give Me a Better Grade--I Deserve It." I got one of these last year. A student objected to my suggesting she write more concisely. "That's not how I was taught to write," she said. "I should just get a higher grade."

It was one more indication it was time for me to retire. 

"MBAs are totally misguided about how much they’re worth"

Just the personal experience of one Montreal headhunter, but for MBAs it's probably worth considering.

July 15, 2014

"UNC professor blasts university and its athletic heroes in defense of Rashad McCants"

There's at least one UNC-CH professor who has some common sense.

"I'm struck by the profiles of those attacking Rashad McCants," Smith wrote in his email to me. "On the one hand, you have old-timers spouting off about their experiences in the 1960s, '70s or early '80s. These people haven't seen the inside of an academic support program in years, even decades. They don't have a clue what the program was like in 2005. Yet they hurl their venom at McCants – a player who had the guts to share his transcript on television, and who also had the guts to buck the tide while he was at UNC [an offense against ‘the family' for which he has never been forgiven].

July 14, 2014

"Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today"

A "pediatric occupational therapist" argues that it's because kids need more exercise. (Some supporting evidence here.)

Seems reasonable. But I want to know this: can they sit still for TV? For texting and Playstation and Xbox? If so, the problem isn't lack of exercise.

July 10, 2014

"What universities have in common with record labels"

"If you spent the 1990s plucking songs from a stack of cassettes to make the perfect mixtape, you probably welcomed innovations of the next decade that served your favorite albums up as individual songs, often for free. The internet’s power to unbundle content sparked a rapid transformation of the music industry, which today generates just over half of the $14 billion it did in 2000—and it’s doing the same thing to higher education."

"LA Schools Realize Giving Every Kid an iPad Was a Costly Disaster, Will Give Every Kid a Laptop Instead"

Once again, you can't make stuff like this up.

July 08, 2014

"New York’s Common Core-Aligned Standardized Tests Are PAINFULLY Stupid And Awful"

The article links to this year June's Algebra I test, so you can judge for yourself.

"Explain your answer,” demands Question 29, just after perfectly reasonably asking students to graph a simple equation. “Justify your answer” insists Question 30. “Explain how you arrived at your answer” commands Question 35 (which has students graphing out Caitlin’s movie rental card expenditures). “Use your equation to justify your answer” orders Question 36 — a multipart question involving an equation about an animal shelter. . . .

For all of these questions, the obvious answer to “Explain your answer” and “Justify your answer” is very easy for any honest kid: “I used math.”

July 07, 2014

"Open Culture: The best free cultural & educational media on the web"

Links to literally hundreds of free online courses, free movies, free e-books, free audio books.free textbooks and other free educational stuff. A good place to start: "A Master List of 1,000 Free Courses From Top Universities: 30,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures".

It's a good thing they didn't have all this available when I was a teenager. I never would have graduated high school, let alone college. 

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