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Archive for the ‘Content Delivery’ Category

Today, thanks to twitter, I came across two editorials from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that are extremely pertinent to education.

Students lost in digital wasteland

and

If it’s not on the test, don’t expect me to know it

Both of these articles deal with the expectations of students vs. instructors vs.  system/standardized tests.

In the first editorial Eric Fox, an English professor, bemoans the shift to edutainment (not the word he uses) from education.  He blames the shift on “packaged minds fresh off the factory farm of iPod, “American Idol” and Facebook, a vast herd of electronic sheep stuffed with fast facts and establishment filler.”  It’s the establishment filler (I might have called it a filter) that Fox has the issue with.

The second editorial written by Laura Braziel a graduating senior at UGA, explains how students can “game” the system and become an honors graduate from a top five journalism school at a major university without actually learning much.  She blames standardized testing.

As someone who works in instructional technology, these editorials are disconcerting.  I have a passion for education and for learning.  I believe technology should not get in the way of learning, but should enhance and deepen the learning process.  I have mixed feelings about standarized tests and their impact on learning and curriculum.  What you think?

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Issuu.com is a site that I came across a few days ago via a Twitter post by someone I follow (forgive me, but I can’t remember who).

It’s an interesting site that allows content creators to publish content.

Just a tiny bit of the content on Issuu.

Just a tiny bit of the content on Issuu.

To look at a magazine, click on the cover (or you can do a search and find content that isn’t in the featured area).  The magazine will open in a type of reader that allows the viewer to flip through the pages, zoom, and email the content.  There are also thumbnail images of different parts of the magazine that the viewer and click on and go immediately to that area.

Very interestingly, there is also a Portfolios area on the featured content section.  It appears that graphic designers, photographers, etc. have the abilty to create and upload a portfolio that others can browse through.  A very neat self-marketing idea.

Any ideas how to incorporate this into higher education?  Would faculty self-publishing content be valued by administration?   Would students self-publishing be valued by faculty and future employers?

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The first post on this blog was about ‘alternative’ ways for students to get textbooks.  Since then it seems like I’ve seen/heard variations of this discussion in several places.   Three articles came to my attention that I would like to discuss further.

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This post is really not the ideal first real post for the blog, but the topic has come up several times in various news venues and among colleagues: delivering classroom content without the textbook costs.

I was looking at a history professor’s new Kindle (I’m so jealous), and he was telling me how he had downloaded several texts that are relevant to his current teaching load and that are in the public domain (Common Sense, Federalist Papers, etc).  He had downloaded the texts from Project Gutenberg and transferred them to his Kindle so he can take them to class easily (and for free).  He lamented about what a shame it was that students didn’t have ebook readers, but instead had to print the texts from a website or buy them from the bookstore.

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