Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Multilitteratus Incognitus

Traversing the path of the doctoral degree

Κούκου! Είσαι εκεί;

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Χτες το απόγευμα, κατά το απογευματινό ταξιδάκι προς το σπίτι, διάβαζα τα δημοσιεύματα του Jon, της Jenny, του Matthias και του John (αν θέλετε να τα διαβάσετε, διαβάστε τα σε αυτή την σειρά). Το γενικό θέμα σε όλα αυτά τα δημοσιεύματα είναι το πως (και πόσοι) συμμετέχουν σε ένα MOOC.

Αν παρατηρήσει κανείς τον ημερήσιο εγκύκλιο του MOOC θα δεις πως σε γενικές γραμμές τα ίδια δέκα άτομα συμμετέχουν συχνά, και που και που θα δεις κανένα καινούργιο πρόσωπο. Αυτό δεν σημαίνει πως δεν υπάρχουν άλλοι στο MOOC που διαβάζουν και επεξεργάζονται καθημερινά τα δημοσιεύματα άλλων· απλός δεν γνωρίζουμε πόσα άτομα υπάρχουν που παρακολουθούν και πόσα ήρθαν την πρώτη εβδομάδα φερ' ειπείν, είδαν κάτι και έφυγαν.

Η αλήθεια είναι το κάθε MOOC είναι διαφορετικό (όπως και το κάθε μάθημα που δεν είναι MOOC) και το πως μετριέται αυτός που είναι παρόν θα αλλάζει αναλόγως με το μάθημα και την θεματολογία. Για παράδειγμα, ένα άλλο MOOC, το ds106 (ψηφιακή διήγηση), ο κάθε συμμετέχων έπρεπε να παραδώσει κάτι στο τέλος κάθε εβδομάδας. Σε γενικές γραμμές σκέφτομαι να δημιουργήσω και εγώ ένα MOOC· ένα MOOC για την διδασκαλία της Νέας Ελληνικής για ξένους, με θεματολογία το ταξίδι. Η αλήθεια είναι πως αυτό το σκεπτικό του «έλα όποτε θες» δεν μου αρέσει και τόσο πολύ στα MOOC, οπότε σκέφτομαι να πάω με το παράδειγμα του ds106. Αναρωτιέμαι πόση ζήτηση να υπάρχει για ένα δωρεάν μάθημα ελληνικών στο διαδίκτυο...
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College Degrees and Relevance

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Over the holiday, at some point I came across this blog post asking how much longer will (college) degrees mean something. It was a short, but interesting post, and something that I've thought about in the past; not in reference to how much longer will college degrees have a monopoly on accreditation of individuals, but rather I've been pondering what does a college degree mean.

The impetus for this post seem's to be Stanford's AI MOOC, which apparently will give out certificates of completion to those who participate and do the work.  Jeff, the author of the other blog posses the following questions which I wanted to tackle a bit:

When do we start hiring for the knowledge you have rather than the degree you hold?
We used to do that, and we ought to be doing that now. One of my concentrations while an MBA student was Human Resources Management, and as a student one of the key things is that the piece of paper doesn't matter, but rather it's the skills that do.  The problem is that there is a disconnect between HR and the department that's hiring.  The department writes the job description, which is ultimately what HR posts and they collect resumes/CVs for. The degree becomes one more check mark in the automation process, and your perfectly good candidate can be denied because they don't have a specific degree. This is done in the name of efficiency, but this type of efficiency overlooks qualified candidates.

When will a certificate of this open course or that open course mean as much as actually taking the college course?
Never - OK, maybe I shouldn't say never - so let's say "I wouldn't hold my breath."  In a good and thought out curriculum, there are competencies that students need to demonstrate before being allowed to graduate. Coursework is part and parcel of honing those skills so that you can qualify for those competencies.  Doing one course and getting a certificate is not the same as going through a thought-out program, with a set of competencies, that you can easily demonstrate.  Even if you strung together a number of open courses (MOOCs) each giving you a certificate, since the certificates are all issued by different authorities, with different standards and measures, it's still not the same as a college degree.

What happens when a college degree really doesn't mean anything other than you spent x amount of hours with your butt in a seat somewhere for four five six years?
You know, a college degree is more than the sum of the courses you took and how much time you spent in class. A college degree, especially today, should set you up to be a critical, reflective, life-long learner who can cope with anything that life or work throws at them. Content is important so far as  it gets you your first job. You can't be a java programmer unless you've spent so many hours programming and learning the language and learning its kinks.  You can do this as part of a degree program...or you can do it on your own.  Time on task however does not change.
What happens when you're hired for what you know not what courses you took?
I've never had anyone hire me for the courses I took; and I honestly don't know anyone who does hire people based on courses they took. Hiring managers are looking for people who can synthesize knowledge from their entire curriculum.
What happens when the skills you have become more important than the content you know?
Again, in practice it is the skills that matter, not content - this is reality today, but it's not seen as key based on our hiring practices. Employers do want  individuals who can look things up as needed.  Some content is important: you can't hire a biologist of physicist if that person has little exposure and hands-on time with the actual subject matter. Would YOU want your surgeon to look things up during surgery?  Medical students, before they become doctors have both content area knowledge and skills developed through simulations and practice - hey, nice tie-in to the topic of this week: simulations, lol - not all professions are like this, but some are. In any case, you need both content area knowledge and skills. One is not interchangeable for the other, but as you grow up as a professional, skills are more important because content gets stale and needs updating.

What happens when a college degree no longer means anything?
I think we will cross that bridge when we get to it, but it's still a long long way down the road. Colleges are accredited institutions (now how far that accreditation goes is up for debate, as I and others have written in the past), but there is a measure of some sort.  Even with Mozilla's open badge initiative it will be a while before any self-reliant, self-motivated individual can put together a cohesive set of courses (if we are measuring in terms of courses!) to qualify as a college degree alternative.

What I think is amiss here is the questioning of what a college degree signifies - and that is "Expertise" in something that someone else with expertise is willing to vouch for someone else.  People have, and do, get street cred for their work and expertise through alternate means (example: portfolios of their work), but those individuals are also people who don't get their jobs through "normal" means (i.e. through the HR department). When alternatives to showing off one's expertise become more relevant and used by hiring managers and HR departments, then the college degree will be dethroned as the measurement by which people are hired.
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Using mLearning and MOOCs to understand chaos, emergence, and complexity in education

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This paper seems to have made the rounds while I was away from blogging last week, but I thought it would be worthwhile  posting it on my blog just the same :-)

The second paper of the MRT (mobiMOOC research team) is now available through the  International Review of Research in Online and Distance Learning (IRRODL) and is titled "Using mLearning and MOOCs to understand chaos, emergence, and complexity in education."  Here's the abstract:

In this paper, we look at how the massive open online course (MOOC) format developed by connectivist researchers and enthusiasts can help analyze the complexity, emergence, and chaos at work in the field of education today. We do this through the prism of a MobiMOOC, a six-week course focusing on mLearning that ran from April to May 2011. MobiMOOC embraced the core MOOC components of self-organization, connectedness, openness, complexity, and the resulting chaos, and, as such, serves as an interesting paradigm for new educational orders that are currently emerging in the field. We discuss the nature of participation in MobiMOOC, the use of mobile technology and social media, and how these factors contributed to a chaotic learning environment with emerging phenomena. These emerging phenomena resulted in a transformative educational paradigm.

Our first paper is in the Proceedings of mLearn 2011 (but you may actually see it in a journal as well). The MRT is now working on another paper (which we hope to have done before the end of the year) looking at affective language use in MOOCs as a predictor of participation. One thing that we keep coming across is the issue of lurkers and drop-outs (and how to distinguish between the two).

The other papers in the current edition of IRRODL also look interesting, but I thought I would highlight the paper titled "A pedagogy of abundance or a pedagogy to support human beings? Participant support on massive open online courses"since it is co-authored by fellow Change11 and Research_MOOC participants Rita Kop and John Sui Fai Mak (Hélène Fournier may also be here, but I don't remember seeing her)
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Publishing,copyright, and pay walls...

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The MobiMOOC research team has been working on our third paper, further analyzing aspects of MOOCs, and MobiMOOC in specific.  Our forthcoming paper tackles the topic of emotive language usage in MOOC discussions as a predictor of continued, or future, participation in the course. We are currently in the process of going over and refining the paper, but I don't want to give away the punchline before it's done in its totality :-)

In any case, I've taken the lead on this project to see which journal we can publish our findings in.and I have found a journal whose theme is online learning and asynchronous networks, which fits in with MOOCs and MOOC pedagogy (although, to be honest I don't know how much MOOC pedagogy there is out there...perhaps something to put our heads together about). Anyway, I was looking over the author submission guidelines to see what sort of format they wish to have us submit our paper in terms of citations, footnotes* and text formatting; and here is where I noticed that we, the authors, have to (explicitly) hand over copyright to the journal in order to have it published. The journal is also behind a pay-wall which is another consideration.  My previously published work required neither transfer of copyright, nor were there paywalls.

This gave me pause for thought.  I am interested (as is the MobiMOOC research team) in having this paper published, but I am not sure if I want my work to be behind paywalls and not retain copyright.  I get the feeling that this is the norm in academic publishing, but it doesn't really sit right.  What do fellow academics think?  I am relatively new to this, I just have a couple of articles published, and I don't have a PhD yet, so I'd like to hear back from more experienced people out there who've been in the game longer. Is the lure of a big name journal justification to put aside your philosophical stance on open publishing?  With the exception of IRRODL and JOLT, are there open access journals that you'd recommend?

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Issues?


* note to journal editors: please bring back the footnote...informational (and other) footnotes are awesome, no need to get rid of them because we're online! :-)
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Lurkers, Lurking, Learners, Learning, what is learning?

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I tried making that rhyme, to come up with a catchy title, but it didn't really work out... Oh well, maybe next time ;-)

In any case, in the Research_MOOC Mailing list Alan Selig had an interesting question which I thought I would poke at for a while until I came to an answer (or at least something to add to the discussion)

Alan Selig
One final "wonderment" from my limited understanding of Connectivist Learning theory:  If the reflecting and remixing never leaves the head of the lurker, except perhaps in their own behavior, is it still learning? If the wider community never receives a benefit does that disqualify the experience as being learning?

Well...I think that there are different levels of looking at this. First of all, is it learning if it never leaves the brain/mind of the lurker? Strictly speaking, if the "learning" never manifests itself outside of the mind, I don't think it's learning. This manifestation doesn't have to involve other people, but there needs to be some externalization of the learning.  For instance. Let's say that I am learning to program databases in SQL.  I pick up a book and I read all about it. Let's also say, that I have convinced myself that I have learned SQL.  Is this learning?  Well, if placed in front of a computer with SQL, can I create and manage databases that run on SQL? If yes, then I have learned SQL (and no one else knows) and if no, then I haven't learned SQL.

My father is a good example of this - he reads a lot, in a variety of subjects, mind you he only finished middle school as far as I know and completed a technical degree back in his day (I guess the closest equivalent would be an Associate's degree, but only focusing on his trade and not the general education courses). He goes through phrases, reading classical fiction, history, biology, chemistry, and theology texts, just to mention a few topics and he synthesizes this information.  He brings up stuff he's learned when he is out with friends and colleagues - so in his case there are others around, but then again it would be a bit weird to speak to yourself about the things you've learned.

Getting back to connectivism, MOOCs, and dip-in and jump-out, MOOCs simply don't work if people are lurkers. Let's say that everyone in this MOOC were lurkers, what would you have? You'd have weekly seeding posts from the facilitators and that's it.  This in essence is the modern equivalent of mail-away education. Every week you'd get a care package of readings and activities that you do alone.  You aren't connecting with others, you aren't even connecting (that much) with the facilitators because lurking means one-way communication.  I don't know what the stats are for Change, but I would guess that there is a small core group of participants (who blog in several languages! yay!) that expand on the seed materials and spark additional learning conversations where everyone benefits.

So is there learning if people are lurking? Yes there is! But without some people to spark conversation and learning in MOOCs, you'd have much less to think about, and potentially much less to learn. The learning, when people participate, is thus much more than the sum of all participant's contributions :-)
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Soft & Hard Technologies...

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This week in Change11 our host is Jon Dron (rhymes with Tron ;-) )and to topic is Soft technologies, hard technologies and everything in between. While reading the seed post I got a distinct mental image of Steve Job's voice reading Jon's initial post - it had a jobsian feel to it.

The article is an interesting epistemological view of technology; technology being very broad by definition since pedagogy is also taken to be a technology. I honestly don't know what to make of this week, just yet anyway. It was an interesting read, it did engage me mentally, but where to go from here?  I suppose the activity itself might be a good starting point...

So Jon asks us to ...

Provide at least one possible educational use for an unenhanced standard email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook Express that requires nothing more than that email client and its usual supporting infrastructure (network connection, operating system etc are fine, but no other distinct applications like web browsers, word processors, shared storage, listservs, schedulers or calendars). Provide this in a form that may be aggregated with grsshopper and shared with others on the MOOC.

The intention here is to focus on what phenomena are being orchestrated to what purpose in each case and (most importantly) how that orchestration occurs. The more complex, bizarre, interesting and ingenious the ways of using these better.
Honestly, it's been quite a while since I've used an email client (on the desktop) and even longer when I've used a web client that has been un-enhanced by rich text formatting, images, and HTML... hmmmmm...so, without putting way to much thought into this I will draw from my own past (and snail mail!)  Back in the good ol' days of slow interner (remember those?) I used to actually write to friends via snail mail (aaahhh, those were the days! the excitement of getting a letter in the mail!). In any case, when corresponding with a friend from England, we started a story by mail. No pre-conceived plot (I guess sort of like a never ending story), and each time we wrote, along with any news that accumulated we'd work on our epic masterpiece.

Wikis and Google Docs these days have taken over this collaborative creative writing exercise, but a plain text email client could be used in an English class to write a collaborative fiction. The idea is that you couldn't go back and edit other people's work, but you'd have to build on it.  I can see this in psychology or organizational behavior classes as well...

I do wonder how many people these days would go for this though, considering the "send this to 10 people and back to me if you really care about our friendship" BS type of emails that we get, would people really respond to such an exercise?
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Adjuncts, accreditation and academic quality

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The other day I posted some thoughts based on Leahgrrl's original post on adjuncts and technology. Tony Bates also posted thoughts on the issue around the topic of accreditation. Between these blog posts, and comments to all three of them, the mental gears started to slowly turn and think of additional thoughts around the issue.  The first one being accreditation.

Tony writes that through his experiences being part of an accreditation agency, adjunct labor is something that they pay attention to when new programs apply to become accredited, but then there is no follow up.  I know our campus had a recent AQUAD review* for all programs on our campus, and  both internal and external reviewers viewed departmental submissions of the resumes of these departments (history of department, course offerings, student information, course reviews, faculty reviews, student evaluations of courses and instructors,  etc.), in short everything an accreditor would need to see in order to approve or disapprove a program.

It's great that scrutiny is placed on new programs as far as adjuncts go, but I would like to see more information about adjunct use for re-accreditation purposes.  If I were an accreditor here are some questions I would ask and things that I would be looking for (in no particular order):

  • What is the ratio of tenured/tenure track to adjunct instructors and lecturers?†
  • What percentage of courses are taught by adjuncts?
  • What percentage of core courses are taught by adjuncts?
  • What is the longevity of your department's adjuncts?
    • both in aggregate, and per-adjunct, so I want to see how long, on average do your adjuncts stay with you, and then I want to see how long each adjunct has been with the department.  for me, a 1 year hiatus from teaching would be acceptable (scenario: you teach 1 specialist course every summer)
  • Do you adjuncts teach only for you, or do they teach elsewhere?
  • Do your adjuncts only teach, or do they also work in industry?
  • What is the conversion rate for
    • adjunct-to-lecturer
    • adjunct-to-tenure
    • lecturer-to-tenure
  • What other duties do you require of your lecturers and adjuncts (i.e. service requirements to the institution, advising and so on)
  • How do adjunct and tenured faculty reviews and grades compare?

This isn't an exhaustive list, but it's a start. If institutions were required to maintain a 70-30, 80-20, or 90-10 ratio of tenured/tenure track to adjunct ratio, and were required to have all core courses taught by tenured or tenure track faculty I think that we would see some changes.

Sarah, did bring up the point that not all adjuncts are sub-par.  And I agree. I happen to know many adjuncts who are awesome and put in a lot of love, care, and time in preparation. They really want to help their students.  Sarah brings up the point that money isn't always an issue since adjuncts may have other jobs or may be retired so they are doing it for the love of teaching.  Perhaps this was true at one point when adjuncts were employed to bring industry expertise into the classroom, and the payment was more of a stipend than a salary, a "thank you." Things are different now however.  I believe that most adjuncts are out-of-work academics that are willing to patch together many teaching gigs to make ends meet. They may still be dedicated and put in a lot of hours, and pull feats of herculean proportions, but just because you can pay them peanuts, doesn't mean that you ought to.

As Barry wrote, it's a dignity issue.  Money may not be the issue for some people, but it is an issue for others◊ . Even if money weren't the issue, money is an indicator of your perception of worth and appreciation for someone in this case, and paying them peanuts indicates that you don't perceive them to be worth much because you aren't paying them much. Ethically, too, even if people are willing to settle for what little they can get, should you as an organization pay them that little? Should you string them along with a carrot of tenuretrackdom even if you know that you are probably not going to hire someone on tenure track if they've been adjuncting•?

If adjuncts have longevity at your institution, if they've been with you for a number of years, pay increases and other perks should come their way.  Why, if you've hired someone for the past six semesters consecutively would you not want to give them a 3-5 year contract with increased salary?  You obviously value them and their work enough to keep hiring them back semester after semester, why not make it official and give them a longer stint, with job protection and better pay?  Why not have a career ladder of
adjunct --> lecturer (3 year contract) --> senior lecturer (5 year contract) --> tenure track --> tenure?



* Academic Quality and something something something...
† At my campus a lecturer is someone with a 3 year contract, a senior-lecturer someone with a 5 year contract. The pay still doesn't compare to tenure track/tenured faculty but it's a start.
◊ Tapping into contemporary sentiment, money may not be an issue for the 1% of adjuncts who have other jobs to sustain them, but it is an issue for the 99%
• I've read elsewhere that being an adjunct signals to employers that they shouldn't hire you for a tenured position. Sort of similar to the concept of if you are already employed you can get a job, but if you aren't you are out of luck...so silly, waste of good talent!
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Abundance: A tale of student usage

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I was reading the blog posts that were posted yesterday on Change MOOC on the topic of Learning in times of Abundance and it suddenly hit me*, this learning in times of abundance reminds me a lot of the research I did on digital natives (article forthcoming). Yes technology (seems to be) ubiquitous, and so is information, but as  Eric Duval admitted in his intro post:
Really big caveat: of course, all of this abundance talk is only relevant to us who are the privileged few, who do not need to worry about where we will sleep this evening, or how we will feed our children…

I thought of a few more caveats, one of which I mentioned before, that of literacy. Abundance is almost useless without the literacy to use it...sort of like the old saying: so much sea and yet I am thirsty (OK, I paraphrased a bit right there). The other thing that I was reminded of is actual usage of this abundance.  In a lot of the good digital native research† that I came across looked at factors such as how technologies are used (social versus academic and the chasm between), and whether students bring those devices to the classroom.

Research has shown that there is a chasm between social use and academic use, and that students can't necessarily bridge this on their own. So abundance isn't really helpful when you can't use those devices, services, information providers to your advantage without being instructed to do so.  Other research‡ also shows that students were unwilling to mix their social lives with their academic lives, so in order to use this type of abundance one would need a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde approach to social media (abundance) in the classroom. I think that we Change MOOCers are probably an exception to this.

Finally, I was reminded of a recent Educause annual survey of incoming freshmen that indicated that about 80% of them had a laptop.  Now the question is do these students bring these devices to school?  If they do, how often and for what purpose.  My personal feeling◊ is that a "laptop" is semioticaly the same as a desktop computer for these students. When laptops became portable, they didn't just allow people to take them from one place to another but this also allowed for home users to take up much less space on their desks for the computer. A desktop, monitor, keyboard and mouse take up way more space than a laptop that has everything all in one place.  Thus, students living in dorms or  apartments shared with other people would be more likely to buy a laptop because it can fit in smaller spaces, it can move around the apartment when it gets noisy, and if needed, it can be locked in a drawer when you have parties or get-togethers. The semiotics of a laptop in this case aren't the same as the semiotics of a portable machine that you take everywhere, but rather of a machine that take up less space and if needed can be moved to another place of study• .

Why do I mention this?  Earlier this semester a colleague of mine and a former professor wanted to use Google Moderator for a large class.  Moderator works well on computers but in reality it sucks big time for mobile devices. The experiment, as I understand it, was not so encouraging. Why?  Well, people didn't bring their computers, or just didn't participate. While laptop ownership was abundant in the class, and pretty much everyone had a smartphone or tablet, it was hard to use such a service because of the semiotics of the laptop and the non-usability of mobile devices on this service.  The one thing that wasn't abundant in this case: tabletop real-estate!  Technology was available, but if a computer or tablet were to be placed on the desk, that would be all that could go on there. No books, notebooks or any other type of writing or reading implement (or beverage for that matter) could be placed on the desk, which made learning feel cramped and not that comfortable• . Learning can't take place when a learner is uncomfortable - so, guess what, people didn't use back-channel tools, because they didn't fit in with the overal environment! Abundance is great, but it can't be an island in and of itself - it needs to connect with the other aspects of student learning (in this case the spatial configuration of the classroom).



* idea for iOS developers: develop connections between ReadItLater and blogging software so I can just send links to my blogging software from ReadItLater to be able to cite things...
† good research being actual research, not "fluff research" that just mindlessly repeats "common wisdom"
‡ Apologies for my laziness in not providing citations...I promise to post my paper on digital natives once done :)
◊ I have no way of proving this, but it would make for an interesting study (if not done already)
• I should say that these are my interpretations of the situation
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Learning in times of abundance...for quite some time now!

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This week's topic, as I mentioned in my initial post, is learning in times of abundance. Eric Duval, in his definition of abundance, goes for the digital element, but I wanted to focus on something  a little more mundane - the "disconnected" world of the library.  The fact of the matter is that our abundance of information is no new thing. Some may go back as far back as the invention of the printing press, but I won't since buying books still costs money to the individual and thus, while there is an abundance in materials, it's not abundant to you because you've got limited money.  Instead I want to focus on something quaint - the library.

The library has provided us with a lot of abundant information, for both learning and pleasure.  Through various consortia, if your own town library (or libraries) don't carry the item you want, they can get it for you, usually for no extra charge, so you can have access to whatever material you need. In high school I almost never used the library; except to borrow the original Star Trek movies and to do some required summer reading*...both of these activities happened at the same time. As a college undergraduate I used the library as a free place to get internet - again missing out on the wonders that the library could offer.  It wasn't until graduate school when I really started using the library a lot.

Why such a lag in using such abundant information sources? Very few courses I took required trips to the library to research (I was a computer science major as an undergraduate) and I really lacked the information savvyness to use the library, and to use it well!  Our focus now, as is evident from Eric's initial post, is the internet - what can the internet for us and our classes?  Well, the answer is nothing; unless of course people really learn how to use it; how to find resources relevant to them, to weigh them, evaluate them, and put them to use.  The problem with the internet is the same problem as the library: they are both abundant information sources but they do require some user training for them to use. Just as you can't walk into a library and immediately (and without training) find the information source that's right for your query, in the same manner you can't just hop onto Google and find an answer to your question without critical  reasoning and questioning skills.

The benefit of this connected world, is that we get a chance for a do-over. We get an opportunity to teach learners how to find information, both in digital form and in physical form in a library, how to evaluate it, how to be critical of it, how to cite it and create and defend arguments based on this information.  Technology is just a tool, the hard work is all mental ;-)




* well, I also got some books on programming Apple ][gs machines using ProDOS, but that was limited in scope
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Adjunct Technology...or pay your adjuncts better :)

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I was reading a post by Leahgrrl the other day titled Adjunct Technology, or why I can't figure out Blackboard. It was quite an interesting post, and not something completely foreign to me - I've read my fair share of adjunct posts on the Chronicle of Higher Ed, and Inside Higher Ed, as well as having known many adjuncts personally. This past week, while attending the Sloan-C annual conference (virtually) I saw a session on developing faculty, and one of the institutions (the name escapes me now) had faculty take an 8 week long training seminar which focused on pedagogy, but the final "product" of the course was a full course on Blackboard (or whatever LMS the institution used). The faculty were not paid for the workshop, but they were paid a stipend for creating the course on Blackboard (so I guess they were sort of reimbursed for the time they spend on this project in some fashion).

What should be pointed out was that not all institutions do this - I think only a minority of institutions do! And, it seems like the  institutions that do only do so for online courses, not courses that are face to face and use technology to enhance the course; so if you are an adjunct, who is tasked with creating a course from scratch, you are putting in countless hours in course development (that your institution may retain copyright over!) for no pay.  On top of that you are paid only for the hours you spend in the classroom...so if you pro-rate everything you are getting poverty wages at best - after all, you do want to give your students good feedback and opportunities to excel don't you? This stuff takes time!

Adjuncts in the US get paid pretty poorly and institutions many times also don't provide for basic things like an office to conduct student consults, a computer or a printer for student handouts. It's a situation where you're getting paid poorly and it's BYOT (bring your own technology). From a management perspective, if you're just looking at the dollars and cents, it makes sense! Dirt cheap labor with no overhead!  But, in my opinion, this is what has brought down wall street - focusing on just the short term gain, and not keeping in mind long term benefits.  How do you retain great, qualified, instructors if you don't provide better wages and some job perks? Yes, there is always someone else to replace them, but at what cost to the students and the reputation of the institution?  If you don't pay well, adjunct faculty won't go the extra mile, because they either have another job and this is their hobby, or they string along several (low paying) teaching gigs and do the bare minimum.

I'd like to know which Higher Education Administration genius thought of this cockamamy scheme :-)  Education isn't about opening up a student's brain and pouring in information - it's about educating people to fend for themselves and this requires mentorship and educational innovation. Both of these require time, and if you're paying your educators very little, they aren't going to put in the time.  It's all connected...how is this not visible?
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