Wednesday, September 17, 2014

News Round-Up: September 17

Becky's posted her news round-up which is my reminder to do the same! Here are some items that really got me thinking in the past week or so (and here are the previous round-ups):

Downvoting Considered Harmful by Cory Doctorow.
I was very curious to read this write-up since my own experience with down-voting in the Coursera discussion boards was terrible. Down-voting, anonymous posting, and malicious tagging were all serious problems in the Coursera course that I completed. Ugh.
quote: "This goes beyond the simple adage that you shouldn’t feed the trolls by giving them attention. The evidence suggests that negative feedback can perhaps actually create trolls. It also suggests that people getting negative feedback are more likely to give others negative feedback, too, spreading the infection." 

Why Should I Blog While Learning? by Aparna Nagaraj
A great post about blogging from Aparna Nagaraj, someone whom I met as part of the Connected Courses experience. I agree with all her reasons, especially this one she cites as the most important: "By blogging I get to record and thereby not forget what I think at the moment  - triggered by various stuff I read, listen, see, and discuss."

The End of Higher Education (video) with Mike Wesch, Cathy Davidson, Randy Bass.
This was also part of the Connected Courses experience, and I especially appreciated the commentary by Michael Wesch: "the most beautiful things happen when the center loses its hold."

We Are The Experts by John Spencer.
I can really relate to what John Spencer is saying here (he is always one of my favorite education commentators). Often people with the least experience teaching will make the most extravagant claims, while those of us who have lots of teaching experience are more cautious (too cautious?) since we are so aware of how our experiences are changing from day to day, that we are always learning. But we can still be experts! It's about EXPERIENCE after all!

Submitting Essays: The jeopardy of just-in-time reported in The Economist
If anything, I am surprised that they did not find stronger differences here. In any case, working close to the deadline surely cannot be a good thing... yet it is the default mode for many students, especially students who may be struggling in other ways too. Time scarcity has many ripple effects!

Schools, housing, & poverty: Thoughts on segregation in Tulsa from OKPolicy Institute
A detailed, depressing but very thoughtful analysis of Tulsa's history which has much to teach us about America at large too of course.
quote "You cannot explain why the median White household in this country has 18 to 20 times more accumulated wealth than the median Black household without looking at decades and centuries of public policies and private practices that helped one group of citizens accumulate wealth while preventing and destroying the wealth of another group of citizens. The history has involved everything from poll taxes and voter disenfranchisement laws to discriminatory job hiring and college admissions policies, to outright violence and destruction, such as the Tulsa Race Riot, which burned to the ground the businesses and homes of thousands of African-Americans."

Growth Mindset: Personal Accountability and Reflection by Jackie Gerstein.
And of course I have to include Jackie Gerstein's latest post on growth mindset with a wonderful graphic as always:

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