Thursday, April 28, 2011

Advance by accepting absurdities?

"Good news -- I hear the paradigm is shifting."  But is it? "Physics advances by accepting absurdities.  Its history is one of unbelievable ideas proving to be true." - "Dream Machine - The mind-expanding world of quantum computing." ANNALS OF SCIENCE by Rivka Galchen MAY 2, 2011 The New Yorker  Abstract...
How do we know when it is really time for a paradigm to shift?  How can we halt, accelerate, or direct a paradigm shift?  Who is 'we'? - Steve Gilbert, 20110428

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Assertion-Evidence PPT Slide Design - 4 Premises

Challenge PPT default structure (a single word or short phrase headline supported by bullet list). Instead:

1.  Slides appropriate visual aid for the presentation (better than no visual at all!)
2.  Success = audience UNDERSTANDING
3.  Slides =/= handout
4.  Slides help audience understand, NOT serve primarily as reminders for speaker.
Above excerpts/summaries from Rethinking the Design of Presentation Slides: the Assertion-Evidence Structure - Web page maintained by Michael Alley, Penn State 

Assertion-Evidence Slide Design - Examples, Template

Headline + visual evidence: photographs, drawings, diagrams, graphs, and films.
Examples and Editable Template (Google Doc)  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"credible alternative to digital piracy"?

"New Licensing Models for Online Music Services in the European Union: From Collective to Customized Management," by Giuseppe Mazziotti , Columbia University - Law School, April 1, 2011, Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 11-269
[Got this from Facebook comment from Kenneth Crews.  Tnx!]

Anyone that has the opportunity to access online music or film services in both the United States and in Europe (or even in distinct E.U. countries) can easily realize how undeveloped, or more restricted territorially, the E.U. online content sector is. In the United States, the recent launch of innovative online services – e.g., Apple's iTunes, Microsoft's Zune, Rhapsody, Beatport, Pandora – has revolutionized the landscape of legitimate access to and use of online content and created a credible alternative to digital piracy. Contrastingly, in the European Union, online music services and music stores – e.g., LastFm, Spotify, iTunes – have not taken off, at least not fully. This is not only due to the still rampant phenomenon of music and film piracy on illegal file sharing platforms. The unbearable complexity of online rights clearance processes is a major problem for commercial users wishing to develop and launch pan-European online content services and to take advantage of the E.U. cultural sector as a whole."

"Interesting Ways" "...crowdsourcing good quality classroom ideas"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Worried about covering the material? Join "Anupholsteraphobics Anonymous?"

Anupholsteraphobia:  Fear of not covering the material.
What shall we cover in the first meeting of Anupholsteraphobics Anonymous? 

"... Like most of the teachers I ever encounter, I suffered from a common malady--what Stan Brimberg at the Bank Street School calls 'Anupholsteraphobia':  'the fear of not covering the material.'
Anupholsteraphobia cannot be cured, but it can be controlled."
- From "Discipline and Publish: Faculty Work, Technology, and Accountability," Randy Bass, Georgetown University, Plenary address delivered at the AAHE Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards, San Diego CA, January 22, 1999.

Having trouble finding original source/citation for image included here!  If you find it, pls send to

Universal Disclaimer: "We are not responsible for anything at all. Ever. So there."

From as of April 25, 2011
Also:  "Some quantum physics theories suggest that when the consumer is not directly observing this product, it may cease to exist or will exist only in a vague and undetermined state."
[Note:  I had found some of this previously on a web page that is no longer available, so I'm reproducing this whole thing here in case its current home disappears too.  I've inserted a few blank lines for easier reading - Steve Gilbert, 20110425.]

The following is reproduced verbatim from 

We are not responsible for anything at all. Ever. So there.
Copyright (c) 1995,1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 1900 by David Cary, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who is we?

"We continue to try to move faculty along...
"So we need to think about how to reengineer the classroom to really engage students."
"The fundamental challenge of mobility to education, especially higher education, is the always-present ability of students to get to the world of information in just a moment, both in and out of the classroom."
Excerpts from "The Digital Swiss Army Knife" - interview of Scott Perkins, Abilene Christian U., at EDUCAUSE October 2010 conducted by Gerry Bayne - click here for text, below for 4 minute YouTube video.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unidentified exogenous variables vitiate extremophiles' hyper-rationalistic hubris.

If not, they should!           
But pierced politically-powered paradigms' proponents persist.
See:  Face-to-Face ?vs.? Hybrid, Blended, Online, ...

We, educators, citizens, not only economists, need "an ethical code that would ask [proponents] to understand and communicate the limitations and potential misuses of their models." - Statement excerpted and modified from Abstract below.

"One might ask, how can we explain the persistence of the paradigm for so long? Partly, it must be because, in spite of its deficiencies, it did provide insights into many economic phenomena. ... But one cannot ignore the possibility that the survival of the [neoclassical] paradigm was partly because the belief in that paradigm, and the policy prescriptions, has served certain interests." Joseph E. Stiglitz. 2001 Nobel Prize lecture: p. 524 "Concluding Remarks" in "INFORMATION AND THE CHANGE IN THE PARADIGM IN ECONOMICS"

The economics profession appears to have been unaware of the long build-up to the current worldwide financial crisis and to have significantly underestimated its dimensions once it started to unfold. In our view, this lack of understanding is due to a misallocation of research efforts in economics. We trace the deeper roots of this failure to the profession's focus on models that, by design, disregard key elements driving outcomes in real-world markets.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Face-to-Face vs. Online: Over-Zealous Extremophiles vs. Hyper-Romantic Luddites

"Hybrids always win!" Eventually.  Education that mixes place, schedule, media, synchronous/asynchronous, responsibility, stage of expertise, authority, responsibility, role

For more than fifty years, new applications of information and telecommunications technologies have arrived with claims about their abilities to record, reproduce, or offer alternatives to various dimensions of face-to-face interactions.  Many of these claims have been over-zealous and misleading, but many have understated or missed what emerged later as widely useful.  As the capabilities and availability of these technologies continue to increase and costs diminish it becomes ever clearer that

  • no technology intermediated experience can be the same in every significant way as a face-to-face experience for every participant.
  • for some people, for some purposes, under some conditions, face-to-face interaction is superior to all other kinds.
  • for some people, for some purposes, under some conditions, some technologically intermediated interaction is superior to face-to-face interaction.
[NOTE:  Almost every kind of education offered in recorded history has actually been a “hybrid” or “blended” combination of face-to-face interaction and other “technologies.”  Examples of “hybrid” activities included within “traditional” face-to-face education:  students read assigned chapters in books without any direct supervision;  students meet in a bar and argue about a topic raised in a course they take together while drinking.  Substitute “cafĂ©” for “bar” if you wish.]

Steve Gilbert, TLT Group
FTF vs. Hybrid (FISE)

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Wild West phase of textbook evolution" - Faculty opportunity AND responsibility!

"just about anything goes with platforms and pricing models,"  Steven J. Bell, Temple U. in "Views: Taming the Textbook Market", Inside Higher Ed, June 11, 2011

Excerpt "In this Wild West phase of textbook evolution, where just about anything goes with platforms and pricing models, faculty have a real opportunity, and perhaps a responsibility, to make the decisions that allow them to play the role of sheriff and bring order to a chaotic landscape. The alternative is having publisher solutions forced on them. Savvy publishers will work to keep faculty hooked on their system by rolling out an ever expanding buffet of prepackaged lesson plans, ready-to-launch slide shows, automatically graded quizzes, shared-revenue mechanisms and whatever else it takes to keep faculty connected to the existing textbook model. As they examine the multiple alternative textbook options emerging, faculty should take time to learn from the lessons of the scholarly publishing past. That history is one of lost opportunities and outright mistakes."

Challenge: Reimagine textbook resources that engage students in deep learning AFFORDABLY

Repositories, Open Educ. Resources,  and "multiple formats are combined to create non-textbook learning materials." are recommended by Steven J. Bell, Temple U. in "Views: Taming the Textbook Market", Inside Higher Ed, June 11, 2011
"The challenge lies in reimagining the textbook so that faculty construct the right set of learning materials that engages their students in deep learning, without bankrupting them. The open educational resources movement is already laying a foundation for that type of radical change.
"Hope for mending what’s broken in that system is on the horizon. Scholars are publishing more frequently in open- and public-access journals. Faculty conducting research with National Institutes of Health grants must now deposit their accepted papers in a free, community-accessible database. New models where author payments are used to support open access are gaining traction. At a growing number of institutions faculty are passing resolutions to support open-access publishing. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"You are not alone!"

Not merely an existential assertion.  Also a reminder of available support.
"The Collaborative Imperative - Online Workshop Strategies for building librarian/faculty partnerships. - Begins Tomorrow! 4/14 More...

My daughter’s soccer coach often calls out to his players on the field: “You are not alone!”  He is trying to get the player with the ball to remember that she has teammates who can help.  

In higher education many of us are often pressed to make important decisions and complete significant work alone -- without the benefit of counsel or collaborators. Without anyone to share the burden of confusion, the challenge of difficult choices. Students, faculty members, and administrators also need to believe they are not alone, and act accordingly. They need opportunities to connect with peers and make real friends whom they can rely on in difficult times.
Above excerpts from "You are not alone!" TLT Group

The Collaborative Imperative - Online Workshop - Begins Tomorrow! 4/14

Strategies for building librarian/faculty partnerships.  More... Workshop in TLT Group's Information Literacy Series co-sponsored by ACRL
Thursdays, April 14, 21, and 28, 2011
2:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern
Susan Ariew and Jim Eison, University of South Florida
**Certificate of Completion will be available to registrants who attend all three live sessions**
This series, designed primarily for librarians who work with faculty in higher education or school settings and their faculty colleagues, will explore constructive strategies for forming librarian/instructor partnerships. These strategies will include collaborative planning activities for library instruction sessions, ways to collaborate using course management systems, and the design of post instruction follow up activities.
Some guiding questions that the series will address include:
1) What variables affect significantly the quality of library instruction?
2) What are the barriers to effective faculty-librarian collaborations?
3) What type of shared instructor-librarian activities characterize authentic collaboration?
4) What elements of organizational culture best support faculty-librarian collaborations?
5) What are resources that can guide and inform future success?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Open Course Library Goals (Wash. State) "Getting from NIH to PBT"

Not Invented Here [NIH] to Proudly Borrowed from There [PBT]
- Cable Green quoting Steve Acker in Webinar 20110411
Goals for OpenCourseLibrary:

  • design 81 high enrollment courses for face-to-face, hybrid and/or online delivery 
  • lower textbook costs for students (< $30) 
  • provide new resources for faculty to use in their courses 
  • our college system fully engages the global open educational resources discussion. 
  • improve course completion rates through good design and affordability 
- excerpted from Washington State Student Completion Initiative

Do your students HAVE textbooks? USE course materials?

How can publishers and faculty [together?] help students learn better?
Access is necessary but not sufficient.  Same for good learning skills.
How can authors and publishers make course materials more accessible?
How can faculty and academic support professionals encourage and enable students to prepare effectively for course meetings, activities, and assignments?
Join us this Friday 4/15 2pm EDT "Publishing & Education - Synergistic or Symbiotic?"

I find faculty increasingly worried about getting students to do ANY prep before participating in course sessions.  Obviously, if a student has no access to preparatory learning materials, that student cannot prepare for effective participation in a course session or to benefit as intended from course activities and assignments.
However, does the kind of help and support for students need to change for different forms of course materials?  How can faculty or other academic professionals help students to read/use textbooks if they actually obtain the books - in any form?  
Steve Gilbert

Flat World Knowledge Open Textbooks

Now "in" Webinar - good prep for this Friday 4/15 "Publishing & Education - Synergistic or Symbiotic?"

TLT Group FridayLive! 4/15 2pm EDT   Free Registration
How can publishers and faculty [together?] help students learn better?
What does "publishing" mean today? Tomorrow?

Eric Frank, Flat World Knowledge  introduced his model for providing textbooks free (really) access via Web - by subsidy from sales of other versions of same "textbook".

TUTechDay 2011 Frugal Innovation Tweets - FridayLivelier!

Resources  Tweets
Our first experiment using Twitter during a live campus-based event. 
Frugal Innovations 
for Student Engagement 
Collegial Sharing of TLT Improvements
 - Today, Beyond Us, Tomorrow!
We hoped to extend the benefits and reach of this live event, and to try an alternative to our usual FridayLive! onine event. We'll continue experimenting. We welcome your comments, suggestions. Steve Gilbert 
PS: You can continue using the “hashtag” #tutechday if you with to share a comment or suggestion about this event.  You can always see the schedule and register for FridayLive! for free at
Also see:

Here are some links selected from Tweets below:

Here are selected Tweets that were generated during Temple University's “Tech Day” Friday, April 8, 2011:

4/8/11 - bunnysnsunshine 
Twitter is sometimes the fastest way to reach a person: your professor, a public figure or even your husband. #tutechday

4/8/11 - maranca 
RT @TLTGROUP: Technology extends what artists can do. Art extends the limits of technology. #tutechday.

4/8/11 - derekbruff 
@CathSchifter You can print out Prezis, but you generally wouldn't want to. #tutechday

4/8/11 - derekbruff 
@eileen_aitken We had a student blog about her experience using Prez: #tutechday

4/8/11 - CreativeDynamix 
RT @blendedlib: "Frugal Innovations" - how do you keep improving with 2 much info, 2 little time and 2 few resources? One way - mentor others #tutechday

4/8/11 - derekbruff 
RT @donshappelle: Can you think of 2-3 colleagues who might benefit from learning about your improvement, and who might be likely to help others? #tutechday

4/8/11 - eileen_aitken 
#tutechday Screencast-O-matic is a Jing like program that let's you record up to 15 minutes instead of just 5 minutes.

4/8/11 - paire 
Prezis can be embedded directly into blackboard (not just a link to the presentation on the external site) #TUtechday

4/8/11 - paire 
How do we help more people take advantage more easily & more often of resources to which they are already entitled?#TUtechday

4/8/11 - donshappelle 
What do you most want to gain? What do you most cherish and not want to lose? What improvements can we make quickly and easily? #tutechday

4/8/11 - eileen_aitken 
#tutechday How often do you think informal mentoring/mentee relationships are formed?

4/8/11 - donshappelle 
Many faculty want to improve their own teaching, their students' learning, and to help their colleagues w/ similar commitments. #tutechday

4/8/11 - ka_weaver 
RT @blendedlib: "Frugal Innovations" - how do you keep improving with 2 much info, 2 little time and 2 few resources? One way - mentor others #tutechday

4/8/11 - Jerryhinkle 
What ideas are "shareworthy?" #tutechday

4/8/11 - TUinnovate 
Use "low threshold improvements" #tutechday

4/8/11 - donshappelle 
Frugal Innovations can enable, encourage, and support more effective, widespread, and rapid sharing of teaching improvements. #tutechday

4/8/11 - blendedlib 
"Education is almost as complex as government" a system higher ed isn't agile #tutechday

4/8/11 - TLTGROUP 
SWG BIOTWEET Aspire2B good father/husband, teacher/learner, Enable/encourage use info tech improve edu - respectfully/responsibly #tutechday

4/8/11 - TLTGROUP 
Frugal Innovations=enable continue improve teach/learn w tech when $/time scarce via abundant free/lowcost options#tutechday SAMPLE TWEET

4/8/11 - TLTGROUP 
Sr. colleagues stretch comfort zone in safe ways: 1-to-1: #tutechday via Temple U. mentoring program ripple eff... 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Sr. colleagues stretch comfort zone in safe ways: 1-to-1

#tutechday via Temple U. mentoring program ripple effect - J. kessler 20110407   

With respect to helping an additional senior colleague who is not now participating in the Temple University "Faculty Mentors for the Future of Instructional Technology" Program, a colleague who has already demonstrated some interest and some uncertainty...
Julie Kessler hopes to include him in the next phase because this program can enable him to “Stretch his comfort zone in a safe way,”  based on trust and mutual respect because this program “this program is about relationships”

Faculty-Student Teams Design Courses - Antidote for "Academically Adrift"?

Surprises:  Mutual responsibility for course success;  [some?] students want big assignments!
Surprise!  Students crave structure:  "students wanted, even demanded, cumbersome assignments that tested the depths of their knowledge. They just didn't want them handed out on the first day of class and never mentioned again until the last week."

Want to increase student engagement...Why not invite the students to help design the course? Professors McKay and Boccio at McDaniel College in Maryland gave that a try back in January for three courses this spring. [history, sociology, arts]

McKay, who directs McDaniel's Center for Teaching Excellence, borrowed the idea from Elon University in North Carolina, which has used faculty-student teams to design courses since 2005. She says she is always looking for ways to get undergraduates more engaged in her classes.

McKay and fellow faculty collaborator, Raley, learned some surprising things: that students crave structure, and they wanted demanding assignments that tested their depth of knowledge and creativity. And, of course, as in any collaboration, the learning wasn't just one-sided. The students discovered that teaching a course was more work than they thought, and that there is mutual responsibility in whether a course reaches its potential.

Read more about McDaniel's and Elon's efforts to improve student engagement!
"McDaniel Students Help Design the Classes They're Taking," by Childs WalkerBaltimore Sun, April 3, 2011

 "Power and Expertise: Student-Faculty Collaboration in Course Design and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning"; Mihans, Long, Felten, Elon University, in International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, July 2008.

See:  Academically Adrift:  Limited Learning on College Campuses, by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, Chicago University Press

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

TLTR2 Mission Statement Temple University 4/6/11

"TLTR 2's mission is to motivate and enable faculty to improve teaching
and learning with technology, and help Temple stay on the cutting
edge. We will continue the outreach mission of the 1990's TLTR,
but with a focus on the collaborative and consumer-oriented technologies
of this decade. TLTR 2 would help establish a baseline of
technology at Temple University to further the capabilities of faculty
in providing a high quality teaching and learning environment for its
students. It would empower and promote faculty members who are
already making advanced use of technology, and assist faculty who
want to learn more about academic computing. A primary objective
is to make better known and leverage the innovative and exciting
pedagogical advances already underway."
 - From 
"Technology Day 2011

Promoting the Effective Use of Technology
for Teaching and Learning"

Friday, April 8, 2011
Howard Gittis Student Center
Temple University

Nanovation Not Just a Hill of Beans

Sharing small improvements in small ways - widely, intentionally, repeatedly, collegially.

"Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
[Ilsa lowers her head and begins to cry]
Rick: Now, now...
[Rick gently places his hand under her chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
Rick: Here's looking at you kid."  - above excerpt from 
Casablanca (1942) - Memorable quotes: ""

Photo "Hill of Beans"  by jeffeaton Jeff Website:

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