March 25, 2013, 1:00 pm
The future is upon us. It is time to hyper-monetize professors’ teaching labor—oh wait, I mean open up education to all, for free—and create Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). As my colleague Jason Mittell wrote here at The Chronicle,
MOOC mania has gained momentum … because it entails opening up the previously noncommercial realm of teaching, at both public and nonprofit private institutions, to venture capitalists and start-ups looking to build company value.
According to one of many pro-MOOC op-eds by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times,
the MOOCs revolution, which will go through many growing pains, is here and is real. … Today’s traditional university has [much] in common with General Motors of the 1960s, just before Toyota used a technology breakthrough to come from nowhere and topple G.M.
Since Friedman is honest enough to use corporations as the comparison for…
February 27, 2013, 1:11 pm
It all began at a conference. A keynote speaker had just finished her address. Microphones awaited comments and questions. A woman walked up to a microphone, iPhone in hand, and stated that during the talk she had been checking her e-mail and wanted to share with the audience some information she had just received related, tangentially, to the theme of the keynote address, to which she had not paid much attention.
I waited for gasps or at least tut-tuts to emanate from the crowd, but no one batted an eye. In fact, most of my colleagues were too busy with their own online presence to even notice what seemed to me like some seriously bad behavior.
Clearly the definition of good behavior is being renegotiated in the academic world just as it is everywhere else. A BBC poll found that one-third of 5,300 workers check their e-mail during meetings. Checking your in-box or your Twitter…
December 13, 2012, 12:27 pm
Last week the blogosphere exploded with news that Harvard’s crimson was turning 50 shades of gray when it officially recognized a new student group, the Munch. The Munch is for students interested in “alternative sexual practices,” that is, BDSM and other forms of kink.
According to the staff at The Harvard Crimson,
Munch … marks the first time in recent memory that a Harvard student group has been founded to provide a safe and accepting environment for students with sexual interests outside of the mainstream. … Facilitating open dialogue on sexuality is essential in de-stigmatizing unconventional interests and practices, and Munch has certainly done just that.
What’s not to love about students’ having more sexual pleasure? Apparently a lot, according to the Love and Fidelity Network, a national group that supports sexual-chastity-till-marriage clubs like the Anscombe Society at…
October 19, 2012, 12:30 pm
At the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were asked about gun violence. President Obama suggested a ban on assault weapons and efforts to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals. Not a brilliant answer, but a predictable one. Mr. Romney, however, took a different tack. According to Romney, the solution to gun violence is traditional marriage.
We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. … Because if there’s a two parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will—will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American system.
At first glance, such a comment might seem illogical. After all, how could marriage have stopped the assault in A…