Monthly Archives: April 2013

MOOCs, history and context

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have captured the nation’s imagination. The notion of online classes enrolling more than 100,000 students is staggering. Companies are springing up to sponsor MOOCs, growing numbers of universities are offering them, and the rest of America’s colleges are afraid they will be left behind if they don’t. But MOOCs alone […] … learn more→

College Graduates deserve much more than transcripts

College transcripts are horrible. I say this not as a columnist but as an employer. Whenever my nonprofit policy group advertises a position, we get hundreds of résumés. Every applicant is a college graduate. But when it comes to winnowing the field to 10 or 15 semifinalists, we have almost no useful information about what […] … learn more→

Demonstrated incompetence at Brooklyn Law School

I am always amazed how some administrations defend themselves, as Brooklyn Law School Dean Nicholas Allard does, by claiming that the AAUP has somehow authorized their dubious actions. Allard claims that the school’s new policy on “demonstrated incompetence” is a “long-recognized and widely accepted regulatory term supported by the AAUP and others.” Brooklyn Law School’s […] … learn more→

An American in England

Last summer I did research abroad in Rome, Italy for my dissertation. As you know from my post on accepting setbacks, I had a major dissertation topic change from focusing on the Roman Empire to focusing on Anglo-Saxon England. While the change is for the best and I\’m really looking forward to this new research, […] … learn more→

A few Google glass education fantasies

No, Google has not sent me Glass to review as an educational tool. The closest I\’ve been able to get to Google Glass is on Google\’s Glass website. Here you can see \”How It Feels\”, \”What It Does\”, and \”How To Get One\”. Will a wearable browser / heads up display / audio & video […] … learn more→

Clash of principles, not cultures, in Islamic lecture case

The Australian’s report on gender segregation during an event held at the University of Melbourne has provoked condemnation by politicians, academics and letter writers, all keen to defend Enlightenment values. The facts of the case are simple. A community group booked a room at the university, after teaching hours, to run an event about Islamic […] … learn more→


A number of recent incidents online have led me to believe that scholars need to have a serious conversation about civility. Particularly about Twitter and other social-media platforms. And about the potential damage wrought by our shame-oriented culture. First, let me note that I have been as guilty of what I\’m about to describe as […] … learn more→

A straightforward case against the privatization or outsourcing of the curriculum

Simply publishing material in a certain topic area does not confer on oneself or on one’s employees the expertise or the credentials of professionals in that field. So a publisher of books on government and politics would not necessarily have any special expertise in governing or in running a political campaign. Likewise, a publisher of […] … learn more→

On Amsterdam\’s plans to establish a Third University

For the Netherlands, and its capital Amsterdam in particular, 2013 is promised to be a momentous year. On April 13th the city celebrated the re-opening of its famous Rijksmuseum with the centre of attention pointed at the Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. Jubilees in the city in 2013 include the Artis zoo, the Royal Concert Gebouw, its Royal […] … learn more→

Taking the time to learn

Consulting is oftentimes an exercise in troubleshooting or problem solving. Schools bring me in to talk about social media, strategic communications, and/or digital identity. That\’s the initial premise and while I end up covering the things that I\’m \”supposed to,\” there\’s more to it. Organizational change takes center stage. Divisions and departments don\’t always recognize […] … learn more→