Monthly Archives: January 2013

Coca-Cola part of the solution to obesity? Yeah right!

Coca-Cola made headlines this week with a new television advertising campaign. It begins with a voice-over: “We’d like people to come together on something that concerns all of us – obesity”. The ad then lists all the ways Coca-Cola is playing “an important role” in preventing obesity. This Coca-Cola marketing strategy is not, as the […] … learn more→

The art of becoming yourself

Over the past two decades we have placed the outcomes of higher education under scrutiny. Accrediting agencies make the assessment of learning a key to appraising institutions. We scholars make our voices heard on the matter, and politicians have grown curious about undergraduates. In the first decade of the new millennium, Secretary of Education Margaret […] … learn more→

How Facebook can ruin study abroad

Taking an administrative leave in Benin for the past six months provided an eye-opening contrast to my first study-abroad experience, in Mexico City back in 1980. Of particular note was the insidious impact of new communication technologies on living and learning in another culture. As a former director of the office of international programs at […] … learn more→

Does my BMI look big in this?

At some point – whether it\’s at the doctors, at the gym, or online – all of us have probably encountered the Body Mass Index. Body Mass Index (BMI) is derived from a simple mathematical formula, devised by Belgian scientist Adolphe Quetelet in the 1830s, that divides a person\’s weight in kilograms by their height […] … learn more→

Martyrs, causes and history

No other blog I have written for IHE has prompted me to think as deeply as the one the other day about Aaron Swartz. The issues surrounding his life and death are obviously complicated. They have excited many people from different political spectrums and intellectual dispositions to react in a panoply of ways. The various […] … learn more→

The right’s resistance to regulation – Book review

James Watt, who served as Secretary of the Interior from 1981 to 1983, is remembered primarily for a short, business-friendly tenure that ended with his resignation soon after an ill-judged remark about women, minorities and the disabled. And yet, as MIT professor Judith Layzer observes in her new book about environmental politics, “Open for Business,” […] … learn more→

Why do academics work so much?

Recently a Forbes article claimed that being an academic was the least stressful job of 2013. However, a storm of protest on social media forced the author to add an addendum acknowledging that this probably wasn’t the case. In fact academics work a a lot and that work tends to intensify in the so called […] … learn more→

Researchers, MOOCs, and online programs

Whatever you think of MOOCs or online learning programs (they are different things!), one great benefit of all the focus on both of these trends is a renewed focus on teaching. Suddenly, everyone is talking about learning. They are talking about learning at CES, in the press, and at provost and presidential meetings. As an […] … learn more→