Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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Posts from — February 2006

Beware of “moving/falling object”

There’s nothing to make a late evening of grading more enjoyable than coming across this story while doing a wee bit of websurfing on the side. I’m still smiling….

Found via the always interesting Huffington Post.

February 26, 2006   No Comments

More on iTunes U

Well, it sounds like universities are signing up for iTunes U in droves, in Canada as well as in the US. Many people I talked to are enthused about the possibility, though many of us also have some reservations.

My colleague Richard Parent and I had an interesting chat the other day about whether or not universities will want us to lock up our content to make it exclusive to our students. I like the option of being able to have most content open to everyone and some closed to everyone but students in a particular course, but only so long as I am the sole person to decide which file is freely distributed and which is not.

The other concern many people have is Apple’s connection to all this. I’m an Apple fanatic, as most people know, so I am not all that bothered by this. But what if it were Dell, for instance, offering a solution that only synched automatically with their players?

No word on when (I won’t say “if”) UVM will be signing up. I figure that if I keep blogging about this, eventually it will happen.

February 23, 2006   No Comments

The imminent arrival of iTunes University at UVM

This posting from Michael Feldstein’s e-Literate blog discusses some of the reasons that I’m excited about the imminent arrival of iTunes University at UVM. For me, this will be a perfect way of distributing content to my students. I’m not sure yet how I might use this to distribute copyrighted material to my TAP students next fall, but in any case they will all have iPods where they can receive anything new that I add. iTunes U will also provide the perfect way for the students to share with each other the podcasts they will be creating. I can’t wait!

February 16, 2006   No Comments

Today’s Vermont Daily Briefing

Trust my friend and colleague Philip Baruth to have the most hilarious take on the Cheney quail hunting incident this past weekend. Philip’s dead-on as usual.

If you’ve not checked out Vermont Daily Briefing yet, it’s well worth adding to your list of daily sites to visit. There’s even a bit of Canadian content there from time-to-time!

February 13, 2006   No Comments

Atwood on teaching writing in the North

Thanks to the always interesting MoorishGirl blog, I came across this article by Margaret Atwood in Sunday’s Washington Post. Atwood talks about her experiences last summer teaching writing in a two-week camp for young Inuit women. Her description of the camp on Southhampton Island, an “island is as large as Switzerland and has one settlement, which is home to fewer than a thousand people” is fascinating. Even more interesting, though, is the question that emerges for Atwood as a way to connect writing with the forms of traditional knowledge the women are learning at the camp:

Sheree [Fitch] and I, the writing instructors, faced a difficult task. Sheree told me these women might be afraid of writing because of negative experiences at school or they just might not see the use of doing it at all. We also knew that the standard approach for college courses — plumbing the depths of the inner you and so forth — would not be very effective in a culture that places sharing well above self-regard. But this sewing question — “Who’s it for?” — gave us a way in.

During our first session, we said that writing, like sewing, took one thing and made it into another; and that writing, like sewing, was always for someone, even if that someone was yourself in the future. Writing was a way of sending your voice to someone you might never meet.

The Post website also indicates that Margaret Atwood will be online on the Post website tomorrow (Feb 14th) at 3pm to answer questions about this project and her work. Further details can be found here. Sounds like it will be a great discussion!

February 13, 2006   1 Comment