Monthly Archives: June 2009

Let’s rethink OpenCourseWare

You can’t knock down the gates around higher education by putting up virtual borders instead.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I’m on the open source movement like Daniel Tosh on videos of people puking.

Which is why I engage with MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative as if I were trying to embody the very definition of insanity itself. This time, I’ve gotten my dander up over the promise and disappointment of an awesomely titled … Read more

Tosh.0 is my favorite new show

Why? Because it has included a puke scene in every one of its first four episodes, that’s why.


In case you haven’t been following along on Comedy Central, Tosh.0 is a new show hosted by comedian Daniel Tosh. The main conceit is that Tosh introduces, and comments on, a series of viral videos.

It’s funnier than you think, even if you think the premise is a downright hoot. But you do have to kind of like watching people throwing … Read more

just because I’m frothing at the mouth doesn’t mean I’m rabid

My friend Clement recently gave me an amazing book by Patrick J. Finn called Literacy with an Attitude: Educating Working-Class Children in their Own Self-Interest. The description on the back cover explains that this book “dares to define literacy as a powerful right of citizenship…. Our job, (Finn) argues, is not to help students to become middle class and live middle-class lives–most don’t want it. Education rather should focus on a powerful literacy–a literacy with an attitude that enables … Read more

Michael Jackson, pop icon, dead at 50

Can you even BELIEVE it?

Michael Jackson was THE pop star of my generation, maybe even the last real unifying star before social media screwed everything up and made it impossible for one star to rule them all.

Jackson was confounding in almost every sense. He forced us to rethink and approach anew cultural attitudes toward race, gender, masculinity, sexuality, and public performance of identity. In many ways it was easier to think of him as an anomaly, a phenomenon … Read more

applying the abundance model to the classroom

In a recent Wired article called “Tech is Too Cheap to Meter: It’s Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity,” Chris Anderson considers the difference between a scarcity management model and an abundance model. His point is linked to management of technology resources; he writes that

[i]f you’re controlling a scarce resource, like the prime-time broadcast schedule, you have to be discriminating. There are real costs associated with those half-hour chunks of network time, and the penalty for failing to
Read more

Katharine Weymouth’s ulterior motives

what print newspaper editors have to gain from arguing that content is king and format is just something to quibble over
You have to read Washington Post editor Katharine Weymouth’s shrill defense of print journalism, thinly disguised as a commencement speech for Medill School of Journalism grads. For my money, the most interesting part of the speech is this chunk, which comes right after a grudging nod to the role of new media technologies like Twitter and Facebook in … Read more

Ray Bradbury smacks down new media types

First, in case you weren’t aware of this, Ray Bradbury is alive and kicking at 89.

If Bradbury’s name doesn’t trigger instant recognition and a flood of memories of high school English classes, then it’s possible it’s simply too late for you to make any useful contribution for society. In case there’s still a chance, here’s why you should recognize Bradbury’s name: He penned Fahrenheit 451, a novel about a future in which critical thought is outlawed (451 degrees is … Read more

I don’t even care that posting this now shows how late I am at getting on the Adam Lambert bandwagon

is all i can say in the face of this much talent


I don’t even care how lame it makes me look. This man is perhaps the most mind-blowingly talented singer to come out of the American Idol popster factory. I don’t even care that I’m a month late in noticing it.… Read more

open source, open access, open education: some definitions

For my upcoming study at Indiana University, I’m working on a position paper on the Free / Open Source / Libre movement, the open source ethos, and open education. It’s kind of weird having to draft a position paper when I kind of feel like I’ve done that, over here at sleeping alone and starting out early.

In fact, a position paper focusing only on the F/OSS movement and open education seems to somehow miss the point, since the spirit … Read more