Weekend Reading: Daylight Saving Time Ends, Just Like Everything Else But Especially Free Flickr Edition

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if you were once a cool web service and had anything to do with Yahoo, it was secretly your ruin. Pour one out for Del.icio.us, Yahoo Pipes, (arguably) Tumblr, and now Flickr. To be fair, Yahoo sold Flickr a while back, but not before doing their patented make-it-worse thing. (The details are here: The current free plan is being dramatically reduced, and photos for non-paying users with more than 1000 pictures will start being deleted in the new year.) With this move, one of the main sources of Creative Commons-licensed images will become that much less useful. We–well, ok, I think Lee–will work up a post soon about possible alternatives, but it is a sad day.

That said, if you live in the US, you probably get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, so at least you have that going for you. Probably good to be well-rested before Tuesday.

  • Robin DeRosa explains why The Library Is Open: But the cost of delivering education and sustaining institutions is not zero, so obviously when we say “free,” we mean free to access and not free to deliver. People confuse this point all the time with Open Educational Resources, which are free to students but which take significant academic labor to generate, integrate with curriculum, host, update, etc. So “free”– even in the simpler gratis sense– is really not a simple concept. My library card at the Concord Free Public Library was free. But I also drew a salary there, and without even knowing it, I was experiencing a conceptual friction that would later become central to the questions I want to explore in my advocacy.
  • Dan Cohen reports What We Learned from Studying the News Consumption Habits of College Students: Students are interested in news, and want to know what’s going on, but given the sheer scale and sources of news, they find themselves somewhat paralyzed. As humans naturally do in such situations, students often satisfice in terms of news sources—accepting “good enough,” proximate (from friends or media) descriptions rather than seeking out multiple perspectives or going to “canonical” sources of news, like newspapers. Furthermore, much of what they consume is visual rather than textual—internet genres like memes, gifs, and short videos play an outsized role in their digestion of the day’s events.
  • Derek Bruff looks at Collaborative Debate Maps: This allows D’Onofrio not only to share the collected responses with her students during class, but also to have the students work with the responses further during lab. She prints about 50 of the “most interesting and diverse” student answers from class on index cards, then directs her TAs to have students work in lab to create a debate map with the index cards. The students post the index cards to a board or lay them out flat on a table, seeking to arrange them in some structure that reflects the shape of the art-theft debate. Students might cluster similar arguments together or visually juxtapose arguments and counter-arguments or create negative space that shows an important fault line in the art-theft debate. TAs keep a few blank index cards handy for students to add arguments to the map […]
  • Kathleen Fitzpatrick (who will be giving a talk at Trinity on Monday! So excited!!) on Focus: I care deeply about what has happened, and what will happen, but I want to slow down enough to keep what is happening from simply whooshing by. To keep the present from being something I feel like I have to rush to keep up with, and instead expand the moment to be able to encompass something like thought again.
  • Probably haven’t mentioned here that my son now goes to an online high school, which is fine except it required him to install Java *and* Flash, which . . . well, is certainly educational! Anyway, via Audrey Watters, here’s the Times on distance learning. The article’s pretty interesting, but I think there’s a decent chance this is the funniest sentence I’ve ever read on educational technology: Today, such popular online platforms such as Blackboard or Moodle allow for much improved discourse.

This week’s video highlights a (trivial, but fun) new Mac feature I didn’t know existed:

Have a great weekend! I’m excited to be seeing a version of this play tomorrow.

Photo from Pixabay, on a CC0 license.

NERCOMP Event on ‘EDU-Hacking’

"Dark Light"

If you live within range of NERCOMP (The NorthEast Regional Computing Program), then you might be interested a professional development event on November 13: “EDU-Hacking: Using the Tools and Tactics We Have to Address Our Challenges”. Here’s the description:

Folks at the intersection of technology, teaching, and learning have many aspirations but rarely the budget to go with it. Therefore, to stay relevant, accessible, and engaged in a digital learning, we often find different shortcuts, hacks, and strategies to address the problems we face. Inevitably, this takes different shapes at different institutions; however, we don’t often have an opportunity to share back and learn from one another on how we can use technology in the ways that we need, even if that’s not necessarily how it is intended to be used.

This workshop mixes the sharing of tools and strategies by the presenters with the opportunity to work in teams and find ways of improving outcomes for different challenges that the attendees face. Participants will walk away with a larger network of edu-hackers, specific technological hacks, and some strategic ideas about future problems they encounter.

It’s a group effort spearheaded by Brandeis’s Lance Eaton (Hey . . . <checks notes>I’m one of the presenters! Well then you should definitely come!)

The event is at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Norwood, MA, on the 13th. Say hello! We’ll have fun. There are learning outcomes and everything, and we all know how nothing says “fun” like “learning outcomes”!!

Photo “♪♫ Dark light….Come shine in her lost heart tonight! ♫♪” by Flickr user Nikk / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0

What Do Students Think about Technology?

Use of Colour, Library & Learning Centre, UEL
Last week Educause released the 2018 Students and Technology Research Study, along with a not-quite-convenient for printing infographic.

Contrary to dated stereotypes about faculty being reluctant to use technology, the survey shows that “the majority told us instructors use tech to engage them in the learning process and enhance their learning with additional materials. Nearly half of students also agreed that their instructors encourage them to use technology for creative or critical-thinking tasks.” Students were pretty split over whether they were allowed to use their own devices–particularly phones–in the classrooms, despite the fact that smartphones are the most widely owned/accessible form of student technology (Definitely check out figure 1.) As the ECAR researchers note, this suggests that the next step for faculty is to develop more student-centered, rather than faculty-centered, uses of technology in the classroom.

The survey has sections on LMS use/satisfaction, accessibility, and more. If you’re interested in students’ technology habits and preferences, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Photo “Use of Colour, Library and Learning Centre, UEL by Flickr user Jisc infoNet / Creative Commons licensed BY-NC-ND-2.0