Just finished reading an eclectic, creative book from the Bloombury Literary Studies “Object Lessons” series by colleague John Garrison about Glass. I always enjoy reading things written by individuals who write better than I, see things which I don’t, and who alter my myopic perspective.
John’s “object lesson” for some reason triggered my thinking again about (over) use of platitudes in higher education such as “transparency,” “engagement”, “empowerment,” and “moving forward.” I have ranted about this before in the context of my perceptions about over zealous “branding.” Maybe my hypersensitivity (?) to these issues is caused by the joy of knowing people like John and poet BJ Best who remind me of the beauty of language. Maybe I just am in need of the forthcoming Thanksgiving family celebration.
Inspired by the release of Jane Hart’s latest 2015 Learning Tool Guidebook (well worth the purchase and careful reading), my students and I are in the process of writing Student Guides to the tools THEY find of most value at this point in their lives. Initially we’ll release them as blog posts. We welcome feedback. At the end of this semester we hope to bundle them together and post them as a Kindle-formatted e-book using a program like CreateSpace.
Across my 35 years of teaching at Carroll I have been blessed to have highly skilled, patient, playful student research assistants who cheerfully and ably respond to my hurried, fly-by” task assignments such as “learn how to use Movenote and report back to me its potential value”. Thank you, student friends, for your support and for your being part of Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood. Here is a result from our early explorations this year of the capabilities of Movenote – Click on the link: Angela and Amy Tutorial on Movenote.
Here is an example of what Angela learned THIS SEMESTER about how Movenote has evolved—Click on this link: Much has improved!
I have much for which to be thankful as a professor. Especially I am thankful for the delightful opportunities to learn along with students such as these!
In response to my soliciting suggestions for improving my Experimental Social Psychology class last semester, one of my students suggested that …”if the class were to have many online assignments, I believe it would be extremely beneficially to teach students how to install software that temporarily restrains them from surfing distracting websites while studying. There are several free programs which can be easily set up in order to increase focus and productivity while completing online homework.” This got me reflecting on how the Internet has challenged my own ability to focus as I sit down tonight to read a book in preparation for reviewing it. Here’s where my distractions led me before setting down! Thanks for the suggestion AW!