Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Lots of folks are encouraged and stoked by the new DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) exemptions (aka “Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works”) recently released by the Library of Congress and announced in a press release. Over at Profhacker, Kathleen Fitzpatrick reports:

The exemption on the cracking of CSS [content scrambling system] now extends to all college and university instructors, as well as students in film and media studies courses, and the permitted “educational uses” now include critical commentary and documentary production, as well as the exceptionally broad category of “non-commercial videos.”

This is good news for a number of our faculty who use digital media in their courses and for other projects, as before these exemptions it had been illegal to extract clips from DRM-protected media, even if they were for use in class and even though use in class would be legal otherwise.

Another Profhacker post by Jason Mittell goes into more detail about implications for teaching and research, including that faculty across all disciplines can now rip clips and do it for use beyond the classroom, such as conference presentations and publications.

If you agree that this is wicked good news, be sure to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who were responsible for a lot of the legwork behind this fair use victory.

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Yes, the title was a ploy to get your attention. It was People Magazine that named Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson the “Sexiest Astrophysicst Alive” (not sure who wins the Dead title), and that’s only one among many other, more prestigious, honors.

But really we wanted to draw your attention to a very cool audio resource, Lab Out Loud: Science for the Classroom and Beyond, “a podcast, hosted by two science teachers, that discusses science news and science education by interviewing leading scientists, researchers, science writers and other important figures in the field.”

They interviewed Tyson last year about scientific literacy. Here’s a snippet:

The most important feature [of scientific literacy] is an outlook that you bring with you in your daily walk through life. It’s a lens through which you look that affects how you see the world. And the science literacy that can be promoted along those lines shows up in a lot of ways… So science literacy is not the know-it-all who’s fluent in science jargon; science literacy is the person who knows how to question the world around them, and en route to an answer that’s deeper than you would otherwise get.

And if you’re interested in the flip side of science literacy, how scientists communicate science, check out Matt Nisbet’s Framing Science, in which he argues that “more than sixty years of research in the social sciences suggests that something more than just always focusing on improving ‘science literacy’ will be necessary to successfully engage the public.”

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Open access journal publishing is one way that scholarship and research can be made available to the worldwide community, and a good place to find OA journals is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Here are some examples from browsing the DOAJ subject lists:

  • Under psychology in social sciences: Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, Annual Review of Critical Psychology, Current Research in Social Psychology, Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review.
  • Under ecology in earth and environmental sciences: Avian Conservation and Ecology, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, Urban Habitats, Green Theory and Praxis, Conservation Evidence.
  • For organization and management (business and economics in DOAJ): International Journal of Business and Management; Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy; Information Technologies & International Development.
  • And education journals (listed under social sciences): Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, Early Childhood Research & Practice, Educause Quarterly, Innovate: Journal of Online Education.

Most OA journals are peer reviewed, and journals from DOAJ are included on the ANE Journals A-Z list.

You can also search DOAJ for articles rather than browsing journals. Look for the Find Articles link in the upper left of the homepage.

Have you read an OA journal today?

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Watch one of ANE’s terrific science teacher certification students, Rose Chaffee, talk about and demonstrate how to rock the classroom:

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Beloit College has released its Mindset List for the class of 2011, whose members are entering college this year and were born in 1989. Feeling old yet? If not, you may when you read the list.

To give you a taste of the “mindset” of this cohort, here are the first ten items on the list:

  1. What Berlin wall?
  2. Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public.
  3. Rush Limbaugh and the “Dittoheads” have always been lambasting liberals.
  4. They never “rolled down” a car window.
  5. Michael Moore has always been angry and funny.
  6. They may confuse the Keating Five with a rock group.
  7. They have grown up with bottled water.
  8. General Motors has always been working on an electric car.
  9. Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa.
  10. Pete Rose has never played baseball.

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Inside Higher Ed has a story on Ithaka’s new report, University Publishing in a Digital Age.

The report and its authors are suggesting that university presses focus less on the book form and consider a major collaborative effort to assume many of the technological and marketing functions that most presses cannot afford, and that universities be more strategic about the relationship of presses to broader institutional goals.

Read the full report.

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Most of us have participated in a course—either as a student or instructor—that required online discussions. Just as can happen when classes meet face-to-face, some discussions take off and others fall flat. In eLearn Magazine, Richard Dool offers insight into ensuring that online course discussions are productive opportunities for learning.

The “dialogue intensive” model is built around the notion that much of the learning occurs with active instructor-student and student-student interaction. An initial discussion question is posed as a foundation, and as students respond and the instructor engages the discussion is extended through the sharing of professional experiences, personal insights, and other source materials. It is not atypical in a dialogue-intensive model for a week’s unit to have 150-plus postings in a 10-student class.

Dool emphasizes the need for both faculty and students to acknowledge that quality counts as much as quantity of postings in online discussions. He offers one example of a quality posting rubric:

A quality posting has several characteristics. It is germane, succinct, and clear, ideally less than 150 words. It refers to the course material in an appropriate manner and also may make use of relevant outside material. Its main point or thesis is further supported by an example or experience that helps translate the application of the material. It adds or extends the discussion.

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According to Garrison Keillor in a recent column, not only is the library a “temple of freedom,” but “when politics gets mean and dumb, you can cheer yourself up by walking into a public library, one of the nobler expressions of democracy.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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In case you missed it, there was a some controversy in the library/elementary education/children’s literature world earlier this year. And it all revolved around the word scrotum.

On the first page of the Newbery award winning book, The Higher Power of Lucky, you’ll find that word. According to a New York Times article, some librarians and teachers were a tad uncomfortable handling a book that mentions a dog’s scrotum on the first page and so chose to keep the book out of their libraries and schools.

And that was the beginning of scrotumgate. Once the story hit the NYT, Neil Gaiman, a well-known British children’s author, weighed in with a blog post, An Absence of Scrota — Your Guide to Quality Literature. The author of the book in question, Susan Patron, also responded in Publishers Weekly.

My Scrotum Week describes teacher Monica Edinger’s experience reading the first page with the offending word to her 4th grade class. The kid’s didn’t get it, and two of them decided to write letters to the NYT:

We were appalled to hear that some librarians had banned the book from their libraries just because of some old word.

To hear both sides from librarians, read School Library Journal‘s Scrotumgate Lives On.

Lost in most of the discussion is that The Higher Power of Lucky is a sweet, heartening story of a young girl’s quest to understand the world around her.

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