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A Tale of Two AIs

At ELI last month I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Satya Nitta speak twice on IBM’s Watson AI system (I also got some conference crud that turned into Bronchitis, so I’m really late posting this).  My first opportunity was in a session  sponsored by the EDUCAUSE Leading Academic Transformation  group that was a more informal Q&A session (which, full disclosure, I helped facilitate), and the second was his morning keynote.  What struck me was how different these two engagements were and how much different the take-away likely was depending on which session you attended. So this isn’t really a tale of two AIs but rather a different telling of one AI.

student in graduation gown holding degree that says "debt" standing next to the Grimm Reaper. 0

Private Colleges Have No Meaningful Role in Fixing the Cost of Higher Education

There, I said it.  I suppose I could have gone with the more clickbaity title, “What role do private colleges have in fixing the cost of higher education? The answer will shock you!”  But I didn’t.  You’re welcome.  This is a continuation of thoughts that have come up while reading Sara Goldrick-Rab’s  Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream as part of Bryan Alexander’s online reading group.  This is, in theory, on chapters four and five, although I just finished chapter six, so it’s possible some of that chapter will creep in here.  Why do I think there is no meaningful role for private colleges? The answer, not surprisingly, is multifaceted.

grey brick half wall with upper white wall. MANIFESTO graffitied on white portion. 1

My EdTech Pseudo Manifesto

This year at the ELI conference in Houston, TX I’m going to be participating in the Leadership Institute.  Much to my chagrin, we have homework.  Thinking some about my colleagues who have begun advocating for teaching in the open, I thought I’d try a little learning in the open.  Fair warning though, this is also a little Tom Sawyer.  I’m going to be asking for your help at the end.

image of man next to sign that says "Follow Your Dreams" with CANCELLED over it 0

A Horrible Idea to Pay for College

This month I’m once again participating in Bryan Alexander’s online reading group.  This month we’re reading Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream by Sara Goldrick-Rab.  We’re through the first few chapters, and a phrase in chapter three caught my eye.

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Of Cliffs and Falling

If you’re falling off a cliff you may as well try and fly. You’ve got nothing to lose. A few of you might know this from Babylon 5, a sci-fi series that aired in the late 90’s. If you don’t, that’s OK. Not everyone can have geek cred as strong as mine.  Also, you don’t really need the show’s context to understand the meaning behind the quote.

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There is No Such Thing As Neutral

I’m participating over the next month or so in a group reading organized by Bryan Alexander of We Make the Road by Walking by Myles Horton and Paulo Freire.  I’m not going to spend any real time here on background on the authors or the book.  If you go to the link above that’ll give you a sense of what’s going on (and the amazingly intelligent people involved).  I wasn’t even sure I’d have enough thoughts about the material to do much more than tweet a few times, but I ran across something in Chapter 3 a few minutes ago that struck me.  So I thought I’d see how much brain dump I could do here quickly.

Man standing with arms raised, girl tied to chair behind him, group next to him looking at him with adoration 0

Does Tenure for IT Staff Solve a Problem?

A couple of weeks ago there was an essay in Inside HigherEd arguing that we should tenure IT professionals.  To say I had a strong negative reaction to the article would be something of an understatement.  With a little time between me and the article, I wanted to see if I could better articulate my thoughts outside the 140 character restraints of Twitter.

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What is Academic Transformation Anyway (and Can You Really Lead It)?

A few months ago, I was asked to join the advisory group for the EDUCAUSE Leading Academic Transformation Community of Practice. Working with this interesting, intelligent, thoughtful group of people has been a great ride so far, and I’m excited to see how the work we’re doing will benefit the community.   As we’ve been sifting through ideas, I keep coming back to one key question: just what do we mean by academic transformation, and how to you lead it?  

Outhouse with sign that reads Danger: Flammable. Keep Flames and Heat Away. 0

In-house or Out-house

A couple of weeks ago Robin DeRosa, someone I follow on twitter, posted the following observation: I don't get why universities, with so many depts/experts, sub out all the design/building of learning infrastructure to 3rd party vendors. — Robin DeRosa (@actualham) August 10, 2016 The entire thread is worth a read, and I’d encourage you to go take a look at it.  While this is similar to the question often asked with regards to self hosting (or not) things like email, the question of academic infrastructure brings a nuance that is worth exploration.

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Can App Design Really Eliminate Professional Development?

So more than 21 million people are using #PokemonGo each day & no one has received formal professional development on it? Hmmm… #Edchat — Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) July 14, 2016 This quote has gotten retweeted into my feed almost half a dozen times in the last two days.  I’d say every six months or so I see or hear something similar.  You know, “if the app is designed right nobody will need training on it.”  Um, right.  Or, “why do we need to roll out training with this, it’s so intuitive?”  Sure, OK.

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