by Christian Perticone - Monday, April 15th, 2013 In The News

A previous post, “Who Should Take Online Classes? (They’re Free)”, didn’t exactly gush over the limitless possibilities of online learning. I didn’t mean to obscure the fact that technological innovation should excite students and teachers. (I’m no Luddite – I even encourage students to use Wikipedia as first resource.) Technology can clearly enhance classroom, study, and research experiences. Newfangled teachers, myself included, have even created Facebook pages for each of their classes. It makes sense: students are already familiar with the interface; news stories, TED talks, and other trending information seamlessly enter the classroom through the page; and, students learn to write and argue better in contexts where they are already writing and arguing.  As political activist and philosopher Angela Davis […]

by Christian Perticone - Thursday, April 11th, 2013 In The News

The face of higher education will change entirely within the next ten years? The facelift is already underway at Stanford Computer Science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng founded Coursera, which is the largest for-profit provider of free online college courses. To educate tens and hundreds of thousands of students at once, these free courses depend on innovative technology and elite professors. During her TED talk, Koller touts Coursera’s revolutionary model of massive open online courses (MOOCs) as offering a superior educational experience. She seems to believe that MOOCs will eventually come close to offering an education as personalized as one given by an individual tutor, (see the video, minute 16:40 on the “Two Sigma Problem”). I suppose it […]

by Christian Perticone - Monday, April 8th, 2013 Collegiate Success

One of my professors remarked, regarding the place of prescriptive advice in writing, ‘I’m not going to tell you what you should do. I’ve tried to strike the word “should” from my vocabulary. Whenever I say it, whatever follows often sounds dubious on reflection.’ Better, I suppose, to offer an observation and let the reader decide for herself. The same professor didn’t think much of the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference. Though he never said, you shouldn’t go. He may have observed that his students often failed to learn much from the panels they attended, and that their reading and writing fell off during their conference stint. Writing happens when you’re alone in a small room […]