Monthly Archive for August, 2011

I am continually amazed at how…

People tend to be held captive by the status quo.  From an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Just over half of the 1,055 college presidents queried believe that online courses offer a value to students that equals a traditional classroom’s. By contrast, only 29 percent of 2,142 adult Americans thought online education measured up to traditional teaching.

I think those surveyed that are outside of education don’t see what is possible with online education.  I see a mix of the instructional methods we see today: videos; power point; blogs; e-mailed documents; etc.  But I also envision this traditional material delivery hooked up with, or integrated into, a social networking platform that will be the collabortive part of education.  Of course I’m focused on MBA’s and similar degrees, but I can see how the future of online courses will work because we can make them so much like how modern corporate work is done.

I think the presidents of the colleges and universities see the same thing (or a version of it anyway) that I do.  I also think the typical college or university president is mostly powerless to change her institution as the entrenched faculty interests do not align with the future of all star professors online.

He always has stuff…

Right in my wheelhouse.

From the The Selvedge Yard:

— Image by © Jared Brown

In case you are unaware, that is a very cool motorcycle.

Go over to the site and take a look at the pictures of the climbers.  Awesome.  I once looked like that when I was a climber.  The body I’ve developed with age and hockey playing does not look like that any longer.


I dumped cable and satellite over a year ago…

But I was over at my brother-in-law’s place Saturday in preparation for the big going away party.  I watched tv for 15 minutes.  Weather porn!

Here is The Telegraph:

The truth is that the dire warning beforehand suited both politicians and journalists. Just as with the minor earthquake that shook the east coast last week causing no loss of life and virtually no damage, Irene became a huge story because it was where the media lived.

For politicians, Irene was a chance to either make amends or appear in control. The White House sent out 25 Irene emails to the press on Saturday alone.

Gawd, I get tired of the media.  I wonder how many more readers than two I have to have regularly before I’m considered part of the media.?

There was a party last night…

Everybody had a good time and I’m pretty certain that all were well behaved.  My sister-in-law was going to bring a cake last night.  She ran out of time, so came to the party without the cake.  She brought it by the house today:


Can’t you feel the love?

I like how all these things I know intuitively…

Are now being born out by research.

I think all of us knew that most of our high school teachers were, ahem, stupid.  Now we can see part of the reason for this.  Check out this post from Mark Perry:

Here’s Professor’s Koedel’s conclusion:

“Low grading standards in university education departments are part of a larger culture of low standards for educators, and they precede the low evaluation standards by which teachers are judged in K–12 schools. The culture of low standards for educators is problematic because it creates a disconnect between teachers’ perceptions of acceptable performance and the perceptions of everyone else.” 

As is said, go read the whole thing.  The chart Perry has up is amazing.

I had many teachers that were smart and dedicated.  I had many more that were indifferent.  I had a few that were awful.  It is just like the personnel of any workplace.  Of course the ed grads from Directional U are awesome!  Can there be any doubt?

I am not alone…

Marc Andreessen in the WSJ:

Health care and education, in my view, are next up for fundamental software-based transformation. My venture capital firm is backing aggressive start-ups in both of these gigantic and critical industries. We believe both of these industries, which historically have been highly resistant to entrepreneurial change, are primed for tipping by great new software-centric entrepreneurs.

It will be a challenge to get the attention of someone like this, but my new organization will have the skills, people and financial backing to make a strong charge in disrupting the education marketplace.

A few pics of our trip to Florida…

Not certain that everybody will like to see themselves on line, but here we go:

This is Larry.  He’s choosing between fried oysters, fried shrimp or a cheeseburger.  I think the cheeseburger won.

This is the Ace and her cousin.  They don’t look related, do they?

This is my niece and She Who Must Be Obeyed.  SWMBO won’t like the picture.  They were amused by the free watermelon sign.  You could get a hold of someone though if you wanted to make a donation.  Small town.

The Deuce shooting pool.  He’s fourteen and in a bar shooting pool.  The difference between him and me is that my parents owned the bar!

The three oldsters watching the youngsters play pool.  The kids were awful!  I need to get them out to the bars more often.  It was painful to watch.  To think I have teenagers that are that bad at eight ball, it is downright scandalous.

We saw the Tennessee Firearms, a blue grass band, in another bar on another afternoon.  Lots of bars in beach towns in Florida.  Which I believe to be a good thing.  This particular joint was right across the street from the house we rented.

Hey! Look at this…

This wonderful loaf of bread was baked by my brother-in-law.

I taught him how to make this while on vacation in Florida.  He’s pretty pleased with himself.  He’s never baked bread before.

I bet Mead is not getting many invitations to dinner parties these days…

Not, at least, when he’s posting stuff like this:

It is the most scorching indictment of America’s religious communities I can think of that more has not been done to reach out to those most in need of both the spiritual and the social benefits of faith.  Every member of a religious congregation in this country should be asking how he or she could be doing more.

Second, the increasing disconnect between many poor and poorly educated Americans and the values and ideas that make for success in this society is in part a consequence of efforts by well meaning liberals to keep religion out of schools.  By what we teach and what we don’t teach, what we talk about and where the silences are, we convey clear messages to young children.  We have been broadcasting a clear message to two generations of young people that religion doesn’t matter.

The greatest victims of this fraud and deceit are, as usual, the most vulnerable and needy among us.

That first paragraph quoted keeps him away from dinner parties given by the wealthy churchgoer.  The second quoted paragraph keeps him away from Democratic fund raisers.

I wonder what he does for fun these days?

Of course I recommend you go read the whole thing.  It starts off with a claim that religion is declining among the poorest in our society.  It is an interesting claim and one that I can say looks to be true when driving just a few blocks from my house.

I do consider it food porn…

Using the word porn in the title to the post might boost traffic a little.  But please take a look at this tumblr: We Fucking Love Food.  Like all tumblrs (Is it required?) the blog uses “fuck” in the title.  Unlike most tumblrs, this one has porn that is safe for work.

HT: The Fourth Checkraise.