Service interruption

CELT’s Minister of Information has been facing two big deadlines (one today, another tomorrow) and spent three days last week at the POD Network conference (more about that later). So he hasn’t had the chance to write a longer post.

Fortunately for all of us, the Web is alive with many, many outstanding academic blogs. (CELT realizes you have a choice of blogs and appreciates your readership.) Take a look at one or more of these:

  • Ken Scott describes how in training employees for Cisco Systems he is trying to teach them the skills that gen ed and liberal arts curricula often aim to teach. I wonder if his model for grading team assignments can work well in a college class.
  • Amanda Krauss (a.k.a. Worst Professor Ever) argues that students Facebooking in class is not just an indicator that professors are boring, as a Harvard Crimson article maintained, but represents a breakdown in expectations about teaching, learning, and technology.
  • Lee Skallerup Bessette reflects on having been the sort of student that frustrates her today: the snowflake.

CELT will have more to say next week. For now, we can talk about these articles.

Is Scott showing the real value of gen ed curricula, or is he contributing to the corporatization of the academy? If students are not paying attention in class, who’s to blame? How do you react to teaching younger versions of yourself?

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One response to “Service interruption

  1. I consider myself fortunate that the culture of “take your laptop to class” somehow is not entrenched on our campus. I imagine it is either financial (not every student has a laptop) or physical: most of the classrooms here still have those old fashioned chair+desk combos that barely hold a notebook.

    There are days when I think my whole mission as a teacher is to find young versions of myself and shake them by the collar, maybe driving them to greater success. I was an A1 snowflake, the most famous (and embarrassing) example of which was a graduate course I took as a senior. I loved it, but could not stay awake for the lectures to save my life. I found out afterwards that the professor would complain about me at department functions (Sleeps in class but still gets an A!). In retrospect I’d rather he had complained to me.

    I suspect that a non-zero number of current faculty were snowflakes. I also get the impression that unwillingness to be more rigorous is sometime rooted in the knowledge that they themselves would not have done well in the class when they were younger. To which I would say: good!