Monthly Archives: March 2009

A couple-three things about standardized reading assessments

If you follow education news, you may already have seen E.D. Hirsch, Jr.,’s March 22 Op-Ed column in the New York Times. The piece, “Reading Test Dummies,” makes exactly the kind of argument Hirsch’s fans are by now used to: That standardized tests assessing reading skills have merit, when used appropriately. “These much maligned, fill-in-the-bubble reading tests,” Hirsch writes,

are technically among the most reliable and valid tests available. The problem is that the reading passages used in these tests

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NYTimes headline: When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May Be Lurking

I was feeling low and out of gas when I saw the above headline in the New York Times online. My hopes were high when I clicked on it. The actual article, about celebrities whose assistants manage their Twitter accounts for them, disappointed me deeply. Here’s how I wish the article had read.


When Stars Twitter, a Ghost May be Lurking

By JENNA MCWILLIAMS
Published: March 28, 2009

For centuries, stargazers have been fascinated by the sight of celestial Read more

POW! POW! POW! It’s official: I’m a Hoosier

I’ve just received official confirmation from Indiana University’s Learning Sciences Program that I have been accepted into the doctoral program beginning Fall 2009. Among other things, the letter indicates that:

For next year, you will be working with Dr. Daniel Hickey as a research assistant. You will probably be hearing from Dr. Hickey. Feel free, however, to contact him before you come to IU to learn more about the exciting research opportunities.

I wonder who this Dr. Hickey character is. … Read more

Podcast: Authorship, Appropriation, and the Fluid Text: Versions of the Law

Recently, at my day job, I emceed a colloquium featuring textual scholar and Melville specialist John Bryant and intellectual property and First Amendment expert Wendy Seltzer. Over the course of the colloquium, these amazing scholars covered Moby-Dick, Edward Said, Shepard Fairey, fan fiction, Creative Commons, YouTomb, and how they talk about plagiarism and fair use with their students. This was a fun and fascinating conversation, and well worth the listen. I’m posting John’s and Wendy’s bios below.

To … Read more

why the Hewlett Foundation should toss some cash on over

A Modest Proposal: integrating Spreadable Educational Practices into Hewlett’s Open Educational Resources Initiative

Because of my interest in spreadable educational practices and in the open source movement, I’ve been drawn lately to the work of the Hewlett Foundation’s Open Educational Resource (OER) Initiative. The goal of this initiative is, as Hewlett puts it, “making high quality educational content and tools freely available on the Web.”

(Now you’re going to ask me why a foundation whose money is linked to … Read more

OKAY already–I was WRONG

The recession will be hard on higher education. There, I said it.
I argued here that the recession might actually benefit academia and, specifically, scholarly research. I wrote:

[I]t’s possible a more “austere” academic environment will have a positive impact, if not on emerging academics, then on the pursuit of scholarly research and the progress of Big Ideas. Academics who want a secure place in the ivory tower will increasingly need to rely on their ability to network and, more

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