The window for higher ed to do some good things is closing. The path to a future does not lie in creating more of what already exists. The path to a successful restaurant does not lie in reselling pre-packaged food and hoping branding wins the day. We have lots of talented people but if we’re not aspiring to things worth their effort why would they stick around? If online higher education can’t make being part of a large community an exciting and beautiful thing, why bother with the overhead? (Source)
One of the signs that your field/area might be rushing too fast to make something happen is when people fail to think critically about what they share before they share it. (Source)
machine learning is effective, has an enormous appetite for data, requires large computational resources, makes decisions that resist analysis, excels at finding latent structure in data, obscures the link between source data and outcomes, defies many human intuitions, and is readily fooled by a knowledgeable adversary. (Source)
What’s at stake right now is not simply about hate speech vs. free speech or the role of state-sponsored bots in political activity. It’s much more basic. It’s about purposefully and intentionally seeding doubt to fragment society. (Source)
The point too often missed in a cooly instrumentalist understanding of technology is that we don’t use these tools in a vacuum; we instead participate in complicated social systems that can careen in unforeseen directions when powerful new technological forces are introduced. Features are important, but they’re not the whole story. (Source)
a new generation of designers has emerged, concerned with designing strategies to subvert this “natural default-setting” in which each person understands themselves at the center of the world.
These designers do this by engaging with the complex adaptive systems that surround us, by revealing instead of obscuring, by building friction instead of hiding it, and by making clear that every one of us (designers included) are nothing more than participants in systems that have no center to begin with. These are designers of systems that participate—with us and with one another—systems that invite participation instead of demanding interaction. (Source)
In one sense, the film argues that the indulgences of the “Me Decade” were a sign that youth culture was no longer focused on struggling for social reform.
However, the film quickly undermines that framing by challenging preconceptions of the disco era as a time when American popular culture turned its back on political engagement, revealing the ways in which Studio 54 provided people, both as individuals and as members of marginalized communities, a space to exist free of fear of rejection and even potential violence. (Source)
support for distance (which in most models translates to ‘online’) students is rarely something that garners interest, headlines or investment. Indeed, given how valuable we know it is, the concentration of effort seems to be on finding ways to remove it. (Source)
Democratic Erosion is a cross-university collaborative course that aims to help students critically and systematically evaluate the risks to democracy both here and abroad through the lens of theory, history, and social science. (Source)
I have a lot of conversations with all sorts of people about teaching. Sometimes they are happy to listen, and sometimes it’s clear they’d rather be somewhere else. The one thing almost everyone gets excited about is the two stage exam. The benefits of having students work together to solve exam problems they’ve just thought hard about are glaringly obvious, and the implementation costs compared to many other potential teaching innovations are minimal. (Source)