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The Shadow Scholar - The Chronicle Review

The Shadow Scholar - The Chronicle Review
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A Year After the Non-Apocalypse: Where Are They Now? | Culture For a while, their message was everywhere. They paid for billboards, took out full-page ads in newspapers, distributed thousands of tracts. They drove across the county in RVs emblazoned with verses from the books of Revelation and Daniel. They marched around Manhattan holding signs.

La guerre contre «l'obsolescence programmée» est déclarée Le président du groupe écologiste du Sénat Jean-Vincent Placé a déclaré la guerre à l’obsolescence programmée des appareils électriques et électroniques, mercredi au Sénat, interpellant, lors d’un débat, le gouvernement pour qu’il agisse. «L’obsolescence programmée regroupe l’ensemble des techniques visant à réduire délibérément la durée de vie ou d’utilisation d’un produit afin d’en augmenter le taux de remplacement», a défini le sénateur de l’Essonne. «Ce débat, c’est un appel à l’audace, face aux enjeux économiques, environnementaux et sociaux. Auteur d’une proposition de loi sur le sujet, il souhaite allonger la durée de vie des produits et permettre leur réparation. Il souhaite l’allongement de 6 mois à 2 ans du délai pour faire jouer la garantie des produits afin d’inciter les industriels à concevoir des produits durables. «L'économie du durable» Les orateurs de l’ensemble des groupes du Sénat ont convenu de la nocivité de l’obsolescence programmée qu’ils ont détaillée à l’envi.

Cheating Goes High-Tech Easy A's may be even easier to score these days, with the growing popularity of online courses. Tech-savvy students are finding ways to cheat that let them ace online courses with minimal effort, in ways that are difficult to detect. Take Bob Smith, a student at a public university in the United States. His secret was to cheat, and he's proud of the method he came up with—though he asked that his real name and college not be used, because he doesn't want to get caught. More on his method in a minute. This prediction has not escaped many of those leading new online efforts, or researchers who specialize in testing. In the case of that student, the professor in the course had tried to prevent cheating by using a testing system that pulled questions at random from a bank of possibilities. Mr. "So the grades are bouncing back and forth, but we're all guaranteed an A in the end," Mr. Although the syllabus clearly forbids academic dishonesty, Mr. Countering the Cheaters Mr. Mr. Mr.

Pink Tentacle Stephen Downes: The Role of the Educator How often do we read about the importance of teachers in education? It must be every day, it seems. We are told about "strong empirical evidence that teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student achievement" again and again. The problem with the educational system, it is argued, is that teachers need to be held accountable. The problem with focusing on the role of the teacher, from my perspective, is that it misses the point. Let me tell you how I know this. Each of these has contributed in one way or another to an overall approach not only to learning online but to learning generally. It's an approach that emphasizes open learning and learner autonomy. It's an approach that emphasizes exercises involving those competencies rather than deliberate acts of memorization or rote, an approach that seeks to grow knowledge in a manner analogous to building muscles, rather than to transfer or construct knowledge through some sort of cognitive process.

How a dead dog came back to bite Richard Nixon's Watergate conspirators | Clancy Sigal Copa de Oro, just off Sunset Boulevard, in LA, is a lovely evening's drive in a Kappa Alpha Theta's ragtop Buick convertible just around a leafy curve from the luxurious Bel Air hotel. It's a mile or so up from the swanky East Gate, a few minutes from UCLA, where I was a GI Bill student at the start of the cold war. This rebel sorority girl would park us behind tall dense hedges that hid the homes of America's best paid executive, MGM's Louis B Mayer, and lots of movie stars. And under the dark ficus trees, I'd bring out a copy of Lenin's What is to be Done? or Marx's Communist Manifesto – why else date a sorority princess if not to enlighten her? And Connie, Tracy or Carolyn would scoff and push my hand away, and we'd both reach for the safety pin of the Scotch plaid skirt she and many of her sorority sisters wore that year's fashion. Sorority girls, mostly from Gentile houses, weren't supposed to date Jews or communists, or "non-orgs" unaffiliated with Greek Row. The poor dog is gone.

I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet I was wrong. One year ago I left the internet. I thought it was making me unproductive. I thought it lacked meaning. It's a been a year now since I "surfed the web" or "checked my email" or "liked" anything with a figurative rather than literal thumbs up. And now I'm supposed to tell you how it solved all my problems. But instead it's 8PM and I just woke up. I didn't want to meet this Paul at the tail end of my yearlong journey. In early 2012 I was 26 years old and burnt out. I thought the internet might be an unnatural state for us humans, or at least for me. My plan was to quit my job, move home with my parents, read books, write books, and wallow in my spare time. My goal would be to discover what the internet had done to me over the years But for some reason, The Verge wanted to pay me to leave the internet. My goal, as a technology writer, would be to discover what the internet had done to me over the years. This was going to be amazing. I dreamed a dream Back to reality Family time

Study finds that students learn more from non-tenure-track instructors A major new study has found that new students at Northwestern University learn more when their instructors are adjuncts than when they are tenure-track professors. The study -- released this morning by the National Bureau of Economic Research (abstract available here) -- found that the gains are greatest for the students with the weakest academic preparation. And the study found that the gains extended across a wide range of disciplines. The authors of the study suggest that by looking at measures of student learning, and not just course or program completion, their work may provide a significant advance in understanding the impact of non-tenure-track instructors. Many adjuncts will no doubt be pleased by the study's conclusions on their teaching ability. "There are many aspects relating to changes in the tenure status of faculty – from the impact on research productivity to the protection of academic freedom," the study says.

Infographic of the Day: Is College Really Worth It? | Fast Compa Is going to college really worth it? Probably so, but it's not that clear cut, and economics have been arguing the point for 30 years. Most studies tend to show that college-educated people end up making far more money in the course of their lifetimes. (The niggle: Usually, it's not worth paying for a private university.) Still, that evidence isn't totally cut and dry: What do you really learn in college? This graph makes a couple points in that debate: 1. But who in their right mind wouldn't recommend a college degree? If I had a guess, I think it's precisely that attitude that creates all the economic advantages--its the way our society is organized, rather than anything about college itself. [Luxury Spot via WeLoveDataVis; I suspect this graphic is actually from OnlineEducation but couldn't find it on their Web site You can find the original at Online Colleges and Universities, which seems to affilated with OnlineEducation] [View more Infographics of the Day]

Is the Internet making us smart or stupid? Venkatesh Rao is an entrepreneur-in-residence in the Xerox Innovation Group and manager of the Trailmeme project. Nicholas Carr, a writer devoted to exploring the social and business implications of technology, came out with his latest book last month. It’s called The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains and is a book-length elaboration of his much-discussed 2008 Atlantic feature, “Is Google Making us Stupid?.” If you don’t have good answers to the questions Carr raises, you aren’t thinking hard enough about what you are doing. Carr’s argument is roughly this: 1. When Carr’s article first appeared, I enthusiastically co-opted it into the pitch for Trailmeme, the beta project I manage at Xerox. Carr’s book has added a lot more detail to the arguments he made in his initial article, and situated them within a historical context. Reading The Shallows had me going, “Whoa! I have a problem with this. I love hyperlinks. 1. Before and After Hyperlinks Levers have two sides.

Part I. Paul Erdos, the Kevin Bacon of Mathematics » TimeBlimp If you’ve hung around mathematicians for a while, then you know there’s a fine line between the MATHEMATICAL GENIUS, a groundbreaking leader with breathtaking vision and imagination, and a homeless dude with a bunch of mimeographed papers and bladder control issues. For example, in grad school, I got the pleasure of meeting the following two individuals: 1) Chubby guy who randomly appeared in lectures, classes, and seminars, who pushed around a small shopping cart full of papers and books, and asked embarrassing rambling questions of visiting Nobel laureates giving talks and 2) Thin but wiry guy who looked uncannily like Rasputin, who rode around campus on a motorized stand-up scooter of his own making, so if seen from a distance (when you couldn’t see the scooter) he looked like he was spookily levitating at 15 mph through campus. One of these gentlemen was a random hanger-on that no one could get rid of, and the other was on the faculty of the physics department. Paul Erdos. Footnotes:

USA : un ermite arrêté après avoir survécu 27 ans dans les bois Après 27 ans de quasi solitude, un ermite américain vient d'être arrêté par la police, alors qu'il était en train de voler de la nourriture dans un campement de jeunes de l'Etat du Maine, aux Etats-Unis. Christoper Knight, 47 ans, après avoir grandi dans une ville voisine, avait choisi la voie des bois et avait décidé de vivre dans la forêt à 19 ans. Lors d'une conférence de presse, Terry Hugues, l'un des policiers qui l'a arrêté il y a une semaine, a confié avoir d'abord douté des déclarations de Christopher Knight, qui dit n'avoir parlé à personne depuis qu'il a croisé un randonneur dans les années 1990, rapporte le Portland Press Herald. Le policier a toutefois changé d'avis en voyant le camp de fortune de l'ermite: «Vous pouviez passer à 30 m et n'avoir aucune idée que le suspect vivait là. Je n'ai aucun doute sur le fait qu'il a vécu là tout ce temps». Il passait ses journées à lire des livres volés ou à méditer VIDEO. VIDEO.

Myths about how the brain works have no place in the classroom | Dr Hilary Leevers | Science Evidence is lacking for the idea that children have different 'learning styles' that should be accommodated in class. Photograph: Martin Godwin/Guardian Are you left-brained or right-brained? Are you more creative or rational? You can find out easily enough – there are myriad online tests that will help you find your dominant hemisphere. Or so they claim. It's a shame: this seemed such an attractive idea. "Neuromyths" can merely perpetuate misconceptions about the brain. Neuroscience is a blossoming field of research and its potential impact on education is wide-ranging. In fact, classroom interventions based on rigorous scientific evidence are surprisingly scarce. Teachers have told us that they want their teaching approaches and tools to be based on evidence. The truth is that there is a real shortage of scientific studies and there has not been a good system for sharing the findings of those that exist with teaching practitioners.

World's total CPU power: one human brain How much information can the world transmit, process, and store? Estimating this sort of thing can be a nightmare, but the task can provide valuable information on trends that are changing our computing and broadcast infrastructure. So a pair of researchers have taken the job upon themselves and tracked the changes in 60 different analog and digital technologies, from newsprint to cellular data, for a period of over 20 years. The trends they spot range from the expected—Internet access has pushed both analog and digital phones into a tiny niche—to the surprising, such as the fact that, in aggregate, gaming hardware has always had more computing power than the world's supercomputers. The authors were remarkably thorough. Even so, there are some significant estimations here. Similar sorts of estimates are required for things like broadcast capability and two-way communications, both of which are compiled as bits-per-second figures. Storage Some trends are very, very obvious. Computation

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