The Graduation Thesis: Insufficient and Outmoded

This the title of a recent article I wrote for my university research journal (Gakuen). In it, I advocate for subsuming the Graduation Thesis, common here in Japan among undergraduates, among a collection of other possible ways for demonstrating ability to work in a field.…

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wow. look at that.

Yesterday, Coursera announced another steaming option, this time watching their contents on Apple TV.  This reminded me of the 1980s-1990s Annenberg-funded World of Chemistry. In high school, I loved World of Chemistry.

The video only plays the cold open for the show; to access the contents requires going to Annenberg Learner where you can watch and share but not embed; Annenberg has requested no embedding. 

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Visualizing New Ways to Solve Social Problems

The graphic below is from this animation, created by interns from IIT in Chicago during 2008-09 internships. The goal was to share the vision and four-part strategy piloted by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) since it was launched in 1993.


Since 2005 a number of interns have worked with T/MC.…
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The Udacity of Audacity (or “Education for Uber”)

Try again. Fail again. Better again. Or better worse. Fail worse again. Still worse again. Till sick for good. Throw up for good.

– Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho (1983)

When I quote this passage from Worstward Ho, the somewhat obscure yet recently rejuvenated Samuel Beckett novella, the meaning of the famous lines in the preceding paragraph, those on the forearm of Stan Wawrinka and on the lips of Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs, change entirely.…

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The Udacity of Audacity (or “Education for Uber”)

Try again. Fail again. Better again. Or better worse. Fail worse again. Still worse again. Till sick for good. Throw up for good.

– Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho (1983)

When I quote this passage from Worstward Ho, the somewhat obscure yet recently rejuvenated Samuel Beckett novella, the meaning of the famous lines in the preceding paragraph, those on the forearm of Stan Wawrinka and on the lips of Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other entrepreneurs, change entirely.…

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A Visual Tilt-a-Whirl, a Carny Ride of Systems Thinking – Ride With Me

Terry Elliot, who I first met during the 2014 Making Learning Connected MOOC, posted this "Visual Tilt-a-Whirl" statement as an introduction to a July 19th Faceblook post. He included the graphic below, and a link to his blog, where he describes the graphic.…
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Constant Improvement – Inspired By Others

I've written about MOOCs in the past, and I'm taking part in the 2015 Making Learning Connected MOOC right now. Participants are encouraged to "make" digital images, trying out new tools. Learning from others is part of the fundamental goal of MOOCs like this.…
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#CLMOOC Make Cycle #2: Re(Media)te with ME

I started taking part in MOOCs several years ago and am now part of the 2015 Connected Learning MOOC #CLMOOC. We're in the second week, and each week a newsletter introduces a new theme for learning. The theme this week is Re(Media)te with ME, which means participants are encouraged "to choose something (an artifact, a story, a picture, a video clip, an anything) and over the course of the week remediate it through one or more different media."

This is something I've been doing for nearly 20 years.…
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What the Researchers Got Wrong About Their ‘Sesame Street’ Education Study

Last week, Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland & Phil Levine of Wellesley College received a great deal of media attention for their in-process paper Early Childhood Education by MOOC:  Lessons from Sesame Street.  Asserting that research on Sesame Street & educational efficacy is lacking and has failed to engage beyond the immediate or short-term results, Kearney & Levine designed an apparatus in an attempt to find a correlation between exposure to Sesame Street and longitudinal outcomes such as high school graduation or post-school labor gains.  …

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