👓 When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work | New York Times

Read When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stacy Cowley and Natalie Kitroeff (New York Times)
Twenty states suspend people’s professional or driver’s licenses if they fall behind on loan payments, according to records obtained by The New York Times.

This has to be one of the most un-ethical and painfully stupid laws out there. Far better would be for them to focus their efforts at shutting down the predatory for-profit schools which are causing students to have some of these unpayable loans in the first place.

It’s almost as a nation like we’re systematically trying to destroy ourselves and our competitive stance within the world just for spite.

📺 Are University Admissions Biased? | Simpson’s Paradox Part 2 | YouTube

Watched Are University Admissions Biased? | Simpson's Paradox Part 2 by Henry Reich from youtube.com

Simpson's Paradox Part 2. This video is about how to tell whether or not university admissions are biased using statistics: aka, it's about Simpson's Paradox again!

REFERENCES:
Original Berkeley Grad Admissions Paper
Interactive Simpson’s Paradox Explainer
No Lawsuit, But Yes, Berkeley Study on Gender Bias

Statistics on college majors by gender:
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/2016menu\_tables.asp
http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/10/28/359419934/who-studies-what-men-women-and-college-majors
http://www.randalolson.com/2014/06/14/percentage-of-bachelors-degrees-conferred-to-women-by-major-1970-2012/

Earnings by college major

Wall Street Journal Article on Simpson’s Paradox

Read Write Collect | Aaron Davis

Bookmarked Read Write Collect by Aaron Davis (Read Write Collect)

I’ve been following Aaron Davis for a while at Read Write Respond, but today I noticed a whole new part of his online presence at Read Write Collect that I’ve been missing all along!

Makes me think I’m going to have to finish up a new OPML file for folks I’m following who are aware of or using IndieWeb principles in the education space. Aaron, I’m adding you to the list.

 

👓 The Troubled Trail from CC-BY to CC-BY-NC #OpenEdMOOC | Jenni Hayman

Read The Troubled Trail from CC-BY to CC-BY-NC #OpenEdMOOC by Jenni HaymanJenni Hayman (jennihayman.com)
This week in Introduction to Open Education I was introduced to the course materials on the 5R’s, Creative Commons, and Open Licensing. This is territory that I’m comfortably familiar with, but there’s always something new to learn. One of the ideas that emerged for me, and admittedly it’s been brewing, is the need for a change in how I choose to license and share my work. I have wrestled of late with the ever-growing phenomenon of “open washing” particularly among panicked for-profit publishing companies. I have a less-than-generous view of what publishers are playing at regarding OER.

👓 Another USC medical school dean resigns | Washington Post

Replied to Another USC medical school dean resigns by Susan Svrluga (Washington Post)
The University of Southern California announced Thursday that Rohit Varma has resigned as dean of the Keck School of Medicine. He had replaced a dean who was banned from campus after allegations of drug use and partying.

I’ve been so busy in the last month, I had to do a double-take at the word ANOTHER!

The statement USC released seems highly disingenuous and inconsistent to me.

“As you may have heard, today Dr. Rohit Varma resigned as dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC,” the school’s provost, Michael Quick, wrote in a message to the community.

“I understand how upsetting this situation is to all of us, but we felt it was in the best interest of the faculty, staff, and students for all of us to move in this direction. Today we learned previously undisclosed information that caused us to lose confidence in Dr. Varma’s ability to lead the school. Our leaders must be held to the highest standards. Dr. Varma understands this, and chose to step down.”

First they say Varma resigned as dean which makes it seem as if he’s stepping aside of his own accord when the next paragraph indicates that the University leadership has lost confidence in him and forced him out. So which is it? He resigned or was fired?

Secondly they mentioned “undisclosed information”. This is painful because the so-called undisclosed information was something that USC was not only aware of, but actually paid off a person involved to the tune of more than $100,000!

USC paid her more than $100,000 and temporarily blocked Varma from becoming a full member of the faculty, according to the records and interviews.

“The behavior you exhibited is inappropriate and unacceptable in the workplace, reflects poor judgment, is contrary to the University’s standards of conduct, and will not be tolerated at the University of Southern California,” a USC official wrote in a 2003 letter of reprimand.”

Even the LA Times reports: “The sexual harassment allegation is well known in the upper echelons of the university, but not among many of the students and staff.” How exactly was this “undisclosed?!”

So, somehow, a person who was formally reprimanded years ago (and whose reprimands were later greatly lessened by the way) was somehow accidentally promoted to dean of an already embattled division of the university?? I’m not really sure how he even maintained his position after the original incident much less subsequently promoted and allowed to continue on to eventually be appointed dean years later. Most shocking, there was no mention of his other positions at USC. I take this to mean that he’s still on the faculty, he’s still on staff at the hospital, and he’s still got all the rights and benefits of his previous positions at the University? I sincerely hope that he learned his lesson in 2003, but suspect that he didn’t, and if this is the case and others come forward, he will be summarily dispatched. For the University’s sake, I further hope they’re looking into it internally with a fine-toothed comb before they’re outed again by the Los Angeles Times reporting staff who seem to have a far higher level of morality than the USC leadership over the past several years.

During a month which has seen an inordinate amount of sexual harassment backlash, I’m shocked that USC has done so very little and has only acted (far too long after-the-fact) to sweep this all under the rug.

👓 A Tech of Our Own | Beyond the Wrapper – Martha Burtis

Read A Tech of Our Own by Martha Burtis (Beyond the Wrapper)
Last night, we (meaning the DKC and my colleagues in the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies) hosted a premiere of a short horror film that we shot in May of 2016. We developed the script over about three weeks, shot the movie in one day, and then took over a year to get our acts together and finish editing it. In fact, the only reason it WAS finished was because of two amazing new students who split their time between tutoring in the DKC and supporting DTLT, Stef and Bethany. They started only two months ago, but they began working on the movie almost immediatley and, in collaboration with Jess Reingold, masterminded a pretty amazing event last night. We had a nice turnout in the Digital Auditorium and it was incredibly satisfying to be in a room of people enjoying The Convergence.

👓 Why I’m leaving a Research I University for a Liberal Arts College | AMS Blogs

Read Why I’m leaving a Research I University for a Liberal Arts College (inclusion/exclusion)
I knew at a pretty early stage in my life — my freshman year of college, to be exact — that I wanted to become a research mathematician.  I have degrees from fancy research universities…

👓 The History of the Future of Learning Objects and Intelligent Machines | Audrey Watters

Read The History of the Future of Learning Objects and Intelligent Machines by Audrey WattersAudrey Watters (Hack Education)
This talk was delivered at MIT for Justin Reich’s Comparative Media Studies class “Learning, Media, and Technology.” The full slide deck is available here.

👓 Don’t Sell Your Soul or Students to an Edtech Brand | Rafranz Davis | Medium

Read Don’t Sell Your Soul or Students to an Edtech Brand by Rafranz Davis (Medium)
There are plenty of reasons why teachers join ambassador programs. For some, this is how they gain access to potentially great tools that…

👓 OER: The Future of Education Is Open | Educause Review

Read OER: The Future of Education Is Open by Lisa Young, Una Daly and Jason Stone (er.educause.edu)
The OER movement continues to have a significant impact on students, faculty, and the way teaching is occurring. OER can overcome barriers to students

👓 The Blockchain for Education: An Introduction | Hacked Education

Read The Blockchain for Education: An Introduction by Audrey Watters (Hacked Education)
Is blockchain poised to be “the next big thing” in education? This has become a question I hear with increasing frequency about a technology that, up until quite recently, was primarily associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The subtext to the question, I suppose: do educators need to pay attention to the blockchain? What, if anything, should they know about it?

A facile introduction with some interesting directions that education could take with it. Still, none seem so strong as to be worthwhile/valuable.

E-book “Education and Technology: Critical Approaches”

Bookmarked E-book "Education and Technology: Critical Approaches" (Diálogos sobre TIC & Educação!)
Following months of hard work, we are finally ready to publish our 2017 e-book, Education and Technology: critical approaches. This bilingual collection brings together 12 chapters written by researchers based in Brazil, Australia, Scotland, England and USA. The work has been edited by Giselle Ferreira, Alexandre Rosado e Jaciara Carvalho, members of the ICT in Educational Processes Research Group, who maintain this blog (mostly in Portuguese – at least so far!). From the editors’ Introduction: "This volume offers a measure of sobriety in reaction to the excesses and hyperboles found in the mainstream literature on Education and Technology. The pieces (…) tackle questions of power and consider contextual and historical specificities, escaping the usual euphoria that surrounds digital technology and adopting different perspectives on our current historical moment."

Available as a free .pdf download.

👓 Link: The futility of science communication conferences by John Hawks

Read Link: The futility of science communication conferences by John Hawks (johnhawks.net)
Rich Borschelt is the communication director for science at the Department of Energy, and recently attended a science communication workshop. He describes at some length his frustration at the failed model of science communication, in which every meeting hashes over the same futile set of assumptions: “Communication, Literacy, Policy: Thoughts on SciComm in a Democracy. After several other issues, he turns to the conferences’ attitude about scientists...

John’s note reminds me that I’ve been watching a growing and nasty trend against science, much less science communication, in the past several years. We’re going to be needing a lot more help than we’re getting lately to turn the tide for the better. Perhaps more scientists having their own websites and expanding on the practice of samizdat would help things out a bit?

I recently came across Science Sites, a non-profit web company, courtesy of mathematician Steven Strogatz who has a site built by them. In some sense, I see some of what they’re doing to be enabling scientists to become part of the IndieWeb. It would be great to see them support standards like Webmention or functionality like Micropub as well. (It looks like they’re doing a lot of building on SquareSpace, so by proxy it would be great if they were supporting these open standards.) I love that it seems to have been created by a group of science journalists to help out the cause.

As I watch some of the Domain of One’s Own community in higher education, it feels to me that it’s primarily full of humanities related professors and researchers and doesn’t seem to be doing enough outreach to their science, engineering, math, or other colleagues who desperately need these tools as well as help with basic communication.