Beware of the Sgnome's

Originally uploaded by rkleine

'Tis the season for sgnomes (snow gnomes). Beware!

Obsolete Learning Technologies

Joshua Kim offers up an intriguing list of Obsolete Learning Technologies. Here's Kim's 10 obsolete learning technologies and my take on his rationale:

1. Scantron Sheets: When I first started teaching (in 1997) we would give multiple choice tests on Scantron sheets, which would then be graded by the Scantron scanner. Today, thankfully, high-stakes multiple choice testing has been replaced by the testing engines in the LMS. We also know that good pedagogy involves frequent, low-stakes testing - and that mid-term or final multiple choice exams most test students ability to take tests.

Exactly, I couldn't have said it better. It takes a bit more effort to create a quiz/test, but the efficiencies for student and faculty are back-end loaded. The immediate feedback made possible by a CMS is crucial to learning.

2. Overhead Projectors and Transparencies.

I think Kim is a decade off on this one. Overhead projectors became extinct over a decade ago. I still have some transparencies created in the '80s for my consumer behavior class, but have used none of them for over a decade.

3. Classroom VCR/DVD Playesr:

Agree 100% that showing video in class, except for very short video clips, is not a good use of time. Students can watch the video outside of class and come prepared to discuss what they observed. Besides, any video shown in class should be available in digital format that can be streamed; no media required.

4. Course Packs and Course Readers.

Yep. Blackboard and related technologies have rendered course packs and course readers unnecessary.

5. Photocopiers ... Tomorrow we will download the articles to our e-readers.

Yep, a work in progress. To the degree that students bring their laptops to class they are now able to view class materials, including what have traditionally been hand-outs, rendering physical copies less useful. That said, the physicality of a handout, especially when it contains assignment details has some benefits. Some students benefit from the touch and smell of the document. Yet, these folks need to get comfortable operating in a digital environment as their future workplace will likely be digital.

6. Microfiche

Microfiche lives? Color me enlightened. Really?

7. Language and Computer Labs: Language labs are basically gone - computer labs are not far behind.

Yep, more than 90% of students on our campus own a laptop. With WiFi ubiquitous on campus and in the classrooms, every classroom can be a computer lab. More useful than 'labs' are spaces conducive to small group collaboration.

8. Paper Journals and Periodicals?

Ah, this strikes me to the core. I just received an email from the University of Chicago Press imploring me to renew my subscription to the Journal of Consumer Research. Lingering over the email, I was wondering: "Why? Why subscribe when I can access the journal online?" After 25 years, it may be time to let that subscription lapse.

UPDATE: A colleague emailed:

This list is clearly based on the assumption that both the student and the faculty member are technologically savvy. An assumption that is dangerous to make, but one often made by tech. savvy people.

To which I replied: Professional development for faculty and teaching students can easily eliminate gaps in the ability of faculty or students to use these basic tools. We are educators in a professional school, aren't we?


CRM the Time Warner Way

To understand why we couldn't watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince via Time Warner's video on demand last night requires a bit of time travel. More than six months ago, a credit card vendor, believing my account had been compromised, changed my credit card number and issued new cards. The change, while welcome from a security perspective, required me to update the card information wherever I had the details stored.

I called Time Warner to query why video on demand wasn't working. "Your account is past due," was the answer.

"Impossible, the account is on auto pay."

"Your bank denied the charge."

"Impossible, the charge goes to a credit card. This doesn't make sense. Something's odd here."

"I agree. Let me check into this, please hold."

"Thank you for holding, sir. It appears your credit card is no longer valid. Please update your credit card information."

"Um, OK."

Extracting the most recent bill from to process stack, it indeed shows a balance due and over due. Pulling out the previous month's bill, it too shows an amount overdue, however it also includes the message, "Do not pay; your account is on auto pay." So, naturally, I filed the bill with no further action. The most recent bill doesn't include the autopay language. Autopay was discontinued without notifying me.

Yep, more than six months after the new credit card number went into effect, Time Warner's billing system finally noticed. Once the billing system did notice, it took three billing cycles, and accumulated overdue amounts, to trigger a "we've got a problem here" symptom.

This is wrong in so many ways. One, I found out by accident: a feature wasn't working so I called Time Warner. Two, when I called, I was miffed. I was primed for a fun movie night with the crew. Third, I'm pissed that overdue payments accumulated while the messaging on Time Warner's bill indicated that all was OK. I pay bills on time and am embarrassed when one slips by my. This one didn't slip by, it accumulated due to the design of Time Warner's system. Fourth, Time Warner discontinued a payment feature without notifying me. Don't you think they'd be on top of this stuff to ensure they receive payment in a timely manner?

Improving the situation further, the perky TW rep told me that the monthly fee for my triple-play bundle will increase on January 24, 2010 unless I take action. That was the first time TW had informed me my service bundle had a time limit on the pricing. To maximize convenience, the rep indicated that I couldn't switch to a new package now; that I need to call on January 24 to learn about new package pricing.

What sort of twisted logic leads a company to design a retention path with so many hurdles? TW had me on the phone last night inquiring about my services, what better time to discuss a new package (that ideally offers more features at a lower price)? And the rep had no idea what bundle pricing would be on January 24th.

Time Warner: do you want my business? You sure are acting as though you would prefer that I switch back to Verizon.

Addendum: The TimeWarnerCable.com site informs me it is designed to run on IE or FF. Sorry TW, I prefer Chrome.


Custodians to the Defense

Ah, this is priceless:
In a letter (PDF) to the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries, say “active supervision of the settlement by the court and the United States will protect the public interest far more than any additional restructuring of the settlement.”

They also ask for representation of academic authors on the Book Rights Registry and remind the DOJ that libraries would be primary consumers of institutional subscriptions and thus deserved to have their voices heard. A fairness hearing is scheduled for February 18, 2010.

Ah, yes, the historical custodians of knowledge are scrambling for relevance. This should be interesting to watch. From a reader's perspective, digitized content is a wonderful thing. Access from anywhere, not just from brick and mortar custodians of the flame, is a reality. My Kindle Wireless Reading Device is hungry for more content.


Tight Common Sense

A recent email from the high school principal reflects refreshing honesty and common sense:

Dear Parents of Female Students:

After a lot of deliberation, I'd like to clarify the Dress Code dealing with leggings, tights, and/or form fitting clothing covering the legs.  

This type of garment is considered an undergarment and does not conform to the Dress Code.  A proper outergarment must be worn outside of the tights or leggings and it must conform to the Dress Code.  To be honest, I am not too familiar with the purpose of this type of clothing, I took the advice of our female administrators.  They were adamant that the intention of this type of clothing was meant to be an undergarment.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.   

Jeffrey J. Dever
Principal, Bowling Green High School


The Amazon Kindle Pricing Myth

The Financial Times perpetuates the myth that Amazon.com charges "$9.99 for all its e-books in the US." Yes, Amazon does charge $9.99 for many books. Yet, there are many books for which Amazon charges less than $9.99 and many books for which Amazon charges more than $9.99.  The Kindle edition of Christensen's excellent The Innovator's Prescription, sells for $17.40, for example.  Myth. Busted.


Caution: Ostrich Posturing can be Hazardous to Your Future

But I don't think we should worry about online education being an adequate substitute for more traditional forms.  That is.......yet.
Prompted me to respond as follows:
I find interesting that the NYT chose to characterize the study's findings so positively. Perhaps the reporter read the abstract only?  For example, the study authors observe:
"the observed advantage for online learning in general, and blended learning conditions in particular, is not necessarily rooted in the media used per se and may reflect differences in content, pedagogy and learning time."
The study authors also observe:
"the online and classroom conditions differed in terms of time spent, curriculum and pedagogy. It was the combination of elements in the treatment conditions (which was likely to have included additional learning time and materials as well as additional opportunities for collaboration) that produced the observed learning advantages. At the same time, one should note that online learning is much more conducive to the expansion of learning time than is face-to-face instruction."
One might take away from this that student time-on-task is the central factor driving differences observed in the meta-analysis; that online and blended (online combined with face-to-face meetings) expands student time on task. It would seem that any tool that expands the time students spend working with course material would be beneficial to the educational process.
Not addressed by the study is my hunch (yes, pure speculation) that on-line and blended course delivery requires that learning outcomes be specified with greater clarity than may be the norm for face-to-face classes. We know from the Brightman workshop that measureable student learning increases in parallel with the specificity of the learning outcomes communicated to students.
Overall, my take away is that the study suggests that course delivery method -- online, face-to-face, or blended -- is a comparatively minor factor in learning effectiveness. The study findings suggest that, from the perspective of student learning, online delivery is a viable substitute for and alternative to, face-to-face the delivery channel.
Following the classic path of a disruptive innovation, online and blended delivery bring to the table and leverage an attribute on which face-to-face instruction cannot compete. That attribute is convenience. Like it or not, students regard courses as commodities.  Given a choice between commodities, consumers will choose the more convenient alternative. Indeed, convenience can trump better performance (as witnessed when you take a photo with your phone rather than a dedicated camera). Are our course offerings competitively convenient?
For digital natives – i.e., our current and future students -- online learning is a traditional form. Online delivery is non-traditional only from the perspective of digital immigrants (i.e., those of us old enough to have lived BC … where BC could be interpreted as Before Calculators and/or Before personal Computers). Bowling Green just opened a new middle school.  The school is designed for distance learning. This is the norm, not an exception. Imagine the expectations those digital natives will have when they come to college!
We in higher ed ignore these market dynamics at great peril.


Patience may be Rewarded

As my road bike -- a Cannondale R400 -- approaches its 20th birthday, I've begun giving thought to updating my ride.  The notions of a softer ride -- the 'Dale's all aluminum frame is unrelentingly stiff -- and integrated break-shifters beckons.  Working to my advantage is the economy. Bike sales have slowed to a crawl:
"The days of selling $4,000 to $6,000 bikes slowed down this summer," noted Trek presidentJohn Burke last week at the company's dealer gathering called Trek World. America's biggest bike company has lowered the price of its entry-level road model to $600 for 2010 (down from $900). For enthusiasts, its Madone 5.1, which features the Wisconsin-made OCLV black carbon frame and can be fully customized down to the paint job, starts at $3,099. 
Trek's main focus for 2010 will be on urban, city and commuter bicycles. Key will be the introduction of its new Ride+ line of electric-assist bikes. Trek plans to offer 3 e-bike models in the U.S. after partnering with BionX on the proprietary drive system, which consists of a hub motor and lithium ion battery. (Source:Bicycle Retailer and Industry News)
I'll pass on the BionX, thank you.  I need and crave the exercise.

However, this does have me wondering:  Will miniaturized electric motors, secreted aboard racing bikes, become the equivalent of yesterday's doping scandals?

Principles to Guide Discussion of Health Care Innovation: Some Initial Thoughts

As discussion about the health care sector approaches a full howl, here are some thoughts, offered in no particular order, regarding principles I believe should be guiding discussion about health care innovation:

1. Change the reward structure. A major problem with the health care system is that it rewards treating the sick. I believe the system should be re-imagined as a wellness support system. By increasing the baseline wellness level, resources needed to treat illness due to preventable causes, overall cost of health expenditures would reduce freeing up resources that could be directed elsewhere (perhaps to aid those with catastrophic health issues such as your friend). This tool lets you fiddle with wellness ROI. Essential to wellness program success is careful targeting of behaviors to change.

2. Personal responsibility. I believe that health is a personal responsibility. We each have a responsibility to actively pursue a health. System incentives should be aligned with pursuit of healthful life.

Incentives in the form of modest co-pays, and the like, insulate consumers from the cost of health care. Consumers, rationally, are less price sensitive as a result. Consumers need to have incentive to be concerned about the cost of health services. Increasing price sensitivity of consumers will increase pricing pressure on health care providers.

3. Empower innovation. Innovation is the only path to reducing the cost of health services while simultaneously increasing the quality of health care. Encourage entrepreneurs to do what they do so well: create effective solutions to problems. Innovation is needed in myriad areas, including diagnostic and delivery technologies and in business models.  Christensen, in The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care, provides an outstanding blueprint for how to empower innovation in the health care sector.

A challenge of innovation is that innovation spurs changes in consumer expectations. Expectations re. what the health care system can deliver (e.g., ., what can be treated) are a function of the system's ability to innovate and get rewarded for that innovation. The more the system can deliver, the more consumers expect of the system (i.e., consumer expectations regarding what constitutes 'basic' health care shifts out along the classic path of mature sustaining innovations.

4. Focus on outcomes rather than inputs or specific solutions. A focus on outcomes spurs innovation that can yield better outcomes at lower costs. A focus on outcomes is consumer-centric; it puts the focus on quality of patient care rather than on the caregiver.

5. Health care, is a complex adaptive system. System improvement is a function of the system being able to cycle, adapt, and 'emerge'. This implies identifying and removing barriers that inhibit system innovation and adaptation. Implicit in construing health care as a CAS is the implication that the system is smarter than any individual entity (human or organization). Ergo, the health care system will operate most efficiently -- and be more effective at yielding optimal patient outcomes -- when barriers to system function are systematically identified and removed. Put succinctly, the market will deliver more effective outcomes than can a bureaucracy.

6. Economic prosperity. Issues with the U.S. health care system are meaningfully a function of the state of the U.S. economy. The healthier the U.S. economy, the more wealth there is available in the private sector. Wealth in the private sector reflects job creation, salary and benefits expansion, increased charitable giving to non-profit hospitals and other community support organizations, and greater freedom of individual choice. Greater charitable giving, for example, expands the system's ability to provide those lacking resources access to care. Greater economic prosperity means that more people are employed. Greater economic prosperity means that companies are competing for employees by offering benefits, including health care coverage. Prosperity increases the ability of individuals to attend to their health care needs.

These thoughts are necessarily initial, incomplete and preliminary.


Apple Enabling "1984" 25 Years After 1984

Apple's famous '1984' ad concluded, "On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce MacIntosh. You'll see why 1984 won't be like "1984": Scott Ott illustrates how Apple is enabling 2009 to be like "1984". Yep, there's an app for that:


Kindle is a Helpful but Crippled Research Tool

The Kindle's value as a research tool has intrigued me. Amazon's announcement that Kindle notes and highlights are available on the web piqued my interest. The ability to convert notes and highlighted passages into a word document or a content management tool is a powerful research tool. Powerful because it means that highlighted text and notes are easily transportable from format to format. Powerful because those notes and highlighted passages are in a format that is guaranteed to be legible (unlike my handwriting at times ... OK, most times). Powerful because those notes and highlighted passages can be easily incorporated into a manuscript. Perfect!

Amazon's handy 'email to' your kindle feature is perfect for the myriad white papers and technical reports I encounter, frequently download, sometimes, print, yet rarely read. By putting these reports on my Kindle, I actually do read them. An added bonus is that these documents are typically written in a way conducive to stepping into and out of. This makes them perfect for filling an odd 5 minutes while waiting at Northern on Main for my sandwich, or when waiting for a flight.

With all of these thoughts in mind, I sent the Aspen Institute's intriguing white paper Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing to my Kindle via Amazon's handy email-to feature. Content rich with intriguing observations, I highlighted many passages. Notes flowed from thoughts spurred by ideas presented. Many of the passages and notes should be useful for my Winter quarter ecommerce course.

Document read, now to archive into a word document. Hmm ... the document isn't listed among the items in my "Kindle Reading List." Switching to Amazon.com's "Manage My Kindle" page, I find the paper listed under the "Your Individual Charges" section. Hmm ...bummer. It appears that, at this point in time, highlights and notes are available online only for books purchased from Amazon.com.Highlights and notes are not available online for items, such as white papers and other PDF or Word format documents, that are emailed to the Kindle.

Bummer! The inability to access highlights and notes on content other than Amazon.com Kindle books severely limits the utility of the Kindle as a research tool. Yes, the notes and highlights can be viewed in summary form on the Kindle, as with Kindle books purchased from Amazon. However the prospect of having to then manually transcribe those notes and highlights -- which are already in digital form -- into another system (e.g., a text document) is an unexpected, time consuming, and unnecessary step. One might as well type the notes and transcribe the passages directly into a document.

Perhaps this is a temporary state. Perhaps Amazon will soon turn on web accessible highlights and notes for Kindle documents other than Kindle Books purchased from Amazon.com. Given that the Kindle produces highlight and note summaries for these documents, it seems arbitrary that Amazon has chosen to not make them available on the web.

When (if?) Amazon.com makes notes and highlighted passages on user uploaded Kindle documents accessible on the web, the Kindle will be a very compelling complement to my arsenal of research tools. Until then, the Kindle is a helpful, but crippled, research tool.


VerizonWireless.com is no Amazon.com

Yesterday, I decided to replace my out-of-contract and not-so-trusty Treo 700p. AT&T's network doesn't include Ada. That dashed my longing to have an iPhone fling. I'd love to boogie with a Blackberry. ONU is a Microsoft Exchange shop. Mail/contact/calendar sync over the air is essential. So Blackberry is off the table. Sorting through Verizonwireless' offerings of Exchange compatible phones, I decided to purchase a Samsung Saga.

So I headed to VerizonWireless.com to order the phone. That's when the fun started. I took a pass through the ordering process. The options made no sense. The detail available provided no clarification. I bailed without making a purchase.

Fortified by lunch and a beer, I tried again. This time I rounded up an IM buddy, a "VerizonWireless online pre-sales specialist" to assist me. Here's how that process unfolded:

Please wait for a Verizon Wireless sales representative to assist you with your order. Thank you for your patience!

A Verizon Wireless online pre-sales specialist has joined the chat. You are now chatting with MJ

MJ: Hello. Thank you for visiting our chat service. May I help you with your order today?
You: I currently have the unlimited data plan. what is the difference between the unlimited data plan and the less expensive email/web data plan?

MJ: The only difference is that the $44.99 package gives you access to corporate emailing, they both give you unlimited emailing and unlimited web as well.
You: What is 'corporate emailing'?

MJ: It is emailing for corporations, that use a special emailing system
You: hmm ... I configure the phone to connect with the exchange server. Is that a 'special emailing system'?

MJ: What is the exact name?
You: The exact name of what?

MJ: Ok the server that you use for emailing?
You: Microsoft Exchange Server

MJ: Please hold on while I check that information.
MJ: Is it a Pop 3 account?
You: No ... it is a Microsoft Exchange Server account ... when configuring the account, one selects Microsoft Exchange from the list of account types ...
MJ: Ok great, then the $29.99 package will not work for you. The Exchange server is counted as a corporate emailing account.
You: thank you

MJ: Are you looking to upgrade today?
You: yes
MJ: Are you ready to go ahead and place your order today?
You: yes
MJ: Excellent! To upgrade your equipment you will need to sign in to your "My Verizon" and click on "My Services". You will then click on "Upgrade Now" under the picture of your phone.

You: so ... even thought I already have an unlimited data plan i must still select it when ordering the phone?
MJ: Correct the new one you select will void out the one that you have now.

MJ: Are you logged into your account at this time?
You: yes
MJ: Excellent, have you begun the upgrade process today?
You: yes
MJ: Excellent, where are you in the process?
You: in the cart

You: fed ex overnight will have it to me tomorrow (friday)?
MJ: That is correct, as long as you purchase by 3:30.
You: 3:30? so i still have time?
MJ: That is correct, as long as it is not passed 3:30 in your time zone.

You: can you offer me a promo code to cover the overnight shipping fee?
MJ: Unfortunately we do not have any promotional codes at this time, and haven't for a long time.
You: ah ... the promo code is on the front page of the web site ;-)

MJ: There is a code?
You: yep ... on the verizonwireless home page

MJ: You will need to have selected it when you began the process today?
You: the code? no, gave a code to enter in the promo code box
MJ: I'm sorry the last statement was meant for the messaging did you select this when you went through he upgrade process?
You: no ... i didn't see it as an option
MJ: Does your current calling plan include unlimited messaging?
You: yes
MJ: Awesome, then your fine it will still be there for you!
You: thx

You: so hit submit order?
MJ: That is correct!

You: done. thx for your assist
MJ: Are there any other questions that I can help you with today?
MJ: Thank you for visiting Verizon Wireless, I look forward to speaking with you again. Have a great day!
Your chat session has been ended by your Verizon Wireless online agent.

Compared to Amazon.com's highly efficient, info-abundant, super easy, one-click ordering ecosystem, VerizonWireless' ordering process is perhaps the most complicated ordering process I've encountered in some time. Why? Verizon certainly has the resources to make the process informative and user friendly.

Why couldn't I have ordered a new phone with my Treo 700p? Verizon makes lots of money off of the mobile web. Why isn't VerizonWireless leveraging the mobile web to improve the customer experience in a way that makes it easier to remain a VerizonWireless customer? Why indeed!


Saved by Google Reader

Joy! Immediately after blogging about how Blogger's 'edit label' feature deleted my post, I flipped over to Google Reader. To my surprise and delight, GReader had already scraped the deleted post. I have Blogger set to release the full text to the rss feed. Hence, I was able to recover the full text of the deleted post. Thus saved from the bit bucket, my first spew on General Education is republished. What Google taketh away, Google restores. Whew!

The Conceit of General Education

Mention General Education to university or college faculty and watch the reaction. Many will wrinkle their noses.  Some will look puzzled. Others, especially those enmeshed in the day to day delivery of GenEd courses, will exhale an exasperated sigh. Still others may say something to the effect of, "not part of my watch."  Each reaction reflects deep fissures in the gen ed dream. The reactions also reflect differing perspectives on ownership and responsibility. Mostly, reactions to 'general education' reflect deep seated, often unrecognized or unexpressed, assumptions about how a university education 'ought to be.'

Faculty reactions to general education typically reflect 'what I think' or 'how gen ed impacts my department.' Infrequently do faculty view gen ed from the student's perspective.  A distinction between 'general education' and disciplinary studies may make sense to faculty.  Students, in contrast, see an entire program of study; "a list of requirements that stand between me and my degree," if you will.Some requirements make sense. Other requirements, requirements that often fall into the 'gen ed' category, elicit puzzlement ("why do I need a course in ...?). As Bok points out in Our Under Achieving Colleges, students tend to not make the connection between program elements; between gen ed courses and other parts of their program of study. This failure reflects shortcomings in program design and delivery. This disconnect is a lost opportunity.

The conceit of general education, as traditionally practiced and conceptualized is the belief that it is a free-standing part of a student's university or college education.  This belief yields general education curriculum that is separate from, independent of, and possibly competing with developing a disciplinary foundation.  This mind-set fosters development of gen-ed fiefdoms that silo general education learning from the balance of a student's experience and education. The partitioning is evident in "layer cake" or "parallel column" curriculum design models. It is a model that risks reifying disciplinary silos rather than optimizing a student's progress toward cultivating general education objectives.

Adopting Nichols' view of liberal education as the collaboration and integration of general education offers an alternate model that disintermediates the conceit. A collaboration model emphasizes integration rather than separation. A collaboration model encourages forming partnerships among faculty from across a campus directed toward a common purpose.   

Our students should, and deserve to, experience and understand their college program as a unified holistic integrated entity in which the interfaces between general education, core curriculum, and major are seamless and mutually reinforcing. Rope provides a useful, although imperfect, metaphor.  Rope is perceived holistically. It's rope.  Yet, rooe is made of individual yarns. Each yearn runs the full length of the rope and, compared to the rope, has little strength.  Each yarn makes a modest contribution to the strength of the rope. A yarn, working in collaboration with many other yarns throughout the length of the rope, yields synergies in that the resulting rope is stronger than would be expected given the individual yarns.  .

This collaborative model requires helping students build a cognitive framework for understanding their program holistically, of the pieces that make of the program of study, and of their interconnections.  Collaboration should be viewed as extending the duration of a student's program; not confined to a particular temporal sliver. Accomplishing this requires careful curriculum design and cultivating in students the cognitive framework necessary for understanding of the whole and the parts from which it is made. If successful, the contributions of each curriculum component to the totality of the program of study should be apparent to every student in the program. If successful, students will perceive the resulting curriculum as a seamless experience. If successful, the resulting educational experience will be of greater value than can be achieved by partitioning general education from the balance of a student's program.

Blogger Error: Unexpected Delete

OK, so I spent time over the past two days crafting the first of several intended posts on general education. I've been enmeshed in designing a general education program for the past two years and it is time to share insights and gleen wisdom from others. 

That was my intent.  The first post was done. Published. BUT, I dorked one of the labels.  Where delicious expects spaces to separate tags, Blogger expects a comma.  I didn't know that. So, Blogger translated my string of space separated tags into one long meaningless spew.  

So, I tried Blogger's tag edit feature.  Who'd a thunk that 'delete' on the "Label Actions" drop down menu means that the label/tag AND the associated post gets deleted?  Intuitive mapping? Nope. Blogger provides a warning about deleting a draft or a published post via the edit posts window. Did Blogger provide a "Are you sure you want to delete this post?" in this situation Nope!  Does Blogger have an undelete feature? Nope. 


The Long Tail of Blog Readership

Blogs - read by about half of US internet users - are an influential information source consumed by movers and shakers.

Source: eMarketer


Wii Joy

Hat tip: TechCrunch

Distance Ed

A just released study on distance education by the National Center for Education Statistics reveals how pervasive distance education has become. Key findings, based on the 2006-07 academic year, include:
  • 66%of 2-year and 4-year Title IV degree-granting postsecondary institutions reported offering online, hybrid/blended online, or other distance education courses for any level or audience.
  • 65% of the institutions reported college-level credit-granting distance education courses,
  • 23% of the institutions reported noncredit distance education courses.
  • 61% of 2-year and 4-year institutions reported offering online courses,
  • 35% reported hybrid/blended courses,
  • 26% reported other types of college-level credit-granting distance education courses.
NCES estimates that in AY 2006-07 there were 12.2 million registrations in distance education courses.

What technologies are institutions using?  The report explored that as well, and found (so surprise!) asynchronous internet-based technologies are the most widely used technologies for instructional delivery of distance courses.

Why do institutions offer distance education courses?  Clearly the customer is driving the adoption of distance education methods.  NCES found:
the most common factors cited as affecting distance education decisions to a major extent were meeting student demand for flexible schedules, providing access to college for students who would otherwise not have access, making more courses available, and seeking to increase student enrollment.
Key to a successful disruptive innovation is focusing on addressing unmet needs in the market.  Clearly, distance ed provides a product and channel that makes course and other work accessible to numerous under served populations.