Don’t mistake a tool for the goal

  • Incorporating Social Media and Digital Citizenship in the First-Year Experience Course

    Last spring, the faculty senate of my university passed a series of resolutions aimed at updating the university’s general education program. Part of that program requires (nearly) all undergraduate students to take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) course and one of the resolutions updated some of the specific outcomes of that course. In this post I’ll…

  • Baumol, Walker, and Xerxes

    In the introduction to Athanasius: On the Incarnation De Incarnatione Verbi Dei, C.S. Lewis discusses the predilection that some people have to spend a considerable amount of time reading about an idea instead of simply reading the idea itself. An optimist, Lewis attributes this to humility on the part of readers who are hesitant to…

  • Many New Ideas are Quite Old

    Now that I’ve finished my dissertation, I finally feel free to turn my attention to other scholarly pursuits.  I feel an obligation to bring closure to the historical work I began a few years ago so I will be spending the next several months working with primary sources and reworking old drafts into publishable articles. …

  • Dissertation Journal: Defended, Edited, Submitted, Accepted

    It’s been about a year-and-a-half since my last post about my dissertation.  Two weeks ago, I defended my dissertation NON-RESPONSE BIAS ON WEB-BASED SURVEYS AS INFLUENCED BY THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND PARTICIPATION GAP.  I’ve included the abstract below if you’re interested in its content but I’ll focus here on some of the process.

  • Perplexing Problems in ACPA Student Technology Infographic

    I’ve whined about bad infographics and I try to avoid complaining about their continuing proliferation.  But I can’t bite my tongue about this ACPA infographic purporting to show information about technology usage by undergraduate students.  It’s bad not just because it’s misrepresenting information but because it’s doing so in the specific context of making a…

  • Going Through the Motions of Active Learning and Engagement

    Whether it’s framed as active learning, student engagement, time-on-task, or <insert educational jargon here>, we know that people don’t learn well by simply listening to others talk.  Learning requires repeated practice and adjustments made via feedback.  A recent metastudy in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)…

  • Is Radical Personalization Antithetical to Sustained Interactions With Others?

    One of the more exciting developments at my university is the ongoing development of our new Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory (MSLL). Pronounced “missile” and the already the cause of many puns (e.g., the opening of the new lab is already being dubbed “the missile launch”), it’s a space that is “intended to serve students entering…

  • I’m Not A Programmer But Programming Skills Are Still Extremely Useful

    I don’t work in IT, software development, or anything even closely related to those fields so I’m often surprised at how much programming I do in my daily work life.  At times I write scripts or light programs (e.g., this set of Excel macros), usually to save time and ensure accurate, well-documented, and reproducible results. …

  • The Psuedo-curriculum

    I know this will be provocative for some of you but lately when I’ve heard people use the phrase “co-curriculum” I’ve silently translated it in my head to “psuedo-curriculum.” I’ll explain more below but understand that I am not devaluing out-of-class activities but expressing frustration that we don’t really value them. My frustration here has…

  • Essential Reading for Technology in Student Affairs v1.1

    A few weeks ago, I posted a set of recommended readings that I originally sent to a colleague who asked me what I would recommend as essential reading for understanding technology in student affairs.  I’ve updated this list adding two sets of resources.  First, I included danah boyd’s new book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives…