Monday, March 31, 2014

Sometimes ‘old school’ is better

Traditional note taking in college seems to be a thing of the past in that students often do not want to take notes in class, or they type on their laptops. I personally, have gotten in the habit of posting my PPT slides for the students to look at after class because I know that is as close to note taking as some students will get.

It is amazing how many students do not have notes for exam, even after I announce an open note test; I see many students scrambling to make notes last minute or trying to make photocopies of their classmates notes (which I do not allow anyway).

“Taking Notes by Hand Benefits Recall, Researchers Find”

Distractions posed by laptops in the classroom have been a common concern, but new research suggests that even if laptops are used strictly to take notes, typing notes hinders students’ academic performance compared with writing notes on paper with a pen or pencil.”

“Daniel M. Oppenheimer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Pam Mueller, a graduate student at Princeton University, studied the effects of students’ note-taking preferences. Their findings will be published in a paper in Psychological Science called “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note-Taking.””

“The researchers’ goal was to figure out whether typing notes—which is becoming increasingly popular—has any direct effect on a students’ ability to understand a lecture.”

“In a series of studies, the researchers provided students with laptops or with pen and paper to take notes. (The computers were disconnected from the Internet.) Students were then tested on how well they could recall facts and apply concepts. During the first test, students were told to “use their normal classroom note-taking strategy.” Some typed, and others wrote longhand. They were tested 30 minutes later.”

“The researchers aimed to measure the increased opportunity to “mindlessly” take verbatim notes when using laptops.”

““Verbatim note-taking, as opposed to more selective strategies, signals less encoding of content,” says the researchers’ report. Although laptop users took almost twice the amount of notes as those writing longhand, they scored significantly lower in the conceptual part of the test. Both groups had similar scores on the factual test.”

“In another part of the study, some laptop users were instructed to avoid taking verbatim notes. Instructors explained that “people who take class notes on laptops when they expect to be tested on the material later tend to transcribe what they’re hearing without thinking about it much.” But members of that group received lower scores in both conceptual and factual tests than did their longhand counterparts.”

““While more notes are beneficial, at least to a point, if the notes are taken indiscriminately or by mindlessly transcribing content, as is more likely the case on a laptop, the benefit disappears,” says the report.”

Read here:

So those of you who insist, “they do not need to take notes because they will write them down when they get home” (and never do), or those who like to type away incessantly in class, you might consider trying it the old-fashioned way.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Friday, March 28, 2014

Let’s get Happy!

“Elementary School Choir's Cover Of Pharrell's 'Happy' Will Make Your Whole Week Better”


The little things in life everyone, enjoy!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sharing an article March 27 2014

“Unionized Adjuncts in Washington, D.C., Seek to Craft a Citywide Contract”

“Having organized well over two-thirds of part-time faculty members at this city’s colleges, labor organizers connected with the Service Employees International Union are now working to devise a common labor agreement covering all unionized adjunct instructors here.”

“At a national meeting for adjunct instructors held by the SEIU on Monday at Georgetown University, Kerry B. Danner-McDonald, a lecturer at Georgetown and leader in the city’s adjunct-organizing effort, told the audience that those working to devise such a contract still have "a lot to work out." But, she said, they expect to come up with a master agreement that sets minimum pay levels for all colleges but has the flexibility to tailor contracts to individual institutions.”

What are your thoughts?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Learning to make games can be profitable

“Candy Crush games developer King valued at over $7bn”

“It sold 22.2 million shares priced at $22.50 per share - the mid-point of the range the firm had initially set.”

“King said it plans to use the money raised for "working capital" and "other general corporate purposes, which may include acquisitions".”

“Candy Crush was the most downloaded free mobile app of 2013.”

So you student gamers, remember your professors when you graduate and become famous J

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Case involving Veteran education

The ongoing case of Pima Community College in Arizona just got stepped up a notch:

“Pima Community College Is Barred Temporarily From Enrolling Veterans”

“Pima Community College has been banned from enrolling military veterans for at least 60 days while the school tries to correct the problems that led to the sanction.”

“The Arizona Department of Veterans Services imposed the penalty because of the college's poor record keeping practices for students who are military veterans.”

“The deficiencies have cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, money the federal government wrongly paid to veterans who weren't eligible to receive it because PCC didn't keep proper track of their status.”

“Federal rules on educational aid to military veterans require schools to notify the government, for example, when such students quit, flunk out or take courses that aren't part of an approved program of study.”

“The state move, announced by the college today, was in response to a federal request to review PCC's performance.”

“The ban does not affect currently enrolled veteran students.”

“The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs asked the state to intervene after two VA audits in a row found scores of problems, even after the college promised to fix them.”

This is not a for-profit institution, this a traditional community college, so this tells us it could happen anywhere.

Once again I stress that traditional and non-traditional institutions could work together to solve these issues instead of trying to tear each other down.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, March 24, 2014

Greetings today Monday March 24 2014

In the news today:

“New Data on Student Veterans' College Outcomes under New G.I. Bill”

Slightly more than half of military veterans who enrolled in college under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill completed the academic or training program they pursued, according to new data to be released today, USA Today reported. The study, released by Student Veterans of America in conjunction with the Veterans Administration and the National Student Clearinghouse, showed that 51.7 percent of the nearly 800,000 former military service members who pursued some kind of postsecondary credential earned it within the 10 year time frame. About a third of the veterans earned bachelor's degrees or higher.”

How are things going in your institution?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Sunday, March 23, 2014

No winners here

I read about this recently and realize that not only is this a sign of the 'job market' times, but also a sign that we truly do not understand that electronic communication is forever.

I am also disturbed that some people in the comments section immediately started blaming political parties and ideology (not taking sides here).

This is not about politics, this speaks for itself:

What are your thoughts? Please be civil

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Something for K12 and something for Higher Education today March 20 2014

These articles speak for themselves and make for a great conversation, so please chime in!


“California Groups Urge Schools to Spend on Student Support Staff, Not Police”

“Two California groups released a policy brief today that asks school districts in the state to use new funding to lessen the gap in spending between school security and student support and engagement initiatives.”


“An overreliance on school-based police in many districts, including many that serve large numbers of poor and minority students, has led to overly harsh discipline and too many referrals of students to the justice system, the Los Angeles-based Labor/Community Strategy Center's Community Rights Campaign and the Oakland-based Black Organizing Project said in the report.”


“"We have watched our school budgets be increasingly devoted to law-enforcement-based school security strategies at the expense of vital support and educational services that students need," said the report, called "The New Separate and Unequal: Using California's Local Control Funding Formula to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline."”



Children are not the enemy!



“The Adjunct Is In. But Is She Getting Paid?”

“Earlier this semester, Betsy Smith asked students in her intermediate ESL course at Cape Cod Community College to read Bridge to Terabithia, the children’s-lit classic. The request came with an assignment: Everyone in the class was to hold a presentation exploring one cultural aspect of the book.”

“One student, a guitar player from Brazil, wanted to present on Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which figures briefly in the novel. At the start of a class session—the course is held every Wednesday night from 6:30 to 9:30—he told Smith he could use some help with the musical portion of his presentation. He asked the professor: Can we meet during your office hours to go over some ideas?”

“For many professors, that’d be a standard request. But Smith is an adjunct, and she shares her office with as many as 18 other part-time professors.”

““I don’t have office hours,” she told the student. He gave her a puzzled look. “­­

“Students still tend to assume that there are set hours each week when they can count on finding their professors seated at their desks, ready to help all comers. But the push and pull over office hours is a daily challenge for adjuncts, who make up the majority of faculty in academe. For one thing, there’s the fact that most part-time faculty, like Smith, don’t have their own private office spaces. Adjuncts are also often pressed for time, especially if they’re cobbling together multiple gigs at different institutions to make ends meet. On top of that, there’s the money issue: Most adjuncts are not compensated for the hours they put in helping students outside the classroom.”

“For Smith, compensation (or lack thereof) is the key factor. She would be happy to meet with her students during set office hours, she says, if her college agreed to pay her for holding them.”

This one will be an interesting debate.

I hope your week is going well and please remember to keep all discussions productive and respectful.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Training for University Administrators

Many of us have asked about the training university leaders receive to be able to handle their posts, and what is known so far is that there really are no official programs for this.
However, it seems that institutions have heard and are answering the call:
“Administrator U.”
“There’s a new training ground for would-be higher education leaders.”
“Arizona State University and Georgetown University’s presidents announced Tuesday that the two universities are teaming up to create the Institute for Innovation in Higher Education Leadership.”
“The institute, which will begin as a pilot program this fall, is envisioned as an executive training program that will meet over four long weekends each year.”
“The program is entering a space somewhat occupied already by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the American Council on Education and several trade associations. An emphasis of the ASU-Georgetown program is for a variety of college leaders, including executives, trustees and others who aspire to lead in higher ed. "In some ways, if you’re already the president, it’s probably too late. You’re already in the job,” said ASU President Michael Crow.”
“Crow said the standard model for turning out higher ed leaders -- “Let’s have the academic dean become the chair become the dean become the president" -- may no longer work.”
“Jeff Selingo, a professor of practice at ASU and a contributing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, said the goal of the institute is to focus on strategic thinking rather than the day-to-day tactical skills that other programs by and large teach.”
““What we’re really going to focus on is innovation in the long term,” Selingo said.”
“He, Crow and Georgetown President John DeGioia came up with the idea for the innovation institute and announced it during a discussion Tuesday at Georgetown. The institute will be a not-for-profit managed by ASU and Georgetown, Crow said.”
“Potential modules for the institution's curriculum have titles like “The Financially Sustainable University,” “New Delivery Methods” and “Change Leadership.””
“Selingo said the price point for the program would be about that of similar programs, like Harvard’s Seminar for New Presidents.”
“ACE, higher ed’s umbrella trade group, launched an Institute for New Presidents in summer 2012. Other training programs for new presidents are run by sector-specific associations , including the Council of Independent Colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.”
I think this could be the beginning of some exciting things!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sharing an article March 17 2014

As I have always said, we should pay attention to what is happening with the bigger players in higher education.

“Accreditor Rejects Partnership Between Business School and For-Profit Group”

“A deal between the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a for-profit education company has been rejected by the business school's regional accreditor, giving at least a temporary victory to an alumni group and some former board members who said the arrangement would turn Thunderbird into a "diploma mill."”

“Thunderbird, based in Arizona, had been seeking a partnership with Laureate Education Inc. in order to shore up its troubled finances. The arrangement would have brought the school $53-million through a sale-leaseback of its campus and $13-million more to start online and undergraduate programs and to expand its international sites.”

“Thunderbird pursued the deal with Laureate after rejecting several other suitors, including Arizona State University and the Hult International Business School, saying that the for-profit company was the only one that would sustain its financial health and protect its brand.”

I personally think there are many “gut reactions” here, not all for profits are evil. However, in the end any school must do what they feel is best for their stakeholders; and hopefully they decided in a logical manner not a visceral reaction.

What are your thoughts?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam