Category: Universities

Digital distractions, iPads and other toys in the classroom

A must read: Clay Shirky’s verbose and well argued post on “Why I just asked my students to put their laptops away”. Clay Shirky is an author and academic interested in digital and social media.

In the same line of thought, I really liked this podcast (in French) of Montréal tech journalist and consultant Martin Lessard with Sébastien Wart who works for the Montréal school board as a technologist. They refer to the SAMR model (aka: Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model) for employing effectivee technological tools in the classroom. According to the Technology Is Learning website (where Martin Lessard point to), the SAMR model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura :

Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model

Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model

Open textbook on open education seeks comments

Tony Bates has just posted a call for comments on the first chapter of his open textbook about open education. (talk about putting your money where your mouth is!)

Dr Bates has extensive experience in university teaching and administration – I’m really sorry I missed his talk at Concordia a few months ago (as a dad with young kids, it is hard to make evening events).

I’ll read this chapter soon, but it seems very interesting. I also really like the tool that he is using, namely the PressBooks web-hosted book publishing system.

University Libraries think about textbooks

A colleague of mine highlighted a few articles which explain how university libraries are engaging faculty and providing assistance to switch to open textbooks. Here are the links:
– For more on open textbooks
– The Alt textbook from Temple’s Teaching and Learning Technology Roundtable
CBC radio (Calgary) interview about open textbooks

The more things change…

I liked this interesting take on undergraduate tacit knowledge from this experienced librarian in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Some key take-back points:

Journals and magazines are published as ongoing series. For those of us who remember print, articles are bundled into issues, issues into volumes, and every year more articles are published in these bundles. If every article you ever read was found online, the relationship of articles to a particular journal published in a particular year is not at all obvious.
News is different than opinion. I’m so ancient I grew up with newspapers printed on newsprint, delivered to your doorstep every morning and afternoon. (Hard to believe, but even small cities typically had two major newspapers dividing the day.) One thing that is immediately obvious from the layout of a printed newspaper is that news and opinion are different categories. One could argue that news is strongly influenced by reporters’ opinions or the orientation of the publication, but when it comes to making choices about what information to use and how to use it, the distinction between reporting and opining matters. That distinctiveness is much harder to recognize online.
Read more: Inside Higher Ed


It reminded me of and linked to the Beloit College Mindset List, sumarizing what new undergraduates have experienced in their lifetime… an important read for everyone deling with “kids” these days!