Knowing Your Audience

All writing has an audience. That’s the point. Without a potential audience what you are doing is a pointless and fruitless exercise. Writing out your thoughts allows you to put them in a coherent order and reassess whether or not it says what you want it to say, and also whether or not it’s appropriate for the audience. Writing allows something as transient as a thought to be solidified into something that can exist and be passed on to others long after the original thought occurred. And writing allows a thought from a century ago influence a new thought which will influence other thoughts.

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A Response to “Dear #sachat”

Tim St. John had an interesting post this morning. The part that’s getting a lot of shares on Twitter is:

“Our students and our academic colleagues do not care about your favorite icebreaker. They don’t care about what you think “professionalism” means. They care that you show up to work, do your job, and do your damn best for your students and your campus community.”

That is a great comment. But it then goes on to say

“When articles comment on the inflation of administration – they are talking about us! Yet, we are too busy talking about other things to notice. “

Um… actually I do. See here. or Here. Or honestly any article I post.  I rarely talk solely about student affairs, because student affairs doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

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Soft Skills and Standardized Tests

The governor of New York recently proposed that 50% of teachers evaluations be based on the results of standardized tests. I’m not going to go into great detail about how much of fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of standardized tests that is. The short version is that standardized tests give the most useful information when disaggregated, so for example looking at a district by district sample, or by selecting randomized classrooms from the entire state/province to give an overall picture. Other people have explained what a problem it is to hold teachers responsible for things they don’t have full control over. I’m not going to go into that today. Instead I’m going to focus on the labour market.

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I Am Not a Wallet

I had this thought last night when trying out Sims Free Play on my phone. Everything takes forever to complete. While most of these pay to speed up games take about one to two minutes to do a task early in the game, just long enough to figure out what else you can do, Sims takes 10-120 minutes. So you set one task, close the game and come back to it later. It’s rather boring. But the game is fun when you’re playing it. Which is all designed to get you to pay for premium currency to make the game play faster. Continue reading “I Am Not a Wallet”

The Problem with “College Costs” Articles

Everyone associated with the Higher Education field, and a lot of people who aren’t, seem to like to talk about the cost of Higher Education. From Kevin Carey’s book “The End of College” to New York Times opinion pieces and their responses, and more responses this is a hot topic. For a Canadian perspective I find a lot of interesting thoughts on the topic with this blog too.

Having read too many articles which explicitly ignore points which contradict their narative I’m going to propose two New Rules:

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