It’s like higher education has discovered the megachurch.
David W. Wills, a professor of religious history at Amherst, on MOOCs.
Wills started out being open to MOOCs, he said. But the more he heard the more his concerns grew, and none of edX’s representatives seemed able to address them.
The language he heard from edX, he said, was the rhetoric of tech innovation—seemingly to the exclusion of anything else—and he worried about academia falling under hierarchical thrall to a few star professors.
From Laptop U - Has the future of college moved online? [New Yorker]
DNA: The Book of You
Oh hey, some guy with the same name as me and who sounds exactly like me wrote and narrated this video for TED-Ed all about the scale, structure and organization of the human genome.
Oh wait… it IS me! Enjoy the sciencey sounds of my voice telling you all about how big the human genome is.
Although 20,000 genes sounds like a lot, it’s far less than the number scientists initially predicted. We end up getting lots of variants out of fewer genes thanks to something called alternative splicing. Although none of it is “junk”, about 8% of our genome is inactive virus DNA (which we stole genes from in order to be born), and more than half is other kinds of insertions from ancient, jumping “selfish genes” called retrotransposons.
(A note: Most of the numbers in this lesson are for one copy of the human genome. Remember that you actually have two copies of the human genome in every cell, so the length of DNA and number of bases, etc. it actually DOUBLE that! If you want to know more details about any of the facts and figures in the video, leave me a note in the YouTube comments or send me a message here or on Twitter.)
Great job Joe.
This is why I teach: Getting Facebook messages from other Tumblr users about the fact that my students are reblogging his blog posts and adding ancient philosophy to them … on a Saturday evening.
We should all band together and stop Ari before he ruins the Internet the tumblr I have learned to love and cherish. Also I may be wrong but Justin Lincoln has and/or continues to utilize Tumblr for academic purposes. This is madness.
UC struggles with bias claims raised by Jews, Muslims: Some Muslim students feel their rights are being suppressed and some Jewish students think anti-Israel protests on campus have become anti-Semitic.
UC students and others — how welcome do you feel at your school?
Photo: Participants at a 2011 protest tape their mouths to illustrate what they believe is a 1st Amendment issue involving 11 Muslim demonstrators accused of disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
Bigotry towards Muslims and Jews exists at every level of society, college is no exception.
College is this very strange and perhaps wonderful portion of our life, for many of us it is the very first opportunity that we’re allowed to rigorously explore our identities at our leisure (ideally or rather, we get to explore at a level that is NOT simply a paragraph in your AP World History course.) Solid communities are formed, ideas are dispersed, people of differing backgrounds coalesce towards something and sometimes what’s lost is out ability to communicate with individuals who are working towards that something. With that said, I have not read the report so I cannot comment on the specifics but I’m wary of making any strong assertions outside of those I made above because the UC and Mark Yudof are run by awful people who do awful things to save face.
Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans, it certainly is a good idea to give them loans. But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) as quoted in “This really happened: A Republican congressman said federal student loans is the start of a “slippery slope” that could lead to a Holocaust“ [via Think Progress]
We don’t need a Spanish-speaking Obama,” said George Rodriguez, president of the conservative South Texas Political Alliance. “We don’t need affirmative action politicians. By that I mean, we need the best-qualified person as well as a person who has the values of America at heart to lead us.
Two simple things. First of all using ‘affirmative action’ to describe a politician that’s also a POC is stupid. Affirmative action has/had a purpose and many POC (and white women) are grateful for the one of the few policies that not only acknowledged that there is no level playing field in the United States of America but also actively sought to do something about it in some form. The educational system in the United States of America is, to state it bluntly, sexist and racist. If you have any doubts about that, you haven’t made an effort to learn about it or you have not been listening. Sit down. Second, complaining that Julian Castro does not have “the values of America at heart” is foolish. He graduated from Stanford and earned his law degree at Harvard, you’re not dealing with Ted Kaczynski. To his credit though, George Rodriquez is obviously commenting on something he doesn’t know shit about because Julian does not even speak Spanish. And this thing about “values of America at heart”, whose America and what values?