Saturday, March 04, 2006

Spring Break Links: Blog, Blog, Blah

--We all need a little break from email. I tend to have small classes -- and I only teach a 2/2 load -- but I still can't quite keep up with all the student emails I get.

--Online colleges are going to find it easier to get aid packages from the U.S. government. I'm not surprised these enterprises are succeeding, but I haven't heard anything yet to suggest that a person could get a serious education through them. What's more interesting is the large number of traditional colleges and universities (including my own) that are branching out into online education. The ability to do online courses through established schools might challenge the way we think about admissions and the structure of post-secondary education. What if small universities and liberal arts colleges decide to band large numbers of online courses together, and form conglomerate entities? Could students be "admitted" merely for the purpose of taking a particular online course, or studying with a particular professor?

--William Safire on "Blargon". Blogging, as all you blogerati undoubtedly already know, generates tons of medium-specific jargon, though much of it is borrowed from terms in journalism ("the jump," the "sidebar," "above the fold"). Many blog-words try and incorporate the word "blog" in some way to indicate their context: "blogorrhea." In some ways, it reminds me of the once-trendy musical genre called Ska, which generated hundreds of bands that incorporated the word "ska" in some way into their names. Here I'm thinking of the legendary Jamaican band called The Skatalites, but also lesser known "third wave" ska bands like "Ska Humbug," "The Skadillacs," "Skaface," "The Skaflaws," "Skali Baba and the Forty Ounce Horns," "Skankin Pickle," "Skarab," "Skarotum," "Skatland Yard," and so on. (Just so you know where I'm getting that list from, it's this FAQ)

--Are blogs taking over the world? No, they aren't. And I'm sick of reading about people who write for Gawker media -- an enterprise which has, I think, passed its peak. Now that she's quit Wonkette Ana Maria Cox is pretty much famous for being the venue that launched Washingtonienne.

--A Catholic high school has forbidden its students from blogging and online social networking, mainly to protect them from sexual predators. High school, it seems, is like being in China (or Pakistan).

5 comments:

Ruchira Paul said...

And not to speak of the e-mail from blog fans that blogging profs tend to get, in addition to the student e-mails!

Spring Break Rocks! said...

Catholic High school is like being in China.

And non-Catholic High school is like being in jail...

James Black said...

Online courses are fine, but I'm against online college degrees. Students need to communicate with other humans. Ever since computers came to being, we all lack human contact. It's not right. Soon we can find ourselves living in a cyberspace.

Junssi said...

I totally agree with you James Black. In the university where I am studying (in Finland), we have courses that are online and courses that you can pass by watching videos of past years lecturers and then going to exams. But with these ways, you can't ask questions from professors and can't have interaction with other students and that's not good. Not good at all.

Dan Sherman said...

Online education at least in its current form provides an ideal supplemental to traditional learning in classrooms. The benefits of online education are obvious from personalization, measurement, scale of how many people can attend a single lecture at any particular point of time. There could also be different models of engagement of online learning whether a pure content play or e-learning where you can interact with your professor in real time.