The Educational Software Paradox: Can We Learn To Unlearn?

New "educational" software and applications are usually not as educational as one might think. As a whole, applications developed in the name of learning have ended up favoring the institution and preserving the status quo. Given existing dynamics, it could not be otherwise.

Learning in the Webiverse: How Do You Grade a Conversation?

Academics have long talked of the "academic conversation." Now, Web 2.0 has called our bluff. We live in the midst of a non-stop world conversation. But, are conversational skills (in writing) important and, if so, how do we teach them?

P2P Redux: New Twists and Turns

At the same time that RIAA has been bombarding campuses with P2P filesharing notices, questions are being raised about the underlying legality of the methods being used by the RIAA.

Can We Trust Students to Learn in Web 2.0?

A core debate about learning design arises from the fear that, if we allow learners too much freedom, they will not learn the right things. Web 2.0 exacerbates that fear because it is beyond the control of educators.

Firewalls: A Hammer in Search of a Nail

The use of a firewall to protect a local or campus network from external threats has become enshrined as "best practice." But how well does it really work, how much protection does it really provide, and what are the negative impacts on advanced applications?

Social Networking: Learning Theory in Action

There has been a lot of recent debate on the benefits of social networking tools and software in education. While there are good points on either side of the debate, there remains the essential difference in theoretical positioning. Can social networking both as an instructional concept and user skill be integrated into the conventional approaches to teaching and learning? Do the skills developed within a social networking environment have value in the more conventional environments of learning?

Frankenstein in the University

In our day-to-day encounters with new media, online education, and vendor software products, we may sometimes be tempted to believe that encroaching technology is controlling the way people teach and learn. Is there a monster in our midst, determining our actions?

Building a Competitive Web Strategy for an Academic Site

In this fictional scenario, Trent Batson examines a typical department's struggle to redesign its Web presence, posing questions like: "We can't help but notice that social sites like YouTube and Facebook are awfully easy to use -- why can't our academic site be more like them?"

Best Practices in Emergency Communications

Risk assessment doesn't cut much weight in the world of public opinion. In the aftermath of highly publicized violent incidents like those at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, higher education has come under increased scrutiny. In particular, students, their parents, and the general public want to know about the emergency notification procedures that campuses have deployed.

Writing: It Ain’t the Same Anymore

E-mail is the ordinal form of this age. But in the collective conscience of higher education, the reference form when talking about writing is still the essay. Should e-mail writing instruction replace the teaching of essay writing?