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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

University Business March 2012 Digital Issue!

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The March 2012 issue of University Business is now online.
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March 2012 Cover

March 2012 Article Highlights



October 1, 10, 19, & 30, 2012 :: 1:00 - 2:45 p.m. EDT

Learn the essential components of transforming face-to-face courses to an effective online format.

Join us for a four-session online course that will teach you the step-by-step process of transforming a face-to-face course to an online delivery format. Our expert instructor will share information and advice on remapping your course, organizing content, using Web 2.0 technology, and integrating learning design.

This four-part program uses a blend of synchronous and asynchronous components to model an effective online course. During the synchronous sessions, you will be invited to contribute ideas, make decisions, and ask questions about the course (re)design process.
Between sessions, you will have the opportunity to practice the process through the creation of a signature project that is specific to your work and your institutional setting. Your project for this course will involve converting components of one of your own face-to-face courses to the online format.
To ensure maximum interactivity and personal attention, enrollment will be limited. Take advantage of this unique opportunity while space is still available! Register online or call 720.488.6800.
We have designed this course for a single learner per registration. Included in your registration are credentials for the online course site, as well as the ability to receive customized feedback from the instructor on the assignments throughout the course that culminate in the signature project.
Academic Library Planning and Revitalization
March 26 - 28, 2012 | Baltimore, MD

Using Student Data to Improve Your Academic Support Programs
May 21 - 23, 2012 | St. Louis, MO

Managing Copyright Use, Ownership, and Policy
July 18 - 20, 2012 | La Jolla, CA

Online Accessibility for Students with Disabilities
March 28 & 30, 2012

Repurposing Campus Computer Labs: A Case Study
April 26 & 27, 2012


Bronwynh on Education Blog: How to convince students to share their ideas on a blog

Seated Woman with Blog, after Picasso by Mike Licht,

Is a blog a good or a bad thing for sharing ideas with your classmates? Lets deal with the good stuff first. Blogs are a great way to share information - websites, photos, videos, the latest gossip, and of course your ideas, and what you are learning in class. Here are some examples of blogs to get you thinking.

It can be interesting to find out more about the people sitting opposite you in class - what they are interested in and what they believe in. So it is a good way to get to know each other better. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to read about others' hidden talents. It is a good way to see things from different angles and reading what others have written helps you to do this. And to state the obvious, blogging really can help your writing, and your learning especially when your classmates give you helpful hints.

Posting on a blog can also help you to express the ideas you might be too shy to say out loud. It is good practice for learning to express your ideas too. It is really cool when someone reads what you have written and leaves you a comment. Just knowing others are interested in your thoughts is a real confidence booster.And of course, it is a great way for your teachers to give you feedback about your work, and to challenge you to think.

Sure it can be scary when you start to think that others will read what you have written, but it can also be addictive seeing how many people are reading your posts, and who is leaving comments. The more you do it the easier it is and the better you get at doing it.

The main thing to remember is to be respectful to each other when leaving comments, and it is a great way to show that you are interested in their work. By posting to a blog and sharing what you are learning, you are hopefully going to have fun and do some learning at the same time. So you can learn from each other if you share your work with the class as well as the teachers, and if your blog is open on the web you might even get some interesting people looking at your work.

It is also possible to set up a mobile blog where you can send texts, images and video directly to your blog....but that is another story, and one for you to explore. When you get really good at blogging you might even be able to attract advertising and make some money - lots of people do....but that is something for after class.

So what are you waiting for - lets get started.

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I work as an Educational Developer at Otago Polytechnic to promote flexible learning. I am a Doctorate in Education candidate. My thesis is investigating the use of a Three-Step Reflective Framework to support the preparation of the evidence practitioners prepare for their professional electronic portfolios.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inside Higher Ed Articles: February 28, 2012

Invisible Transfer Students
New study finds that one-third of students attend at least two colleges. Their most common transfer destination: community colleges.

The Obama administration opposes a bill to repeal newly enacted rules on the credit hour and state approval, but how Democrats will vote today is unclear.

Study of one college's alumni shows those who received loans or scholarships donate less than do others.

A new national commission will set accrediting standards for schools of education, with the hope of producing better, more well-rounded teachers.

WIA Report: Women Have Closed the Gender Gap in Degree Attainments

Posted on Feb 24, 2012

For many years, more women than men have been enrolled in higher education. Now, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that women have almost closed the gender gap in degree attainments.
In 2011, 30.0 of all women over the age of 25 had obtained at least a four-year college degree. For men, 30.8 percent of all adults were college educated.
There are 31,372,000 women in the United States who are college educated. Some 8.8 million American women have earned master’s degrees. Only 7.2 million American men have master’s degrees.
Men still hold a lead in professional and doctoral degrees. But 1,118,000 women have earned professional degrees and another 1,151,000 women hold doctorates.


Campus Technology: U.S. Department of Education Asks Students for Education Startup Ideas

By Mike Hohenbrink - 02/23/12

The United States Department of Education is asking students to contribute ideas for a unique education startup as part of its National Education Startup Challenge going on right now.
The purpose of the competition is to encourage students to come up with solutions for helping fellow students enter college and the workforce more ready to tackle real-world challenges as well as to encourage students as innovators and entrepreneurs.

The competition is open to students across the United States, and entries can be made by submitting a business plan as well as a video pitch. Videos should introduce a unique, original idea for a startup venture covering one of the four challenge topics.
Challenge topics include:
  • "Middle Grades Matter," covering ideas for helping students transition to high school and beyond;
  • "Skills, Skills, Skills," for encouraging skill-building ideas;
  • "Education Pays," which covers entries allowing students to pick affordable postsecondary education; and
  • "Finish Faster," covering ideas to help increase retention rates.
The exact nature of the startup is up to the discretion of each entrant and may consist of either for-profit or non-profit ideas designed to offer products, services, or strategies designed to help students. Entries can address any of the four challenge topics.

The challenge competition is open students who have begun the sixth grade up through high school graduates and students continuing their education at the postsecondary level. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2012.
Entrants and their submissions will be judged as part of three categories based on age including:
  • Grades 6-8;
  • Grades 9-12; and
  • Undergraduate/postsecondary students.
A panel of educators and entrepreneurs will judge all of the submitted entries.
Winning entries will receive national recognition and may be eligible for further honors and opportunities.
More information is available online at or at Questions can also be submitted by e-mail to or to
Information is also available by phone by calling Scott Hess at 202-245-7772.

TLT Group February 28, 2012

Seventh issue, Volume five

TLT Group TGIF 2.28.2012               
From TLT Group World Headquarters
Join us this Thursday as we "march" into March, boldly revisiting the Roundtable!  In our March Symposium, New Roundtables for Collaborative Change, TLT Group presenters and participants will adapt and demonstrate an effective planning and decision-making process designed for issues that require the expertise and support of an unusual variety of key stakeholders within a college or university - namely, the TLT Roundtable approach.
If you’re interested in thinking with us about these issues and how to address them, if you have relevant ideas or experiences, and if you want the experience of participating in a “fishbowl” TLTR, you’ll be welcome to join us for this three-session Symposium.  Registration is free for TLT Group Individual and Institutional Members.
Upcoming FridayLive!s...

What's Still Good about Lectures?
Friday March 2, 2:00 pm EDT....Free to all.
There's an App for That
Friday March 9, 2:00 pm EDT....Free to all.
Registration for March 9
Navigating the Technology Tsunami
Friday March 16, 2:00 pm EDT....Free to all.
Registration for March 16
 Online Institute
It Takes Librarians and Faculty: Using Project Information Literacy to Improve Student Research Skills 
Tuesdays, March 13 and 20, 2012
2:00 - 3:00pm EDT
Steven Bell, Temple University
The better our understanding of the process students go through in conducting academic research and their behavior as researchers, the better job we can do in helping them to become better researchers, better writers and more critical in their approaches to evaluating and synthesizing information. Whether you call it information literacy or research skill building, helping undergraduates and graduate students to become effective researchers is an outcome shared by librarians and faculty. In this workshop, led by Steven Bell of Temple University, the findings of research studies produced by Project Information Literacy will be used as a framework to enhance our knowledge of student research behaviors and explore strategies for helping them to strengthen those skills. Guests will include Dr. Michael Eisenberg, co-founder of Project Information Literacy (on March 13) and librarians who are using the Project Information Literacy findings to reach out to faculty for collaboratively advancing campus information literacy initiatives.
This workshop is free to TLT Group Individual Members.  Check your institution's status here if you have your membership through an institutional subscription.

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Encourage. Enable. Engage.


UBTech 2012: Unleash Your Inner Spielberg When Creating Online Lectures

Unleash Your Inner Spielberg When Creating Online Lectures

As online courses and lectures become a more common practice in higher ed, educators have looked for the best possible ways to engage their students online.
Brian Klaas of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath, spoke at EduComm 2011 and shared tips on online lecture capture that have been influenced by his background in theater.
“Online lectures are a simple reality of university life,” Klaas said. “How you tell a story is just as important as what the story is...think about directing, editing and presentation.”
While many professors use Microsoft Powerpoint, Klaas said it can lead to unengaged lectures.
“Powerpoint is a trap,” he said. “The basic template that we're given in Powerpoint is 'title and bullet points' and that's not effective information dissemination and there's a lot of problems with it...Our obligation as educations is to present a compelling story and to present it in a compelling way.”
To make slides more interesting, Klaas recommends using higher quality sound and music, create a quicker pace that's broken into segments and remove heavy charts and images for stronger focus.
“Slides should be there to re-enforce what you're saying, not be the be all, end all...less is more, it's more effective and help students get what they need out of it,” he said.
Klaas concluded he presentation by noting the strong results these techniques have yielded: “Once we really work with faculty and show them the direct benefit of these techniques...they can see that it has a direct, measurable impact on student satisfaction and learning outcomes and find that the time they put in is worth the reward that comes out of it.”
Conference Year:


Mediasite by Sonic Foundry FREE Webinar: Is room-based lecture capture better for 21st century learning?

Is room-based lecture capture better for 21st century learning?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 1pm, ET
In 2009, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business opened the doors to a new era of learning designed to enhance the digital culture that defines student life. Every room in the state-of-the-art 27,000 square foot building – from the large auditoriums to the intimate collaborative spaces – was equipped to support the most seamless use of integrated technologies while becoming a model of student learning efficiencies.
Now integral in every function of the school, room-based lecture capture technology is used not only for recording traditional classroom instruction, but also webcasting interviews with The New York Times, faculty panels and even recruitment with prospective students.
Join Sean Brown, vice president of education at Sonic Foundry, and his guest Edward Adams, chief technology officer at University of Michigan Ross School of Business, for an inside look at the decision-making process that helped the school get more faculty, classes and programs online faster with room-based video streaming.
The presenters will take your questions live, and discuss:
  • How to determine if a room-based webcasting solution for streaming video production and distribution is right for you?
  • Why now is the time to embrace digital media, recording everything from lecture capture and team projects to special events and panel discussions?
  • Ways to best support your school's internal processes by integrating lecture capture with existing technology infrastructure.
  • Why room-based lecture capture proves easier to use for faculty and other academic staff, and scales faster as a result?
  • What should a streamlined quickstart interface look like, what features should it include for faculty choice and control, and what impact does it have on AV support, staffing and training?
Who will benefit:
Chief information and technology officers, academic deans and department heads, IT directors, facility managers, instructional technologists. Anyone may attend.

Critical Insights. Timely Information. Free Registration
University Business
produces web seminars on topics of special interest to higher education leaders. Moderated by UB's Web Seminar Editor, JD Solomon, each web seminar features presentations by higher education leaders and industry experts. These online events are underwritten by our sponsors so that you may view them for free.
[image: Register Button]

Edward Adams - Chief Technology Officer, University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Sean Brown - Vice President of Education, Sonic Foundry.


Reminder: Columbia University Teachers College Workshop @ DU Today!

A Message from the Office of Student Affairs:
Columbia University Teachers College will host a graduate school workshop Tuesday, February 28, 2012. The workshop will take place on the campus of Dillard University in Kearny West Wing from 11:00a.m. -1:00 p.m. There will be current students, alumni, faculty members, and admission representatives present from Teachers College. All Dillard students, faculty, staff, and administration are invited to attend .


Dawn Holmes

Coordinator for Student Affairs

Dillard University

Student Union Bldg. Suite 240

2601 Gentilly Blvd.

New Orleans, La 70122

504.816.4685 (Office)

504.816.4885 (Fax)


Monday, February 27, 2012

Campus Technology: Faculty Project Offers Free Online Courses

Joshua Bolkan / 01/30/12

Udemy has launched the Faculty Project, a new Web site designed to offer free college-level learning to people from around the world.

The courses, available to students on demand, include discussion boards for interaction with other students and professors, videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, articles, and other resources. According to information on the project's Web site, "The content will be available for free, forever, to anyone who wishes to consume it."
The subjects covered were chosen by the faculty members teaching them. They include:
"We couldn't be more proud of the educators that have agreed to participate in this truly unique endeavor. Each is participating without pay, simply because they are interested in bringing knowledge to the global community," said Tim Parks, director of The Faculty Project. "Their knowledge, teaching skills, and passion for their respective subjects are truly exceptional."
"This project creates an incredible and unprecedented opportunity to share lessons that empower and inspire people to improve their lives and change their worlds," said Glenn Katz of Stanford University's Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and educational solutions specialist at Autodesk. "The Faculty Project brings together a critical mass of educators and topics that will help prove the effectiveness and demonstrate the value of this new learning approach, while providing valuable feedback and insights about how to enhance and continue improving it."

More information is available at


May 21-23, 2012 San Antonio, TX



LaPrensa: 2012 U-M Women of Color Task Force (WCTF) Conference: 30 Years of Leadership, Legacy, and Change
DATE: Friday, March 2, 2012, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

 EVENT: The WCTF annual conference is the largest professional development event at the University of Michigan and will take place on Friday, March 2, 2012 from 8:00 to 5:00 pm. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Art. The conference will include thirty-six (36) workshop sessions, a networking luncheon, and a vendor marketplace featuring local businesses. The workshop sessions will offer insight in topics such as professional & leadership development, leadership, work-life balance/personal development, and financial education. On average, more than 600 women and men attend the conference.

Dr. Cole is the immediate past president of Bennett College, Greensboro, NC and was the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College, Atlanta, GA. The topic of her speech will be “The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion in American Higher Education.”

This event is open to the public, but registration is required. You many register online at or onsite the morning of the conference.
U-M Staff, Faculty and non-U-M Attendees: $100.00. U-M Students and U-M Retirees: $60.00 (Please visit our website for more registration information).
LOCATION: Michigan League, Rackham Auditorium, and the Modern Languages Building
Central Campus map:

U-M SPONSORS: Center for the Education of Women (CEW), University Human Resources, U-M Health System Human Resources Office, Office of the Provost.

CORPORATE SPONSOR: TIAA – CREF (Platinum – Plus Level)

WEB LINKS: for more information about the WCTF and CEW’s programs, see:


Tomorrows-Professor Digest, Vol 61, Issue 5: The Power of Mindful Teaching

Working up five presentations for my September trip to Saudi Arabia in a few short weeks posed a challenge both exciting and daunting. In hope of saying somethings other than the usual tired, if valuable, thinking on the topics I?d been given, I started to review material I?d found especially exciting and thought provoking. So, I picked up my copy of Ellen J. Langer?s The Power of Mindful Learning (1997) and thought that skimming through my extensive underlinings would surely guide me toward some fresh ideas about ?critical thinking? and ?effective teaching.?

That didn?t work. Langer writes so fluidly and engagingly that I couldn?t stick to my underlining. By noon I?d reread half the book and emailed Langer saying, ?I?m not sure just what the focus might be at the moment, but I?d like the chance to interview you again. Your books ignite fireworks in my brain.? I?d interviewed Langer once before in 2003 after first reading The Power of Mindful Learning and then eagerly reading her earlier book, Mindfulness (1989). After a couple of email exchanges and one short phone call, we set a date for a longer conversation after my return from Riyadh.

Langer, the first tenured woman professor of psychology at Harvard, does a lot of interviews. Her thinking, her research, have more than begun to reach a popular audience. A movie starring Jennifer Aniston (as Langer) about some of her most provocative research showing the power of the mind?s assumptions over the realities we experience is in development. When I tell her how much I admire her books and how stimulating to my own thinking they have been, she laughs and thanks me saying, ?flattery is always welcome.? She?s being what I would call happily ironic. One of what she calls the ?one-liners? through which she encapsulates some aspects of her brand of ?mindfulness? is: ?If you don?t take the compliment, you?re not vulnerable to the insult.? She does take the compliment of course, but only as something pleasant, not as proof of anything. That?s what I mean by ?happily? ironic. Langer?s skeptical detachment from common ways of looking at things has nothing cynical, nothing negative about it. She sees?and study after study she and collaborators have conducted confirms?positive possibility in simply embracing the uncertainty that embraces us and in continually questioning the implied answers and choices that automatic (or as she calls it, ?mindless?) thinking commonly pushes us toward. For good reason many regard her as the mother of the positive psychology brought to prominence by Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness.

So, what?s your bottom line?? Langer asks me as we begin to talk. I tell her that I suppose if I had to boil it down it would be something like ?the power of mindful teaching.? Her book on mindful learning had debunked or at least seriously brought into question the validity of a number of myths about learning. For example, that

? the basics must be learned so well that they become second nature

? paying attention means staying focused on one thing at a time

? delaying gratification is important

? rote memorization is necessary in education

? forgetting is a problem

? intelligence is knowing ?what?s out there,? and especially that

? there are right and wrong answers

I'd written about this before (NTLF 12/2) and most of the faculty I knew still bridled at the notion that most of these ideas weren?t more fact than myth. Still, the conversation about teaching has been changing. The effectiveness of various pedagogies other than traditional lecture and fact-focused learning has begun to open up faculty thinking about the possibilities for increasing student learning. If confronting sacred bovine commonplaces had bruised faculty thinking, perhaps talking about some fundamental processes of mindfulness as they might improve teaching could offer the new health that college teaching is longing for.

The Central Myth in Teaching
Most all of us approach teaching with a variety of assumptions both about learning and about its compliment, teaching. Some of these, as experience shows, prove ill-founded, but it?s often hard to resist commonplace, automatic thinking. In part because it is so commonplace, we see it as true without thinking about it. I asked Langer which of these common assumptions looming over teaching she found the most difficult to confront.

I think it?s the simple notion of fact,? she replied, ?for people not to realize that facts are situated understandings that a particular group of people have at a particular time, and that when you add back in this person notion, then people recognize that, well, the facts might have changed, and that at the same time, if other people had been considering the situation, they might have come up with something quite different.?

Langer likes to illustrate her points with stories from her personal experience, stories that model mindfulness in operation and show how homely and yet profoundly liberating this habit of mind, of simply reflecting on experience rather simply accepting it unthinkingly, can be. To illustrate her point about ?facts,? she recounts being at a horse event with a friend who asked her to look after his horse while he went to get the horse a hot dog. ?Horses don?t eat meat,? she thought, ?period.? The idea ?flew in the face of the facts,? she thought. But then the owner returned with a hot dog and the horse ate it eagerly.

And so the ?fact? was wrong at least today in this context, and that prompted lots of questions in Langer?s mind. ?Which horses [hadn?t eaten meat]? When? How hungry were the horses? What kind of horses? [There are] a bunch of questions,? she says, ?that once we ask them, we see that this information we?ve been given is probably probabilistic. Indeed, research only gives us probabilities and we transform those probabilities into absolute facts. When you know something is absolute then there?s no reason to think about it anymore. But when you know something in this conditional way, then it almost primes thinking of counter instances. There are hidden decisions that go into any research program ? What breed of horse? What kind of hot dog??and once you reveal these hidden decisions, you begin to see how situated and contextual what we accept as facts actually are. One of the cultural myths is a belief in the absolute nature of science, but science itself is based on probability.

Probability, Possibility, and Engagement
It's this quality of engagement from students higher education has been talking about wanting to cultivate, but has done with mixed results. Perhaps the primary limiting factors have been attitudes toward certainty on the one hand and uncertainty on the other. Students often find uncertainty fearful and threatening. And faculty feel enormous pressure to convey accepted understandings. Langer believes real learning gets lost somewhere in between. She sees uncertainty not as fearful, but as an inviting canvas of possibility, a learning adventure waiting to be had (as well as a fundamentally honest appraisal of our existential condition). But how might faculty get there without appearing not to know what students expect them to know and without frightening students with such fluid notions of how protean knowing and knowledge can be?

To go back to your original question,? Langer continues, ??How do you get a teacher steeped in these myths to teach more mindfully?? One way would be for the teacher to begin most of his or her sentences with ?In my view? or ?From one perspective.? By doing that they make clear to themselves that this information is situated, which means it?s true sometimes but not in all contexts and certainly not necessarily over time. And it also sets the student up with the same understanding.?

In essence a mindful approach invites students to the party. It tacitly conveys an honest picture of the known and the unknown that implies respect for students as fellow (if somewhat junior) learners in an ongoing saga of inquiry. Indeed, real learning is always a shared inquiry, not a top down delivery of information. The insights often go both ways. While beginning sentences with a conditional touch fully reflects Langer?s thinking, she picked up the specific habit from a student:

I actually had a graduate student about 20 years ago who, in our lab meetings, would begin almost every sentence with ?In my view? and I thought ?Gee, that?s charming.? And when you do that even if you are vehemently disagreeing with somebody it doesn?t have any harshness.?

But Then There's Grading
Teaching, mindful or not, will never be easy, and mindful grading may be the most painful part of it. ?For me, from the beginning, it was the most painful thing. I would read their papers and based on information in a sense?that is, a sense that this is an A, this is a B and so on? [I?d come to one assessment], and then I?d read them again and think ?Well, for the student, this is an A,? and then reading them again I would think that this person is going to be devastated and not really helped with this particular grade and so on. I prefer giving qualitative responses rather than grades.

Now I do this thing in my seminar where they write a short paper every other week and rather than a grade or words that are easy to translate into a grade I give them qualitative comments. But grading is always hard for me. When The Power of Mindful Learning came out, it would happen that a student would raise his hand and say ?Are you going to give us a final?? because on page whatever I make the point . . ., and I say to them that I agree completely, that there is something lacking in the system that requires this, but I can?t fight all battles. ?So, yes, I am going to give a final and grade you. I can?t imagine that any of you are going to fail, but . . . .?

I think that if we change the whole business of the way we teach, [grading] would be less of an issue. Right now we start off with the notion of limited resources. If you have limited resources then you have to figure out how to divvy up the ones you have. Whereas resources really aren?t limited. Everybody can win. Then with that there?s less need to define people?A students, B students, and so on.?

While the system currently requires grades, it doesn?t require unmindful teaching, Langer believes. ?If one is engaged in mindful teaching, so that it?s conditional, it allows the C, D, B, and A student each to go with the information in a way that is personally relevant. So if I say to you ?One cause of the Civil War was X? rather than ?The cause of the Civil War was X,? the A student is going to come up with many different possibilities, the B student maybe fewer, and so on; so teaching mindfully can encourage thinking and growth. It?s when you?re teaching these absolutes that some people know and some people don?t you?re going to be boring the people who already know. But if you are not teaching facts as absolute truths, then you don?t have that problem in the first place.?

In short, mindful teaching engages everybody or at least invites everybody to become engaged.

More Reasons for Hope
Things are always changing, says Langer, and while that means in some ways things are always uncertain, it?s our mindsets, she?s found, that cause us to see this flux at times as fearful. She?s optimistic about the future of education. ?I think that it?s going to evolve in spite of (it would be nice if it were because of) but in spite of the current modes of education because of the computer. Today?s kids are learning and having fun with what they are learning and being creative in ways that they are not getting and never did get from the classroom.?

Moreover, today they see more color and difference in the world, she says: ?Part of this evolution as I see it comes from [a growing awareness of diversity]. Years ago in this country we had White Supremacy, and then at some point in the ?60s we had Black is Beautiful, and then all of a sudden we realize there are Latinos, and so on. And then what happens? Because the world is so much smaller now, we see whole countries behaving differently than we do, which means that there are choices. And so I think that is one of the countervailing forces against the mindless education that so many of us have had and perpetrate.