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Saturday, April 21, 2012

TLT - SWG: "...e-books and nonlinearity don’t turn out to be very compatible."

Posted: 18 Apr 2012 11:28 AM PDT

"It's no wonder that the rise of e-reading has revived two words for classical-era reading technologies: scroll and tablet. That's the kind of reading [linear] you do in an e-book."

Excerpts above and below from "The Mechanic Muse — From Scroll to Screen" by Lev Grossman,, September 2, 2011; "A version of this article also appeared in print on September 4, 2011, on page BR13 of the New York Times Sunday Book Review with the headline: From Scroll to Screen."

This article provides an intriguing micro-history of reading formats: from scrolls and tablets to books (codexes?) to e-books? I esp. recommend the first image titled "THE READING DEVICE: A SHORT HISTORY" which nicely illustrates some of the article's main points.
Full disclosure: I stumbled on this article when I was looking for more info about "Fillory" - the doubly fictitious world introduced in Lev Grossman's fantasy novel The Magicians, which I'm happily reading this week.
"Scrolls were the prestige format, used for important works only: sacred texts, legal documents, history, literature. To compile a shopping list or do their algebra, citizens of the ancient world wrote on wax-covered wooden tablets using the pointy end of a stick called a stylus. Tablets were for disposable text ... At some point someone had the very clever idea of stringing a few tablets together in a bundle. Eventually the bundled tablets were replaced with leaves of parchment and thus, probably, was born the codex.

"... the codex was a powerful form of information technology — compact, highly portable and easily concealable. It was also cheap — you could write on both sides of the pages, which saved paper — and it could hold more words than a scroll. The Bible was a long book.
"...With a codex, for the first time, you could jump to any point in a text instantly, nonlinearly. You could flip back and forth between two pages and even study them both at once. You could cross-check passages and compare them and bookmark them. You could skim if you were bored, and jump back to reread your favorite parts. It was the paper equivalent of random-access memory, and it must have been almost supernaturally empowering. With a scroll you could only trudge through texts the long way, linearly.
"...Over the next few centuries the codex rendered the scroll all but obsolete.
"...Over the first quarter of this year e-book sales were up 160 percent. Print sales — codex sales — were down 9 percent.
"...On the one hand, the e-book is far more compact and portable than the codex, almost absurdly so. E-books are also searchable, and they're green, or greenish anyway
"...But so far the great e-book debate has barely touched on the most important feature that the codex introduced: the nonlinear reading that so impressed St. Augustine.
"...We usually associate digital technology with nonlinearity, the forking paths that Web surfers beat through the Internet's underbrush as they click from link to link. But e-books and nonlinearity don't turn out to be very compatible. Trying to jump from place to place in a long document like a novel is painfully awkward on an e-reader, like trying to play the piano with numb fingers. You either creep through the book incrementally, page by page, or leap wildly from point to point and search term to search term. It's no wonder that the rise of e-reading has revived two words for classical-era reading technologies: scroll and tablet. That's the kind of reading you do in an e-book."
IMAGE selected by Steve Gilbert 20120418
Photo "Self portrait for LinkedIN profile picture. SteveMann with EyeTap" Date 29 March 2004 ...Author Glogger

By Glogger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons


EduDemic: 25 Ways To Use iPads In The Classroom by Degree of Difficulty


Posted: 18 Apr 2012 11:47 AM PDT
So you've got one or a few iPads that you want to use in the classroom. You could visit the Apple App Store's education section and peruse the many offerings... do some Google searches to figure out what's good... or just use this print-friendly image below to get started!
Posted: 18 Apr 2012 07:20 AM PDT
We're chomping at the bit to get our grimy little hands on the new Google Drive. We wrote about it in our March issue of the Edudemic Magazine, featured it a couple weeks ago, and now want to start figuring out how the basically-real tool will help teachers around the planet.


Complimentary Webinar: Math Curriculum Redesign Powered by Super Adaptive Technology

Kent State University
Math Curriculum Redesign Powered by Super Adaptive Technology
Despite the widespread use of technology in math departments, many institutions across the country still struggle with poor outcomes. Therefore, many of these schools are looking to redesign their math curriculum to address these issues.

Research has shown that ACT scores, as well as other common methods of math placement often result in over- or under-placement of incoming students, resulting in high failure and drop rates.
Furthermore, current so called "adaptive" technology used widely in math departments today hasn't delivered on the promise of significantly improved outcomes. Kent State University has taken a fresh approach, using super adaptive technology to make significant improvements in placement accuracy and course completion rates in mathematics.

In this web seminar, Andrew Tonge, Department Chair of Mathematics at Kent State will discuss the institution’s decision to redesign their placement and math curriculum and how the change has yielded impressive improvements in student placement and retention.

Web Seminar Presented by: Andrew Tonge, Department Chair of Mathematics at Kent State University

Join us!


ExLibris [Webinar] Part 3 of the Advanced Discover Series!

The Advanced Discovery Series is off to a great start after the last two webinars, "Meeting User Needs at the TUG Consotrium" and "Personalized Ranking with ScholarRank".
Episode 3: Web 2.0 User Experience at the University of Utah Marriott Library
In the third session of this series you'll hear from the Ido Peled, Product Manager, and the University of Utah's Marriott Library as they discuss their experience creating a web 2.0 experience for their users through Primo.
  • Tuesday, April 24th at 12pm EDT (New York/Boston) (GMT -04:00) Click here to register
Should you be unable to attend the live events, by registering, you will receive the link to the recording shortly after the events take place.
If you have any questions, please contact
Ex Libris North America


Faculty Participation Dillard University Baccalaureate and Commencement Exercises May 4th & 5th 2012


FROM: Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Ph.D. Provost

RE: Baccalaureate and Commencement Exercises

DATE: April 18, 2012

The 2012 Baccalaureate and Commencement Exercises will be held Friday, May 04, 2012, at 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, May 05, 2012, at 8:00 a.m., respectively, on the Avenue of the Oaks. Actor Hill Harper, a star of “CSI: NY” for the past eight seasons, will give the commencement address. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Harper has appeared in numerous TV shows and feature films, and authored four books, including Letters to a Young Brother, The Conversation: How Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships, and The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place. He has won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series three times for his portrayal of Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on “CSI: NY.” In 2006, he created the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, a non-profit that works with at-risk teens across the country.

As you are aware, participation in institutional ceremonies is a primary obligation of full-time faculty members at Dillard University; and, as a result, all full-time faculty are required to be in attendance. Should a personal emergency arise that would interfere with attendance at these ceremonies, faculty should contact me directly.

The faculty will assemble in academic regalia for both ceremonies in front of Stern Hall. The Faculty Marshals will arrange the order of the processions 15 minutes prior to the procession and will lead faculty and staff members to their reserved seats. The processions will begin promptly at 5:50 p.m., and 7:50 a.m., respectively.


In the RECESSIONALS, the platform party will proceed followed by the faculty, staff, and then the seniors. Males should remove their caps prior to the invocation and place them on their heads just before marching out, after the benediction.

Dark colors are required for all participants in the academic processions. Please consider keeping accessories to a minimum with your academic regalia.

EduDemic: Must See: A New Web 2.0 App Store Just For Educators

Must See: A New Web 2.0 App Store Just For Educators
Posted: 19 Apr 2012 05:55 AM PDT

If you're like me, you're always looking around for a new way to discover educational web 2.0 tools. Sure, Edudemic does a solid job of keeping you abreast of what's new, fun, and happenin' in the world of education technology... but we're no app store. Lucky for you (and us), there now is an edtech app store! Well, it's more like an app directory but you get the point.

Share/Bookmark Teach and Learn Anything FREE!


Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Panel Discussion: Enlightened Leadership, Favorable Culture Key Campus Factors for Minority Undergraduate STEM Success

Diverse Issues in Higher Education
April 19, 2012
Panel Discussion: Enlightened Leadership, Favorable Culture Key Campus Factors for Minority Undergraduate STEM Success
by Jamaal Abdul-Alim
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To diversify the pool of America’s STEM field graduates, faculty members and administrators should reexamine their teaching practices and assume a posture where they expect underrepresented minority students to graduate rather than fail.
That was one of the major institutional changes recommended Wednesday at a panel discussion titled “Bridging the Gap: STEM Diversity and U.S. Higher Education, Recruiting, Retaining and Reinvigorating College STEM Programs.”
Panelists heavily criticized institutions that adopt practices meant to “weed out” students from the STEM fields.
Dr. S. James Gates, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Undergraduate STEM Education, said colleges and universities should take an approach more in line with the military’s approach of “we will not leave our people behind.”
"If we can get that inculcated in our institutions more broadly, I think it will make an enormous difference,” Gates said.
Dr. Mary Frank Fox, co-director of the Center for the Study of Women, Science & Technology at Georgia Institute of Technology, also took aim at the “weed-them-out” approach.
“That is not a hospitable climate for students,” Fox said. “Let’s teach students to move along rather than have them sink or swim.”
Acknowledging that some professors find merit in trying to weed students out, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and creator of the award-winning Meyerhoff Scholars Program, stressed the benefits of collaborative work over individualism.
When asked by a Duke University professor what he thought about the “culture of the curve,” Hrabowski suggested that Duke study the group work approach espoused at UMBC.
He said what UMBC has found is that if faculty grade by the curve, it dissuades more knowledgeable students from helping less knowledgeable students because they believe it will hurt their chances of getting a higher grade.
“This is what keeps people from working together and makes things much more cutthroat,” Hrabowski said. In lieu of the curve, Hrabowski recommended grading by a common set of standards.
Wednesday’s discussion was moderated by Dr. Mae C. Jemison, a scientist, physician, chemical engineer, college professor who is best known as the first African-American woman in space.
Jemison challenged the notion that STEM field diversity is strictly a matter of numbers or that its merit should be based on the need to foster more American competitiveness and prosperity.
“I think very few children are going to choose to pursue and complete STEM studies because it’s going to make our country more competitive in the long run,” Jemison said. “They choose STEM fields because it excites them, it’s challenging, it’s about creativity, imagination, they love the fields no matter what.”
Jemison said diversity is important to broaden the perspective of how science is used to benefit humanity, but something is happening at the postsecondary level where students who gravitate toward STEM fields do not graduate with a STEM degree.
Gates, the physics professor, said the top reasons why students abandon STEM majors is because of lack of academic engagement by professors, particularly in research, and weakness in mathematics instruction at the K-12 level.
Along those lines, the event’s sponsor, the Bayer Corporation, released a new report titled “Planting the Seeds for a Diverse U.S. STEM Pipeline: A Compendium of Best Practice K-12 STEM Education Programs.”
Dr. David Seybert, Dean of the Bayer School for Natural and Environmental Sciences at Duquesne University, said faculty at his school used to blame the lack of academic preparedness on high schools and middle schools.
But in recent years, he said, there’s been a “culture change” where faculty have become much more actively engaged with middle and high schools.
“There’s an increasing recognition that we have to be part of the pipeline solutions,” Seybert said.
Dr. A. James Hicks, Program Director at the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program at the National Science Foundation, touted the “alliance concept” espoused by the program he oversees.
Hicks said the alliances within LSAMP involve citywide or statewide networks that include community colleges, HBCUs, research institutions and various governmental agencies.
“We believe it takes all of these focuses to come together to make for an outstanding student,” Hicks said.
Dr. Ran, Libeskind-Hadas, chair of the Department of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College, shared a practice his college adopted where less knowledgeable students are grouped to take the introductory course in computer science by themselves to mitigate against feelings of embarrassment being among more knowledgeable students.
By instituting this practice, he said, less prepared students have persisted in taking higher level courses at similar rates as better prepared students.
Panelists agreed that while institutional change can be hard to bring about, faculty buy-in is a key ingredient.
“A lot of it has to do with faculty commitment,” said Dr. Clemencia Cosentino de Cohen, senior research at Mathematica Policy Research, and an evaluator of the LSAMP program.
All of the panelists rejected a suggestion by Jemison that faculty members’ research money be contingent upon how well they do of graduating more minority students in STEM.
Hrabowski, of UMBC, said in academe “you don’t make anyone do anything,” but that incentives, such as recognition and visibility, could be put in place to reward faculty who make headway in graduating more minority students in STEM fields.