Twitter can improve student performance, study says

Twitter can play role in higher attainment and better engagement, study finds. Sarah Cunnane reports The sight of students fiddling with their mobile phones and laptops as they tweet their way through lectures is enough to drive many academics up the wall. But according to a study at Lock Haven University in the US, tweeting could be used to improve academic performance. Rey Junco, associate professor in the department of academic development and counselling, assessed…

‘Too Detailed and Prescriptive’

Experts have raised "serious concerns" about new requirements for lecturer training. The proposals, set out by the Higher Education Academy, are "too detailed and prescriptive" and could be counterproductive, staff in the field have warned. Plans to revise the UK Professional Standards Framework were published by the HEA in November after the Browne Review called for teaching qualifications to be made compulsory for new academics. The framework, which was first published in 2006, is used…

Revealing Footnotes (the kind of history I love)

What do your shoes say about you? More than you think, says Caroline Knowles. They hint at your class, job, where you live and even how you spend your leisure time Manolo Blahnik or Christian Louboutin? Most workers in higher education can afford neither make of shoe. But that's the point. Shoes reveal tantalising information about how the social world works, so why do sociologists, anthropologists and historians show so little interest in them? The…

The ‘Mickey Mouse’ that roared: media studies takes on its critics

Media studies has long been cast as the classic "Mickey Mouse" subject. Now, at a time of widespread cuts in the academy, scholars in the field have launched A Manifesto for Media Education, a web-based project designed to fight their corner. "We hope to achieve greater clarity about our subject," explained Jon Wardle, director of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University. "Should media education be about serving the jobs market, reflecting…

ARE you in need of "BlackBerry" Botox?

The latest finding from beauty experts is that squinting for hours at a smartphone causes premature frown lines. It seems e-addiction is now damaging our bodies as well as our minds. We live in an "always-on" culture and that means relying on iPhones and BlackBerries to enable us to communicate and compete. But the Stress Management Society warns that our brains are not wired to cope with the demands of a digital age; people are…
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