GoogleGlass in the Classroom


We’ve had a GoogleGlass in CODEC since the summer, but it’s not been used to much acclaim by the team, but this is an interesting experiment where it seems to be contributing to university teaching:

Academics exploring uses of the device’s in-built camera unexpectedly found that wearing the head-mounted display broke down barriers between staff and students.

“There was a coolness factor that I really appreciated and, in a way, I felt it brought me closer to my students,” said Adina Dudau, a lecturer in management.

Dr Dudau has been using Google Glass to record the classroom contributions of students, initially for research purposes, but the next step could be to use the camera to aid assessment of seminar contributions.

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Lifelong Learning: Are Libraries the Key?

Academic libraries cannot do everything. They rely on their universities’ explicit support and resources – but the investment is smart. Universities rely on alumni to be their ambassadors, and the provision of services that keep them connected both generates goodwill and equips them to be more effective on behalf of their alma mater. The ivory towers are imaginary: the academy cannot separate itself from the fate of its local community, its alumni, or wider society. “The library is the heart of the university” is the inscription that greets visitors to our main library. Increasingly, we hope, it will also beat strongly for lifelong learners in our hometown, among our alumni, and in the global community.

Read full story, especially encouraging is the idea that we continue community/relationship with people who have attended university, but also the local community – as Universities are battered on all sides, we have to think differently about how we demonstrate relevance.


Compromising higher learning, measure for reified measure

The idea that measurement brings certainty persists. One example is the quantification of the contact hours students have with teachers under the new dispensation in which higher education is cast as a quasi-privatised investment. Contact is important, but the quantifying of hours occludes the more serious issues: the quality of contact, and what we want from it.

The university, however, is not a marketplace where individuals come to account for or to buy time; it is precisely a mode of being together, of seeking communities and forging shared futures; and these are immune from measurement, but open to questions of quality. That is the point of contact: connectedness with each other, not econometric clock-watching. Even the Cowles Foundation, now at Yale University, no longer believes that science is measurement. Nor should we.

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Feel the Rush @timeshighered

Incisive debate on contemporary issues is curtailed by the glacial pace of academic publishing, argues Tim Luckhurst. Adopting new journalistic models would inject vitality into academics’ work

As a journalist, I learned a lesson that many academics consider not just counter-intuitive but heretical: if a job is worth doing it is often worth doing fast. If the job is very important, it may be necessary to complete it at supersonic velocity.

To an editor in national news or current affairs this is axiomatic. The duties to inform the public and beat the opposition are pressing. Good journalists dare not imagine that their obligations to accuracy and fairness permit them to delay publication. Quality and speed must be partners, not antagonists.

It is daunting to begin the day staring at the empty flatplan of an 80-page newspaper. But every editor knows that a professional team will fill it with eloquent, informative news, comment and analysis. And, if an important story breaks late in the day, they will pull the pages apart and start afresh.

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