Week of 10/12

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As we return from what has hopefully been a restful fall break, we’ll turn our attention to education and data reform. We’ll also begin hearing—and seeing—the work of classmates in the pecha-kucha presentations.

Wednesday, October 15

The reading for today is a think-tank piece about how big data and analytics can/will change the way colleges do assessment. I’ll ask you to reflect on your own experiences with the datafied education system, which undoubtedly included lots of standardized testing and preparation for the same. We’ll also talk about proper citation practices for your multimodal blog essays.

Friday, October 17

Today, your classmates will begin presenting their pecha-kuchas to the class. You should come ready to listen attentively and to ask question that push the class’s conversation forward. Presenters should email (or otherwise share) their Powerpoint presentations with me before class—things will go smoothly if everyone presents from  the main classroom computer. Each presenter will have around 10 minutes—6:40 for the p-k, and about 3 minutes for questions and answers.

Potentially Interesting Links/Resources
  • Relevant to our discussion of education and data: an article arguing that contrary to conventional wisdom, American public schools are better than they’ve ever been.
  • We’re all used to hearing that Wikipedia is a no-no when it comes to classroom research and writing. This article argues on the contrary that it can be a great teaching and learning tool.
  • Data-journalism guru Nate Silver argues for some of the qualities that makes for a good infographic. The piece includes examples of strong infographics, such as this one about famous writers’ sleep habits and productivity. A selection:

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