ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week


-- SLOAN International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks

DATE: 12-14 November, Orlando, Florida

For more information, visit the conference Web site:

SLOAN Conference


--Exploring the Use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in the Higher Education Sector

What learning actually takes place while blogging? Read the article:


This is a 16-page PDF file

Service Learning / Civic Engagement

--Governing: State and Local Sourcebook Online Supplement

Links to home pages for states, legislatures, major counties and cities, national associations and research organizations, and topical links for such issues as land use, public safety, waste management, etc. In fact, as I've mentioned before, the entire Governing web site is a treasure for anyone concerned with making government work.


This link acquired courtesy of Neat New Stuff I Found This Week
New Stuff
Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2004.


--Labor Force Projections

Job projections for the near future.

Labor Force Projections

This is an 18-page PDF file.

--Buying Books Online Has Its Ups and Downs

The pros and cons of students purchasing class texts online.

Buying Books Online…

--You Should Work for Google

This article outlines the variety of jobs performed at, a progressive, cutting edge employer.

You Should Work for Google



This is a resource on disability issues. A free newsletter is available.


--Freedom Machines

Freedom Machines takes a new look at disability through the lens of assistive technology. The experiences of a group of unforgettable people let us re-examine ideas about ability and disability grounded in our culture and attitudes. Engineers, designers and users challenge barriers inherent in our built environments, and reveal the gap between the promises of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and everyday reality for 54 million Americans with disabilities. Whether mainstream technology or extraordinary inventions such as stair-climbing wheelchairs, Freedom Machines reveals both the power and limitations of technology to change lives.

Freedom Machines

Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century

--Achieving Necessary Skills

This is a synopsis of the report from the Secretary of Labor’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) . The report is available for purchase.

Achieving Necessary Skills

-- Building a Nation of Learners

This article presents the global challenge of education.

Building a Nation of Learners

This is a 40-page PDF file.
-- Labor Projections and Technical-Vocational Education

This report addresses technical and vocational college curriculae.

Labor Projections

This is a 51-page PDF file.

--Nonprofit Organization to Collect, Distribute Online Courses

The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, a nonprofit
organization based in California, will use a $1.5 million grant from
the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to build a collection of
online course content called the National Repository of Online Courses.
Developing content for online courses can be an expensive undertaking,
and some institutions are making their online course materials
available for others to use. The Monterey Institute will work to
collect such materials, modifying them where necessary, and making them
available to higher education as well as to high schools that want to
provide online Advanced Placement courses. Institutions that can pay
for the content they receive will be asked to contribute to help the
institute break even, according to Gary Lopez, executive director, but
the prices will be as low as possible. Lopez said that community
colleges, which often lack the resources to develop online course
content, are likely to be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the

This article appears in the Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 September 2004 (subscription required).

Online Courses

I acquired this link from EDUPAGE, 8 September.


--Ten Efficient Strategies for Online Learning

The title says it all.


--Stress, Frustration, and Learning in the College Classroom

This article addresses the complex dynamic of emotions in the college classroom.

Stress...College Classroom

--Integrating Critical Thinking into the Online Classroom

Discussion on how critical thinking can be applied in an online medium.

Integrating Critical Thinking…Classroom

--ERIC Database

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces the world’s premier database of journal and non-journal education literature. The new ERIC online system, released September 2004, provides the public with a centralized ERIC Web site for searching the ERIC bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966. Effective October 1, more than 107,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2004), previously available through fee-based services only, will be available for free.


ERIC Database


--Useful and Little-Known Applications of Adobe Acrobat 5.0

I don’t know about you, but I am using PDF files more and more in my classes, which means I have had to learn some of the intricacies of Adobe Acrobat. This article is a good primer on the use of this utility.

Adobe Acrobat

This is a 6-page PDF file.


TiVo's overriding philosophy is that everyone, no matter how busy, deserves to enjoy the home entertainment of their choosing, at their convenience," said TiVo CEO and co-founder Mike Ramsay. "People have lots of interests. TiVo lets you go out and live your life AND pursue those interests because it connects you to entertainment - to the content you care about, when you want it...


--Bookmarklet to Combat Password Woes

Having trouble keeping track of all your passwords? Well, this utility can help you out: Password Generator Bookmarket, created by Nic Wolff at 43 Folders.

How it works: {A} bookmarklet pops up a JavaScript prompt box asking for your "master" password, then MD5s it against the domain password, then MD5s it against the domain of the current login page and inserts the resulting hash in to any password fields on the page. A single password can be used for dozens of sites without any risk of a compromise of one account affecting the others.

Try it:

Password Generator Bookmarklet

--Synchronous Collaboration Tools for the Academic World

This is an audio file from Rome, Italy. In English

Synchronous Collaboration Tools


Want to play around with fonts? This utility is for you.


Web Design / Development

--Web Style Guide, 2nd Edition

In 160 pages of expert instruction, authors Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton put the essence of the Yale University Center for Advanced Instructional Media's wonderful online site design guide into print.

--Web Design

This article addresses the need for a partnership between designer and user.

Web Design

Web Style Guide

--Universal Design Principles

The authors, a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers, collaborated to establish the following Principles of Universal Design to guide a wide range of design disciplines including environments, products, and communications. These seven principles may be applied to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.

Universal Design Principles

Library Science Knowledge Management

--Library-User Patterns in the Electronic Environment

There may be fewer people in your library these days but it doesn't mean they're not using it. "Results from the Web-based surveys showed that at the four academic health sciences libraries, there were approximately four remote networked electronic services users for each in-house user.

Library-User Patterns

This link acquired courtesy of Neat New Stuff I Found This Week
Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2004.

--Digital Librarian Building Blocks

This site, from the California Digital Library provides software, best practices, and other tools to facilitate digital library operations.

Buidling Blocks

Blog Grab Bag


EarthScope is a bold undertaking to apply modern observational, analytical and telecommunications technologies to investigate the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the physical processes controlling earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

EarthScope will provide a foundation for fundamental and applied research throughout the United States that will contribute to the mitigation of risks from geological hazards, the development of natural resources, and the public’s understanding of the dynamic Earth.



Wattstax, the 1973 documentary directed by Mel Stuart. Background: In August 1972, seven years after the Watts riots, the legendary Stax recording label staged a benefit concert in Los Angeles for 90,000 people. As time went by, it became known as the Black Woodstock and is considered a cult classic.


--Nineteenth-Century English Novel

This is a companion Web site for a college-level course.

Nineteenth-Century English Novel

--Tall Buildings: The Museum of Modern Art

This is a macromedia presentation of the MOMA exhibition.

Tall Buildings

--How Do We Prepare for a World Without Cheap Oil?

This article is from Working Knowledge, Harvard Business School.

…World Without Cheap Oil

--WPS1: Art Radio

WPS1 presents a daily, 24-hour stream of music, talk and historic spoken-word programs focusing on contemporary art, music and literature from around the world. Censor-free.

Art Radio

--Monthly Labor Review Online

This publication is designed to brief readers on the latest and most important labor market information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Monthly Labor Review


Mute: Mute Magazine was founded in 1994* to discuss the interrelationship of art and new technologies. Together with the web platform Metamute, it now contributes more broadly to debates on culture, politics and globaliation. In 2001, Mute initiated sister projects OpenMute and YouAreHere to share the internet tools and knowledge associated with its own development (OpenMute), and to support local networking initiatives in the East End of London (YouAreHere). At this point, Mute also committed itself over the longer term to a participative working model*, the principles of open organizations, and free software.


--Refugee Republic

Refugee Republic is a concept based on the ever increasing number of refugees, displaced persons and migrants. Refugee Republic is attempting to address the problem associated with this condition.

Refugee Republic

--Psychology Resources

Resources for college-level psychology classrooms.

Psychology Resources

--The Age of the Essay

This is one person’s perspective on what makes a good essay.

The Age of the Essay

--Physical Education Resources

Resources for physical education instructors.

Physical Education Resources

Until next week.

Blog editor


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