ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week:

Mobile Technology in Education

--Mobile Learning Attracts High School Students

Mobile Learning Attracts High School Students

This is from Distance, 20 September 2004.



Read the introduction to this site:

How much do we really know about how people read news websites? We can track their behavior clicking through a site visit. We can collect personal information. We can ask them questions. But that presents a small part of the full picture. To get the rest, we need to climb inside their heads and look through their eyes as they view online news sites -- to peer into their minds and see patterns that even they don't consciously see.


--Less is More for University Web Sites

Many university websites are poorly organized, and filled with out-of-date content that has been directly published from print. Delivering a better service to students and staff faces challenges because of decentralized management structures and concepts such as academic freedom.

Less is More

This is from New Thinking, 20 September 2004.

Gaming in Education

--Games Blur News and Entertainment

Some game developers are trying to get players to expand their horizons by reflecting on news events in computer games.

Games Blur News and Entertainment


--Mozilla E-mail Software Available

Mozilla, an open source community of developers and testers, has released the latest edition of their E-mail software.


--Survey Monkey

Here is the promo:

Intelligent survey software for serious primates of all species. SurveyMonkey has a single purpose: to enable anyone to create professional online surveys quickly and easily.

This is a wonderful utility. Free, too!

Survey Monkey

This resource courtesy of E-Literate, 24 September 2004.


Skype is for calling other people on their computers or phones. Download Skype and start calling for free all over the world.

Download also available for Mac OS X.



--Information Cascades in Online Learning

This article focuses on content presentation.

Information Cascades

This is from E-Learn Magazine

--Online Professional Development in Support of Online Teaching: Some Issues for Practice

Read the editor’s note to this article from The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Education, September 2004::

If it is true that we tend to teach the way we were taught, then it is also true that initial experience with distance learning as a student will benefit faculty who subsequently teach at a distance. Online teaching for orientation and professional development of faculty is explored in this pilot research at the University of South Australia. It provides interesting anecdotes on the attitudes and expectations of faculty regarding the future role of distance learning in higher education.

Online Professional Development

--Online Debate: A Case Study Combining Traditional Strategy and Online Technology

Read the editor’s introduction to this article, which again comes from The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Education, September 2004:

Good teaching practices normally transfer from traditional to distance learning environments. In some instances there are opportunities to accomplish what cannot be done in synchronous face-to-face communication. This study takes the opposing case. Dr. Love attempts to replicate a successful face-to-face model, a debate, in cyberspace. His class experienced technical and communication difficulties that influenced the time required and student motivation.

Online Debate

Blog Grab Bag

--Renaissance Editions

This is an online repository of works printed in English between the years 1477 and 1799 .

Renaisance Editions

--The Best of Photo-Journalism 2004

This link is courtesy of Neat New Stuff, 24 September 2004.

Best of Photo-Journalism

--BBC Languages

Want to brush up on your French, Spanish, Italian, German, Greek, Portuguese? This site is for you!

BBC Languages


September 26 is the European Day of Languages.


The Disabled World Web site, based in Montreal Canada, was launched in May 2004 to provide a much needed international online community for people with disabilities.

This is a wonderful site. Recommended.


--Positive Lives

This site is devoted to HIV, world-wide. Content-rich and beautifully designed.


Positive Lives

--The Giving Game

What is theGiving Game? Read on:

You have discovered the Giving Game. It empowers you to do amazing things through kindness. Either through purposeful or random acts of kindness, you can make the world a better place!

The Giving Game is based on the principle of kindness. It involves your kind acts, a game card and this web site. The Giving Game was inspired by Catherine Ryan Hyde's novel, Pay It Forward. The game is FREE to play

Here is a list of ideas from the site on “creative giving”:

Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you at a coffee shop
Leave your newspaper at a coffee shop for someone else to read
Cut an elderly person's grass at no charge
Donate money or books to a local library
Offer to baby sit for a mother who needs a day away from the kids. Give her money to buy her lunch while she is out
Make something creative for someone
Drop off a bag of groceries with a friend who has been recently laid off
Leave a $20 tip for an $8 dollar meal
Buy a movie pass for two and give it to friends who could use a night out
Make a donation to the zoo or other nonprofit organization in a friend's name
Have flowers delivered to a new colleague
Shovel a neighbor's driveway
Find articles in the paper about people that are making a difference in your community - and do something nice for them
Scrape a stranger's windshield on a snowy day
Put money in a parking meter by a stranger's car when you see the time running out
Send an unsigned card saying, "You make a difference"
Send a helpful book as a gift
Send flowers with a note: "As a token of appreciation from someone who respects you"
Send someone a ticket to a lecture or course that he/she will enjoy
Send someone a tape or CD of music they will enjoy
Send a gift subscription for a magazine
Pay a highway toll for the person behind you
Send money to someone who is experiencing financial difficulties

The Giving Game


This site exhibits and explores the patterns inherent in prime numbers.

Neat site.

Radiant Primes

--The Prime Pages

This site is devoted to the intricacies of prime numbers.


--Fear of Physics

This site is for physics-phobic folks (such as I).

Fear of Physics

--Poynter Institute Online

What is the Poynter Institute?

The Poynter Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists. No matter what their job title may be, journalists come to Poynter in a search for excellence. Our resident and visiting faculty provide concentrated instruction and personal support in that quest.

This site has valuable resources.

--Project Rebirth

Read the site's ABOUT US statement:

Using time-lapse photography, Project Rebirth is currently documenting the day-by-day rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in New York City.

Six 35mm time-lapse motion picture cameras, situated around the site since the six-month anniversary of 9/11, will continue to shoot one frame of film every five minutes, seven days a week, until this historic reconstruction is completed. This technology will enable the public to view the entire reconstruction within a twenty-minute time span. The final film is intended for a future museum memorial installation.

Project Rebirth

--Fifty Writing Tools

Tips for writers.

50 Writing Tools

Libraries / Knowledge Mnagement

--Rights Expressions Languages

This document, prepared for the Library of Congress, surveys the four major digital rights languages (CreativeCommons, METSRights, Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL), and MPEG-21, Part 5 (MPEG-21/5) aka XrML) and looks at a wide variety of other initiatives such as PRISM, Adobe Content Manager (ACM), Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI) and more.

Rights Expression Languages

This is a 53-page PDF file.

This reference courtesy of OLD Daily

--The Origins of the Dewey Decimal System

Read the introduction:

Although a debate about the origins of the Dewey Decimal Classification
Scheme has been going on for generations, historical consensus remains
elusive. This paper contributes new information to the historiography on
the origins of the scheme: (1) by grounding an account of Melvil Dewey’s
thinking as he was crafting the Decimal Classification on an analysis of a
larger body of sources than previous classification historians have consulted;
and (2) by expanding and deepening historical understanding of
the contextual forces influencing his decisions on the classification

Origins of the Dewey Decimal Sysytem

This is a 20-page PDF file.

--Library as Comfort Lounge

Read an excerpt from this article:

Libraries in Seattle, Los Angeles and many other cities have undertaken huge renovation or building projects in the past few years, and the changes have been as much about changing culture as about changing aesthetics.

Library as Comfort Lounge

Trends in Higher Education

--Pell Institute Study of Opportunity for Higher Education

Read the press release:


Washington, DC – Despite numerous policies to make college more accessible, most low-income students never consider college, many choose to attend for-profit or two-year institutions, most avoid more expensive colleges, and the majority never graduate.

These rather bleak conclusions recently appeared in the 1st annual status report, Indicators of Opportunity in Higher Education, published by The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.

"This is the first national report of its kind that measures available opportunities for low-income students to access and succeed in higher education,” said Arnold Mitchem, President of the Council for Opportunity in Education. “It clearly illustrates that our nation must take steps right now to seriously expand programs that improve access to higher education so that we can open the doors of postsecondary education for all students.”

The report, which focused on four indicators, revealed that low-income students have less opportunity for education beyond high school.

Indicator One: Who Goes to College?

In 1999-2000, approximately 56 percent of 18 to 24-year olds were in college or had attended college. When broken down by income, 31 percent of low-income students (from families with incomes below $25,000), compared to 79 percent of high-income students (from families with incomes higher than $75,000), were enrolled in college or had attended college. Opportunity for postsecondary education advanced incrementally as income increased, with over 20 percentage points separating each income level.

Indicator Two: Where Do They Go?

■ At public two-year colleges, students from families with income under $25,000 account for 20 percent; students from families with incomes from $25,000 to $74,999 account for 59 percent; and students from families with incomes $75,000 and above account for 21 percent.
■ At public four-year universities, 11 percent are from the lowest income group, 48 percent are from the middle-income group, and 41 percent
are from the highest income group.
■ At private four-year universities, 8 percent are from the lowest income group, 35 percent are from the middle-income group, and 57 percent are from the highest income group.

Indicator Three: What Do Students Pay for College?

Low-income students are more likely to go to less expensive colleges and many are being “priced” out of the market, especially at four-year institutions. Although financial aid policies are having a positive impact on what students really pay, a common lack of understanding about financial aid programs discourages most low-income students from attending college. In fact, when prices increase, regardless of coinciding increases in financial aid, low-income students are more likely to change their attendance patterns or not attend at all.

While low-income students pay less to attend college, their families pay the most in percentage of total income. Students from low-income families, total charges for attending a four-year public institution, accounted for approximately 60 percent of family income in 1999-2000. For students from middle and high-income families, the share was substantially less, 17 percent and approximately 5 percent, respectively. The differences are even greater when private four-year institutions are considered.

Indicator Four: Who Graduates from College?

Among those students in the lowest income group, an estimated 7 percent attain their bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to 39 percent for those students from the middle income group, and 52 percent for those from the highest income group.

"This report demonstrates that family income significantly determines who goes to college, where they go, and ultimately who graduates,” said Colleen O’Brien, Director of the Pell Institute. “Although our nation has made some progress, these findings prove that we have a long way to go.”

Pell Institute

This is a 12-page PDF file.

--Blogging Post Formats

This article addresses the basic blogging formats for posts.

Blogging Style

Service Learning / Civic Engagement

--Gap Actvities Projects

Overseas volunteer activities for 17-19 year olds.

GAP Activity Projects


--Careers in BioTech, Pharmacy, Medicine and Academia

Resource for students.


--Scholarships for College Students

101 scholarship opportunities for students!

Scholarship Web Pages

Until next week!

Blog editor

Image credits:

"Palm,"PalmFront.gif70 x 66 pixels -

"Primes," 030317/030317-13.html image.jpg
512 x 512 pixels - 103k display.html primes.gif
640 x 480 pixels - 26k

"Renaissance Book Plate,"345 x 455 pixels - norris/book3plate27.jpg

"Scholarships," 218 x 153 pixels - scholarships.htm


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