Toilet Paper in a Pandemic

This probably isn't the best use of my time right now,  but maybe there's a teaching moment here. In the face of the COVID19 pandemic, folks in the US (and apparently most developed nations) have gone on a toilet paper buying spree.  One result besides the appearance of empty shelves, has been a lot nasty … Continue reading Toilet Paper in a Pandemic

Learning in a Pandemic – 2

OPEN LETTER: Planning to Make "the Switch" This is part two of my posts about teaching in the COVID19 pandemic amidst the possibility that we (faculty)  may have to switch on short notice to teaching at a distance what were originally face-to-face classes.  If you haven't already, please start by reading my first post about … Continue reading Learning in a Pandemic – 2

What’s the LMS Worth?

Herein, against my better judgement, I wade into the Great Instructure social media wars of 2019.  ... The announcement triggered a great deal of, let's call it discussion, on social media, particularly Twitter. A lot of has gotten nasty and heated.  On the surface, the discussion seems to be about questions regarding what Instructure (or Canvas, or the data Instructure has collected) is "worth".  Specifically, is it worth the $2billion Thoma Bravo has valued it at and why would TB pay that?  Underlying the valuation question though, is the real concern.  Can we discern the plans and future for Canvas (and thereby schools, instructors, students, the higher ed system, pedagogy, etc) from this transaction?  There's roughly two camps. ...

That’s No Plagiarism Checker

I finally went on spring break as in "I actually got away from work and stuff".  We took our first cruise.  For a social and institutional economist with a critical bent that just loves to observe people and capitalism in the wild, let's just say that a cruise offers a target rich environment.  I'll have … Continue reading That’s No Plagiarism Checker

Goals, A Non-News Announcement, and Preview of 2019

So this is just a self-indulgent note to my readers as to what to expect this year. Looking over the stats I see I didn't achieve last year's Don't Call It A Resolution.  Twenty-some posts is way more than I thought I had done last year. A few were good ones of which I'm proud. … Continue reading Goals, A Non-News Announcement, and Preview of 2019

Shelter in the Open

This is the second of my two reflections on last week's OpenEd18 conference. This one is personal. I'm stepping outside my normal economist persona and sharing my personal experience. Actually, it's less a reflection on the conference than reflection on what I learned about myself at the conference. Open conferences like OpenEd, OER, and OEGlobal … Continue reading Shelter in the Open

Debt: Good, Bad, Ugly, and Not-Really

Debt is often considered something bad in our society. At the beginning of any semester in the macroeconomics principles I'll have many students identify debt - either the "national debt" or student loan debt or even just household debt - as a leading macroeconomic challenge facing the nation. The reason is because debt is an … Continue reading Debt: Good, Bad, Ugly, and Not-Really

How Federal Budget Policy Affects Generations

Today I'm giving a public talk to and for the Michigan Intergenerational Network. I'll be discussing how government budget policies and priorities are affecting the generations. This is a topic worthy of an entire college course or even a MOOC, but unfortunately I've only got a couple hours at most.  This post isn't a full … Continue reading How Federal Budget Policy Affects Generations

Blockchain in Higher Ed: Guided Pathways and Bitcoins

Both blockchain and bitcoin (I know they're not the same, but they're related) enthusiasts are, shall we say, "passionate".  They're true believers. It's a cult.  For proof, I would suggest you read the comments for any post/ article that's even just skeptical of blockchain-based manias, but I value our friendship and I don't want you … Continue reading Blockchain in Higher Ed: Guided Pathways and Bitcoins

A New Year. Auspicious loneliness.

So much. So much. It's a New Year.  It's an arbitrary day out of the year, but culturally we use the Gregorian calendar and select it for new beginnings. Resolutions. New determination. Where I live north of the equator, we're 12 days past the winter solstice. Days are getting longer (finally). There's a trickle of … Continue reading A New Year. Auspicious loneliness.