How to teach critical thinking: an immodest idea

This entry is going to proceed through some maddeningly vague statements, so I will start with the bottom line: currently my best idea for teaching critical thinking in social sciences or related areas is to have students wrestle with an important substantive question or puzzle in a reasonably-well-bounded area of knowledge. The structure may be […]

Open-source ed tech software wish-list

In response to the LTI App Bounty challenge issued yesterday by several LMS companies, here is my wish-list for software that has a simple function, does not yet exist, but should: A mashup of the Creative Commons search tool, Zotero, and simple image editing that would allow one to search for a CC-licensed/PD image, snag […]

Sherman’s style note: An algorithm is not personal

Style note to education beat reporters: an algorithm is not “personalization” of education, no matter how many people make the claim. As computerized algorithms currently exist, here are the things that an algorithm cannot identify in an educational context: An algorithm does not know when to pull a student aside at a quiet moment to ask […]

Semester debriefing

We’re at the end of the semester here at USF, and this is a short debriefing of the semester. My particular form of craziness this semester was teaching three courses while serving as department chair. Technically, I was teaching four sections of our undergraduate Schools and Society course, but two of them met in the […]

Paper deadlines and grace periods

For some years now, I have been giving undergraduate students a 24-hour “grace period” after the formal deadline for papers. If a student is trying to upload a paper five minutes before a deadline and the student loses her internet connection, I don’t need the hassle of making a decision on where to give extensions, […]