Junct Blog

Andrew Neuendorf

This is blog is authored by the adjunct faculty at Des Moines Area Community College West Campus in West Des Moines, Iowa. It is a space designed for sharing, collaboration, and community-building. [HTML] [XML] Last Updated: 2012-02-16T09:27:52.896-0

Recent Posts kk

Ditch the GPS; Get Lost Instead
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Dec 05, 2011
In Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky points out that major changes to society often happen so quickly they don't leave time for anyone to adjust. This results in chaos that traditional solutions can't fix. In fact, tradition has been displaced. There is no plan for going forward, but no way to go back. Shirky's main example is the beginning of the Industrial Era in London when a rapid influx of people into the city created social chaos, new opportunities for leisure, and mass ... 2011-12-05T09:09:00.001-06:00 [Comment]

Children Raised by Wolves are the Only True Self-Taught Learners #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Dec 02, 2011
In Stumbling On Happiness, Daniel Gilbert says that all psychologists are required, at some point in their careers, to write a sentence that begins with "The human being is the only animal that..." According to Gilbert, the answer is "imagines the future." My personal choice would be "wears socks with sandals," but I haven't done the field research to back that up. A recent Discover Magazine article take a crack at this and comes up with the following answer: Humans are the only animals ... 2011-12-02T09:32:00.000-06:00 [Comment]

Using Twitter on the Half-Dipper Bridge #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Dec 01, 2011
Based on I.S.T (Internet Standard Time) , this 2010 David Carr article about Twitter is ancient. However, I've just come around to David Carr after watching the brilliant Page One, so forgive me for coming late to the party. Carr, who was initially a Twitter skeptic, has come to find great value in the micro-blogging software: At first, Twitter can be overwhelming, but think of it as a river of data rushing past that I dip a cup into every once in a while. Much of what I need to know ... 2011-12-01T10:01:00.001-06:00 [Comment]

Bryan Caplan Needs to Get Out More #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 30, 2011
Bryan Caplan, who often presents himself as the paragon of reason and reasonableness, has written an incredibly illogical article about education called "The Magic of Education." Here, Caplan uses "magic" as a shorthand for "things he doesn't understand." This is a common trick for self-proclaimed reason-meisters to dismiss anything that involves more complexity than a land-line poll as "woo woo." Caplan mocks his own profession (he's an Economics professor, but I bet you guessed ... 2011-11-30T11:35:00.002-06:00 [Comment]

What Page One Tells us About Education #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 23, 2011
Page One, the documentary about the writing and editorial staff of the New York Times, is streaming on Netflix, and I recommend watching it if you want a glimpse into the future (or present) of education. Once again, the story is about abundance, as Clay Shirky reminds us early in the film. With so much free journalistic content available online, and the collapse of advertising revenue, newspaper across the country have been biting the dust. The model is no longer sustainable due to ... 2011-11-23T09:00:00.003-06:00 [Comment]

Siri Can't Read: The False Metaphysics of the Singularity Age #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 22, 2011
Siri can't read. Google isn't thinking. Technology doesn't want anything. The internet doesn't connect humans. Networks don't learn. Technology is not good. Technology is not bad. These are all necessary corrections, given the anthropomorphic language used by techno-philosophers, those who conceive of the internet as a hive mind and are inclined to "Ask Google" something important. Today's philosophies of the future are built on three metaphysical ... 2011-11-22T06:56:00.001-06:00 [Comment]

MOOC vs Florida Virtual #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 21, 2011
Over at The Nation, Lee Fang has a must-read article, "How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools" which details how investors are poised to make billions from public education by using the Trojan horse of "Education Reform" to bring the basic model of Florida's Virtual School program to any state with a willing legislature. I've already blogged here about The Wall Street Journal's article "My Teacher is an App," and the problems with giving students too much ... 2011-11-20T13:12:00.004-06:00 [Comment]

System Update Successful! Education Complete! #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 18, 2011
If education is about inputs and outputs, a whole lot of people are about to lose their jobs. In the near future, information will be added to the brain as an instant system update. Most classes will be completed in milliseconds. Entire degrees even. Right now, let's say you know nothing about the Renaissance; just click "okay" and moments later, you will know everything. The structures of your (soon-to-be artificial) brain will be altered instantly and the information available for ... 2011-11-18T08:00:00.001-06:00 [Comment]

Do Androids Dream of Committing Plagiarism? #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 17, 2011
Here's a clip from PBS's Nova Science NOW featuring a Philip K. Dick robot who (that? who? I'm really not sure!) appears to have his own creative consciousness culled from internet searches and facial recognition software. The conversation presented here gets very complex, and the robot even displays a keen sense of humor and ability to incorporate idiomatic speech: A student sent this to me because I often talk about robots and artificial consciousness in class. I ... 2011-11-17T08:26:00.005-06:00 [Comment]

A New Definition of Literacy in an Age of Abundance #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 16, 2011
In response to Week 10 of ChangeMOOC, Paul Prinsloo writes about the proper response to our age of information abundance, focusing on what I think is an excellent definition of literacy: During George Siemens' recent visit to the University of South Africa, he defined literacy as (I hope I remember and quote him correctly...) "The ability to engage with and participate in the dominant discourses of the current age". If you cannot participate in and engage with the dominant and ... 2011-11-16T10:42:00.003-06:00 [Comment]

Wikipedia 101, ctd. #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 16, 2011
Seeta passed this Wikipedia-themed cartoon along. I need to add this to my Wikipedia 101 discussion. In many ways, the internet has taken the urban legend and launched it into hyper-speed. Sure, we still said things like "Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola" before the internet existed, but now the time from inception until general acceptance is much shorter. The cartoon also addresses the closed loop phenomenon, whereby false information posted online becomes its own "proof," showing, ... 2011-11-16T09:57:00.004-06:00 [Comment]

We Need Teachers to Combat the Idiocracy! #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 16, 2011
The movie Idiocracy, written and directed by Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead, Office Space) is not very good. It plays the same note over and over again. However, despite being a comedic film, it's a mournful note, a minor chord that resonates with our perception that public discourse is dumb and getting dumber. It's a weak movie, but a great conversation piece. When an average American (played by Luke Wilson) wakes up 500 years into the future, he discovers endless ... 2011-11-16T09:45:00.000-06:00 [Comment]

Wikipedia 101 (Or why Wikpedia is a Stem Cell, not Cancer) #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 15, 2011
Clive Thompson's Wired article, "Why Kids Can't Search," which I previously wrote about here, is worth revisiting for what it suggests about the skill sets we should be teaching students. In a sense, it is a call for certain elements of Connectivism. It also reminded me that educators spend way too much time decrying the information on the internet and not enough time teaching kids how to take advantage of it. As Thompson writes, the ability to use search engines critically is now ... 2011-11-15T08:32:00.003-06:00 [Comment]

Guiding the Digital Pilgrims #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 11, 2011
I was perhaps a bit too caustic (or cryptic, or esoteric....or one of those things I'm often accused of being) yesterday in my post on Rhizomatic Learning, and for the most part I find the theory to be fascinating and ideal. I do find, however, that starved rootstalks can't bounce back so quickly, and I'm not sure a flood will help. Likewise, perhaps some rootstalks actually need to be trimmed. Too often educators assume that students are just waiting for someone who will ... 2011-11-11T08:18:00.006-06:00 [Comment]

Rhizomatic Learning (Are We Simply Applying Fertilizer?) #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 10, 2011
A rhizome is a kind of creeping rootstalk that branches off and grows in all directions. It's also used as a metaphor for a particular type of learning process that happens, well, organically. Dave Cormier describes it in Week 9 of ChangeMOOC: Knowing is a long process of becoming (think of it in the sense of 'becoming an expert') where you actually change the way you perceive the world based on new understandings. You change and grow as new learning becomes part of the ... 2011-11-10T15:15:00.005-06:00 [Comment]

Education: Open for Business 24/7? #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 07, 2011
I previously posted on Google+ and education here. I just came across this article by Ryan Tyler at betanews about the benefits Google+ has in store for educators. I think he makes a lot of sense, especially when writing about the potential uses for "Hangouts":One other feature of Google+ that makes it a truly "killer app" for education is Hangouts. With a webcam and mic enabled computer or phone/tablet with a front facing camera, you can have a real time, online meeting with up to 10 ... 2011-11-07T07:48:00.000-06:00 [Comment]

#change11: Week 7 -- Open Educational Resources (OER)
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 04, 2011
I recently joined (late) Change MOOC and am picking up the discussion from Week 7 on Open Educational Resources. My own experience as an educator with OER is limited, though I have tried a few things: My Composition 1 class last summer used sections from the Flatworld Knowledge Guide to Writing. Check out their organization here. Additionally, I encourage students to explore the resources shared on Google Scholar and Google Books, though I'm not sure these are entirely open, per say, ... 2011-10-28T10:36:00.003-05:00 [Comment]

OER: It's Not the Size of the File, It's How You Use It #change11
Andrew Neuendorf, Junct Blog, Nov 04, 2011
Since 2001, MIT has been sharing their course content with the world, free of charge, as part of a project known as OpenCourseWare (OCW). According to a paper called "The Creation of OpenCourseWare at MIT," available in Week 7 of Change MOOC, MIT "currently publishes content for more than 1600 subjects," including syllabi, assignments, and audio and video files. I enjoy their "About OCW" page, which makes some crucial points, including:OCW is not an MIT education.OCW does not grant degrees ... 2011-10-28T15:09:00.003-05:00 [Comment]

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