Student blogging

Tony Hirst pointed me to a lovely blog by a T189 student. It’s a stunning example of the usefulness of blogging in education. It provides the student with a tool for publication and self-expression, and it provides very useful information for teachers (e.g. in this case about the difficulties T189 students are experiencing with our Flash-based tutorials). I wish more of our students would blog.

Update: Bill Larnach also publishes an interesting blog which often touches on OU-related stuff.


The physicist I.I. Rabi and General (later President) Dwight Eisenhower became friends after Eisenhower was appointed president of Columbia University soon after the end of WW2. When introduced to Rabi, Eisenhower said, “I am always very happy to see one of the employees of the university,” to which Rabi replied, “Mr. President, the faculty are not the employees of the university. They are the university.”

Quoted in J. S. Rigden, Rabi: Scientist and Citizen, Harvard University Press, 2000.

OU wises up?


Well, well.  Looked what popped up on my Facebook screen!

How to teach about IP

Cory Doctorow has been teaching an undergraduate course at the University of Southern California called ‘PWNED: Everyone on Campus is a Copyright Criminal’. The class was open to anyone on or off campus, and lectures were podcasted. The students edited a class blog and were expected to improve Wikipedia posts relevant to the class. For the end of semester, each student turned in a final project that related the course material to their lives and major areas of study.

In this post Cory highlights some of the projects. “From the class discussions and one-on-ones”, he writes,

I knew I had a really amazing bunch on my hands, but I was absolutely gobsmacked by the incredible quality of the final projects. From founding a record label to conducting public polls to writing guidelines for journalists to interviews and classroom materials, my students did me better than proud.

I encouraged my students to do work that would be of use to the world at large. I hate the idea of the usual college final paper, which the student doesn’t want to write, the prof doesn’t want to read and no one else wants to ever see. Instead, I challenged them to produce useful work that the world could benefit from, and they met and exceeded the challenge…

Worth reading in full. Wonderful stuff.


Google is to ban adverts for essay writing services – following claims that plagiarism is threatening the integrity of university degrees.

About time, too. Stand by for squeals of protest from purveyors of bespoke essays to clueless undergraduates.

Masterful TED Talk by Ken Robinson.

Martin thinks Wetpaint is cute.