Links 7/30/13

Links for you. Science:

More on ‘Nightmare Bacteria’: Maybe Even Worse Than We Thought? (the good news is that ICU infections are usually a small component of the overall load, though they obviously infect the most critical cases)
Let’s Slow the Race to Sequence Everyone’s Genome: 3 Views
Jenny McCarthy’s Vaccination Fear-Mongering and the Cult of False Equivalence (for whatever it’s worth, most of the opposition to McCarthy seems to come from the left)
Non-epidemiologist tries to do epidemiology, feeds anti-vaccine activists
Full moon could be to blame for a poor night’s sleep
A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA

Other:

The Snowden Effect, Continued (I don’t remember this either-“It seems to be the considered — and well-nigh unanimous — opinion of our political elites that democracy stops at the doors of the NSA. I don’t recall a “national conversation” that decided anything like that.”)
Front Groups And Republican Self-Delusion (excellent)
Tom Friedman: A New Ayn Rand for A Dark Digital Future (excellent)
The perils of online college learning–The failure of San Jose State’s Udacity courses highlight an inherent problem: treating the educational content as secondary to Silicon Valley’s much-hyped tools provided by the online platform.
Hum Heard Around World Impacts 2 Percent Of People In Hum-Prone Areas, Study Suggests
Not Even Silicon Valley Escapes History: A revolution began here. And this is what is left over. (interesting)
When modern and contemporary art broke up: The Boston manifesto that gave the ICA its name (interesting how MoMA and the ICA have flipped their roles)
Boston Man Invents Straws And Cups That Detect Date Rape Drugs
Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash
Tell it to the widows
Infrastructure skeptics take a hit
Inequality of Opportunity Begins at Birth
How We Got “Please” and “Thank You”
The Blip: What if everything we’ve come to think of as American is predicated on a freak coincidence of economic history? And what if that coincidence has run its course?

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1 Response to Links 7/30/13

  1. Min says:

    IIUC, the content of the online courses is the same as that of the classroom courses. What the massive failures indicate, I suspect, is that the San Jose college professors who devised the course do not understand enough about education. Some college students, probably those who are like the professors themselves, can learn well from that format. Most do not. That does not mean that online or at a distance education is futile. The University of London has been doing at a distance education for 150 years or so, as have other institutions. But just providing content online is not enough.

    Martin Buber said that the job of the teacher is to build a bridge to the student. When each student has their own computer terminal and does not have to compete with other students for real time attention from the teachers, the possibilities for building bridges opens up. IMO, therein lies the promise of online education. But note that it is more work for the teacher, because broadcasting alone does not build all those bridges. The savings come from reduced transportation and overhead costs.

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