335 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. If not adequately maintained, it is easy for an OER repository to become cluttered with many broken links and out-of-date resources. Librarians who work with OER are already well aware of the challenges of such repositories.


    2. faculty report that this is a particularly time-consuming task

      But no more time-consuming than choosing a textbook.

    3. best practices for accessibility and open access

      But we should remember that this is an iterative process, and avoid rejecting efforts that make resources more open but fail to completely address ALL the accessibility issues on day one. I'm talking to you, Rebus.

    4. CARE framework

      Getting a lot of attention in the CC community right now.

    5. In light of format plurality, “every OER its reader” suggests that OER should be agnostic to format, medium, or platform and made available in a multitude of modalities

      Combine with the 5 Rs and we've got something.

    6. f academic libraries still see “every reader their book” as a relevant guiding principle, libraries are compelled to view course materials as another aspect of library collections. If academic library communities need these resources, OER offer a clear way to challenge cost and access restrictions

      So this is a two-pronged responsibility, to get the textbooks students need AND to help faculty learn about OER to reduce the expense of doing so,

    7. College Board (2018) estimated that books and supplies cost students between $1240.00 and $1440.00.

      Another good data point

    8. access to required and recommended course materials

      Although buying every required textbook would probably break the bank at most libraries, I wonder whether faculty could help by requiring the publisher to provide a desk copy and then donating it to the library?

    9. market built on socioeconomic inequity,

      Some markets only work because of this inequity. These are not necessarily markets we should encourage, even if they claim to be "free".

    10. access to information is a basic human right.

      But we treat it as a commodity.

    11. Ranganathan
    1. company-wide conversation about framing” still sounds like a critical step to continue openwashing.


    2. one of the for-profits to take to the OpenEd stage visited my campus (again, around me) and led a presentation that directly resulted in upper admin questioning the need for an Open Education Librarian (me!) were they to sign a contract with Lumen.

      Yeah, the idea that suggesting firing a librarian would enhance student success happens within a "civil" discourse is problematic.

    3. a conversation it needs to be. Not a PR exercise with pre-screened questions, plastic smiles, and marketing drivel. Not a reputation cleanse. And certainly not on a platform that frames for-profit players as the future of learning materials.

      Yeah, this seems to be the issue. Talk about in my OEG thing.

    4. Cengage’s own research forecast that the use of OER as primary courseware was poised to triple within five years.

      Useful info, which I'm not above using.

    1. integrating OER into a growing number of digital learning solutions, including our MindTap and Learning Objects platforms,” said Cheryl Costantini, VP of Content Strategy, Cengage Learning

      ...which platforms we're going to make available for free! Just kidding, no we're not.

    1. find out in advance which professors or sections use Open Educational Resources. Any time you have the option of picking the OER section, take it. Not only will you save money, but you’re more likely to get the benefit of a professor who went the extra mile to help students. It’s not a perfect barometer, but it’s a better-than-random indicator that this professor is particularly engaged in the course. When professors have helped curate, assemble, or even create the material themselves, they’re invested in it.  In my observation, faculty passion for a subject is contagious. Give me a passionate professor with pretty-good OER over a dutiful one with a solid commercial book any day of the week

      That's a nice endorsement of our work adopting and producing OER. Thanks!

    2. most college bookstores under-order as a matter of policy.

      I wonder if our "first year experience" classes teach this fact to new, first-generation college students?

  2. Oct 2019
    1. an online homework system.

      The other shoe drops. I use a fairly antiquated LMS, and I can do this without buying a homework system. This is the sneaky profit-center that would enhance student success, but at a cost that the "fanatics" should accept?

    2. there’s a lot of OER goodness that can be wrapped around


    3. Our primary priority should neither be minimizing cost nor maximizing pedagogical flexibility. Our primary priority should be increasing student learning, and our efforts to reduce costs and increase pedagogical flexibility must always be subservient to that end. When we fail to put student learning first, we can become zealots who confuse the means with the ends.

      This is tortured. The only difference I can see between priority 1 and preferred priority 2 seems to be an opportunity to sneak something in that adds cost (profit) under the claim that it's better for student learning. As if the top priority of OER or ZTC "fanatic" educators isn't student success.

      I think it's easier to find common ground than the author suggests. And I suspect much of the ZTC and OER fanaticism may be coming from outside the ranks of educators, via political focus that ignores nuance.

    4. None of that is possible with free but traditionally copyrighted content.

      I disagree again. Fair use in LMSs afford lots of pedagogical innovation, such as Hypothesis discussion of pdfs housed inside the shell and offered under fair use. I think the author is holding to tightly to his own 5-R formula, which is powerful but not omnipotent.

    5. little focus on asking students to engage in the kind of repeated practice that can be computer generated and computer graded

      Not so. Tools like Hypothesis help streamline discussions of texts in both in-person and online courses, in my experience.

    6. we’ll just read an open source equivalent of Catcher in the Rye

      But the statement "we'll read an open-source version of anything out of copyright" very much DOES.

    7. STEM disciplines

      Good point. STEM needs the software tools more than the content, perhaps. But much of that functionality is already available in LMSs, which in most institutions don't figure in the ZTC or OER discussion.

    8. openly licensed and not free

      Does this description of "courseware" include OER texts sucked into walled gardens and only available to students who pay first-day-access fees for them, with bundled assessment and ancillaries? What happens when OER authors mark all their content NC?

    9. traditionally copyrighted and “free”

      If we expand our view just a bit to concern ourselves with student cost, these are obviously not free, because they come at a cost assessed in student fees and/or tuition. Similarly, course-packs and fair-use content inserted in LMSs by instructors reduce student expenses and should probably be considered.

    10. the more students use a set of learning materials, the more the publisher owes the author

      Are you really suggesting that a for-profit publishing model should include using content that I wrote and then CONTRIBUTED to try to help build a more open learning community. You can't have that for free and then try to profit on it. I'm changing all my licensing to include NC.

    11. whole course OER

      While perhaps a goal, whole course OER is not the only way to significantly reduce student expense. We're being asked to get worked up over the wrong issue.

    12. is 300 a lot or a little

      Measure enrollment? If the 300 are all surveys and many of the balance are upper-level seminars, the impact of OER could be more significant than reported.

  3. Sep 2019
  4. Aug 2019
    1. Cengage launched its own OER resource, OpenNow, in 2017

      Which uses OER inside its paywall.

    2. resources that will enable schools to offer an ACS-approved bachelor’s degree with zero cost for textbooks

      Is this something that would motivate BSU's Chem Dept?

    3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched its OpenCourseWare initiative in 2000, which made materials from all of the university’s courses freely available on the internet

      MIT since 2000

    4. 30% of students don’t buy textbooks at all

      2013 -- I wonder if this has changed?

    1. Students need a syllabus that is passionate, affirming, and understanding.

      Nice statement

    2. the anarchist tradition of representing self-evident and self-governed humanitarian values

      I didn't know this was a thing, but I like it!

    3. long list of “learning objectives,

      Yeah, I kind-of hate these.

    4. syllabus should be a manifesto that serves as a founding document detailing the rights of the students and the pedagogy of the classroom.

      Manifesto is something of a pledge that the instructor will try to live up to. If students annotate, does this suggest they're stepping into a relationship and making a similar pledge?

    1. Colleges should provide leadership by giving faculty the infrastructure to support their switch to open textbooks. It requires an investment of financial and human capital to support successful OER projects

      Academic labor needs to be recognized.

    2. Open textbooks were used in six percent of the courses

      same question

    3. Thirty-eight percent of courses in our study used access codes, and ninety-four percent of the time these access codes were sold in a bundle.

      Is this comparable at BSU?

    4. At just the forty schools in the study, switching over these courses to OER would save up to $13 million in one semester alone, assuming students use the OER free online. Multiplied out to the full national enrollment at public and private non-profit schools, this switch would save students an estimated $763 million per semester, or $1.5 billion per year.

      I don't think this extrapolation is that conclusive, but it's interesting.

    5. Switching the ten introductory classes in our study to OER nationwide would save students $1.5 billion per year in course materials costs

      This is a big claim -- hopefully data will follow.

    6. the ten courses taken most often

      Good methodology!

    7. access to the online material expires

      So no reference, no MCAT/LSAT/GRE prep, etc.

    8. more restrictive and costly products such as access codes,

      The locking the students into full boat retail and the bookstore is the really sinister bit.

    9. Since 2006, the cost of textbooks has increased four times the rate of inflation

      Good baseline

    1. When publishers bundle a textbook with an access code, it eliminates most opportunities for students to cut costs with the used book market. Of the access code bundles in our sample, forty-five percent—nearly half—were unavailable from any other source we could find except the campus bookstore

      How many bookstores are jumping onto this bandwagon as a way to once again become relevant?

    1. concern over the quality of OER

      CONCERN over the quality doesn't necessarily equal quality issues.

    2. high cost of textbooks had led 64.2% of students to not buy a required textbook and 42.8% to take fewer courses. Additionally, 35.6% said the high cost of textbooks caused them to earn a poor grade and 22.9% said it led them to drop a course

      Updated in 2018?

    3. College Board says students should budget $1,240 annually for books and supplies

      Consistent with BSU

    1. liberatory-resistance

      I'm assuming in this context resistance is a stance I'm sharing with the students, not that students are resisting me? But are we resisting something present and tangible, or are we adopting a stance because it seems (like the manifesto) more politically attractive?

    2. the day after course grades are due

      And yet my syllabi advertise skills and understandings that it's my goal they will take with them. I try to take them past the "you are here because you have to check this Gen Ed box" element in my course design.

    3. epigenetics

      I tend to think of the syllabus as DNA, and the reality of the course in the LMS over the course of the semester as epigenetics that may or may not be carried forward into the next course.

    4. syllabus-as-playlist

      Love this! I might at least subtitle my schedule of lectures and discussions "Playlist" -- esp. since I usually make videos of them that can become a playlist.

    5. syllabus-as-manifesto

      Is there a left/right bias hiding in these word choices? Do I respond to manifesto more positively because it sounds more bottom-up and revolutionary, versus the top-down, authoritarian feel of contract? I think so.

    6. warranties

      Isn't this what SLOs do in the longer-term context of promotion and tenure reviews?

    7. power differential

      This too can be seen in a "war" or "dance" way: ideally, the reason the students are in our classes is because we have the power to aid them in their educations, not just serve as a gatekeeper to a grade or credential.

    8. syllabi as contracts

      Does this line of thought begin to dissolve if we substitute "agreement" or "understanding" for "contract"?

    9. argument is war and argument is dancing

      And, we avoid war but seek to dance.

  5. Jul 2019
    1. du Pont Corp., a major investor in and producer of leaded gasoline

      I think Kovarik could spend more time digging into the DuPont/GM connection. Seems to me that there is a huge advantage moving auto engines to a fuel that can be patented rather than ethyl that any farmer could distill.

    2. Grain is not “used” for fuel; it is fed to cattle after it is distilled with no loss in food value

      Dual use.

    1. “unfortunate” that some staff had felt the need to alter their teaching style

      Maybe this is polite British-speak for "it was unfortunate that their previous teaching style was not something they were willing to have recorded, so they rushed to change it when the cameras were switched on."

    2. lecture capture encouraged poor attendance

      And this matters because...?

    1. Morton Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860

      Horwitz was one of Steinberg's dissertation advisors. His ideas about American law heavily influenced Steinberg's thesis in Nature, Incorporated.

    1. I lorwitz, Transfonnation of American law,

      Historiographic note: Morton Horwitz was one of Steinberg's dissertation advisors. He wrote the most important book about the history of American Law, and his perspective influenced Steinberg heavily. I highly recommend Horwitz's book -- it may be the single most significant book I've read in US History.



  6. Jun 2019
    1. 1879 illustration of a prosperous Massachusetts farm,

      I chose this image from several dozen similar ones because it is a farm in Enfield Massachusetts. Anybody know why that's significant? (Answer in Chapter 9)

    1. CC BY NC license

      I've become much more of an advocate of the NC addition tot he open license since I've started noticing how OER texts seem to wind up in walled-garden turnkey learning systems that charge for the homework and assessment modules.

    1. CC BY-SA

      Actually, I've changed the license to CC-BY-NC-SA. I just thought it might be a good idea to signal my intention that the text should NOT become part of a commercialized "walled garden".

    1. WALDEN

      In addition to being a historian, Cronon began his academic career as an English major.


    1. campus grant project

      Can this be duplicated?

    2. obstacles and challenges that were preventing faculty from adopting OERs in their courses—primarily a lack of time, lack of availability of relevant OERs, and a lack of ancillary materials to accompany existing open texts (test banks, PowerPoint files, and other materials often provided by commercial publishers).

      Survey these objections? Is there a way to put $$ to them?

    3. trainings that include data on textbook costs and the impact on students. After the training, faculty participants are offered a stipend of $200 to provide a peer review of an existing textbook

      Add this to the slate of talks I do in the fall.

    4. faculty support and development opportunities, and it became apparent that these elements were critical to the adoption of OERs

      The point is that shifting work should be compensated.

    5. Minnesota State, one of the largest public postsecondary systems in the United States, is comprised of seven universities and 30 two-year community and technical colleges on 54 campuses across the state. The system employs nearly 9,000 teaching faculty and serves approximately 400,000 students each year

      Good summary of MinnState

    1. Students impacted

      Faculty leads, faculty adoptions, students impacted are the three main metrics.

    2. focus their efforts on faculty who could adopt already-existing OERs, as this requires the least amount of money from the institution and the least amount of faculty time

      Low-hanging fruit

    3. how will I get a list of faculty who are interested and a list of faculty who will adopt OERs?

      Old fashioned sales 101

    4. with a strategic OER effort, an institution can achieve a level of 25% of their duplicated student headcount using OERs within a 2–5 year period.

      Build this into a goal statement?

    5. How many students are currently impacted by OERs at your institution? How many faculty are currently using OERs at your institution?

      Two good questions to add to surveys.

    1. The involvement of for-profit companies like Lumen in the production and distribution of open educational resources remains controversial, since they oftentimes wind up charging students for content that is supposed to be free. Advocates for OER also sometimes worry about whether companies will capture and control student data.

      If more OER content was licensed CC-BY-NC-SA, this might dissuade this type of "capture".

    2. For OER to truly scale

      Is this really scaling, or is it productization?

    1. Digital Course Packs combine different course-related materials into a single point of access, including journal articles, e-books, web-sites and links, images, and videos, all in a variety of formats and all presented online.

      This is probably worth formalizing into a "thing" in addition to celebrating things faculty have done individually to achieve same goal.

    1. Faculty engagement[2] with a digital text (for example, faculty annotations that add insights to the text) can also increase student engagement

      Hypothesis as well as the fact that the instructor made the OER for the course probably both positive.

    2. reduced cost and first-day access

      Survey questions should focus on each of these factors.

    3. students’ focus on the quality of the teaching rather than the format of the course materials

      AND, it's usually not an apples to apples comparison -- the ebook is often newer, better, more directly related to course goals, esp. if a specially-remixed OER.

    4. If the choice were entirely up to you, what would your preferred textbook option be when taking a class?

      Results might be different if we tested their price sensitivity: "Would you pay $50 for a print textbook if an online one was available free?"

    1. faculty have a greater responsibility in designing curricula and assignments that foster enhanced engagement with the core ideas about information and scholarship

      In many cases the info literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills may be more valuable than the course content.

    1. increasingly complex course content environment has produced the need for new service models involving collaboration across campus units to educate and support faculty and students

      This is a great statement. Complex both because of technology, but also new types of interactions between these stakeholders.

    2. wholesalers and publishers

      Should we distinguish between publishers that still believe in the value of their content and others who seem to be saying the content is worthless but they want to capture the homework and assessment revenue?

    3. course packs

      Course packs, library reserves, and quick-printed manuals like "Short Handbook" all have long histories.

    4. Bookstores, like ours at the University of Minnesota, have worked hard to provide students with a range of affordable options including used books, rentals, robust buyback options, discounted digital textbooks

      Role of bookstores and their long-term interest in reducing student costs is often overlooked.

    5. (28%) [of faculty] reported that they do not typically know the prices of the books they assign

      This isn't a good look for faculty.

    6. Some faculty and staff may think course material costs are a minor concern when compared with the sticker shock of tuition

      Analogous to the difference between fixed and variable costs in business. Many firms fail because, in spite of impressive infrastructure, they fail to meet payrolls or pay for the next shipment of raw materials.

    7. difference between graduating or dropping out

      And also difference in course success, GPA, job prospects, and all the other results of performance in these courses the student has paid or borrowed so much to get into.

    8. $1,650 in interest

      This is obscene.

    9. $1,200 for books
    10. student loan debt in the U.S. rose to $1.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2018

      What is the current per capita average? According to Forbes, average student debt of class of 2016 was $37,172.

  7. www.theatlantic.com www.theatlantic.com
    1. archaeological digs should find many pigeon bones in the pre-Columbian strata of Indian middens. But they aren't there. The mobs of birds in the history books, he says, were "outbreak populations—always a symptom of an extraordinarily disrupted ecological system

      The last one, Martha, died Sept 1st, 1914 in the Cincinnati zoo.

    2. her fear is that this data will be misused

      This is probably a sincere and well-founded fear. But that doesn't mean we should lie about the past.

    3. Terra preta, Woods guesses, covers at least 10 percent of Amazonia, an area the size of France

      TP is a mixture of charcoal, pottery shards, human and animal feces -- so at agricultural scale it's clearly a soil amendment rather than the "natural" soil of the region.

    4. plant trees, you get twenty years of productivity out of your work instead of two or three

      Note also that cassava, the staple developed by people in this area, was a tree-crop.

    5. my alarm bells

      Partly because she's on the lookout to protect her interpretation from critics or new ideas.

    6. When Indian societies disintegrated

      And atmospheric carbon levels dropped sharply, possibly contributing to continuing the Little Ice Age.

    7. Aztec

      Most Aztec homes in Tenochtitlán had running water. Rich people had steam baths.

    8. scores of English ran off

      This led to a whole literature (propaganda) of captivity and redemption, which the colonial leaders used to try to dissuade defections.

    9. presentism

      I think a distinction can be made between "judging" the choices people made in the past and trying to appreciate their perspectives, experiences, and world views so we can better understood why they made the choices they did.

    10. streets immaculate

      Their chronicles note with surprise that the streets, squares, and markets are spotless, with not even a stray straw left behind.

    11. Middle East and central Mexico

      Which is an improvement over believing agriculture was invented in the fertile crescent, but still ignores Asia.

    12. 1987 American History: A Survey, a standard high school textbook by three well-known historians, described the Americas before Columbus as "empty of mankind and its works.

      This description seems to rely on a very narrow definition of "mankind".

    13. many plagues, not just one

      And this breaks the back of that argument about viruses rarely being as lethal as they were here. Individual viruses can't communicate with other viruses. Even if they're individually only 50% lethal, four 50% epidemics in a row will reduce a population by roughly 94%.

    14. That's one reason whites think of Indians as nomadic hunters," says Russell Thornton, an anthropologist at the University of California at Los Angeles. "Everything else—all the heavily populated urbanized societies—was wiped out.

      Even when we accept the idea that there were many more natives than previously thought, it's still hard to assess the number of people living in North America, where a century passed before much European exploration settlement began.

    15. high political and ecological stakes

      In other words, what at first might seem to be a historiographical disagreement can become a high-stakes political issue affecting how Americans think of their past actions and choices.

    16. Pox Americana, (2001)

      This is an example of the type of book you might want to read for your final paper.

    17. ninety to 112 million

      This is among the higher estimates of pre-Columbian population, although the logic leading to it seems sound. To be safe, I use a mid-range estimate of 65 to 80 million, which would make the populations of Europe, the Americas, and Africa all about level.

    18. Francisco Pizarro was able to seize an empire the size of Spain and Italy combined with a force of 168 men

      And yet when Alfred Crosby wrote a book questioning the military superiority of the conquistadors and positing disease as the main cause, publishers rejected it with single-word responses like "Nonsense!"

    19. The good hand of God favored our beginnings," Bradford mused, by "sweeping away great multitudes of the natives ... that he might make room for us.

      A sentiment that was echoed by Cotton Mather in Magnalia Christi Americana in 1702.

    20. another deserted Indian village
    21. robbing Indian houses and graves

      Not part of the story we usually focus on...

    22. Should we let people keep burning the Beni?

      Point is, this is a question that can and should be answered, but NOT by automatic reflex of claiming what we think ancient people did.

    23. burning created an intricate ecosystem of fire-adapted plant species dependent on native pyrophilia

      Cronon talks about native North Americans managing forest understory with fire in Changes in the Land.

    24. putatively natural state

      To be clear, Cronon is both an environmentalist AND a critic of the pristine myth. See, for example, his article "The Trouble with Wilderness, or Getting back to the Wrong Nature"

    25. make the meager evidence from the ethnohistorical record tell you anything

      If this is true, isn't it equally a danger for the theories that just happen to be older and more advantageous for white Europeans?

    26. a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind

      So the story of Env Hist, that people have not only been affected by their environments but have altered them, enters deep history in the Americas just as it does in other regions humans have lived.

    27. the Beni, a Bolivian province

      We normally think of Bolivia as a nation of the "altiplano" and the Andes. Like the Inca Empire before it, it spreads down the eastern side of the mountains and includes the westernmost edge of the Amazon watershed.

    28. jimmies

      A mostly New England word for sprinkles. Mann lives in Amherst MA.

    1. 14,300 years old

      14,300, not 20,000 or 30,000. This is entirely consistent with current science.

    2. crossing a giant ice field is a ridiculous notion

      Yes, it is. Which is why the coastal route was much more likely.

    3. window into what it means

      I agree, and this is the way these stories should be taken, NOT as evidence they might be true.

    4. Palaeolithic Spain

      Interesting that story about the Solutrean theory that this article links to calls the theory both wildly inaccurate and racist.

    5. that coast is now under water

      Yes! This is true, and interesting discoveries are currently being made on the Channel Islands off California.

    6. only appears when ice is locked up on land and sea levels drop

      Not a land bridge: as wide as Alaska. And not that temporary: probably existed from about 28,000 to about 12,000 years ago. That's 16,000 years, or three times longer than recorded history.

    7. there’s enough evidence

      Show your work! This is a "History Channel" statement. I've read fairly extensively through the peer-reviewed scholarship, and archaeologists don't seem agreed there's "enough evidence". Even the guys that discovered Monte Verde are much less certain about the 33,000 year old finds, and separated them into a different category.

    8. reject the idea that their ancestors migrated from somewhere else

      Vine Deloria Jr. is one of the big advocates for the idea that "we have always been here", but his argument is primarily political rather than scientific. Realistically, isn't a scientific certainty that native Americans have been here for at least 15,000 years enough?

    9. Craig Childs

      Who is not a trained scientist, historian, archaeologist, but apparently many find him a compelling storyteller.

    10. as the Navajo and other Native American tribes believe

      Which is to be expected, since their experience here goes back hundreds of generations. But that doesn't mean that Indian legends are any more valid than the old testament which says Eden was a place in the vicinity of Mesopotamia.

    11. weren't one group of people; they arrived at different times, and likely by different methods

      These are two separate statements, that require two different types of argument and evidence to back them up. Why do I get the sense you're not going to do that...?

  8. May 2019
    1. more detail

      I'll begin with a list of texts you might want to read, in addition to the ones we'll be reading excerpts from together, in the next week or so.

    2. smallish

      So far, we have 5 people registered.

    1. 970s,

      In the US, many social historians AND cultural historians too. Bill Cronon for example -- note his interest in both "history from below" and in literary critic Raymond Williams.

    2. the "wilderne

      Rocky Mountains sanitoria for treating "consumption" might be an interesting topic. Follow Doc Holiday to Glenwood CO...

    3. ical. Evolutionary history shows not only how humans have steered the evolution of other species through breeding, hybridization, and direct genetic manipulation but also how human actions have produced unintended evolutionary consequences, such as pesticide res

      Evolution by natural selection vs. breeding by deliberate selection.

    4. terns of land use. Only in the early republic did a market-driven cycle of unsustainable agricultural expansion, specialization, and abandon- ment oc

      I don't recall that Donahue completely explained why the colonial approach changed and became unsustainable in the early republic...

    5. n them and their world; the birds act in history as informants about the qualities of the engineered environments upon which they increasin

      The birds aren't "agents", but they are a barometer.

    6. show that state conservation was not a heroic intervention on behalf of nature but rather a flawed and imperious project that did social, economic, and cultura

      Was it even really envisioned as an "intervention on behalf of nature" or was that just a rationalization?

    7. exposing the constructed

      Is this just the "linguistic turn" catching up with EnvHist?

    8. t past efforts to speak for nature have masked social and cultur

      "I speak for the trees" says the Lorax.

    9. plain. The presence of coal seams or fertile soils in particular places has certainly mattered to human history, but to talk of coal or soils as

      Yeah, "agency" seems to imply choice. But it would be completely accurate to say that these natural features influenced (to some extent determined) the choices available to people.

    10. e the ideal of the human agent a

      It's also important to note that not all humans have equal amounts of agency or freedom of action.

    11. to define the roles of animals - creatures that might be recognized as h

      Even if not conscious, could the ability of herds of prey animals or domesticated cattle to react to human activities (to flee or resist) be considered agency? Either way, it's probably important in historical analysis.

    12. e Anthropoc

      Maybe this is a model: not ALL human interventions in the natural world rise to the status of the anthropocene.

    13. ted, "there is hope in hybrid landscapes," born of the realization that the natural can persist, and sometimes thrive, in

      This is especially hopeful in the world we occupy right now.

    14. - for approaches that see all environments as interweaving the natural and the cultural in com


    15. d other categories

      What does the historian mean by the term "category of analysis"?

    1. lets us focus on critique without a requirement that we devalue the work

      An even more valuable element is that the critiques stay IN CONTEXT rather than appearing out of context in reviews, blog posts, etc.

    1. emphasizing the need to spend as much (or more) time on an online class as an in-person class

      Esp. time spent reading vs. listening to lectures

    2. cooperation among students


    3. introductions, announcements, online office hours, and prompt response

      Online office hours -- maybe Zoom access?

    1. the risk that overly onerous and inflexible attribution requirements are simply disregarded

      This seems to be a key point, and this post doesn't really make it clear whether OUR's attribution requirement is onerous. Is the point to make it possible for an educator to find the original source, or to prevent anyone ever viewing a page without a visible attribution? It seems to me those are two very different things.

  9. www.environmentandsociety.org www.environmentandsociety.org
    1. intersection of energy and environment.

      And how is this currently changing as the grid changes?

    2. environmental history of things that en-vironmental science and policy care about.

      This is ideal for my current cooperation with ENVR.

    3. Before the energy of environmental historians can reach the public, the obstacles to transmission posed by jargon, obscurity, and an inward-looking orientation toward historiography must be removed

      This is a better statement of this than McNeill's recent post in the AHA blog.

    4. omni-presence of complex and mixed attitudes,

      Especially toward the environment? Or is this equivalent to the complexity of other issues like class?

    5. engaging environmental history with contemporary discussion is the best hope for “us” historians, inviting us to address a widened audience, adding vigor to our minds and value to our research, and deepening the meaning we find in our lives

      It will definitely be good for us -- will it be equally good for the public?

    6. Turning hindsight into foresight

      Is this a useful four-word definition of history?

    1. But it cannot tell you about how OER adoption makes a student feel less poor in the eyes of his peers.

      I'm reminded of something I read or heard recently about student evaluations and the value of instructor "kindness" to students. Hard to quantify, but probably key.

    1. was considering

      At this point I'm leaning toward assigning an excerpt rather than the entire essay. Or maybe, as the group did, assigning just sections of the text.

    1. OER should be a no-brainer for any provost concerned about retention and graduation rates; the key is presenting it in a way that makes that clear.

      That's been my experience so far.

    2. won’t betray any confidences here

      ??? Am I being too open about this process?

    3. Jillian Maynard, from the University of Hartford, and Jeremy Anderson, from Bay Path University, led a session on developing a strategic plan for OER on your home campus. I went to that one having previously selected a different one -- born to be wild, that’s me -- because upon closer reading, I made the connection to a law that NJ recently passed requiring public colleges to develop plans for OER (or “inclusive access”)

      This seems very much like what I was talking about yesterday with MinnState folks and reported on my blog.

    1. adjunctification of institutions founded on “gift” logic

      I still don't see how institutions are continuing to miss the inevitable outcome, when adjuncts who feel no connection to an institution hop right over to the Mother-of-all-MOOCs online institution that makes the first credible bid to disrupt/replace them?

    2. OER movement had become so successful that the publishers have launched a disingenuous takeover, going so far as to brag about their paywalled platforms containing OER

      "Inclusive Access" and "Netflix of Books" (do you mean Kindle Unlimited?) not necessarily the same thing. Netflix DID make movies more accessible at lower net cost.

    3. “ZTC” (zero textbook cost) icon

      Another great idea! Would a 0 (zero) with line through it in icon help it live at top of list?

    4. photos of students holding whiteboards saying “I just spent $$$ on textbooks

      Good idea! I wonder if I could convince student government to do this on my campus? Just emailed Student Senate members to ask...

    5. tell faculty what to do

      I get the raised eyebrows, but don't things like transfer curriculum requirements provide some degree of direction that the faculty at, say UMass, maybe don't feel?

    6. As DeRosa put it, “my institution is very good at cutting costs. The point is to provide the best learning environment.”

      Wish I was there, at my alma mater too! 1. Cutting costs, check; 2. Improving learning, check; when do we get to 3. streamlining instructor workloads? Currently in midst of argument about course caps at my school.

    1. general history journals, or in books or digital forums

      My beef is more with historians who don't even know they're doing it, and do things like put coded markers to interpretive structures into narratives in textbooks. Undergrads from other majors in surveys, who will never read historiography, miss these markers and don't realize they're reading a story told through a particular lens.

    2. don’t want anyone, even me, telling historians how they must write

      Ultimately, isn't the market going to do that?

    3. impossible to express novel ideas without novel language

      Aren't MOST new ideas explained by way of metaphors or analogies to known ideas?

    4. relentlessly abstract and obscure prose, often in imitation of models once current in literary criticism and philosophy

      Sometimes that obscure language actually helps historians make subtle but important points. I'm thinking of something like Hayden White's Metahistory here. Having said that, I'm pretty unforgiving when something I'm reading puts me through that "foreign-language" wringer but then doesn't pay off with a big insight.

    5. Nobel laureate physicist Ernest Rutherford allegedly claimed that “all good science can be explained to a bar[tender].”

      Long tradition of top-level physicists like Hawking writing for the general public.

    6. The Point Isn’t to Sound Smart. The Point Is to Communicate.

      As grad students we're exposed to all kinds of jargon and specialized analysis and argument. But it's not really that much more difficult to understand that just as most regular people (who ARE interested in history) aren't interested in our professional arguments, they aren't interested in our technical language. Failing to adjust our language to our audience is just sloppy, like using the passive voice.

    1. he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials available

      Recording the trail we wander through this info seems to be a key feature of the Hypothesis annotation view we return to whenever we open the page.

    2. the entire process by which man profits by his inheritance of acquired knowledge The prime action of use is selection

      Implications for education?

    3. provide the individual with information-generating aid

      Interesting that there was apparently recognition of the importance of info creation as well as manipulation and consumption.

    4. concepts that we have never yet imagined

      Has this been achieved by people, or have algorithms taken on this task and automated this process beyond our ability to directly interact with these concepts?

    5. Both the language used by a culture, and the capability for effective intellectual activity are directly affected during their evolution by the means by which individuals control the external manipulation of symbols

      As it becomes easier for individuals to manipulate symbols, what happens?

    6. Korzybski

      General Semantics, A.E. van Vogt, Null-A...

    7. every composite process of the system decomposes ultimately into explicit-human and explicit-artifact processes

      But the increase in efficiency and effectiveness comes from improving the interface so that the relationship between the artifact and the human is easier to manage. A graphical user interface that requires less work on the user's part (even if it required more work for the system programmer) improves those synergies and emergent opportunities. There's an increased benefit when those interfaces can be proliferated widely.

    8. the development of "artificial intelligence" has been going on for centuries

      And the prior evidence is pretty strong for an "emergent" set of new insights and capabilities as these intellectual tools (artificial light, writing, printing, libraries, universities) proliferated.

    9. hope was to make a better match between existing human intelligence and the problems to be tackled

      This seems to echo back to that "aboriginal" example above, where our current seemingly enhanced intelligence derives quite a bit from a circumscribed set of "problems to be tackled" that no longer involve survival, but are more focused on things like making phone calls. Does it matter whether our external "intelligence amplifiers" actually deskill us as humans and make us more dependent on thought-labor-saving technology, as long as we don't lose access to it? Did writing put an end to a rich oral tradition in antiquity? Does Wikipedia and Google search make us more forgetful of "facts"?

    10. synergistic principle gives increased phenomenological sophistication to each succeedingly higher level of organization

      Emergent properties again -- is there an implication that a new (higher?) level of emergence may await?

    11. system is actively engaged in the continuous processes (among others) of developing comprehension within the individual and of solving problems; both processes are subject to human motivation, purpose, and will

      A working definition for education in the digital age?