Showing posts with label community college. Show all posts
Showing posts with label community college. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success

Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success by Thomas R. Bailey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to really like this book. There are some points to it that are valuable and think can help improve outcomes at community colleges. In particular, the way it considers choice design and providing clearer pathways for students I think is incredibly useful to consider. However, it flails when it talks about classroom design or even when it tries to accurately discuss the student populations. It says that including the part-time faculty is important and yet makes mention of them on less than eight pages in the entire book; the rest of the time, the authors focus on full-time faculty in their remarks. Most problematic is that it is simply too vague and simple. It defines success as graduation but never provides what is a meaningful completion rate to acquire, which is useful to consider when even the authors note that more than half the students are likely to stop because of financial limitations and at least three out of five students are responsible for someone (a child, an ailing parent, etc). I do think it's a relevant read for those who work in the realm of community college, but it has it is not necessarily a great book by any means.

View all my reviews


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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Textbooks and OER

For the last few weeks, almost on a daily-basis, there have been articles from USA Today to Huffington Post to NBC to ABC to the Christian Monitor, all taking about the cost of textbooks.  On one hand, I applaud reporters bring this to the attention of the average consumer and the public, but I'm also disappointed that the vast majority of articles fail to acknowledge the Open Educational Resources movement or when they do, it's usually to downplay or discredit it.  Below is an amalgamation of letters to editors that I sent out that never got published but I figured they still needed to be out there for people to read.

As we enter into the fall, students everywhere will be going to or going back to college.  Many of these news outlets have been remarking about the skyrocketing costs of textbooks—up over 1000% since the 1970s.  Because of the nature of textbooks and higher education, it has become an increasingly exploitative market with publishers undermining a second-hand market of reselling textbooks by publishing annual or biannual editions (Because history textbooks need a new edition every two years) or creating locked content online that requires potential further purchasing (and which the student loses access to within a year). 
On open educational resources -- Beyond definitions

For students, parents, faculty, and administrators lamenting these exorbitant costs (upwards of $1000+ a year), I encourage all to advocate for open educational resources (OER).  OER are free content available online that instructors can use, edit to their liking, and redistribute to their students.   In the last decade, the OER movement has worked hard to produce high quality content such as videos, lesson plans, learning objects, and even textbooks that instructors can integrate into the course for free.  A quick look at OER Commons, one of the most well-known OER repositories will reveal ample content for many faculty.  You can also get a nice tour of the OER landscape by visiting North Shore Community College's LibGuide on OER.  


The OER movement bypasses the traditional market entirely by freely producing and sharing content that will help their students learn without making them pay extra.  Students gain access to their learning materials on the first day and keep them for as long as they chose.  Colleges supporting faculty in creating or using OER find that both faculty and students are happier about the opportunities it affords them.  

There are also people like David Levin, CEO of McGraw Hill (the biggest of textbook publishers) who are trying to convince students and faculty to "go digital".  Of course, for his company, going digital means buying their digital products which will increase their profit margin significantly, while eliminating a secondary market for textbooks.  It's not just about going digital.

In his advocating for digital textbooks, he forgets to mention a few things that are worth noting and make his plea not just dubious but misleading.  His argument seems to say that he empathizes with students and faculty and that his plea is really on their behalf, but it's not.  The digital textbook racket is even more menacing for students and faculty than the physical textbook business model.  He's using the platform of expensive textbooks (something he contributes to as part of McGraw-Hill) to bait and switch faculty and students into etextbooks.  The problem is that McGraw-Hill tactics with etextbooks are even more exploitative than their tactics with physical textbooks. 

While with textbooks, students can hope to have a year or two before the publisher throws out a pointless new edition, etextbooks offer no secondary and cheaper market.  Instead, everyone must pay the same price for entrance and there is no opportunity for the market to level out the real cost of textbooks (usually pennies on the dollars of the original cost).  It seems clear that publishers are enacting the same mob-like extortion practices as they did with the physical textbook, but now, they really do control who goes and who sees what. 

But it gets further problematic from there.  Students don't even own their learning.  When students purchase physical textbooks, they own the physical copies.  With etextbooks, students only buy access to the content and typically, they lose access within 6 months to a year.  So even if students are paying less (for now), they are still subject to losing out on owning and reselling.  If they want to keep what they bought, they need to keep paying.  That would be like buying a book on Kindle and then being told by Amazon that you need to pay to read that book again in a year. 

Levin sidesteps the real game-changer for improving student costs of learning materials in higher education; the words he's afraid that students and faculty will hear and advocate for:  Open Educational Resources (OER).  There is a movement throughout the world for Open Educational Resources.  These are free and rich educational materials that includes lesson plans, learning guides, videos, audio content, and yes, even textbooks that faculty can incorporate into their classes.  Faculty are not only able to provide these for free to students, but they can also edit, remix, and take bits and pieces from different resources.  Rather than being stuck to one resource, faculty and plug and play a wide range of content to enrich student-learning.  OER provides faculty with not only more flexibility and range of materials, it means students have instant access to their learning materials on day one and can keep them for years after. 

And publishers like McGraw-Hill are overwhelmingly concerned about OER because it is a disruptive force for the textbook industry (a legal Napster, if you will).  After years of exploiting students and faculty, the textbook industry is on the brink of collapsing because OER provides the same quality educational resources as the traditional textbooks (in fact, it offers more quality since it uses media-rich content) at a fraction of the cost and unlike Naptster's original format, it's practices are entirely ethical and legal.  

To learn more about OER, check out OER Commons or the NSCC LibGuide on OER.  

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Share This: Social Media for Personal Professional and Organizational Use

So many of my (so very few) readers know that I regular work with social media in my various capacities as instructional designer and instructor.  I have also been a social media strategist for NERCOMP and NEPCA over the years and provided consultations on social media for different individuals and organizations.  Social media is something I think, read, discuss, and use a lot.  So when I learned last year that Jeanine O'Neil had decided to step away from her courses on social media at North Shore Community College's Community Education (their noncredit courses), I talked with her and them noncredit program to find out about trying to fill the gap.  

For the second time, this summer, I will be teaching:  
Banner that reads: Share This: Social Media for Person Professional and Organizational Use.  A course from Lance Eaton @leaton01

This course will run on Wednesday, July 29 and Wednesday August 5th from 6pm-9pm at the Cummings Center in Beverly.  Previous participants have said that this course provides them with a strong understanding of social media that goes beyond just how to use it or why to use it, but a solid grounding in the benefits of using it for self or organizational promotion as well as developing an extensive social network of people to provide new opportunities and connections.  

The course description is as follows:  "Get introduced to social media and the various methods of using it for personal, professional and organizational purposed. We will cover the nuts and bolts of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Blogger. Gain deeper understanding on how to use these tools for different opportunities and engagement with different populations. Explore marketing, advertising, and connecting with customers and communities. Review social media issues including proper etiquette, privacy and quantifying social media interactions."

To register, please visit NSCC Community Education page for more details (The course ID is: CSP207-ACN-17124).  

For those interested in learning more, below are a few artefacts of the course:  

Course Introduction Video on Youtube





Course Introduction Slide Deck on Slideshare:






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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Degrees of Angst: Where Massachusetts Institutions Can Grow

This is a follow up post to a recent post I had on OnCampus with regards to state higher education in Massachusetts.

If the previous post seemed a bit dark, this one will provide some guiding lights for success and improvement in the overall quality of Massachusetts higher education.  The following suggestions offer ways of breaking down artificial barriers to improving success and attracting students. 
Image of a broken chain.  Source: http://pixabay.com/p-297842/?no_redirect

Break the Semester

If a student takes a course in the spring semester and must withdraw by mid-February (e.g. a new job, a family crisis, illness), it is a failure of the traditional semester structure that in some instances, the student will not be able to take that course again for six-months to a year.  How does putting a students’ academic careers on hold for four months to a two years make sense?

Transparent Costs

It can take less than five mouse clicks on Amazon to get the full price including tax and shipping of any purchase.  There is no equivalent for colleges.  Never mind that navigating college websites are endless labyrinths, but no state institute empowers students to know quickly and clearly exactly how much they will pay in anything less than twenty mouse clicks (if not more). 

Stop Pretending Fees Are Different

Higher education should quit playing the used car salesperson when it comes to the costs of education.  Breaking up the cost to students with “tuition” and “fees” is often unnecessary noise to the student.  Typically, “fees” elsewhere are relatively small (e.g. A.T.M. fee, overdraft fee, etc), but when fees exceed tuition several times over, it is not only confusing, but produces skepticism about the practices of higher education.  Students are left wondering what exactly they are paying for and why.  Colleges should provide a single clear calculable cost to education and when possible, a clear itemized explanation of the catch-all “fees.” 

Stop Externalizing Costs

Image of books with "Open Education Resources" on the cover.  Source: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/oer.jpg
The average community college student will pay $1200 a year for their textbooks.  Therefore, by graduation, they will have paid for nearly a semester’s worth of education on books or resources that they might not even be able to access afterwards (especially as publishers switch from ownership to access models with ebooks).  Because such costs vary widely from semester to semester, it means students are incapable of knowing the full cost of a semester often until they are within weeks or days of the start of the semester.  Unstable and costly additions to students’ education, especially when the Open Educational Resources movement increasingly provides highly comparative material seems like an opportunity to

Transparent Learning

Colleges still cling to the course catalogue, an antiquated resource for course information.  In no other context, would someone willingly fork over hundreds of dollars based upon a five hundred character description of a three-month commitment.  This generic explanation of a course cannot provide students with any real understanding of their commitment in a specific section, when there are at times well over one hundred sections of a course.  The description as it currently stands does little to prepare students for learning nor does it resemble any respectable business practice.  That every college does not allow or require more information about specific sections seems a tremendous waste in the digital age especially when students are registering more online than through mail-in or face-to-face registration. 

Though faculty lament the use of RateMyProfessors.com, students use these sites because colleges fail to provide accurate and timely information about their courses.  When faced with one hundred sections of Composition 101, how does the student determine what is the best fit for his or her learning beyond what fits into a schedule?

Flex The Course

Brick and mortar colleges need to think about what they can do that that online colleges or MOOCs cannot.  In particular, colleges need to ponder how students can have more flexibility.  For instance, allowing students to move from an online course into a face-to-face course or from one course section into another could improve completion and student success.  This is something that the MOOCs and the online colleges cannot replicate—flexibility and seamlessness across platforms of learning.   

State institutions provide innumerable services to their students and communities.  They have helped many improve lives and achieve dreams.  The Degrees of Urgency report coupled with the overall trend of declining support for public higher education paint a dark picture for the future of state education in Massachusetts and elsewhere.  Colleges and universities that wish to avoid the ensuing turmoil would do best to incorporate some or all of these practices.  Their students will thank them for it. 


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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Share This: Social Media for Personal, Professional, and Organizational Use

So many of my (so very few) readers know that I regular work with social media in my various capacities as instructional designer and instructor.  I have also been a social media strategist for NERCOMP and NEPCA over the years and provided consultations on social media for different individuals and organizations.  Social media is something I think, read, discuss, and use a lot.  So when I recently learned that a Jeanine O'Neil was contemplating giving up her courses on social media at North Shore Community College's Community Education (their noncredit courses), I talked with her and them noncredit program to find out about trying to fill the gap.  

For the first time, this late winter, I will be teaching:  

Share This: Social Media for Personal, Professional, and Organizational Uses

This first course will run from February 24-March 10 on Tuesday evenings from 6pm-9pm at the Cummings Center in Beverly.  I hope that this course will provide individuals with a strong understanding of social media that goes beyond just how to use it or why to use it, but a solid grounding in the benefits of using it for self or organizational promotion as well as developing an extensive social network of people to provide new opportunities and connections.  

The course description is as follows:  "The program explores social media and how to use it for personal, professional, and organizational purposes.  The course covers the nuts and bolts of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, and Blogger, while also providing some deeper context on how to use these tools for different opportunities and engagement with different populations.  The program addresses marketing, advertisement and connecting with customers and communities through the use of social media.  Participants will also have opportunities to consider issues of social media including proper etiquette, privacy, and quantifying social media interactions."

To register, please visit NSCC Community Education page for more details (The course ID is: CSP207-ACN-17124).  


For those interested in learning more, below are a few artefacts of the course:  

Course Flyer


Course Introduction Video on Youtube





Course Introduction Slide Deck on Slideshare:






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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blog post on On Campus: Degrees of Angst Part 1

The following is part one of a two part guest blog post that I wrote which was published on WGBH's On Campus blog.  It's in response to the most recent report, Degrees of Urgency from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.


Snapshot of the Vision Project website.
Snapshot of the Vision Project website.
"In late October, the Massachusetts’ Department of Higher Education released its “Degrees of Urgency” Vision Project report. It addresses challenges for state colleges and universities as demographic shifts in the next decade will result in smaller student enrollments. In New England, colleges can anticipate a 9 percent or more population loss.   

The report arrives on the heels of a dramatic shift in Massachusetts funding for higher education.  The new funding formula focuses significantly on completion rates of students who start full time and complete a program within the expected time. The formula seems likely to exasperate existing problems since state institution populations have continued to grow significantly since 2000, despite over 30 percent drop in public funding during that same time."

For the full post, please visit the On Campus Blog here.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hybrid Fluxed #03: It Sure Is Easy to Bash the MOOCs Part 1

A colleague brought this article to my attention on the concerns about MOOCs as apply to teaching history at the college level (and more than likely extend to many of us who teach in the Liberal Studies/Arts).  This article like so many written by people concerned about MOOCs are poorly constructed and limited in its value to the discussion.  While some of their claims are things we should be concerned about, others illustrate a failure to think flexibly or understand what they are actually discussing but feel more like reacting for the sake of reacting.  Such articles provide great opportunities to malign these new forms of technology and their impact on education, but do little to actually improve the situation.  In short, these articles are masturbatory acts that help no one when actually considering how to respond to the MOOCs.

The initial problem, I see is that the author, Jonathan Rees conflates the profession of history with the profession of teaching ("To me, Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) represent the potential for the Taylorization of the academic workplace and are therefore a threat to the “rule of thumb” judgments upon which the historical profession depends.").  These are two different things.  Yes--many historians teach, but others do not, and still others consider it secondary or even a necessary evil to what their primary work is.  Also, if teaching was considered a serious part of the historical profession, why is there so little official training for it within history programs?  (More on this later.)

His critical assessment of unbundling seems to undermine or ignore what is par for the course for the majority of courses and the practice of history in general.  He asks, "Why should anybody provide content for their classrooms, they ask rhetorically, when the best professors in the world can be piped in via the Internet?"  Isn't the logical extension of this concern making sure all content of the course is solely from the instructor?  That is, are instructors performing an act of unbundling every time they use outside textbooks, articles, documentaries, etc?   Furthermore, then should we not expect historians to use technology to locate and collect the best materials possible when conducting research?  Why should we expect a world-wide scouring of solid evidence and resources when composing a history article but when it comes to students, assume that the instructor knows all and sees all despite having a limited and almost-singular focus on history (that is, a specialization)?  Unbundling is what all of us do every time we select materials that we ourselves did not create such as textbooks, journal articles, or documentaries.  Pretending that using video lectures from others who may have a better capacity to present the material is different is making a false distinction.  

His assumption that "there are very few history MOOCs compared to the number of MOOCs in other disciplines" because "many other history professors with the opportunity to teach MOOCs have been scared off by the pedagogical sacrifices this kind of teaching would require" is an inaccurate claim with no research.  That would be akin to assuming that since the earliest of films were largely documentary and depiction of the world as it is, it must be because storytellers saw nothing to be gained from storytelling in the cinematic form and never would.  He also seems to imply that no one is interested in doing history MOOCs and yet there are currently over 70 history MOOCS being offered (http://www.mooc-list.com/tags/history).  Maybe that is "few...compared to the number of MOOCs in other disciplines"--but his implication that this is a pedagogical choice is poorly researched and understood.  MOOCs started in the sciences which is why he offhandedly notes, "Computer scientists, for example, seem to love them."  In part because that's where MOOCs started in these disciplines in the late 2000s and took time to make the transition into other disciplines.  Yes, there aren't as many but there are clearly more and more coming.  

He describes "flipped classes" as "Loading them [students] down with taped lectures." Again, this appears poorly presented in that if he had researched flipped classrooms or enlisted the aid of an instructional designer, he would discover that when done with pedagogically sound methods, flipped classrooms are not merely "taped lectures."   Believing that a flipped classroom is just "taped lectures" is like believing that watching a recorded theater performance and watching a cinematic adaptation of a play are the same thing.   

He laments that "Unfortunately, any other historian making use of their content will have to adapt to their particular historical content preferences. I can’t help but wonder whether students will understand who their real professor is in this situation."  Well, here's a question: how often are instructors confused for the authors of the textbooks they use in the course?  How often is the instructor confused for narrator or host of a documentary watched in class?  The answer is probably never or so rare that, the question is silly.  

He also grows concerned about the potential use of celebrities in MOOCs.  Well, if using Matt Damon for the lectures (and in truth, this isn't much different from when an instructor uses a documentary with a famous actor narrating it) can show improved student learning and retention, should we not consider using it--just as we have used celebrities to endorse and encourage other beneficial content and behaviors?  Isn't part of what learning is about emotional connection and if an actor can help one emotionally connect, why is that not a legitimate consideration for learning?  How much training of faculty is there before they step into a classroom about emotional connection and engagement?  Unless you have acquired it outside the discipline through out means or training, there's little guarantee that you have this skilset for the classroom.  

I've listened thousands of audiobooks in the last two decades and professionally reviewed well over 800 of them.  Without a doubt, the professional narrator always does better than author who narrates his or her own book.  There are definitely exceptions, but on the whole, the professional narrator is better at communicating in his or her professional endeavor.  Wherein the author usually does exceedingly well is when he or she has a background in broadcasting already.  The fact is, training someone for years in researching, writing, and professionally presenting historical research is poor training for communicating and engaging with a lay audience (i.e. college students who have little to no interest in history).  How often have we been bored to death by a professional presentation or fought our weighted eyelids as we tried--TRIED--to get through some journal article?   

The real thing that scares the author is:  "Yet such sacrifices are only one way that MOOCs could de-­professionalize, or even de-­skill, large segments of the professoriate. Historians who do not select their own content or write their own lectures could easily be replaced by personnel with less training, perhaps graduate students or people with no training in history at all. Or perhaps the schools that license history MOOCs will hire no onsite teaching help whatsoever and simply let students fend for themselves."  

This brings us back to the earlier point about history as a trained discipline.  Rees is largely scapegoating technology for the actual threat: the history discipline.  How many master and doctorate programs are geared towards producing historians (not including those focused on creating middle and high school history teachers) actually spend any programmatic time on exploring pedagogy for teaching at the college level?  And assistantships do not count--given they are working with live specimens, have inconsistent levels of supervision, and largely are thrown into classes without any training about teaching.   The MOOCs are not de-professionalizing anyone; the discipline is doing so if it isn't actively and consciously training historians as educators (if in fact that is part of the purpose of the history discipline).  Yes, history programs often do well at training the historian to study history but studying history and teaching history are about as far apart as being a mechanic and being a race car driver.  Yes, there is bound to be some overlap but the history discipline largely leaves it to chance that the mechanic is interchangeable with the race car driver.  Pretending that one goes hand in hand with the other is a failure to understand that learning is not the same as teaching. 

Here's a great example:  The very university that Rees teaches at has a Master of Arts in History.  
  • How many courses are required by Masters' students on pedagogy to complete the degree?  Zero.  
  • How many courses on pedagogy or instruction are offered even as electives within the history discipline?  Zero.  
Yet, a graduate with an MA in History can often start teaching at the college level.  If Rees is bemoaning the loss of professionalism within the history discipline, he would do better to actually establish professionalism around instruction within the discipline .  With that in hand, maybe MOOCs wouldn't be as big of a threat as he poses them to be.  

However, he is right.  There are many concerns to MOOCs, though most of them are a matter of time and tweaking.  He points to optional readings as a concern or "sacrifice".  That's not a real concern.  One can require readings--they just need to be accessible to students and not externalized costs at the student's behalf.  If he considers this a "sacrifice", then may he should reconsider why he is critical of the idea that using other professionals' resources in his classroom since the books he assigns for courses are just that.  

What I find most damming about the article is that as a leader, he offers poor leadership in this regard.  He bashes the MOOCs (with poor arguments) but offers nothing in contrast.  He agrees with Aaron Bady that MOOCs "could be done well, I think, but it won’t be."  However, rather than identify and paint a pathway towards how it could be done right, he simply condemns the MOOCs and says that MOOCs are something that "no credit-­awarding university should tolerate."  

Whether it's MOOCs or some other use of instructional technology changing the standard way of things are to be questioned, but they are also to be considered for the ways in which they can improve current teaching and learning.  They are an active conversation happening on campuses across the world and Rees (at least in this article) appears to be saying, don't engage in the conversation.  Stick your head in the sand and wait till the threat passes.  I'm sure history abounds with examples of how well this strategy has worked.  

If Rees and others are truly concerned that the MOOC will create a poor product and potentially deprofessionalize instruction in higher education, then it's time to up the game.  If MOOCs are as true a threat as Rees wants us to think, then we better damn well have alternatives in place when administrators come knocking at our colleges looking to implement MOOCs for credit.  It then becomes our imperative to leverage technology, where professionally relevant, to improve and enhance the experiences of our students.  

In the next post, I intend to do just that: identify different ways we can enhance students experience, maintain professionalism, and save money.  In the end, I agree with Rees that we should be skeptical of new methods but that skepticism needs to be more than just disregard.  We have and create a lot of unnecessary roadblocks and tediousness for our students and as other colleges and alternative to colleges remove these roadblocks, we owe it to our students to make things more streamlined, accessible, and engaging.  


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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Recommendations on Learning, Education and Academia Books

Given that I work in higher education, have accumulated a handful of degrees, and have taught about 100 college courses, I've spend a good amount of time about learning, education, and academia (yes, those are largely different things with overlapping commonalities) and having just finished a Master's in Education, I thought I'd take a walk down book memory lane to see what are those different books that impacted my thoughts on learning, education, and academia.

Like I warned in this post on social media books, I don't necessarily agree with everything said within these books, but they build an interesting conversation around ideas on learning, education, and academia.  Again, feel free to ask questions or leave comments about your favorites or those you really dislike.

Recommended Books for Learning, Education, and Academia

Book cover: My Word! by Susan Blum.  Image Source: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/sites/default/files/book-image/my-word-plagiarism-college-culture.png
  • Anderson, Chris. Free: The Future of a Radical Price. New York: Hyperion, 2009. Print.
  • Anderson, Chris. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. New York: Hyperion, 2006. Print.
  • Anderson, Chris. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. New York: Crown Business, 2012. Print.
  • Arbesman, Samuel. The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date. , 2012. Print.
  • Ariely, Dan. The (honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone-Especially Ourselves. , 2012. Print.
  • Bauerlein, Mark. The Digital Divide: Arguments for and against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2011. Print.
  • Berger, Jonah. Contagious: Why Things Catch on. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013. Print.
  • Bilton, Nick. I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted. New York: Crown Business, 2010. Print.
  • Bissell, Tom. Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 2010. Print.
  • Blascovich, Jim, and Jeremy Bailenson. Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution. New York: William Morrow, 2011. Print.
  • Blum, Susan D. My Word!: Plagiarism and College Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009. Print.
  • Botsman, Rachel, and Roo Rogers. What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. New York: Harper Business, 2010. Print.
  • Boyle, James. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 2008. Print.
  • Brafman, Ori, and Rom Brafman. Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. New York: Doubleday, 2008. Print.
  • Brown, Brené. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City, Minn: Hazelden, 2010. Print.
  • Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.
  • Chabris, Christopher F, and Daniel J. Simons. The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us. New York: Crown, 2010. Print.
  •  Chatfield, Tom. 50 Digital Ideas: You Really Need to Know. London: Quercus, 2011. Print.
  • Chatfield, Tom. Fun Inc: Why Games Are the 21st Century's Most Serious Business. London: Virgin, 2010. Print.
  • Chatfield, Tom. How to Thrive in the Digital Age. London: Macmillan, 2012. Print.
  • Chertavian, Gerald. A Year Up: How a Pioneering Program That Teaches Young Adults Real Skills for Real Jobs - with Real Success. New York: Viking, 2012. Print.
  • Christakis, Nicholas A, and James H. Fowler. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2009. Print.
  • Christian, Brian. The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive. New York: Doubleday, 2011. Print.
  •  Collins, Gail. As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda. New York: Liveright Pub. Corporation, 2012. Print.
  • Crawford, Matthew B. Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York: Penguin Press, 2009. Print.
  • Dewey, John. Experience and Education. New York: Macmillan, 1938. Print.
  • Diaz-Ortiz, Claire. Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.
  • Dick, Walter, and Lou Carey. The Systematic Design of Instruction. Glenview, Ill: Scott, Foresman, 1978. Print.
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  • Drout, Michael D. C. How to Think: The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 2013. Sound recording.
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  • Freedman, David H. Wrong: Why Experts* Keep Failing Us-and How to Know When Not to Trust Them : *scientists, Finance Wizards, Doctors, Relationship Gurus, Celebrity Ceos, High-Powered Consultants, Health Officials, and More. New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2010. Print.
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Book Cover:  Brain Rules by John Medina.  Image Source: http://buildingcreativebridges.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/medina-brain_rules.jpg

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  • Sommers, Sam. Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World. New York: Riverhead Books, 2011. Print.
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