Glenn Beck’s New Online Program and Network

[I] was at least somewhat saddened when I heard that Glenn Beck is ending the spectacular run of his program on Fox News Channel. It is one of the few regularly scheduled programs that I record with my DVR and watch every episode.

Mr. Beck is launching a new program on September 12 in a whole new format, on the Internet. My kind of stuff!

He and his team have produced a stage-setting initial program that I found fascinating. I am excited to see how they will perform thorough research, produce it with integrity and excellence, and deliver it with absolute cutting-edge distribution technologies. It will be great to watch, and even more important, to participate in. That’s because the focus is going to be helping us understand what we can DO to reclaim America’s exceptionalism and become forces for good within our culture, rather than being just entertained or¬†merely inspired.

I invite you to join me. Here is the initial episode:

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What a creative brain looks like

Here is a fascinating talk given by Dr. Charles Limb, a neurosurgeon who also happens to be a jazz musician. He has a particular research interest in how the brain works when it is being creative. He uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to create a picture of the brain of talented musicians as they create improvisational jazz music.

Watch this and enjoy!

From the TED website:
About this talk

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.

About Charles Limb

Charles Limb is a doctor and a musician who researches the way musical creativity works in the brain. Full bio and more links

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom isn’t free. But I fear that an increasing number of citizens of our nation are losing the essence of this truism. Today, Memorial Day, has caused me to reflect on this. As I am writing this I am watching a rebroadcast of HBO’s “Band of Brothers” docu-drama about servicemen in World War II.

My own father served honorably in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. In the past several months I have been taking every opportunity I can find to personally express my gratitude and appreciation to veterans and to soldiers currently in service to our nation. Here are some examples. A few days ago I had breakfast with a friend in Tulsa, and there was a Vietnam veteran having breakfast alone (I could tell by the cap he was wearing). As I departed the restaurant,¬† I went by his table, offered him a handshake and thanked him for his service. He seemed surprised, but he obviously thought well of it. As I was passing through a major airport a few weeks ago, several uniformed soldiers were hanging around waiting for their flight, and I passed among them shaking hands and expressing my appreciation to each one. They didn’t seem to mind at all. One said, “No problem.” Another said, “It’s an honor to serve, sir.” I also take advantage of similar opportunities to say thanks to law enforcement officers and firefighters, whenever I can do so without interfering with their duties. I don’t make a big deal out of it. I simply look them in the eyes and offer a short, sincere “thank you” for what they do. To date, not a single one has seemed bothered by this — on the contrary, all have received the sentiments well, albeit with some showing apparent surprise.

I invite everyone who reads this to join me in these personal expressions of thanks and appreciation. It will help both you and the recipient of your gratitude to have a better day.

This video is a good reminder of the sacrifices we are thanking them for.

The Push

The video below really has nothing to do with “teaching with technology.” However, as an educator and as a parent I was quite captivated by its message.

As we seek to educate, motivate, and inspire our students, we may need to remind ourselves from time to time that an important gift we have to offer those under our care and instruction is,

a push.

Enjoy!

Mental Enhancement Drug Use Increasing on College Campuses

I was somewhat caught off guard with this CBS News 60 Minutes segment from their April 25, 2010 program. It describes how an estimated relatively large proportion of college students are misusing prescription drugs to enhance their mental abilities for exams, term papers, etc. The more common drugs are Adderall and Ritalin, which are commonly prescribed for attention disorders. They estimated that over a third of college students today have used them at least once, and the percentage climbs to over half of all students. This may be something we as professors and administrators need to be more aware of and concerned about.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Millennials are more educated, but less employed

Studies about millennials (young people born between 1980 and 1995 or 2000, depending on whose definition you use) are revealing that many of them now have a high level of education. But rather than take their knowledge and skills into the workplace, many are choosing to put their time and talents into altruistic endeavors, and striving to make a difference in their world.

For more background on the Millennials and what they tend to believe and do, see my earlier post: What is is with our students? The Millennials are here!

Read the article from USA Today at this link: Millennials.

Watch this video from CBS News to get an update:

A whole new way of thinking

Author and speaker Daniel Pink has completed some very provocative work on trends in business and the economy. He is a hugely entertaining speaker, especially when he shares that he was a woefully unsuccessful student in law school. Dan shares three macro-level drivers of 21st century careers:

  • Abundance
  • Asia
  • Automation

This talk was delivered around 2006 while promoting his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. I have watched it multiple times, and it has profoundly affected how I think about how we should be planning our learning and our careers for the future. For us as educators, it should really spark discussion about what a higher education general education curriculum should look like. Ask yourself questions like these:”What types of careers will American students need to be prepared for in five or ten years?” “How do we identify the proper learning outcomes and the teaching methods to ensure our students are achieving them?” “What assessment methods and tools will allow us to measure student progress toward these outcomes?”

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Once you’ve finished the presentation, watch this ten-minute question and answer session with Mr. Pink:

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Speaking metaphorically

Author James Geary presented an interesting talk at TED, pointing out that we typically use about four to six metaphors a minute whenever we’re in an engaging conversation. He has done some formal study of the use of metaphors throughout history.

As you watch this presentation, note also his use of some fairly new presentation software called Prezi. Prezi lets you build a presentation as a single large canvas, and then zoom and rotate to the various sections during the presentation.

From the TED website:

About this talk

Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make, Geary says. Lost jobs, wayward lovers, wars and famine — come to think of it, just about any of life’s curveballs — there’s an aphorism for it, and James Geary’s got it.

About James Geary

One of a handful of the world’s professional aphorists, James Geary has successfully fused early creative endeavors in performance art, poetry and juggling with his childhood fascination with the “Quotable Quotes” column in Reader’s Digest. His books Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists and the bestselling The World in a Phrase are invaluable journeys through the often-ignored art of the witty (and memorably brief) summation.

His next book is about the secret life of metaphors, and how metaphorical thinking drives invention and creativity. Geary is a former writer for Time Europe and is now an editor for Ode magazine, a print and online publication devoted to optimism and positive news.

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field Study — Inspiring and Fascinating!

This video from NASA is not exactly about teaching technology. I am nonetheless fascinated and totally awe-inspired by it and I think you will be, too. This is about one of the most important pieces of technology ever built by mankind, the Hubble Space Telescope. And this video can certainly be used in the classroom for teaching purposes.

On two occasions the Hubble has been pointed for extended periods at tiny patches of sky that previsously showed no signs whatsover of celestial objects. The results astounded everyone. After watching it, see if you have a sense of the immensity and grandeur of creation, as I did. Enjoy!