Archive for 11 January 2009

Prof. Facebook, revisited

Posted in teaching with tags on 11 January 2009 by Steve

“More on the question of university lecturers and Facebook from the Houston Chronicle just before Christmas: ‘Should teachers become virtual “friends” with their students? Opinions are mixed. Opponents fear innocent educators will be branded sexual predators for chatting with students online, while proponents caution against overreacting to a powerful communication tool.’ It starts off a bit sensationalist, but gets better …” (more)

[Daithí Mac Síthigh, Lex Ferenda, 8 January]

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The numbers game in HE

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 11 January 2009 by Steve

“The economic downturn is likely, I suspect, to uncover a few cracks in current thinking about skills, credentials and the knowledge economy. Firstly, an obvious consequence of the increased supply of graduates since the early 90’s has been that employers, particularly those offering the tastier morsels of employment, have seen a steady increase in supply, to which they have responded by raising the entry hurdles – hence the increasing sense that a 2:i is the sine qua non for a decent graduate-entry job. That this is happening is itself a big clue to a potential problem with the system. The market value of a degree depends on an element of scarcity. In other words, if 50% of potential employees have an undergraduate degree, then its value is diminished in the marketplace as compared with the time when only 20% of applicants had one …” (more)

[Julian Webb, hEaDspace, 11 January]

Tús maith, leath na h-oibre: UCD tests 20-year Irish plan

Posted in Life with tags , on 11 January 2009 by Steve

“Over 1,000 students in University College Dublin will go ‘as Gaeilge’ for a week to test the feasibility of the government’s 20-year plan for the Irish language. The government has outlined ambitions to have more than one in 20 people speaking fluent Irish by 2028, with a projected number of around 250,000 daily speakers. The event will coincide with Seachtain Na Gaeilge which takes place on the campus from 2-6 February. The 20-year plan was originally devised in a 2006 statement on the Irish language then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who gave two years to devise a strategy for the preservation and promotion of the Irish language. Those who have been sponsor­ed over €15 will get a hoodie emblazoned with “No Bearla” and free access to Seachtain Na Gaeilge events, including tickets to music acts the Coronas and Kíla and comedian Des Bishop. Participants must not speak a word of English …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sunday Tribune, 11 January]