First Round-Up of the Year!
by Brian Michael Foote
Welcome to 2011 Commons!
Everyone must have made a resolution to start blogging because there are a bunch of new faces of the blogroll this week! We had a wonderful year in 2010 here on the Commons and all these fresh voices popping up are sure to keep me busy in the year to come. Before I dive into this week’s blogs you might have missed I feel like I should say something about Arizona. Satire and humor are my favorite vehicles for catharsis and over the last year I haven’t been shy about cracking a joke here or there about what’s been happening in Arizona as the political climate has intensified. In fact, I’ve mentioned the state so much that it’s a pretty big tag over there in my tag-cloud. Like all of us here on the Commons I was shocked when I saw the news this weekend and this is no time for jokes. Our own Anthony Picciano has already started off what I’m sure will be a passionate dialogue here on the Commons and I’ll leave it to those of us here who are far more eloquent to have their say. As for myself, I’m pretty much speechless. Here’s hoping for a full and healthy recover to the injured and some kind of peace for those who lost a loved one.
The first crop of blogs for 2011 started out strong. My favorite of the lot is Lee Hachadoorian’s @leehach ambitious Free City which is already a hit here on the Commons and to those who check out our site but aren’t members of the CUNY community. This great first post on why it’s time to switch to Linux is a phenomenal resource for those of us who have been toying around with the idea, but nervous about wandering out into the tall grass. Maybe 2011 is the year I sacrifice one of the retired laptops in the name of experimentation. Worst case scenario – I break a laptop that was hanging out in the closet anyways. Best case – I’ll start to get some of the in-jokes my IT buddies make.
Amanda Licastro @alicastro over at Digitocentricism was back after a long break talking the “How Should the University Evolve? A Conversation about the Future of Higher Education” event that was held at Baruch in November. I’m super annoyed that I missed this event. I think it was Joseph Ugoretz @jugoretz who gave me the flyer for this ages ago, or that might have been another one of Anya Kamenetz‘s speaking engagements. Regardless I had this marked down to go to it and somehow let it get away from me so I’m glad to see some feedback on it. I’m not familiar with Siva Vaidhyanathan’s work but I’m starting to gather that I should be. Amanda does a great job touching on the highlights of that engagement and offering some of her own thoughts about what it takes to stymie plagiarism in the digital age.
Giulia Guarnieri @giulia has a new blog up and running. Her post on CommonCraft.com and their simple tutorials was great. This post immediately reminded me of the David Harvey animated lecture by RSA Animate that was a popular around here a few months ago and is worth checking out again. I feel like this move towards animated education might be inching closer as a norm for teaching if we can get around to developing animation software that works in a fairly easy way like how we all got to work learning Excel and Word. Hmm… By the way – if you haven’t seen this wonderful gem from RSA by Sir Ken Robinson go ahead and clear your next ten minutes.
Well…there you have it folks, 2011 is off and running! Now get to blogging.