Christmas Round-Up

by Brian Michael Foote

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Hello Commons,

If Christmas is your thing – Merry Christmas!  As the year winds down I get to sit back and start prepping for my “best of” list for 2012.  This last week on the site we saw a big end of the year push from our cadre of bloggers here on the Commons.  Before I get into the blogs though I want to celebrate the release of Commons In A Box 1.0.  This week we finally emerge from beta!  Congrats Dev team!

This morning the New York Times had a great article up about the brick wall our students are facing as they slog their way through this economy.  More than ever, education is being undermined as a means of raising a generation up into a better life.  Where the Times leaves off, the Commons inadvertently picks up.  This week the site was packed with posts reflecting on MOOCs and their rise in modern education.  Never in the history of education has it been technically possible to educate so many people for so small a cost.  Yet we live in a time where all of the education in the world isn’t enough to salve the Great Recession’s resonating effects.   MOOCs can broadcast knowledge and skills but those candidates have to land somewhere to put them to use.

Tony Picciano put himself in conversation with The Chronicle as they got reflexive about MOOCs and their place in the new academy.  George Otte also dropped in this week to recap the year in MOOCs and look at the great range of cheers and fears surrounding them.  Bruce Rosenbloom brought us a great infographic about the changing classroom and where technology can take pedagogy.  Perhaps it is too late for Generation Y, but the Z’s are going have learning opportunities that were unimaginable even 10 years ago.  (Here’s a hint of where education is going.)

On a more uplifting note, the Brooklyn Zine Project is encouraging members to get involved in a benefit for the Sandy Hook tragedy.  I also learned that this week the Graduate Center has stress stations set up around campus to help sooth nerves and keep folks from breaking down.  We know it’s tough – keep your shoulder to wheel, grads!  If it’s noise that distracts you Mani Garcia has just the thing!

Finally this week my internet life has come full circle as my beloved Dinosaur Comics made a cameo appearance on the Commons.  Yes!

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to watch Eyes Wide Shut.  That’s how we do Christmas.

Till next week.