by Jim Groom
The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly. -F. Scott Fitzgerald
EdSurge had a feature article about the CUNY Games Network, highlighting the power of a networked research community born at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and they setup up shop right here on the Commons.
When four professors from the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) started collaborating on game-based learning (GBL) in developmental math and writing instruction in the mid-2000s, they had no idea what they were setting in motion. Today, more than 160 GBL researchers and practitioners contribute to the dynamic CUNY Games Network (CGN), housed within the City University of New York (CUNY), with its more than 540,000 students on 24 campuses.
The power of networking is something the Grad Center continues to double down on, in the long tradition of Writing Fellows, Instructional Tech Fellows, and Digital Fellows, it was cool to learn about the Social Media Fellows being led by Chris Caruso. I owe my own career to CUNY’s Instructional Tech Fellowship, so seeing the ongoing support for these programs is very encouraging, and dare I say forward-looking.
Speaking of Fellows, last week the Digital Fellows did a session on establishing your online scholarly presence, something near and dear to my heart:
And this Thursday they will be running another workshop on “The Lexicon of DH.”
Speaking of GIFs, I found a link to a story on the Fair Use & Copyright blog from back in March about an artist who cut Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey into 569 GIFs and uploaded them in order on Giphy to test whether GIFs could be considered fair use given the lack of audio and 256 colors.
The project reminded me of a more recent exploration of re-working film culture, namely the “Of Oz the Wizard,” a recut version of The Wizard of Oz that is entirely alphabetized> I know, it makes no sense, just watch it.
And while on the topic of culture and copyright, it is always important to ask “What Would David Harvey Do?” Luckily, you get probably answer that question from the comfort of your laptop given his weekly series on “Marx and Capital” is being recorded and shared freely on YouTube:
U.S. Politics right now.
You certainly don’t need me to tell you shit is ugly, and you could pick from so many topics such as the ongoing police shootings of the black community across the United States. Tressie McMillan Cottom’s post reflecting on what’s been happened in Charlotte, North Carolina is enlightening (as her stuff so often is), and if you are interested, it might be worth a look at her response to labelling Georgetown University’s attempt to come to terms with slavery in their past as reparations. As for the Presidential Race …. do I have to? Actually no, because Tony Picciano has again:
I would be praying for November like everyone else if I weren’t so petrified of what looking down the barrel of that gun could mean for all of us.
In other national dystopic news topics, the for-profit higher ed bubble seems to be bursting. The news ITT’s doors would be closing after the federal government refused to provide funding for their students in the form of guaranteed loans has been followed by the loss of recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) —the nation’s largest accrediting body with more than 600,000 students. The implications of this move could effectively devastate the independent college market—not to mention all the students deeply invested in it.
After the mortgage crisis of 2008 folks warned about the student loan crisis that would follow, I think that’s materializing just about now. And much of it has been fueled by junk for-profit educational institutions and the “governing agencies” that made them possible. Lack of oversight and regulation has cost us dearly over the last decade. And the political ties to the scam run deep, if not President Clinton’s dealings with Laureate University, than Colin Powell’s promotion of Leeds Equity Partners, which owned a major stake in the second largest for-profit college company, Education Management Corporation (EDMC):
Bush has to own the Mortgage Crisis pushing the economy to the point of near collapse on his watch, and Obama may very well have to own letting the student loan/for-profit crisis get to this point during his tenure. Who has the Secretary of Education for the last 8 years again?
But as always, the Commons cup runneth over, there is much more going on and the excerpts and links below are just a taste of what you are missing.