There’s some great content waiting for readers this week on AdjunctNation.com. If you are a site pass holder, no doubt you’ve checked out the E-Zine content already. My favorite piece from the “Features” section is by Kelly Lavis, “In Search of Service: Opportunities to Shine in the Adjunct World.” It’s always easy for part-timers to think that service is just for the full-timers. However, faculty off the tenure-track who want to end up on the tenure-track should remember that research and publishing are only a part of the equation. Service is a crucial component in the formula, as well. The other piece I would recommend from the Current Content is, “Lowering the Price of Higher Education,” by Shai Reshef. As we have all read in numerous pieces published in the mainstream media about higher education, the cost of college tuition—the cost of attending university—continues to outpace inflation. The September 21, 2010 Part-Time Thoughts blog entry on the subject includes this tidbit:
College fees have for decades risen faster than Americans’ ability to pay them. Median household income has grown by a factor of 6.5 in the past 40 years, but the cost of attending a state college has increased by a factor of 15 for in-state students and 24 for out-of-state students. The cost of attending a private college has increased by a factor of more than 13 (a year in the Ivy League will set you back $38,000, excluding bed and board). Academic inflation makes medical inflation look modest by comparison.
As costs soar, diligence is tumbling. In 1961 full-time students in four-year colleges spent 24 hours a week studying; that has fallen to 14 hours per week.
The author of this piece offers some interesting suggestions concerning how to high cost of higher education can be reduced.
On the Nation Blogs this week, Adjunct By Choice blogger Trish Hopkins writes about the kind of “remote” teaching most of us only dream about. While on a weekend camping getaway, Hopkins stays plugged-in and in-touch with her students. She offers suggestions on how to get away from it all—mostly—in “Taking Your Teaching Act On The Road.”
If camping is not your idea of fun, you can make your classroom and office portable while traveling to a comfy B & B. Most wireless phone carriers now have a cool device to plug into your laptop to use the Internet while meandering down the road. In my area there is Clear 4G network (http://www.clear.com/) with nationwide coverage that enables me to surf the Web and log into my faculty portal from the car. Are you the driver? Yikes! You may want to limit your Internet use then. However, letting that special someone take the wheel will open up oodles of time for you to post to your students, grade papers, and perform course-related tasks before arriving at the destination of your dreams.
Teaching in Pajamas is one of the site’s most popular blogs. Maybe it’s the title? Blogger Rich Russell writes about rubrics. If you don’t think you need to use on in the courses you’re teaching, Russell urges readers to think again:
The first time I saw a rubric was when I was starting a Master’s in Teaching program at The New School; this was the year after I had graduated with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing/Vagabondage from NYU, and my mother “encouraged” me to get a teaching degree. “Rue brick? What is this?” I wondered. “Is this a chart? Excuse me — I think there’s been a mistake. I want to be an Englishteacher. This looks like one of those spreadsheets I’ve heard about.” Of course, as teachers we all learn to love the rubric. Sometimes we sit around and sigh to ourselves, “I can’t remember what my life was like before rubrics.” Someday we might look back and declare this to have been the Golden Age of Rubrics — a time when rubrics were the rage.
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