Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Bob does when he should be working

Feel free to follow along with Bob's websurfing -- it's almost like being there!

As you know, I follow Matt Yglesias (who has a new bloghome), and he posted this reference/comment on university education, in which he notes that Brad DeLong, in this "excellent post on the origins of the large lecture course",
observes that large lectures had a compelling logic in the pre-Gutenberg universe....Modern practice, by contrast, is a bit puzzling.

So I went and read DeLong's whole post, which is deliciously concise, which doesn't make for really effective procrastinating, so I read on and found my ego vicariously mollified in this comment:
Brad, if you are seriously interested in this, you should speak to Carl Wieman....
The comment goes on to summarize Carl's take on university ed, and suggests you can hear it direct from him:
You can hear him discuss what he is on about here:
This link, it turns out, is on iTunes, which I don't have installed, at least on this machine.

The rest of the websurf into the blogshore is less interesting -- Googling "is iTunes evil?" convinced me that it was, but not so much that I shouldn't install it to hear a (presumably free) podcast of Carl. But I'm not currently logged in with privileges enough to install it, and so then I figured I'd blog my experience for you to share.

The "large lecture" issue doesn't come up at my place o'business, but it does at Rebecca's. But the general concern of "is this the way to teach?" is the Pressing Issue of Our Time. Feel free to put your random thoughts or suggestions in the comments, and maybe you will start a voyage of webby discovery for some other slacker!

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