Friends! Angelenos! Countrywomen! I’ve been in SoCA so long you probably thought I had traded in my cowgirl boots for flip-flops permanently. No way! Never fear. You can take the cowgirl out of Colorado, but you can’t take Colorado out of the cowgirl.
Anyhoo: I’m too busy to write a real blog post this morning, but a number of items have come to my attention lately that I’d like to share with you. I hope you’re booted and ready to ride, because here goes:
- Jonathan Rees, writing about the news that Arizona State University and edX will offer the “Global Freshman Academy” and put an entire intro curriculum on MOOCs for credit, says this: “Arizona State is now the first predator university. They are willing to re-define what education is so that they can get more students from anywhere. If they don’t kill other universities by taking all their students with a cheap freshmen year, they’ll just steal their fish food by underselling 25% of the education that those schools provide and leaving them a quarter malnourished.” And they’re enlisting their own faculty to do this: “What we have here then are mostly ordinary faculty agreeing to participate in a scheme to steal the bread and butter of other ordinary faculty so that they won’t have their bread and butter stolen first.” As Jonathan has reminded me only recently, after Benjamin Franklin, “we must hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” John Warner at “Just Visiting” at Inside Higher Ed also has some worthy thoughts on this.
- On the bad news/good news watch: A reader recently alerted me to this Change.org petition written by Tyler Priest to preserve access to the State Historical Society of Iowa, which is threatened by proposed budget cuts by Governor Terry Branstad’s administration. Iowans, midwesterners, and anyone who has used the SHSI or sent students there, please show your support to public access to our shared history.
- On to inside baseball for historians now: The American Historical Association has published its draft of “Guidelines for Evaluation of Digital Scholarship” and invites commentary from all corners of the profession. History bloggers and #Twitterstorians, I don’t need to remind you that it’s in your own best interests to read, digest, and suggest improvements!
- Finally, I recently recieved an email from Megan Springate of the Rainbow Heritage Network, which is a partner with the National Park Service in their initiative to include more LGBTQ history in new and existing NPS sites, announcing that “the [NPS ]has just released a document that brings together the many ways that people across America, regardless of identity, location, or how much time they have, can participate and engage with the Initiative. These include sharing information about places important to your community, spreading the word, visiting historic places, and writing nominations or nomination amendments for the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks programs. You can learn more about the NPS LGBTQ initiative here.
As a friend of mine signs his emails: Happy Trails, and be good to your horse.