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Three Reasons Why Higher Education Should (and Can) Change

This week a journalist asked me to list three principles that underlie and motivate my interest in institutional transformation for higher education.  It’s always an interesting exercise when someone asks for a finite number–it’s never representative or complete but pushes one to a certain prioritizing and synthesizing, however provisional.  This week, here are my three.   […]

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Virtual Mapping

This past October at our first public Futures Initiative event at the Graduate Center, Curtis Wong, the Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, gave a talk entitled “Mapping the Universe and Other Small Things.” In his talk, he mentioned a study from 1993 that asked children to a) point out Madagascar on a world map, and b) point […]

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The Single Best Method For Class (Or Any Kind of) Participation (Thx SciFi Genius Samuel Delany)

Whenever the great science fiction writer Samuel R. Delany teaches or gives a talk, he asks questions and has one requirement:  everyone has to raise a hand.  Everyone.  Whether one knows the answer, doesn’t know, or doesn’t understand the question, he insists that every hand go up and he calls someone at random.  They can […]

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CUNY Soda Can

Finally, CUNY soda! This soda can was spotted on the SUNY Stony Brook campus! We at the Futures Initiative have been advocating for more CUNY swag 🙂 But more importantly, we have been promoting the fact that over 80% of CUNY graduates complete their degrees with no tuition debt. Though we are not behind the […]

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Partnerships and Looking Forward

Demos Orphanides, Webmaster and Online Community Strategist at HASTAC@Duke, recently joined the HASTAC@CUNY and Futures Initiative team for a few days while we prepare for several exciting new things on our horizon. Demos is the force behind the HASTAC.org website and it was great to work with him in person this past week. We are […]

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Mix it Up! How Equity Can Enhance Innovation–and How #FuturesEd Works Toward Those Goals

We’re all abuzz here with conversation, analysis, dismay, and all the rest about a recent article in the Atlantic that paints a grim picture of the way even the City University of New York–arguably the most equitable public education in America, where over 80% of our graduates leave tuition-debt free–still does not escape the inequality […]

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The dialectics of dreams and failure: racialized violence as higher education’s “crisis ordinariness”

Update 1/14: Although it doesn’t change the fact that standardized tests are a form of institutional racism that exacerbate unequal access to education, a recent letter to the editor of The Atlantic suggests that some of the data in the article may have been misinterpreted, misrepresented, or inaccurate. I will post any follow-up responses by […]

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The Invention of Failure

What if we got rid of “flunk out courses” that were defined as “rigorous and demanding” and, instead, set our goal as ensuring the success of every student in equally “rigorous and demanding” courses?   That is, what if we decided what we thought of as excellence in a given course and then not only agreed […]

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Collaborative Learning for a Digital Age

This is an excerpt from Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking, 2011).   It was published, in this condensed format, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education. August 26, 2011 Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age Kevin Van […]

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