My STYLE GUIDE that I expect students to use includes tiresome words to be avoided when producing essays for third level. I borrow from Northern Michigan's Lake Superior State University 43rd Annual List.
The 2017 list of phrases not to be used include the following:
-- Let me ask you this
-- Drill down
-- Let that sink in
According to Jeff Karoub from the Associated Press, the top vote getter is "fake news".
Personally, I despise "whatever" wherever it appears.
You can instill greater respect for etymology by following Jeff @jeffkaroub Karoub on Twitter.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology. Image of Fake News from the Washington Post.]
I ENJOY LOOKING BACK ON CHRISTMAS every year, enjoying memories that revolve around the special season. I rarely spent Christmas in the same place when I lived in the States but this century I've been in Ireland for nearly every Christmas nearly a quarter century, able to walk under the lights of Grafton Street (pictured).
My Christmas traditions have evolved since my days as a teen in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Back then, I would work with my brothers between Christmas and New Years, rotating fresh poinsettias from the family greenhouse to churches, rectories and convents.
We had to empty the greenhouse of Christmas foliage in order to make way for Easter lilies. We used the green company station wagon to run full loads to happy nuns and priests.
WHILE PAGING THROUGH several dozen creative media journals at the end of the autumn semester, I discovered several unfamiliar logos woven into some very memorable content. And I recorded a half hour of ideas that were sparked by student work.
WE HAVE AN Echo Dot in the house and she is really getting to know what we like to hear by listening to us ask her things. This isn't anything unusual but for visitors who never have seen Amazon's Alexa adding to human conversations, it can be a little unnerving.
WE HAVE EXPERIMENTED WITH MICROCASTING for the past 12 years on the Clonmel campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. With the help of a dozen students, I'm getting an inside view of what microcasting means.
MORE THAN 10 YEARS after I shared my first MP3 clip to readers, I've started culling gigabytes of spoken content into places where the major listening networks can find the audio clips and share them. I'm now experimenting with pulling some of my most recent content from my station on Anchor.fm into a easy to remember subscription called Bernie on Anchor.
I NEEDED A laptop to effectively manage three fourth year students and after a two year wait, I finally got a Dell Latitude 5480 that should serve me well for my final 900 days as a third level lecturer. This is the first machine I've used without having admin rights and that's a bit awkward. Here are a few first impressions.
SOME OF MY BEST STUDENTS want to write with pens on paper. I try to balance their needs with the easy cross-checking that follows well-oiled digital media in the classroom.
I've been teaching third level classrooms for two decades in each of two centuries, which means I've seen classroom technology evolve from loud and large space heaters with footprints as large as chairs to elegant and clever touchscreens that fit in purses. Today, my students are more likely to have a touchscreen tablet than a mouse. But with their technology comes a sort of addiction that needs to be pared back in respect for the learning environment.
I have never abandoned the written word--those peer-reviewed paragraphs inside hard cover textbooks guide our accredited curricula. During many of my lectures, I ask many students to spend time at whiteboards because I learned from chalk talks under the glaring eyes of nuns in my high school. I also remember completing quadratic equations in timed sessions at university level.
I remember the joy of accomplishment from those days and know I don't always need a computer-based game to make learning fun.
So it's a matter of trying to balance the new with the old. I want to distribute lists that hyperlink to deep reading materials and I want students to write journal items in unruled Moleskines.
A major concern I have when training students in the BSc programmes at the Limerick Institute of Technology is access to technology. Many of the immersive practical sessions can only occur by using computers with strong processors, plenty of RAM and fast internet access. During the past three years, access to those machines is time-constrained during the day and that means I encounter students working on assignments between 7-9 PM most weekdays on camppus. In the run up to the examination period, dozens of students are on campus on Saturdays, using labs and the WiFi access. We have adopted a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) philosophy by stealth. This means a young student often has no hope of finishing with top Honours without having either the free time to stay on campus or the resources to ow their own powerful laptop. The technology-laden classroom has become a portable facility in my field of work.