Purdue’s Big Online Move

Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue University, shocked the world of higher education on April 27 by announcing the public institution has agreed to purchase Kaplan University. Kaplan is a for-profit school that primarily caters to working adults seeking professional degrees online.

It is really more of an invited corporate takeover than a purchase, with only $1 paid to acquire the assets. In return, Graham Holdings, the current owner of Kaplan, will get a long-term contract to provide marketing, student and faculty support, and technology services for a share of the revenue.


Your Browsing History is For Sale

If you’ve been following tech news, you’ve probably heard that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is allowed to give away your private browsing history. They may share it with their partners, sell it, or utilize it for customized advertisements as they see fit. Privacy Groups are decrying the decision as an unprecedented invasion into user rights, but if you’ll give me a minute I’d like to explain why it is actually a good thing.

The issue at hand is that on April 3rd, President Trump signed into law a “Congressional Review” bill that repealed last-minute Obama-era FCC Internet Privacy Rules that set strict limits to the ways that ISPs are allowed to use records of your personal browsing. The bill passed on a party line with no Democrats voting for the bill and only about a dozen Republicans in the House voting against. The rules had been approved by President Obama’s FCC appointees but had not yet gone into effect since the new Republican Chairman that Trump assigned to take lead of the commission put a hold on them until Congress could act.


Introducing the Model of Engaged Online Learning

Students learn best when they take ownership in the learning process and are actively engaged along each stage of the learning process. While our current educational technologies do a good job of presenting information that needs to be passed on to learners, it does not necessarily do a good job helping students increase their level of engagement. Teaching techniques and learning technologies will best serve these students when engagement is supported and encouraged in every stage of the learning process. This culminates in a pedagogy is often referred to as “Engaged Learning.” Using a pedagogy of Engaged Learning means being mindful of the barriers to engagement and scaffolding learning exercises in a way that maximizes engagement opportunities.


A Guide To The Spontaneous Social Life Of “Pokémon Go”

(First published in The Federalist on July 28, 2016)

It’s been mere weeks since “Pokémon Go” was released to the public, but it has already become one of the hottest games ever developed for mobile devices. Within the first three days, “Pokémon Go” shattered download records and all expectations. The game surpassed the number of installs of trendy dating app Tinder, attracted more players than any other mobile game, and even beat Twitter for daily active users across all platforms.

As with any new phenomenon, it’s hard to separate the hype from the reality. Perhaps it’s a sign of our contentious times that we are seeing the Peak of Inflated Expectations in predictions of both salvation and disaster for our social order. Optimists see a game that gets people out walking more and meeting their neighbors, while pessimists see another reason for iZombies to be glued to a screen and ignore the world.