Complete Innovation Challenge from Complete College America

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Feb 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Starting today, Governors from all 50 states are invited to take up the Completion Innovation Challenge, a new competitive grant program from Complete College America with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

States that demonstrate a commitment to develop and deploy innovative, state-wide strategies to substantially increase college completion are eligible to earn one of ten $1 million, 18-month implementation grants.

Complete College America aims to leverage the Completion Innovation Challenge grants to inspire states to new thinking and action in key policy areas essential for real and lasting impact:

* Shifting to Performance Funding to reward for more student success, not just higher headcounts.

* Reducing Time-to-Degree to accelerate achievement, prevent damaging delays, and cut costs.

* Restructuring Delivery for Today’s Students to help the new majority of students balance the jobs they need with the higher education they desire.

* Transforming Remediation to move students into first-year, full-credit classes as quickly as possible so precious time, motivation and money are not lost.

* Deploying Transformative Technology to customize, accelerate and support student learning for added convenience, efficiency and affordability.

Learn more about the Completion Innovation Challenge here — and then encourage your state to join our vital effort to make college completion our shared priority.


21 Signs You’re a 21st Century Educator

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Nov 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

I came across this list (Written by Lisa<http://blog.simplek12.com/author/lisa/>) and found it intriguing.  Although some of the items are more appropriate for K-12 teachers, several are applicable to adult educators as well -

1. You require your students to use a variety of sources for their research projects…and they cite blogs, podcasts, and interviews they’ve conducted via Skype.

2. Your students work on collaborative projects…with students in Australia.

3. You give weekly class updates to parents…via your blog.

4. Your students participate in class…by tweeting their questions and comments.

5. You ask your students to study and create reports on a controversial topic…and you grade their video submissions.

6. You prepare substitutes with detailed directions…via Podcasts.

7. You ask your students to do a character/historical person study…and they create mock social media profiles of their character.

8. Your students create a study guide…working together on a group wiki.

9. You share lesson plans with your teacher friends…from around the globe.

10. Your classroom budget is tight…but it doesn’t matter because there are so many free resources on the web you can use.

11. You realize the importance of professional development…and you read blogs, join online communities, and tweet for self development.

12. You take your students on a field trip to the Great Wall of China…and never leave your classroom.

13. Your students share stories of their summer vacation…through an online photo repository.

14. You visit the Louvre with your students…and don’t spend a dime.

15. You teach your students not to be bullies…or cyberbullies.

16. You make your students turn in their cell phones before class starts…because you plan on using them in class.

17. You require your students to summarize a recent chapter…and submit it to you via a text message.

18. You showcase your students’ original work…to the world.

19. You have your morning coffee…while checking your RSS feed.

20. You are reading this.

21. You tweet this page, blog about it, “like” it, or email it to someone else…

The one point that stands out to me is allowing students to cite blogs, podcasts, and other electronic resources.  This movement not only requires a change in thinking among academics, but also a determination to help students critically evaluate information that they find via the world wide web.  Although the Internet has made collaboration and sharing of knowledge significantly easier, it has also basically eliminated quality assurance.  So, while I think we should not ignore information found through blogs, wikis, and other similar sources, we should make greater strides to help students assess the data that they are finding and encourage them to consider multiple perspectives and not simply cite only one blog, tweet, or podcast.  This will help teach individuals not only about information gathering, but also to emphasize the importance of critical thinking.

Which points stand out to you and how would you incorporate them into your classroom?


Lambert Academic Publishing

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Jun 18, 2010 in Resources

Below is a link from the Chronicle of Higher Education where people are sharing their experience with Lambert Academic Publishing.  It appears that this company is reaching out to all sorts of individuals, including graduate students, claiming to publish their work.  The problem is that it appears they have no standards or guidelines for what they print.  Check out the link below to learn more and see what others are saying:



2010 AAACE Conference – Leading and Learning: Meeting Today’s Challenges

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Apr 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

Title: 2010 AAACE Conference
Location: Clearwater Beach, FL
Link out: Click here
Description: AAACE is dedicated to the belief that lifelong learning contributes to human fulfillment and positive social change. We envision a more humane world made possible by the diverse practice of our members in helping adults acquire the knowledge, skills, and values needed to lead productive and satisfying lives. Through its annual conference, adult educators can become more effective in assisting adult learners to succeed in the global marketplace, at the workplace, and in their communities.
Start Date: 2010-26-10
End Date: 2010-29-10


A Global Economy requires a Global Education

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Mar 1, 2010 in Conferences

I recently attended a symposium on cross-cultural perspectives in university teaching hosted by the Biggio Center at Auburn University.  Several individuals from around the country were invited to speak about different worldviews and how each of these perspectives perceives learning and development.  There were discussions on Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Hinduism, and multicultural education in general.  The purpose of this symposium was to begin a dialogue on how these perspectives can be integrated into the classroom and enhance teaching. Read more…


APA 6th Edition: Help me please!!

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Jan 21, 2010 in Resources

If you use this style manual at all, you are probably aware of all the problems with the latest edition.  Below is some information from APA about a blog that has been set up to help alleviate some of these errors:

APA is now hosting a blog at http://blog.apastyle.org/  to provide more information on the problems with  the 6th Edition of the Style Manual. The complete  list of errors that have been corrected in the second printing of the Publication Manual can be found at  www.apastyle.org  by clicking on  ”Supplemental Materials.”


Avatar: A plug for multicultural education?

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Jan 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, I finally had the chance to see Avatar this weekend (and yes, I did see it in 3D!) :) , and as I was viewing this cinematic spectacle, I was struck by the underpinnings of both cultural awareness and sensitivity.  Chances are, even if you haven’t seen the movie, you are aware of the story, which deals with the interaction between humans and another race.  As I watched the plot unfold, I couldn’t help but notice how numerous scenes seemed to be eluding to the need for multicultural education.  One line that really resonated with me happens when the main character is captured by the other race.  When he is questioned as to why he is on their planet, he answers “To learn”.  To this, the leader responds: ”It is hard to fill a cup that is already full.”  This dialouge made me think – isn’t that what makes multicultural education so difficult?  I believe that as adults, we can sometimes be set in our ways, making it harder for us to contemplate ideas that are foreign or different.  It seems that in order for multicultural education to be effective, individuals need to “make space” for new thoughts that may not fit into their current paradigm.  As educators, we need to expose students to alternate perspectives, to not only expand their knowledge, but to also help them see a situation from multiple angles.  Although we can’t choose a path for our students, we can show them that the one they are on may have multiple branches.  It is up to them to decide how to proceed.  After all, isn’t that what multicultural education is all about?  It is not about dictaing what one should believe, but rather to help individuals think critically about their beliefs, and to grow in the process.


2010 Adult Education Research Conference

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Jan 12, 2010 in Conferences

Title: Adult Education Research Conference
Location: California State University at Sacramento
Link out: Click here
Description: This year the 51st annual Adult Education Research Conference will be held in conjunction with the 3rd annual Western Region Research Conference on the Education of Adults (WRRCEA) in Sacramento, California. Come join us for a weekend of cutting edge research in the field of adult education.
Start Date: 2010-06-03
End Date: 2010-06-06


Cross Cultural Perspectives on Learning

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Jan 12, 2010 in Conferences

On February 19th and 20th Auburn University will be holding a Symposium titled “Cross Cultural Perspectives in University Learning Environments”.  This two-day symposium will bring together scholars from around the world, together with faculty members, graduate students, and higher education administrators in an interactive forum to facilitate learning and change in educational practice. 

I will be speaking about Hinduism and how this philosophy views learning and development.  There will also be presentations on Korean education, Muslim beliefs, as well as other multicultural topics.

Check out the full program schedule to see detailed information about each of the presentations and check back here in February as I will be posting a daily synopsis of the symposium!


Writing a Successful Proposal

Posted by Swathi Nath Thaker on Jan 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

We all know that writing a proposal can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the process and have limited experience presenting your ideas to conference committees.  Below is a link to a Podcast produced by Educause, where several individuals share what they look for when reviewing and selecting proposals.


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