EduLinks – Tuesday 16 October

Welcome to the new full-on EduLinks. Not content with being an afterthought, it’s now a main post on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Bear with me as I iron out any creases. I want it to look presentable and I’m not happy that it is right now. Honestly, the things that wind us up!

Media Guardian – Is Radio 1’s new schedule really down with the kids?

Guardian – Top universities awarding more top degrees

[Are we growing more original, or are degrees being taught on a different assessment basis now?]

Higher Education Achievement Report (Hear):

Guardian – Change by degree

BBC News – Degrees ‘should give more detail’

The Times – New degree awards to reveal graduates’ talent

[What’s your opinion on these likely changes to awarding degrees? I fear it’s missing the point of why your grade is now ‘not fit for purpose’. That’s not to say the proposed changes are a bad idea. I’m all for more information to break down grades and it might help highlight where a student has performed strongly (and subsequently focus better on particular careers). But when you consider the other Guardian article above (Top universities awarding more top degrees), I would worry that a more detailed breakdown of marks could result in more pressure on tutors to try teaching and assessing in a similar way to GCSE and A-Level schooling. When thinking about this, I stopped myself and thought I was perhaps overly concerned about the future of degrees, but my worry returned when I read the (quite true) quote from the vice-chancellor of Leicester University: “When the current system was established, there was a tiny higher education system. We’ve moved from an elite to a mass higher education system.”

Yes, there is now a much higher number of people going in to HE, but how does that create such a change? If many elite universities are giving increasing 2:1 and First grades as each year goes by, what does it actually highlight?

The article’s author concludes by suggesting how hard it is to change the higher education world. He isn’t contradicted by the sounds of things. Maybe it’s this difficulty causing the reason why the point has been missed.]

Sp!ked (Spiked Online) – Is it ethical to watch sport?

Guardian – Out of the comfort zone

[This feature looks at the use of space in determining creativity and work. Apparently, people are a lot more creative when their space isn’t defined as sitting behind a desk, or hiding at the back so nobody can see you. I’ve always been a big fan of opening things up like this. To immerse yourself in a strange and vivid place where you can’t help but be a part of what’s going on (hence being out of the comfort zone), it might feel strange at first, but it’s a great idea to move your creative process forward. I only wonder how it will develop over time when people become used to such spaces. Maybe studying for three years won’t be enough to take away from what the strange spaces aim to do. If it becomes the norm, however, where do you go from there?]

The Times – Libraries left on the shelf?

[Speaking of redefining spaces, I was interested to see that students are making less use, but better use of libraries. It’s great to read that of the fewer visits, they last much longer out of dedicated study and research. I’m not sure what to make of the rather obvious information that students use electronic resources more. I guess this means the Internet, primarily. That’s a positive thing if students are making good use of the net, but a LOT more work needs to be done in helping students find good quality information and pointing everyone in the right direction of just what they can access. It’s amazing how many resources are hidden away, unknown to many students, but which could be a real boon to their study. I have one or two article ideas that I’ll be expanding on over the next month or so that should help uncover some of the goodies available that I’m sure quite a large number of you weren’t even aware of.]

Ergonomics Society – Laptops: Ergonomic Advice for Students

[PDF (Adobe Acrobat) FILE – Got a laptop? If so, read this and then sort it out for your own benefit.]

Telegraph – Brushing up on your housework

[How to iron a shirt, what NOT to put in the fridge, how to descale a showerhead, how to wash trainers, cleaning a chopping board…you know you’re going to need this one day!] – The habits of highly successful bosses

[bear with me here…this short article has advice that’s relevant to many people, not just bosses. Use your imagination. It’s helpful on other levels too, given the broad nature of the advice.]

The First Post – Politicians Fiddle as Britain Burns

[Which ones are Labour and which ones are Conservative again!?]

New York Magazine – Snooze or Lose

[Getting less sleep? Your ability might be put back years…]

The New Republic – What the F*** (Why We Curse)

[WARNING…large amounts of swearing in this article. But it’s of interest and is a lengthy and serious article. If you don’t want to see lots of cursing, then don’t click! If you don’t want to read the article, but want to see lots of swearing, then grow up!]

FOR YOUR PARENTS (if they need it)

The Times1. The Joy of Letting Go / 2. Six tips: dealing with a child-free home

[These two articles may help if you’re busy enjoying yourself and your Mum’s not happy that you’ve left home for uni.]

The Independent – Gossip websites: Talk is cheap, but celebrity gossip can be priceless

[Links to the world’s biggest gossip websites, and info on buying them up. I’m not a fan of celeb gossip, but since so many people are, how could I overlook this article?]

Scientific American Mind – Forgetting to Remember

[Why we need to forget, no matter how annoying it can be.]