At our last faculty meeting we read an article on how to give meaningful homework. It recommended that homework should check for understanding, provide opportunities for practice, and let students take ownership while avoiding “busywork” tasks.
This year I’ve incorporated these principles and leveraged technology to make collaborative homework a regular feature of my classes. For each new topic or chapter of the textbook my students complete an assignment that I’ve creatively named “History Circles.” They’re based off of Lit Circles done in many English classes, and are a way of giving students the opportunity to practice different skills through the content. The nice thing about History Circles is that they distribute responsibility, enable simultaneous workflows, and maintain accountability while reinforcing content and a diverse skillset. Continue reading Showcase: History Circles→
In my last post, I discussed whether international residents should bother following US copyright law. Besides the fact that many of the principles behind US law are also sound ethical principles, the main reason is that even if you live abroad, most of the online services we use are based in the US and therefore subject to US laws such as the DMCA. Hot on the heels of my post comes the news that notorious file sharing library The Pirate Bay is preempting legal challenges by getting rid of physical servers altogether, so as to free themselves from following any national laws at all:
The Pirate Bay is getting rid of its physical servers and exchanging them for virtual machines spread across multiple cloud services. By hosting its infrastructure in multiple data centers and even multiple countries, the widely used torrent site says it will avoid being shut down by authorities targeting BitTorrent sites.
This is an example of a site that expressly tries to follow only the letter of the law; or, more accurately, tries to be outside of legal juridisctions altogether! It seems like the cloud is the new Sealand.