Standing room only

What do you stand for? Who are you? How can you know that—and operate from that position of power? bell hooks There are times that it’s hard to know what to say. Things seem to ask for a response, even just a raised hand to say “Here”. But how to start with this world? This week I discovered that the place where I work has a new brand tagline, and this is it: Stands For Purpose (It’s not that bad. My daughter’s primary school…

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Top talent

Maybe today a winner may simply be defined as someone who gets to experience authenticity and freedom, not just very profound anxiety, frankly, in the context of essentially extremely tough and extremely precarious labor markets. Gianpiero Petriglieri, Nomadic Leaders Need Roots, Harvard Business Review Higher education has a thing for lists around the turn to a new year. It’s as if we can’t stand the rattling disconnect between what we hoped and how things turned out, again. So we try to…

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Ratfarming: let’s not

But in our minds the answer to the question “Should I blog?” is now a clear and resounding “Yes”, at least, if conventional indicators of academic success are your aim. Blogging is now part of a complex online ‘attention economy’ where social media like Twitter and Facebook are not merely dumb ‘echo chambers’ but a massive global conversation which can help your work travel much further than you might initially think. Inger Mewburn and Pat Thompson, “Academic blogging is part…

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Business as usual

In an evolving market, the development of sustainable business models is always a challenge but I believe that if we build something great, a whole range of business opportunities could come our way. Simon Nelson, CEO, FutureLearn, Feb 2013 Over the past year, MOOCs have opened the doors of access to quality education, and have captured the attention of educational leaders and students worldwide. Today, we’re excited to announce the next step in our mission to foster student learning without…

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Under pressure

It’s week one again, and I’m up late reading students’ introductory posts at the start of a mostly online course.  They don’t know each other, and in sharing photographs and writing publically about why they’re taking the course, they’re showing quite a bit of trust in strangers that they haven’t met in person, including me. This care that they show each other is really why I still choose to work online, after a year immersed in the blither of techno-futurism,…

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Is it time?

A few weeks ago, Professor Frank Larkin reported for the L H Martin institute that staff-student ratios in Australian higher education are a bit worse than are commonly claimed. What makes this sensitive is the government’s ambitious target of 40% of 25-34 year olds being degree qualified by 2020. There’s some debate about the viability of this target, and the details are vague on exactly how this will raise national productivity unless we’re really prescriptive on what those undergraduates study, and what…

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Rankings

One of the odd features of messages sent to us by our colleagues in administration is that their signatures are showing the work of some pretty committed corporate decision making to advance the brand in all circumstances, even in the very small print at the bottom of an email.  It’s a bit like academic colleagues who have taken to listing their latest publication and leadership roles at the foot of every correspondence, a move whose target audience isn’t entirely clear….

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