Trade Day at #GenCon (Gaming and Education)

Gen Con will be taking place at the end of July, and this year I’ll be attending Trade Day, the day before the activities most gamers are interested in. That day includes a large number of sessions aimed at educators. I was quite astounded by the sheer number of them, so many overlapping sessions that one has to choose [Read More…]

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Graduate Doubt-Free

The publicity material continues to emphasize the 95% job placement rate of Butler graduates, and so is presumably a pun on what students might consider preferable, namely to graduate debt-free. But when I first glanced the signage, I didn’t see the second part, as it was blocked by a vehicle. As a professor in the [Read More…]

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A Textbook Case of Addiction

Or should that be “a case of textbook addiction”? From the webcomic series Cyanide and Happiness.   [Read more…]

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Ability to Focus

If someone tells you that today’s students, perhaps because of video games, simply cannot focus the way students could in the past, don’t believe them. Halo Reach players spent five years trying to accomplish something in the game that seemed impossible: getting into…an empty room, one that was otherwise inaccessible, referred to as the “Banshee [Read More…]

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Fahrenheit 451 on Standardized Testing

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over [Read More…]

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Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

This comic from Cyanide and Happiness relates to both religious ideas of punishments in an afterlife, and education, and so I had to share it. There is a long history of people imagining punishments in an afterlife that are suited to the evils they did in this life. And, however problematic that is, it is probably [Read More…]

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What is a Degree?

The discussions about my recent post on the topic of university education (which has since become a letter to the editor and posted online by The Collegian) reminded me about this topic that I had saved as a draft blog post to come back to later. NBC and Hemant Mehta covered the attempt of a Bible [Read More…]

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Pat Robertson Advises Pharaoh

A news report recently quoted Pat Robertson saying that people in other countries see more miracles than Americans do because they have less education and less skepticism. Does this mean that if, in the Exodus story, Pharoah and the Egyptians had had more education and skepticism, they could have prevented Moses’ miracles and ultimately the [Read More…]

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Ten Professorial Commandments

Elliott Ratzman offered the following Ten Commandments in Inside Higher Ed: 1. Thou shalt have no other object of attention in the classroom. No devices — phones, gadgets, computers, guns — or distractions; I am a jealous and wrathful instructor. 2. Thou shalt honor thy fellow students. They are also struggling, growing, with opinions always changing, and [Read More…]

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Richard Carrier and Illiterate Country Hicks

As readers of this blog probably know, I wrote a short and focused review of one aspect of Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus for The Bible and Interpretation. I am planning to follow up with another such focused review, probably focused on the use of the Rank-Raglan scale in assessing historicity. But there are lots [Read More…]

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Too Old

A student sent me this e-mail recently: Dr. McGrath, Sorry about the multiple emails. I’m not sure if we went over this or not but I was wondering what your thoughts were on about how far back we should go when deciding which articles to use? I have all mine set, but one is from the [Read More…]

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