My Commencement Address: School of Information and Library Science, UNC

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How much information? 294 billion emails, 2 million blog posts, and 864,000 hours of YouTube video churned out each and every day. We need you, Information Scientists! No one ever dreamt the World Wide Web would connect us like this, each to the other, massively and globally, in such a short time in so many ways–personal, economic, intellectual, social, and political.

Flipped? Why Not Aim Higher, for the Cartwheeled Classroom?

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“When you decide to change higher ed with the purpose of changing the world, you aim high. Because of academic freedom–freedom of ideas but also freedom from having to produce an income or a profit–you can achieve what few other investments achieve: a return on our society’s future, not just on quarterly Wall Street reports. “

I'll be on NPR, on Dick Gordon's "The Story" on April 30th

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If you are in the WUNC (91.5 fm) listening area, you can listen to Dick Gordon’s interview with me on “The Story” on Monday April 30th, during the 1pm EST and 8pm EST show, at approximately :40 after the hour. It airs at other times elsewhere so here are the listings: http://thestory.org/Stations It was a great conversation, so now I’ll be intrigued to hear the final version. Let me know what you think!

Why You Need to Drive More Carefully on Tax Day

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Did you know there’s a 6% increase in traffic fatalities on April 15, tax day? That’s about the same as the increase on Super Bowl Sunday (when drinking is involved). Forget cell phones and so-called “multitasking”! If we really want to know what “taxes” our attention, it’s, well, taxes.

Where's the "Integrity" Box On Your Resume?

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How do you count “integrity” as a vital component of “productivity” and “profit.” That is a profound question. How do you teach it, promote it, improve it as a quality?

Getting Rid of the Myth of Monotasking (It's Only Hurting Us)

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Instead of blaming technology, as if the simple fact of technology dooms us to unhappy lives, it is useful to ask what is distracting us, why, and how can we adjust our behavior—our activities and thoughts—to allow for the optimal completion of the tasks we need to complete. Until we dispel the myth of monotasking, we are powerless. Once we understand that “distraction is our friend,” we can use our own frustration to help diagnose the real issue and begin to cure the problem.

Are You Smarter Than a Teenager?

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Maybe it should be a requirement: before any expert passes a summary judgment on a whole generation, s/he needs to first spend some extended time with actual living, breathing members of that generation. Over and over, I read assessments about “teens today” that seem to homogenize as somehow “deficient” a whole generation that is as complex and diverse as any and every other generation. And “technology” is typically the explanation for this catastrophe of the younger generation.

The Homeless "Among You": What Lisa Lesniak's Compassionate Art Makes Visible

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“Among You” is a beautiful, poignant, even joyful exhibit selected from artist Lisa Lesniak’s series “Drawn To Compassion,” hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church on Friday March 16, from 6-930 PM, at 504 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, 90210. The exhibit is of loving, compassionate portraits Lesniak has made of the homeless people she serves as a volunteer “stylist.”

What's the Problem Multiple Choice Tests Solve? What's A Better Way?

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The bubble test, invented in 1914, was designed to solve the problems of variability and efficiency. It was not designed to test higher-order thinking, creativity, problem-solving or learning. If we can find a better way to solve the problem of variability and efficiency, then we can concentrate on the real objective of education: how best to prepare our kids to thrive in the life that they will lead once they are no longer in school.

Cathy N. Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson

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