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Friday, August 31, 2012

Links for Com Students to Review

Bribing your kids to study: Does it work?

Geri-Ellen Dow trying to bribe her 14-year-old son to do his summer reading.

Kai Ryssdal: I had a conversation a month or so ago with Steven Levitt about the Freakonomics of getting kids to get good grades. And how Levitt says we oughta just pay 'em. Fifty bucks for an A was what he got when he was a kid. Me: not one thin dime. But that's a whole 'nother story.
Anyway, Geri-Ellen Dow heard the segment and tweeted us a picture of two crisp $20 bills -- one labeled "Great Expectations," the other labeled "The Odyssey" -- and a note saying the money was there for the taking by her 14-year-old son if he read the books in question.
So of course we had to call her up to see what happened. Geri, good to talk to you.
Geri-Ellen DowThanks. It's nice talking with you, Kai.
Ryssdal: So you heard me talking to Steven Levitt about the Freakonomics of paying kids to study, and what did you do? Tell me about your experiment.
Dow: I'm always looking for ways to motivate the kids because they don't seem to be really excited about school themselves.
Ryssdal: Shocking, shocking.
Dow: Yeah, it is. So I thought that, well my son had two books to read over the summer -- "Great Expectations" and "The Odyssey."
Ryssdal: So how much were you going to pay them?
Dow: So I figured $20 a book was reasonable.
Ryssdal: Oh man. See, I'm not going to read "The Odyssey" for $20.
Dow: Yeah, you know, as it turns out, he felt probably the same way as well.
Ryssdal: So tell me what happened.
Dow: So what happened was, he finished "Great Expectations" maybe four days ago, five days ago, and then he started "The Odyssey" two days ago. And I just have to point out that school starts tomorrow.
Ryssdal: So you're going to get your $20 back.
Dow: Well...
Ryssdal: No, are you give it to him? Come on.
Dow: He's 250 pages into it. And the hesitation was he seems to be plowing through it, which I don't understand how you can do that.
Ryssdal: Yeah, no. You're going to pro-rate this then, is this what I'm hearing you tell me?
Dow: We had a really heated discussion yesterday about whether I intended to pay him if he got it done before school or before the comprehensive test.
Ryssdal: Yeah, that's actually a very good point, which I should probably raise to Steven Levitt -- you've got to define the terms of the agreement.
Dow: Yes, and I was not clear on that. Although I think as it happened, and I had some different ideas about what I would have done if I was doing it over again.
Ryssdal: Like what?
Dow: Well I would have offered him more than $20.
Ryssdal: Yeah, you got that right.
Dow: For a 500-page book that was written 2,000 years ago.
Ryssdal: Now, Levitt and Dubner, the guys behind Freakonomics, would say, 'Well your sample size is a little small, and you need more information over time.'
Dow: So you think I should maybe have more kids and do it longer, is that what you're suggesting?
Ryssdal: No. Well, that's a personal choice actually. But really, you need to do the experiment over a longer period of time so you can have more data, more information, right?
Dow: And with more rigorous controls in terms of what the expectations are. Yes.
Ryssdal: Are you thinking you might do this again next summer? I guess you're going to wait and see how it goes, right?
Dow: Yes, I'm going to wait. I don't know. I don't know.
Ryssdal: This is so fun, you are clearly conflicted about this.
Dow: I am conflicted about it, yes.
Ryssdal: Huh. Well Geri, thanks a lot for your time.
Dow: All right, thank you Kai.

Autism Research leads to computers that can tell how an advertisement makes you feel.

On Super Bowl Sunday, an advertising startup that spun out from the research launches a website where ad viewers can have their emotions observed and catalogued.

If you have ever called your bank, your phone company or even your own office and slammed head-on into a voicemail system that has made you want to scream, this story is for you.

That's because several researchers at MIT's Media Lab have decided the time has come to create computers that understand our emotions. They hope computerizing emotional intelligence could improve customer service, create new autism treatments and maybe even help make this weekend's Super Bowl ads more amusing. To help advance this work and gather information, they started a company — Affectiva.

"Pretty much all communication, all of our experience has emotion," says Rosalind Picard, a professor at MIT's Media Lab and co-founder of Affectiva. "It's like weather; it's always there. So ignoring it is really rude. Right?" Picard has been trying to teach computers to mind their manners and pay attention to how we humans feel.

"Most people think [that] technology doesn't need emotion," she says. "But it does need to show respect for people's feelings. And you can't really show respect for people's feelings unless you can see people's feelings."

Affectiva's Web tool watches viewers watch ads and collects information about their emotions. Participants use the camera on their computer to provide their facial expressions to Affectiva.

Affectiva's Web tool watches viewers watch ads and collects information about their emotions. Participants use the camera on their computer to provide their facial expressions to Affectiva.

And understand them. So Picard has spent her career doing things like teaching computers to recognize human facial expressions and the emotional tenor in our voices.

"In the early days, we were trying to teach computers to recognize emotion, and we gathered a bunch of video examples from Disney. They're the masters of emotional animation," Picard says. "And we're showing these to computers with our machine learning systems, trying to teach the computer how to recognize happy, sad, angry and so forth, and a friend of mine comes in and he says 'Have you thought of using this for autism?' "

At the time, Picard knew almost nothing about it.

"Next thing I know, I'm learning about his brother and a whole lot of people and their experiences and challenges understanding emotion, especially processing it live, in real time, in a face-to-face interaction."

Picard and her colleagues realized that if they were going to teach computers to recognize real facial expressions in the real world, animated videos of Goofy and Mickey were not going to cut it.

"To actually do this, we needed a lot of data. We needed a lot of spontaneous data — people expressing emotions for real," says Rana el Kaliouby, Picard's partner. They needed to record and analyze thousands of facial expressions.

Try It Out


Want to try your emotions on Affectiva's computers? Visit its site starting Super Bowl Sunday.
That's when they started Affectiva. It turns out marketers were eager to use their technology to test ads, and those tests would give them the data they needed. Affectiva is now a thriving little startup. One of its products, Affdex, is being used to test Super Bowl ads.

It's simple. You watch an ad online, and if you opt in, Affdex watches you with your own webcam. Its algorithms will automatically recognize if you are smiling or smirking or shocked.

"Using just a webcam is a really appealing option to us because it's very simple," says Graham Page of Millward Brown, a market research company. His clients include some of the largest advertisers on the planet.

Last year, Affectiva used this technology to test a famous ad for Volkswagen featuring a little boy dressed as Darth Vader, using the force — or trying to.

"The more people watched it, the more enjoyable this ad became," el Kaliouby says. She says even people who had seen the ad many times will still smile in anticipation of the punch line.

"This is an essential element of a successful, or a great ad that's going to go viral," she says.
And this year, after the Super Bowl, Graham Page and Millward Brown will be testing more of his client's ads. Anyone, anywhere will be able to log on to Affectiva's website and watch commercials from the game.

"We'll be recording things like whether people are smiling, whether people are frowning, whether they're shocked and surprised, and whether they're even paying attention," Page says.
The site will let you compare your reactions with the rest of the world's, and Picard says the amount of data they will collect could be invaluable for advertisers — and even for autism research.

From National Public Radio's All Things Considered. To listen or see more, click here.

A new digital divide, money buys you access and knowledge

The Better-Off Online

People in higher-income households are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use.
Analysis of several recent surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Projects finds key differences between those who live in households making $75,000 or more relative to those in lower-income households.

Some 95% of Americans who live in households earning $75,000 or more a year use the internet at least occasionally, compared with 70% of those living in households earning less than $75,000. Even among those who use the internet, the well-off are more likely than those with less income to use technology.

From February 2, 2012...

Citical Thinking and Communication: Top Three Things Learned

Top Three Things Learned
by a student (name withheld) Spring, 2012 


The most significant things this author learned about critical thinking were the comments provided by Professor Lynch. That is because his comments challenged this author to look beyond the boundaries of the text book and allowed Ms. Henning to see critical thinking applied. Following are the top three:
1.     Professor Lynch encourages using one’s ego to advantage (Ruggiero, 2012, p. 185). In the “Strategies to Develop Critical Thinking” exercise, the professor provided these comments: “Egocentrism is difficult to deal with. In some cases over thinking can feed egocentrism. It may be useful to realize that egocentrism is part of how our brains work naturally. How would developing the skill of empathy help with our tendency toward egocentricism?”
2.     Regarding the “Detecting Media Bias” paper, the professor demonstrated the significance of curiosity (Ruggiero, 2012, p. 111). In his comments he said, “But why did the writer pick these three [threats]? What was the focus of the article? Was it news or a commentary? Was it public relations or marketing based? What was the focus and purpose of the story? Which publication? Who pays for it? Who edits the publication? What is the target readership? All these and more must be considered in critical thinking about content.”
3.     Pertaining to the assignment “Problem Solving Process,” the professor highlighted possible deficiencies when refining solutions (Ruggiero, 2012, pp. 201-203): “Quite often a solution may be logical and ‘faultless’ on paper, but execution will run into barriers, particularly when you’re dealing with people. This is where the ‘buy in’ is important.” 

Ruggiero, V. (2012). The art of Thinking: A guide to critical and creative thought (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Children's literature is a fast-growing genre thanks to 'Potter' & Co.

The success of 'Harry Potter, 'Twilight' and other has created a halo effect for the entire genre. And kids aren't the only ones doing it.

The children's literature genre has something to smile about.
The children's literature genre has something to smile about. (Dave Wheeler Studio, For The Times / August 17, 2012)
For years, the book industry has been mired in debates about the plight of independent booksellers, the rise of Amazon and the fate of print as it struggles with the relentless march of technology. But doom-and-gloomers forecasting "the end of books" probably haven't strolled through the children's section lately or considered what's coming this season, from picture books through titles for teens.
This fall's offerings span a wide variety of topics and suggest why children's books have turned into the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry.

The magical spell J.K. Rowling cast over kid lit with "Harry Potter" found new blood with Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" saga and most recently, Suzanne Collins' fight-to-the-death "The Hunger Games," creating a halo effect for the entire genre that doesn't show any signs of slowing. Last year, overall publisher revenues for children's books were up 12%, to $2.78 billion, and e-books made astounding gains, according to BookStats, a collaboration of the Assn. of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.

This year is no different. It used to be that when readers finished a groundbreaking series, they struggled to find others with similar appeal. No more. The millions of readers who followed Bella as she pursued supernatural true love or Katniss as she navigated a post-apocalyptic U.S. can now find dozens of bestselling paranormal and dystopian series that will see further installments this fall.
Similarly, in the middle-grade space, Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" has opened up a whole genre of illustrated, humorous, confessional-style bestsellers, which will continue in the coming months.

That's to say nothing of the increasing numbers of celebrities and well-known adult-book authors who are applying their talents to younger readerships this season — including Emma Thompson with a Peter Rabbit picture book and Elizabeth George with her young adult debut — and legions of talented unknowns who are likely to score hits with their children's book debuts, such as Stefan Bachmann and his buzzed-about fairy tale, "The Peculiar," and Fiona Paul's Renaissance murder-romance, "Venom." In fact, many forthcoming children's books have already been snatched up by movie studios.

The young adult, or YA, category is particularly healthy as a result of blockbuster franchises and strong crossover readership. Many young adult books are read as much by adults as they are by their intended teen audiences.

Click here to continue reading this story in the LA Times.

Will Rogers on "Trickle Down" economics

Should be all of our history textboks

Robin Williams TV plans.Nielsen 'people meter' changed TV. Al Jazeera to use Soccer to increase its reach. 'The Possession' to possess box office. The good, the bad and the ugly at Repubulican Convention.

Robin Williams
Robin Williams may return to TV. (Warner Bros. / August 31, 2012)
After the coffee. Before figuring out what to do with a long weekend.
The Skinny: One thing I'll be doing this weekend is taking my cat in for his semi-annal crew cut. His haircut costs more than mine but it also looks better. Friday's headlines include the box-office preview for the holiday weekend and Robin Williams may return to television.

Daily Dose: For everyone who wants to get HBO without having to pay for cable, now you have a chance. There's only one problem. You'll have to move to Norway to do it. The pay-TV channel is launching HBO Nordic and will offer consumers the option to buy the channel as a streaming service. In the U.S. and much of the rest of the world, if you want HBO you have to have a pay-TV subscription from a cable or satellite provider.

Scary weekend. The horror film "The Possession" is projected to scare up enough viewers to take in $15 million in box office over the Labor Day weekend. However, overall attendance at the movies this weekend is what will likely really be scary. Also opening is "Lawless" starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, which will do battle with the documentary "2016: Obama's America" for second place. The bomb of the weekend will be "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure." Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Nielsen People Meter
The Nielsen "people meter," circa 2004, changed the television industry; for one thing, it made it more difficult for network executives to be patient with shows. (Nielsen Media Research)
Instead of relying solely on the diaries that members of "Nielsen families" filled out by hand, listing the shows that they watched, the device provided a more efficient and accurate way to measure who was watching what shows and when. Diary results were always suspect because procrastinators often waited until the end of the month-long "sweeps" periods, typically November, February and May, to fill out the diaries.
But with the introduction of people meters into 2,000 homes in 1987, the networks suddenly got overnight ratings results.
The updated measurement technique made the TV business more competitive. It became more difficult for network executives to be patient with shows, allowing promising ones time to gain traction. 
The devices also accelerated the trend of advertisers zeroing in on key demographics, such as viewers 18 to 49. Shows that appealed to younger audiences became more valuable than shows that had older-skewing audiences.
Today, the Nielsen "people meter" panel has expanded to 20,000 homes, which measure the viewing habits of a sample audience of approximately 45,000 people.  Nielsen reports that more than 289.4 million Americans live in homes with TVs, and the average TV viewer consumes on average more than five hours of television per day.
While Nielsen has been slowly trying to phase out the handwritten diaries, they are still used in smaller markets, according to a Nielsen spokeswoman. "We collect more than two million paper diaries from across the country each year during sweeps," she said. 

Call my lawyer. Former News of the World lawyer Tom Crone is the latest major arrest in the British government's investigation of phone hacking and other wrongdoing at the now-shuttered tabloid paper. Crone, who spent more than a quarter of a century at the paper, is also known for contradicting James Murdoch's statements regarding how extensive hacking was at the paper. Coverage of Crone's arrest from the Wall Street Journal.

Goal! beIn Sport, a small cable network owned by Al Jazeera, has been gobbling up rights to soccer in an effort to boost its profile and beef up its reach in the United States where the sport's popularity continues to grow. But another reason beIn Sport may be spending heavily is that if the channel gets stronger, Al Jazeera could be in a position to try to use it to leverage distribution of its news channels. A look at beIN Sport from the New York Times.

Change-up. Fresh from a big new deal with ESPN, Major League Baseball is now trying to wrap up new contracts with its other distributors. However, the deals being talked about could lead to some dramatic changes in the television landscape. A look at what's being discussed from the Los Angeles Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on Clint Eastwood's improv routine at the Republican convention Thursday night.

Follow me on Twitter. I promise not to tweet to an empty chair. @JBFlint

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Do You Think? Critical Thinking in our lives.

Historic Characters Come to Life on Stage in BC

THE FOUNDING OF AMERICA is the theme of Chautauqua 2012 at the Boulder Theatre. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton will be portrayed by our scholar, Bill Chrystal, on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7pm. Founding Father John Adams will be portrayed on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7pm. For tickets please call me at 293-1161. All seats are $15. ~ Amy Arnez

Nickelodeon house cleaning! Guggenheim eyes Dick Clark Productions. For radio personality producing a movie was a real challenge. Spielberg has partial split with Disney.

Dora the Explorer
Nickelodeon, home of "Dora the Explorer," is making executive changes. (Nickelodeon)

After the coffee. Before figuring out whether if I act like Charlie Sheen I can get his job security.

The Skinny: FX gave an order for 90 more episodes of Charlie Sheen's new sitcom "Anger Management." That's not a typo. Thursday's headlines include some big executive changes at Nickelodeon and Fox, and Dick Clark Productions may have a buyer. Otherwise, it is pretty slow as most of Hollywood is on vacation this week.

Daily Dose: Over the last few months, ABC, NBCand Fox have all gotten new program planning chiefs. But the musical chairs among schedulers isn't over yet. NBC, which wooed ABC's longtime scheduling chief Jeff Bader, is now looking for a No. 2 who will handle day-to-day management of the schedule while Bader focuses on long-term strategy. ABC, meanwhile, filled Bader's position with Andy Kubitz, the No. 2 at CBS, which promptly promoted Noriko Gee, its No. 3 scheduling executive, to No. 2.

DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider at the premiere of "Cowboys and Aliens."
DreamWorks Studios, led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, will no longer release its movies overseas through Walt Disney Studios. (Alex Berliner)

Walt Disney Studios will no longer release movies from its partner DreamWorks Studios everywhere around the world.

The two companies have renegotiated their longstanding agreement. Going forward, Disney will release movies produced by DreamWorks, the independent studio led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider that made "War Horse" and "The Help," in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, and most of Asia.

DreamWorks has signed a deal with Mister Smith Entertainment, a new company headed by Summitt Entertainment co-founder David Garrett, to handle sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Mister Smith (whose name was inspired by the Frank Capra classic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington") will pre-sell foreign distribution rights to upcoming DreamWorks productions such as "Need for Speed," based on the car racing video game, and an untitled comedy from French-Canadian filmmaker and comedian Ken Scott, to local distributors in each foreign country.

That arrangement, which is commonly used by other independent studios such as Lionsgate and Relativity Media, will give DreamWorks more money for production, as the foreign partners will pay a guaranteed amount of money up front for the rights to release films.

Previously, DreamWorks fully financed its movies and then received all of the foreign box office receipts, minus a fee paid to Disney.

After several high-profile flops last year, such as "Cowboys & Aliens" and "I Am Number Four," and a new financing deal with backer Reliance Entertainment in April, DreamWorks' financial resources have been significantly decreased. The new international arrangement is thus a critical component of the studio's ability to continue making movies.

Mister Smith will not be involved in the release of upcoming DreamWorks movies "Lincoln" and "Robopocalypse," both directed by Spielberg. 20th Century Fox co-financed those films and will release them overseas.

Garrett, a former president of Summit's international unit, launched Mister Smith at the Cannes Film Festival in May together with backer Constantin Film.

Christopher J. Dodd
MPAA Chairman Christopher J. Dodd

Rare praise for Republicans from Democrat Christopher J. Dodd. Dodd, a former Democratic senator from Connecticut and now Hollywood's point person in Washington, had some rare kind words for Republicans.

Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Hollywood's chief lobbying group, praised the GOP's statements on intellectual property and Internet freedom during its convention in Tampa, Fla.

"The Republican Party platform language strikes a very smart balance: it emphasizes the importance of us doing more as a nation to protect our intellectual property from online theft while underscoring the critical importance of protecting Internet freedom,'' Dodd said in a statement. "I agree wholeheartedly with my friends in the Republican Party that we must protect the free flow of information on the internet while also protecting American innovators. It is imperative to our national economy and our national identity that we protect an Internet that works for everyone."

Fighting piracy has been a top priority in Hollywood, where filmmakers often complain about the blatant theft of movies and TV shows from Internet sites, many of them registered overseas.

But the MPAA's efforts to enact tougher anti-piracy laws aimed at foreign websites badly misfired in January after Internet giants, including Google and Wikipedia, led a fierce online campaign to defeat the proposed Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), viewing them as an excessive intrusion on Internet freedom.

In a concession to movie studios, music labels and television companies, Google announced earlier this month that it would tweak its search engine to penalize websites suspected of hosting pirated music, videos, games and other copyrighted content.

And then there was one. Private equity firm Guggenheim Partners is looking like the leading candidate to acquire Dick Clark Productions. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Guggenheim is now in exclusive negotiations with Red Zone Capital, the private equity firm headed by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder that is the majority owner of Dick Clark Productions. Others that were circling the company included CBS, Core Media Group and Ryan Seacrest.

Earley to rise. Fox Broadcasting has promoted its longtime marketing and public relations chief Joe Earley to chief operating officer, which is a new position for the network. In essence, Earley will be the No. 2to Fox's entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. Earley has been with Fox for almost 20 years, starting as publicist on "The Simpsons."  More on Earley from Variety.

Howard Stern
Howard Stern's radio programs are among the crown jewels of SiriusXM's lineup. (Mark Seliger / NBC)

Liberty Media has raised its stake in SiriusXM Radio to 48.8%, bringing the Englewood, Colo., media company closer to majority control of the New York satellite radio company.

The increase in ownership, from 48.1%, was reported in a regulatory filing late Tuesday by SiriusXM.

Liberty's steady march toward full control of SiriusXM is not surprising. The company has publicly stated its intent to acquire a majority share of SiriusXM and is now attempting to follow through with its promise.

When Liberty crosses the 50% threshold, it will need to apply for a transfer of operating licenses from the Federal Communications Commission to fully take control of SiriusXM.

Liberty had tried, and failed, to obtain those licenses in March, when it had 40% of SiriusXM's stock. The FCC responded that Liberty needed to have at least a majority share.

A media and entertainment conglomerate, Liberty owns Starz, a digital pay-TV company, and the Atlanta Braves baseball team, and it holds shares in Barnes & Noble, Time Warner, Viacom and Live Nation Entertainment, among other companies. SiriusXM was formed in 2008 with the merger of two struggling satellite radio companies -- Sirius and XM Radio.

Once on the verge of bankruptcy, SiriusXM has become a cash machine in recent years. It posted a $427-million profit last year, up tenfold from 2010. Revenue of $3 billion was up 7% from 2010, thanks to a steadily growing number of subscribers. SiriusXM currently has 23 million customers who pay anywhere from $8 to $18 a month for access to its 140 specialty radio channels.

Liberty's executives have said they plan to combine SiriusXM with another property, likely its Starz pay-TV business, and spin the combined entity off as a separate company in order to avoid paying taxes for acquiring SiriusXM.
'Sleepwalk With Me'
Host and exectutive producer of "This American Life," Ira Glass, left, produced comedian Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk With Me." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / August 30, 2012)
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Radio host Ira Glass ("This American Life") learns that producing a movie is no walk in the park.

Follow me on Twitter to a funnier tomorrow. @JBFlint.

CSN, UNLV experience surge in online courses, enrollment

When Hilary Nagel goes to “class” at College of Southern Nevada, she powers on her iPad and listens to a lecture in her pajamas from the comfort of her home.

Nagel, 28, is among the growing number of university students across the nation taking online classes. As cash-strapped colleges contend with budget cuts, higher-education leaders and politicians have looked toward online education as a potentially cheaper way to educate students.

In Nevada, which last year saw a 14 percent decline in state funding for higher education, online classes have proliferated as demand has grown.

The first college in Southern Nevada to offer online education was CSN, in 1996. The state’s largest higher education institution started out with one computer server, 37 sections of online classes and 528 online students.

By last fall, CSN’s “Online Campus” had grown to 18 servers and 962 online sections with more than 13,000 online students.

“We started very small, but grew quickly,” said Terry Norris, director of e-learning at CSN. “It was hard to keep up with the growth.”

Online courses are popular in Nevada because many students are bound by time and geographical constraints, Norris said.

Virtual classrooms allow rural students in Tonopah and Nellis Air Force Base students serving overseas to complete their degrees at CSN. Las Vegas students — like Nagel — who work during the day can still go to college by logging online in the evenings and weekends.

The popularity of online classes grew as gas prices spiked to record levels, Norris said.

UNLV junior Yisrael Vincent, who attended CSN the past two years, said he could no longer afford the hourlong commute to campus. That’s one of the reasons why he began taking online classes, he said.

“(The commute) ends up being a higher opportunity cost than logging on at home,” the accounting major said.

Despite its convenience and popularity, online education has become a contentious issue on campuses across the country. While major universities such as MIT have embraced online education, critics question the quality of online education. Some longtime faculty members see it as a threat that could upend the traditional higher education landscape.

The debate came to a boiling point earlier this summer when Virginia’s higher education leaders fired the beloved president of the University of Virginia after she advocated for more online classes. (The president, Teresa Sullivan, was later reinstated to her position after a maelstrom of complaints.)
“We have some Luddites who are like, hell no, we’re not doing this,” said Sondra Cosgrove, a CSN professor who began teaching history courses online in 2004. “They don’t realize some people can’t go to college any other way.”

From the Las Vegas Sun. Click on "read more" below to continue reading or click here.

Remember Context of the time as you ponder President Kennedy's words

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. --- John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How did commercial broadcasting begin? Answer is 90 years ago today.

First Radio Commercial Hit Airwaves 90 Years Ago

Reporter John McDonough reports how AT&T ran the first-ever radio commercial on its station WEAF in New York 90 years ago this week. It changed the way broadcast was economically structured. He tells of how this came about and why it was accepted (newspapers and retailers once owned stations just to sell radios...including WLS. Chicago-Worlds Largest Store, and WGN- World's Greatest Newspaper, the Chicago Tribune)


Quiz # 1 (Not on any specific textbook...sample for practice only)

Instructor: Art Lynch

Please read and then reread each item VERY carefully.  When you have decided on the best answer circle or highlight the letter. When a blank needs to be filled in, please print legibly.
Good Luck!!!

1.  Specific Purpose is
            a.) the primary reason you will speak in public
            b.) the concrete goals you wish to achieve
            c.) your private reason for giving the speech
            d.) one sentence that captures the essence of what you wish to say or accomplish
            e.) your thesis statement

2.  Critical listening means
            a.) to not trust or believe what you hear
b.) to listen with your community standard in mind.
c.) to accurately comprehend and fairly evaluate the intended message
            d.) to find a shared moral frame.
            e.) none of the above.

3.  In the extemporaneous style of delivery, you use note cards that have words and short
     phrases to prompt your memory.  You use keywords to prompt your memory, rather than
     reading material word-for-word.
a)     True
b)   False

4.   “Giving attribution” means giving a tribute to someone you will either introduce or to whom
       you will give an award.
a)     True
b)   False

5.  When citing sources during a speech, you most often want to cite the information first,
      followed by the name of the source (e.g., “Gun control has gotten out of hand,” says Dr.
      Margaret Jones).
a)     True
b)   False

6.  The introduction and conclusion of a speech should be written before the body of the speech.
a)     True
b)   False

7. Cultures that coexist in a society as relatively complete ways of life are called ____________.

9.  When you experience a lack of clarity about what words or other symbols mean, such as the
        phrase “I love you,” you are experiencing semantic noise.
a)     True
b)   False 

10.  If you were to find a really good statement in one of your sources and decided to read it
       nearly word-for-word, you would not be guilty of plagiarism as long as you changed about    
       every 10th word.
a)   True
b)   False

11.  Because the World Wide Web (WWW) is highly supervised, you can usually trust the
       information you obtain from any given web page.
a)     True
b)   False

12.  Which of the following is not a key resource for finding evidence?
a)     Personal knowledge
b)    A library
c)     An interview
d)    Online databases
e)   A survey 

13.  Which of the following is/are true of eye contact?
a)     It should be direct – you actually look into someone’s eyes.
b)    It should be sustained – you hold it for around 1/2 second to one second.
c)     It’s okay to just look over the heads of your audience members IF you have at least made eye contact with one person at some point in the speech.
d)    All of the above
e)   a and b only

14.  Which of the following types of delivery gives you preparation time and has the advantage   
       of letting you sound natural and conversational without having to completely memorize the  
a)     Memorized
b)    Manuscript            
c)     Impromptu
d)    Extemporaneous
e)     None of the above

15.  Which of the following is/are true of topic selection?
a)     You want to choose a topic that’s appropriate to the setting.
b)    You want to give the audience something new.
c)     You should keep in mind your speaking time limit.
d)    All of the above.
e)   a and b only

16.  What is the means by which a message is transmitted?
a)  The channel
a)     The symbol system
b)    Encoding
d)  Decoding
e.) Spoken words only

17.  Which of the following types of delivery gives you little or no preparation time, allows you 
       to sound spontaneous and direct, and forces you to know the rules of organizing a speech on-
a)     Extemporaneous
b)    Manuscript
c)     Impromptu
d)  Memorized

18.  __________ means making sense of a sender’s message and involves determining what the
       symbols of that message are supposed to mean.

19. Which element of demographics is most often self-identified, indentifying the receiver’s perception of their own lives and selves?
            a.)  age
            b.)  gender
            c.)  psychographic
            d.)  skin color
            e.)  both “a” and “b”           

20.   Who is most responsible in the communication process?
            a.) the speaker / transmitter / source
            b.) the receiver / listener / audience
            c.) noise
            d.) psychographics
            e.) everyone

21. The tendency of a group to believe that its way of thinking, doing things or culture is somehow better or superior to anyone else’s is known as _________________________.

22. Ethos, one of the four proofs, or ways we prove an argument and why audiences choose to believe what we say, can be summarized in one word. That word is _________________.

23. The ___________________dictates that we should be more sophisticated receivers in communication. It stresses the active role receivers of messages play in social communication.

24. ________________________ is the most difficult kind of listening, because it requires you to both interpret and evaluate the message, determining its strengths and weaknesses and to make decisions as the process is underway.

25. All communication is___________, involving a two-way passage of information, emotion, and intent.

26. In the remaining space, and continued on the back if necessary, please evaluate the course so far. Answer the following questions. This question is not graded.

A.   What areas of concepts are you confused on, or need further discussion or explanation.
B.    How could the instructor improve the class?
C.    What were you expecting in this class or of this class?
D.   How does this class fit into your career goals?
E.    Any honest additional observations or notes…