Give Me An “A” (for Art School!)

Give Me An “A” (for Art School!)

… a college education, updated to reflect the roboticized economy, is every worker’s best hope. But we need to rethink its focus. Given a world in which machines will perform much of what we view as knowledge work, colleges will have to reduce their emphasis on knowledge transfer, and pivot to building students’ capacity for coming up with original ideas.


chiharu shiota venice art biennale 2015

Join Me @ Printfest

Join Me @ Printfest


Ready for some springtime fun? Check out my print workshop at the Penland School of Crafts. It’ll be crafty and fun – perfect for those new to printing (we’ll cover lots of basics) and the old pros (they can crank out a bunch of work). Come on down to North Carolina and put a pig on it!

penland - flat Register at

72039_4131729584818_342586097_n perfect for monoprints or editions

544015_10200205936824380_114608293_n explore color

joyaux3[1] lots of plates to choose from

cows posters and broadsides

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So much discussion about the unbundling of educational services, so long the purview of the Ivory Tower. Technology has stolen the loose ends of the guidewire for learning. Is the badge the new diploma? MOOCs, Utube, OER, Google . . . we all know that in this information age, knowledge is but a click away.

Georgetown University is handling the disruption in some creative ways based on this article in the Chronicle – Red House. Two pieces of the discussion jumped out at me –

linking informal and extracurricular activities on the campus more clearly to courses and other official academic activities. He argues that this “experience wrapping” is the kind of thing that will keep traditional colleges relevant as the ground beneath them shifts.

and the idea of –

Intersections, an online course that Georgetown students took during the summer while they worked at community-service internships off campus. One student worked on road safety in Tanzania, another helped form an NGO in Bangladesh, and a third tutored low-income kids in San Francisco. Each night the far-flung students would log onto the course website to work through class assignments, posting about their experiences to online journals with essays, poems, and other formats, and using Skype and social media to connect with one another. The goal was to create a “community of reflection” and help the students take away deeper lessons from their work.

Experience wrapping and online sharing of intersections – that kind of campus hub supports the spokes of exploration quite well. Can it be scaled? Anxious to see how Georgetown does with this sticky wicket.

The gravest threat to American higher education is American culture.


Interesting article in The Chronicle of Higher Ed today. Kathryn D. Blanchard took another angle on the conversation about the over sensitive student population, free speech, and collapse of the academy as we know it. Her article pointed to a much more inclusive list of culprits – it’s not the “right”, it’s not the “left”, it’s complicated and we need to participate in solutions lest we lose our hallowed halls.

Most Americans simply don’t have the energy to worry about intangibles like professors’ academic freedom; they’re too busy trying to get jobs with living wages and health benefits, whether as welders or philosophers.

Blanchard identifies some of the complexities here – “In addition to racism (and its counterpart, white entitlement), at least a dozen threats to higher education as a whole are more pressing than that of the sensitive student. Not least is an aversion to accountability among faculty members and administrators. Other issues include terrible public high schools, administrative bloat, unsustainable business models, crumbling infrastructure, shortsighted boards, the death (or suicide) of the liberal arts, micromanaging donors, students’ alcohol abuse, sexual assault, terrible salaries, politicians who criticize higher education to score points with voters, program cuts, unstable investments in endowments, ranking systems that favor rich colleges, shrinking birth rates among college-educated parents, out-of-control athletics costs, and the imminent death of the college-going American middle class”.

Wish I heard more about these issues in the presidential debates!

Save the Whales

Save the Whales


These climate talks, by themselves, won’t fix global warming. They can’t do that. They’re not designed to do that. The actual goal is much more modest: to add structure and momentum to efforts that are already underway, in legislatures and laboratories and cities and boardrooms around the world, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

-Brad Plumer, VOX