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David Dickens
Worked at Pepperdine University
Attended Pepperdine University
Lives in Malibu, CA
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David Dickens

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This will fix many things, if we use it.
When folks complained about Google plus I usually didn't pay much attention. However, the one glaring design hole in the social network driven by interests, was that you followed people, not interests. If someone posts many posts a day on a large variety of subjects, all you could get was the firehose or nothing.

Now, I'm not sure how well folks will use this, but I'd love to see a few of my favorite Google people sort their posts this way. (Just between you and me, I particularly hope that this might wall off a bit of the spam and tone down the topics in my stream that I try to avoid, like politics.)

So expect to see some experimental "collections" posts from me. I'm hoping that this feature will actually make posting on a variety of topics that interest me more effective. After all, I'm here for engagement.
 
Introducing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic

Our happiest Google+ users are those who connect with others around shared interests and passions. So we set out to give people a place to express the things they love. Today, we’re announcing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic.

Every collection is a focused set of posts on a particular topic, providing an easy way for you to organize all the things you’re into. Each collection can be shared publicly, privately, or with a custom set of people. Once you create your first collection, your profile will display a new tab where other people can find and follow your collections.

Posts in collections you follow will appear in your Home stream, with a link to easily jump right into the collection so you can get to similar content from that author. Collections give you a great way to find more of the stuff you love from the people you follow.

Collections is available on Android and the web, and iOS is coming later. For Android users, make sure to update your Google+ app to get access to Collections.

For inspiration on interesting topics, check out our Featured Collections page here: g.co/collections

Create your collections today and share what you love.

If you have questions then also be sure to check out our Help Center content http://goo.gl/zyIVMH; if you still can’t find an answer then please post your question in the Collections subcategory. 

Best,
Moritz & Claire
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Arien Huckeba's profile photoDavid Dickens's profile photoJared Padgett's profile photoGregory Weber's profile photo
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This looks promising.  One of the things that attracted me to Google+ in the first place was the idea of sharing different things with different "circles," with different interests.  But how should I know which circles to put people into, based on their interests?  The new collections, I think, will be a better fit to the publish/subscribe model: "create a collection" = publish; "follow a collection" = subscribe.
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Behave yourselves while I'm out roughing it this weekend.
Time to head to the hills to do all sorts of scouty things. Looks like we're going to have a big year with over 1000 kids moving about with fire and sharp bits of metal in all stages of chaos. Amazingly this all works smoothly, a credit to the program and the people that run it.

Assuming a bit of applied patience, its actually quite fun.

via +Dru Morgan who will also be lost in the woods this weekend.
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Ed Clem's profile photoTim Noyce's profile photoDavid Dickens's profile photo
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Indeed +Tim Noyce​ it seems these days we are more interested in preventing maturity than promoting it. While I understand why this has happened, for me and my house we prefer the adventure. 
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Employees as customers. Brilliant.
This is the best short article on good leadership I've seen in a long time. Like any great article it has that quality where in reframing the point of view, it clarifies both the problem and the solution in a way that was nearly impossible to articulate before. 

What's the approach? We view the employee's problem as a customer-problem: _I try to ask myself: What “leadership product” can I deliver to solve their problem?_

This is how you do  #ServantLeadership .
Asana co-founder Justin Rosenstein shares ways that leaders can great a great culture -- by focusing on their most important customers: the employee.
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David Dickens

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Reform Your Classroom.
Little bits of practical advice like this do more than "big ideas"(tm) that require big piles of money.
Over the years, when it comes to student cellphones in class, I've moved from outright hostility to begrudging acceptance to looking at them as an overall benefit (though not unreservedly)-- at lea...
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Jean Rollin's profile photoGeorge Station's profile photoAnne Hole's profile photoAdam Bodley's profile photo
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Good ideas - and there are many more ways teachers are using phones - we are encouraging catechists in religious education to use them as well...  Polleverywhere for example, is a good tool to get anonymous answers to a poll question while in class - and view the results as they come in.  Here is a list I ran across of more great ideas from the educational technology world:   https://www.examtime.com/blog/40-uses-for-smartphones-in-school/#.VQ75XcWVwAU.facebook
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Anyone have any experience using Save the Last Word?
I like the idea of a more structured small group discussion method. Despite being very social and generally enjoying small group discussions socially, I've always found the more ad hoc approach to be lacking in educational (and professional development) settings.

It occurs to me that this would also translate well to an online discussion forum. 
To better understand the influence of Save the Last Word for Me, we compared it to a similar discussion from another class section of the same course.
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+David Dickens Exactly: the ownership thing is huge, esp. when Ss don't often feel much ownership in other educational experiences. I get such a big boost from that, all coming from their curiosity and enthusiasm. :-)
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I do not think that word means what you think it means.
Check it out, the cult of novelty is at the heart of this problem. Change for change sake is just chaos.

+Tim Klapdor struggles with the language here in the article, but I think that only further illustrates the point that we've got a real problem talking about what it means to be doing "new and better" things. Worse, we deliberately ignore the price of such change as merely so many eggs broken to make an omelet. It is intellectually dishonest and potentially disasterous.

Change is hard. It’s disruptive and scary. Innovation isn't additive, it’s subtractive – you have to lose or destroy something in order to attain it. It’s not the same but better, it’s different. and better. It requires the embrace of something new, different and foreign.

He's in search of more nuance, anyone want to offer up a better way of talking about this?
My ears and eyes seem to have been bombarded by one word so often over the last couple of weeks that I'm now developing something akin to shell shock. A nervous tick here, a Tourette-esque outburst...
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+Jean-Michel FAYARD I must disagree - how long did it take the broad strokes of the effect of the printing press to be apparent?  I think we are currently in the spanking newborn, leading edge of the waves of changes that digitalia will bring for help or hurt.
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David Dickens

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This isn't about course evaluations, however they are constructed.
To be an excellent teacher isn't to merely be an efficient and effective deliverer of content. And we are all aware that merely catering to student preferences, to be well-liked, is more likely to be a pyrrhic victory than not.

Being an excellent teacher means more than designing and delivering an effective lecture or being able to foster thought-provoking classroom discussions. Effective teaching extends beyond the classroom; faculty should take a sincere interest in their students and make an effort to get to know them on a personal level.

Here's the thing, the two transformative courses I had in college were courses I didn't get great grades in, and I'm not sure I could have given a great review to answering the usual questions. It is relatively easy to explain why "Great Books" were formative courses, but how do I explain the role "Linear Algebra" played in my major, not just for myself, but for many student who changed their major after taking that class? Why was Dr A such a powerful figure in the lives of students going through the program? With the current model of "make it happen for the student" how could you possibly appreciate, much less measure as a positive, the value of a student changing majors because of a class?

These are tough questions that institutions need to answer, particularly institutions that pride themselves on being student focused, formative places with "excellent" teachers. 

Students need to leave college with skills they can use to make a living and they need a foundation of knowledge to equip them to be good citizens, but most of all they need the personal relationships and opportunities to become more fully themselves, full of purpose.

#LearningIsSocial  

If you want effective and efficient content alone, you're looking for YouTube, not a University. In fact, efficiencies can destroy the deeper goals and our obsessive pursuit of it could result in a myopia that makes it impossible for us to see what our students see, address their needs and make college the transformative experience that is its calling.
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I like your comments so much better than the original article! My thoughts on the article here:
https://plus.google.com/111474406259561102151/posts/KRCD6ifhSjU
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David Dickens

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NIST official: Internet of Things is indefensible
The complexity of the network infrastructure is simply growing beyond any capability to defend.
http://fcw.com/articles/2015/04/16/iot-is-indefensible.aspx

While I appreciate his call of alarm for the unaware, his solution is wrong headed. After admitting that most professionals and organizations are already drowning in guidance materials from the NIST, he proposes more guidance and greater regulation:

Bigman, now a private IT security consultant, suggested that the Office of Management and Budget task NIST with coming up with recommendations for regulating the IOT. IOT hacks have occasionally raised eyebrows, but "no one's paying attention to the bigger issue," he said, referring to a lack of federal regulation.

General use computing and networking are going to be under constant attack from the government in the next few years. 
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There's been a sharp uptick in cheating at elite institutions.
I've been hearing this from colleagues for over year now. I don't think there's a crisis here, but there is a curious phenomenon now operating even among the most successful students. Additionally, I've seen a tonal shift in working with students who feel perfectly justified in taking every advantage that isn't explicitly denied them. The answer might be nothing more than making the honor code more explicit and more well advertised. But, I'll admit that whatever caused this rapid change has me baffled. If anything, my experience of 25 years in higher education has seen students grow generally more honest and honorable.

As an ed tech guy I can tell you that technology provides very little more than an appearance of security in response to this sort of thing. I appreciate what services like TurnitIn attempt to provide, but they don't replace honor codes and they don't stop students under enormous pressure who become mis-motivated to try to game the system.

I disagree with the tests themselves being the cause of this:
And there's likely to be little progress as long as students and educational institutions remain focused on grades rather than learning, she said. "Until we don't put so much emphasis on a very few high-stakes tests, there are going to be students who feel the need to cheat," Fishman said.

I think that's wrong-headed. There's clearly something new happening and we've always had to grapple with the problem of a few tests (and the grades or certifications associated with the most competitive environments) determining the futures of students. The other option, that students are seeing cheaters get away with cheating more and more, is compelling on a certain level, but the change we've seen anecdotally seems more exaggerated than a few ballplayers or politicians getting away with dishonesty and fraud.

Any thoughts on why we might be seeing the change? Can we lay this at the feet of the tech available? Are students just giving into the temptation laying about in front of them all the time via the ubiquitous presence of the Internet?
Stanford University 's honor code dates to 1921, written by students to help guide them through the minefield of plagiarism, forbidden collaboration, copying and other chicaneries that have tempted undergraduates since they first arrived on college campuses.
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I like the phrase moral hazards.

While I don't want to in any way diminish the error of judgment on the part of a student who cheats, the systemic nature, the structure of the academic models we are working in and towards require developing assessment functions as commodities. Think of it this way, if we take every inefficiency out of every MBA program in the country, won't every MBA experience be unremarkable? Doesn't everyone complain that we are doing nothing but teaching to the test?

If we hold to the post-industrial models and their progeny we're going to come to the point where our need for efficiency breaks down all the incentives for the moral formation of students. Full stop.

Put simply the pressures (and the professional prejudice that drives it) demand that we continue to scale up and all the technology (and pedagogical shortcuts enabled by the tech) eventually punish not the "criminal" student, but the virtuous one. Perverse incentives will reign.

I look for inspiration in older models, frankly less efficient, but more distributed ones (guilds, apprenticeships and so forth) to address the problems that TurnitIn cannot solve, because TurnitIn actually encourages the very culture that requires its implementation.
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And have you ever been invited to a key party? Yeah, we neither.
Keybase is trying to solve the last mile problem of public key exchange by setting up a social media directory. Seems legit and the most interesting solution I've seen so far. They even support Bitcoin.

The problem of convenient PK storage for the user that integrates with common applications remains unsolved. Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX, Google Android, none of them even try to implement this as a part of a basic object and supporting tools.

I'm not saying there's a conspiracy...
Public key crypto for everyone, publicly auditable proofs of identity.
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+David Dickens Um, yeah, I wouldn't trust WinDose with the key to ...erm, skipping the rude comment.  I have my doubts that Microsoft has any issue with screwing their users.
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Naysayers should get no credit for calling this one, but
much of the legitimate criticism around the MOOC hype machine suffered constant insult from the cult of change.

Regardless of legitimate pedagogical disputes both in theory and in hard statistical results, those of us that put up the caution flag were told we were against it because we feared the new. Ed Tech folks like myself who live and breathe everything from big iron infrastructure to the gaggle of gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to change our lives are hardly the caricature of the techno-phobic aging philosophy professor who doesn't want to use email. But we were dismissed as such.

We know this stuff. And those of us who have some sense of the measured viability of technology on the ground need to be brought into the process rather than sidelined because we might be in the way of someone's "big idea". I actually believe that MOOCs, distance Ed, and a great deal more innovation in Higher Ed can make the sort of change everyone is looking for, but it will be an evolution not a revolution and it won't be done by the power of "thought leaders" and their large piles of money chasing wishful thinking.

The quote that needs to be posted on the door of many an administrator's office like a scarlet letter: We spent a lot of money and got extremely little in return.

via +Laura Gibbs 
“Reinvent.” That was the giddy catchword of a plan by the University of California to create an all-digital “campus” that would revolutionize higher education by providing courses online for students shut out of the system’s brick-and-mortar classrooms at a time of high demand but falling budgets. Three years later, the Online Instruction Pilot Project has …
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+John Nelson Books by Stanford professors can be found in abundance in any library. I agree that we need lifelong learning, but we should not be looking to Coursera for that. Luckily, we don't have to. And the best lifelong learning, IMO, is not going to take the form of something that mimics the arbitrary structure of a semester-long college course...
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David Dickens

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Working for professors, you encounter the unexpected.
One of the best compliments I can give someone is that they surprised me. Here's a little serendipity for your Friday evening brought to you by a law professor, a colleague of mine.

My social media life certainly complements my professional life, but I have surprisingly little interaction with colleagues at work or other institutions here on Google. I suppose most of that sort of thing is on blogs and its very discipline specific.

But a few folks have noticed and one passed along this great link.
Music is definitely in the air this evening. Thanks Katherine!
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Thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed it.
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  • Pepperdine University
    Consulting Technologist & Systems Architect
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I believe you learn more by putting things together than by taking them apart. This is most especially important if you want to learn about people.

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Heaven is full of those who believe that they do not belong there, and curiously absent of those who agree.
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I was almost shot by the Secret Service. Unrelated to that incident, I've lost over 150 lbs.
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