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Garcetti: Academic Freedom on its Last Gasp
Everywhere you look, students and faculty are hitting the streets–digital music in their ears, cell phone cameras in hand, uploading their manifestos from occupied dean’s offices.

It turns out civil disobedience doesn’t have to be boring.

The membership of the grad student union at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign just overwhelmingly authorized their leadership to call a strike at will–winning the support of legislators, the undergraduate student senate and the faculty in a savvy media barrage couched in a series of rallies, including one slotted for Nov 12 on the site of the next trustees’ meeting.

This is the same union with a long history of creative disruption in response to intransigent administrations, ultimately forcing the administration to bargain with them by an imaginative well-planned occupation of the administration building (also during a trustees’ meeting).

Militants across the University of California are feverishly building support for a Nov. 18 faculty & student walkout and staff strike with dozens of creative events like tonight’s Bay area Night of Student Art and Protest. Just as I was typing this, my email beeped with an announcement of the UCLA students’ all-night crisisfest.

Follow the news, get the data, and learn the truth  at UC Solidarity, Poverty at UC, and Remaking the University.

Oh, yeah. And the cell-phone-camera and adrenaline-fueled pan-European university occupation movement has just jumped the channel to London, complete with mandatory Facebook group. (Hat tip to Eli Meyerhoff.)

AAUP Gets Jiggy With It

Even the “you’ll tear my print budget from my cold dead hands” contingent over at AAUP are taking to Youtube in an effort to combat the so-dumb-as-to-be-unbelievable Garcetti decision and its consequences for academic freedom.

Of course Youtube is so 2005. This year’s movie tool is the text-to-movie app over at Xtranormal. (“If you can type, you can make a movie.”) Some student did one on Garcetti, in fact. (Not the best example of the genre, but a way cool app.)

When it’s your turn to hit the streets, don’t hesitate to use other cool propaganda generators, like the one that made the cigarette-pack Garcetti above, or assisted creativity apps, such as the Bitstrips comic strip generator, used to develop the Allday University series (starring “Adjunct Alice”), which has racked up tens of thousands of views–likely far more than the all the videos in the AAUP series will get in a year.

Festive Education, Anyone?

So many of these applications can be used in teaching and learning across the curriculum, of course, not just propaganda.

Just for starters: coming soon in this space, I promise–for months now I’ve been looking for a quiet week to spend some time writing about early learning, specifically my son’s experience of early learning software with a large, pricy touch-screen computer. It’s really cool stuff. It doesn’t replace books or (more important) time spent talking with parents or interacting with peers–far from it!–but our experience strongly suggests that it can make a huge difference in early language use.



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