Random Thursday thoughts

  1. I am giving a presentation on campus today on our trip to China to adopt our daughter. It’s a multi-media extravaganza, with photos, data graphs, video clips, and sound all rolled into a single Keynote presentation. It is the largest electronic presentation I have ever drawn up, clocking in at 8.74 Gb — yes, gigabytes. I’m going to have to buy an external hard drive just to back the thing up!
  2. Speaking of which, any suggestions on a 60 Gb external hard drive that plays well with Macs?
  3. Just gave course evaluations in GE 103. I am quite bummed out by the fact that about 10 of the 23 students in the class were absent, one of whom is by far the best student in the class and who has really enjoyed and learned a lot from the course (and therefore I was counting on his evaluation to offset others from more disaffected students). We put so much emphasis on student evaluations, but I’m not so sure students take these things very seriously.


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5 responses to “Random Thursday thoughts

  1. We put so much emphasis on student evaluations, but I’m not so sure students take these things very seriously.

    As I’m sure you’ll agree, even if students took them seriously (some do, some don’t), our overemphasis on student evaluations is a problem. I’m trying to work this issue into a post at Ticklish Ears (so many irons in the fire).

    The issue is how should we evaluate faculty members, and it’s part of the reason I posed my question the other day. Considering your comment on my question, I think we may be working on an infinite recursive promised post loop.

  2. I think I’m fortunate here at FC to have an admin and P&T committee that views student evaluations in the proper context — namely, as a means of aggregating data to illustrate long-term trends. In other words, if students are consistently rating me low on, say, getting papers handed back in a timely way, and this rating persists over the course of years, THEN it’s time for the powers-that-be to take note and make suggestions. Otherwise, in isolation, the evaluations don’t really mean that much. They only attain meaning when grouped with past evaluations. That’s pretty realistic and humane.

    Infinite loop of promised posts…. heh.

  3. I have an iogear Ion external hard drive, 60GB. It was pretty cheap and it’s very sleek and reasonably fast. My version is only USB2.0 and is powered off the USB bus. They also make a combo Firewire/USB drive that works with Mac. I highly recommend the firewire interface, since moving GB’s in multiple files across USB2 is really slow.


  4. That’s a nice-looking drive there. The price (under $100) is nice too. I also see they’ve got the same basic drive but in higher capacities. (I’m sort of thinking of an 80 or 100 Gb drive now, so I can back up stuff on the Macbook and on the Mac mini at home.)

  5. Julia

    I just read your blog for the first time today. I’m working on blog presentations for my teachers here, and came upon yours through a series of links.

    In any case, if no one else has responded, I have lots of experience with LaCie firewire drives, which I use personally and also assign to my filmmaking students at my high school. They are super fast and very small and portable. They’re not as cheap as USB drives, but worth the investment. Those I use in class range from 40GB (older ones) to 500GB (not too portable).

    For what it’s worth!