Texting in class, templates, HE admin, graduation

Professor Textblaster 
Many of Todd McCann’s students suffer from a chronic disease. Call it CRS: Can’t Remember Squat. Now they have no excuse. Mr. McCann, an English instructor at Bay College, in Michigan, is deploying students’ own favorite technology to burn away the memory fog. He blasts his classes text-message reminders using Broadtexter, a free software program used by bands to create mobile fan clubs. Rather than texting tour dates, he keeps the phones in students’ pockets buzzing with regular reminders like “Paper 4 is due tomorrow.”

50 time-saving Google Docs templates
Google Docs templates make life just that much easier by providing the bare skeleton of a specific document, spreadsheet or presentation – all you have to do is fill in the blank bits with your information.

What’s in a name? Nothing good, AUA members argue
There are three problems with the Association of University Administrators’ name. Some members are not sure about the “association” part; opinion is divided on the “university” element; and there are serious doubts about the term “administrators”. … For anyone who struggles with higher education’s litany of abbreviations and acronyms, the list of suggested alternatives may send a shiver down the spine. They include the Universities Professional Staff Association (Upsa); the Institute of Higher Education Managers and Administrators (Ihema); Higher Education Managers and Administrators (Hema); Managers and Administrators in Higher Education (MAHE); University Managers and Administrators (Uma); and Managers and Administrators in Universities and Higher Education (MAUHE). However, abbreviation-phobes can rest easy – a name change is unlikely.

York Minster not an option for graduation
The University of York has cited a diverse range of faiths among the student body as the main reason for graduation ceremonies to continue to be held in Central Hall, as opposed to York Minster. Much attention has been brought to the issue by the fact that York St. John University students hold their graduation ceremonies in the Minster, something that many University of York students view as unfair.

Twitter networks, HE finance, HE admin

Explore your Twitter network with Mentionmap
Asterisq just released Mentionmap, an exciting web app for exploring your Twitter network. Discover which people interact the most and what they’re talking about. It’s also a great way to find relevant people to follow.

Study reveals lack of awareness over university bursaries and scholarships
The scope and clarity of information provided by universities and colleges about bursaries leave a lot to be desired, says the study. Almost one-half of students (44 per cent) thought there was too little information about how to apply for a bursary, though higher education institutions think they provide enough. Many universities need to do more, says the study. Three-quarters of students and two-thirds of parents did not realise that universities and colleges must give a minimum bursary to students receiving the full state maintenance grant. And, almost half the students surveyed (47 per cent) thought bursaries were one-off payments given to students in their first year.

V-c: scholars should lighten the administrative burden
Answering a question on “blended roles”, which mix academic and administrative tasks, she said: “I would like to see young academics accepting that is part of their contracts. I would like to change this sort of attitude that all you really do is teach or research, or in most cases both, and that you don’t have a sort of common responsibility towards helping to run the institution.”

The academic v administrator debate rumbles on, and still doesn’t get anywhere…