Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday miscellany⁓what I'm #reading…#ccourses #NassuaAFA #adjunct #labor #moocs & more

…yesterday was to have been a post day but turned into Disconnectivity Day for area telephones and internet via their fiberoptic cables. I would have missed #AdjunctChat but with the experimental all day "facilitated by us" format, I was able to make part of it and brought up +Laura Gibbs' idea about an instructor Learning Commons hub that she introduced on #ccourses. It keeps growing too.

As for blogging, today it is then ⁓ and a jumble at that. With the draft pile is growing, I should finish off a few before starting another post (potential draft for the pile). Meh. I'm still in recovery mode from yesterday's stress and in the meantime...

I've been reading...

Well, we know the U.S. military uses private contractors in foreign wars, and we know the Pentagon is arming and militarizing domestic police, and we know the U.S. Army is training to enter law enforcement. It seems to me that it's all part of the plan to keep the war machine churning and to control the population. 
Now with a more polished version of private security minus the flashy Mercedes and foreign accents, and sold to us as environmental guardians, this story has gone largely unnoticed. Yet, if these raid allegations are true, Lear's actions already far exceed anything APF did in Montana.

Several faculty members contacted PERB for information on how to petition the board to have the AFA’s union certification annulled. The complaint is that since the Taylor Law declares striking by public workers in NY illegal the Union membership was wrong in voting to strike. Additionally, evicting and fining union members for not breaking the law is not enforceable. Consequently, any vote excluding their input will be invalid.
But here’s the caveat. There are two unions on campus, one for fulltime faculty and another for adjuncts. The overwhelming majority of those dishonoring the strike were full time faculty who also teach part-time and are members (or had been) of both unions. Should the AFA be decertified by NY PERB it leaves all NCC adjuncts without representation. 
I just finished giving my talk on MOOCs as inventions: opportunities and risks in Goteborg, at the #chals14 meeting.....My slides are available hereIn the talk, I discussed the idea that MOOCs are social machines put in the hands of professors and quoted Evgeny Morozov, which I am reading at the moment.
“While the corporate media hails the mechanization of education as another sign of progress toward a techno-utopia, Adam Bessie teams up with fellow community college instructor and illustrator Arthur King to give readers another perspective in this nonfiction comic, based on extensive research, and their personal experience as veteran educators.” – Truth-Out editors
  • Who hasn't been reading (and commenting ~ now pushing 800) on Salon's "Professors on Food Stamps"... and sharing on social media? 

The situation reached such a flash point that Kottner and several colleagues (some of which spoke to Salon for this article) penned a petition to the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The petition calls for “an investigation into the labor practices of our colleges and universities in the employment of contingent faculty.” Ana Fores Tamayo has a petition as well, this one to the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. They both have over 8,000 signatories. 
When asked about petition impact, Kottner said it was “just one tactic in the whole sheath of a rising adjunct response to contingency.” Other tools included unionization, which is difficult in many states. Kottner said the most powerful force was information. “I think our biggest weapon now is basically making the public aware of what their tuition dollars are not paying for, and that is professor salaries and professor security.” 
When asked if there was any hope about the future, no consensus was reached among the adjuncts Salon spoke with. Some believed things would never change. Others thought the tide would turn if enough people knew how far the professoriat had fallen.

Recent additions to blogrolls, briefly noted: 

precarity bloggers
  • New Savanna (art, graffitti, #ccourses blogging  and more by former adjunct )

Lost in cyberspace, R.I.P.: Joe Berry's COCAL  Updates (Tumblr), still available on line at H-Adjunct ~ no feed but you can subscribe to email updates, list registration required to sub but not to read online.

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