‘Brains are cool’ hat $24.95 ($U.S.)

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Top 10 ways how to use 3D printers in your class.

– Scan a picture of Albert Einstein’s face in 3D to create a realistic-looking face mask. Wear it to the next class and say, “Your professor is sick today, so I’ll be covering the class…get out your pens and ink wells.”

– Create and print two gigantic 3D ears and place them on the sides of your head. Ask the students a question telling them to speak up when they answer.

– Create and print 3 extra fingers on each hand and see how long it takes for students to notice.

– 3D print several life size replicas of yourself and place them around the room during exam time. Students won’t know which one is the real you, thereby deterring any potential of cheating.

– Print out your classroom in 3D with the same room number and place it down the hall from your real classroom. Sit back and be entertained by all the confusion.

– During the previous week, tell the class there will be a famous guest speaker in the next class and they “won’t want to miss this class!”. Print out a life size 3D replica of Kim Kardashian and place it at the front of the classroom. Once everyone is excited and seated, tell them it’s not real, and proceed to give them all a surprise quiz.

– Create all your exams in 3D so that students have to wear those cheap, cardboard, red/blue 3D glasses in order to read it. Take a picture to show management how you are using leading-edge technology in the classroom.

– Print miniature 3D replicas of yourself for students to take home and place on their work desks for motivational purposes.

– Randomly, during the middle of a class, start to print out a 3D potter’s wheel, create a clay pot, and start singing ‘Unchained Melody’ by the Righteous Brothers.

– Become your students favourite prof by bringing in a 3D pizza printer and start handing out unlimited amounts of pizza for all of them.

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Graduation Ceremony tips for professors.

Mortar board for graduation ceremoniesIt’s that time again, so here are a few tips to make this ‘glorious’ event even more glorious…er.

  1. When you’re sitting on stage, remember that the ceremony is being recorded; and so are you.
  2. For women, don’t wear seven inch stiletto heels. If you trip and fall, it will most likely ‘go viral’ on Youtube.
  3. Don’t drink lots of coffee, tea, or water before the ceremony; you can’t get up, walk off the stage, go to the bathroom, come back, and sit back down (you’re not in a movie theatre!).
  4. When walking up to the stage, periodically wave and give a lot of ‘thumbs-up’ gestures towards the audience; it will make you look popular.
  5. Don’t eat ‘gassy’ foods before the ceremony; enough said. [Read more…]

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What today’s students can learn from listening to ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’.

I learned more about the refraction of light by staring at the album cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, than I did from my public school teacher. If he was cool, he would have played the album while we were learning about it; at least, that’s what I would have done.” –Phil Jones, Professor

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’.  There’s a lot of life’s lessons embedded in that 1973 gem that are still relevant today and can be taught to students 40 years after its release.

I remember when I was teaching a class about time management strategies last semester and I played a sound bite from a song on the album called ‘Time’. To my surprise, when I asked students if they knew the name of the group or the name of the song, most didn’t. Those that did know, told me that their ‘baby boomer’ parents played it all the time (most of those students were big fans too).  From there, I encouraged the non-listeners to put aside 45 minutes of listening to their over-commercialized, top 40 music, or as I call it, ‘ear vomit in the auditory cortex’, and instead listen to this classic album. “Is it on YouTube sir?” asked one girl. “Is that Pink’s (female singer) real last name?” asked another. Sigh. [Read more…]

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Three ways to stream students through a program.

streaming students for retention

Streaming students to success.

So, how can a college think of different ways of streaming its students? Why not look at nature and use an analogy of how streams actually flow? Isn’t each program like an island in the stream? Let’s start by listing the three different stream channels: straight, meandering, and braided. On a side note, regardless of the different stream flow types listed below, I think all students should have the option of taking any course either as an ‘online only’ format, a ‘hybrid’ format, or an ‘in-class’ only format. The concepts discussed here may even help with retention. If a students ideal stream could [Read more…]

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How to stop students from f***ing swearing in your class.

“When your brain fertilizer fails to rid of the weeds in your neurons, you swear them out. The more you swear, the more weeds you must have in your brain.”

–Phil Jones, Professor

Dropping the F-bomb

Alternatives for the ‘F-word’? Friggin’, Frickin’, ‘Freakin’,’Flippin’ ‘Fudge’, ‘Fiddlesticks’, ‘F’!

“Thanks for a great class sir…it was really f***ing interesting!” Yes, a student actually came up to me at the end of a class and said those exact words; all with the nonchalance of a siamese cat after it has scratched the crap out of one of your favourite chairs.

Throughout the years, I have heard ‘S’ bombs, ‘F’ bombs, and all the other ‘Consonant’ bombs spew out of the mouths of students while in the classroom. One student actually swore during his presentation, and unfortunately for him, an ‘F’ bomb meant an ‘F’ grade. So, why have swear words seem to have become so rampant these days, and how can you ‘nip it’ if you [Read more…]

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Student Retention Forumla: P + P = R

railroad track

Retention is about helping each student stay on track.

In the retail industry, it’s all about location, location, location. In the higher education industry, it’s all about retention, retention, retention.  To be clear at the start, maximizing student retention numbers is not about reducing the quality of education in order to pass students (with questionable academic achievement) just to keep them ‘in the loop’. Let’s face it, we all know that some students just aren’t ready for college, and perhaps, may never  [Read more…]

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Famous quotes: ‘Facebook’

“If students spent as much time with their face IN a book, instead of ON Facebook, they’d all be geniuses.” –Professor Phil Jones

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The Graduate Reunion.

Graduate Reunion

Can you hear the ‘D’?

It’s always great when a former student drops in to say “hi”, years after they have graduated. As I was thinking about the recent grad ceremonies, I vaguely recall a ‘Graduate Reunion’ that occurred several years ago (‘vaguely’, because I went to a lot of rock concerts in the 70’s – remember sneaking in those wine skins full of ‘Baby Duck’?). As you read to the end of this post, this particular reunion may bring a smile to your face, as I’m pretty sure we’ve all done or seen a similar thing, especially for anyone that has ever worked [Read more…]

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iPads are the new Slate Boards.

From Slate Boards to Tablets

The more things change…

Old is new. It’s a concept that can be seen throughout history. I never paid much attention to this concept back in school, or even bothered to take the time to learn about history because, like many Baby Boomers back in the 60’s and 70’s, history class during those school years was most likely one of the most boring classes that we all were forced to sit through. If only we had iPads back then. [Read more…]

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