On The Radar: In September 2015, the world's highest-trafficked pornography website, PornHub, announced it was launching a charitable foundation, PornHub Cares, with a $25,000 college scholarship. Eligible students have to submit a 5-minute video explaining how they seek to make others happy. Also this fall, hookup app Tinder released its ranking of American university campuses based on their ratio of "right swipes" - the hottest males seem to attend private Christian colleges and military academies, while the hottest females were at campuses in the deep south.
Social media winners and sinners: Ken shares a few examples of the best and worst in higher ed social media from his keynote at the 2015 PSEWEB conference. Sinners range from Nobel-prize-winning biochemist Tim Hunt and his ill-advised joke about "girls" in the lab (and his botched apology), to Rick Coupland's violently homophobic Facebook post. In response, though, some winners appeared, like the #DistractinglySexy viral campaign, or the NoHomophobes.com campaign at the University of Alberta.
The Big Picture: Like it or not, libraries are moving paper books into underground storage vaults and textbook publishers are rushing to embrace access codes that defeat the most common student efficiencies (photocopying, piracy, sharing, buying used, borrowing from the library, etc). What's promising are the institutions bundling textbooks into student fees, often providing free iPads in the bargain, like the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, College Boreal, Olds College, and more. Some studies have found that 77% of students don't even buy mandatory textbooks - so small wonder that Algonquin College is finding substantial improvements in student learning and success when etexts are provided to 100% of students. Since the government of California committed to creating free, peer-reviewed open-source online versions of the textbooks for the 50 top college courses in 2012, the governments of British Columbia and Manitoba have followed suit. We're likely to see a lot more provinces jump on the bandwagon to score political points on the cheap.
Stay tuned after the credits for a few bloopers, as well!
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