It's only January, but we're already deep into preparations for EduComm 2007 (Anaheim, Calif., June 19-21). I'm pleased to announce the two keynote speakers for this year's conference: Alan Kay and David Pogue.
At a recent higher education media dinner, hosted by Arizona State University, several nationally known journalists from the mainstream media joined the education press to engage the assembled group of university presidents and chancellors in a free-wheeling, open dialog.
As they do each fall, college presidents welcome new students with words they hope will inspire, words that will impart some shared wisdom or enlightenment about the journey on which they are about to embark. For example, Georgia Nugent, president of Kenyon College (Ohio), cautioned students to make sure they were, in fact, on the right journey. "Many of you may have had the experience of sitting on a plane about to take off, when the steward says, 'If Columbus is not in your travel plans, you should get off this airplane...' Well, Kenyon is kind of like that.
A recent column on this page called "Help Keep the Free Press Free" (July) resonated with a large number of readers who offered their own takes on the subject. That column dealt with a campaign by The Society of Professional Journalists to encourage administrators to support student journalists and a free press.
Judging by the standing-room-only crowd that turned out to hear keynote speaker Thomas Friedman at the "Campus of the Future" conference last month in Honolulu, I may be one of the few people left who hasn't read his book, The World is Flat. (The book is on my night stand, along with other books I haven't gotten around to reading yet, including, ironically, David Allen's Getting Things Done.)
This past weekend my local PBS station aired a 30th anniversary edition of the film All the President's Men, based on the 1974 book of the same name. Part biography, part mystery, part historical document, the book detailing the exploits of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became required reading for a whole generation of journalists, and put the phrase "investigative journalism" into the American consciousness. It launched a remarkable era of some incredible reporting in which the media truly became watchdogs of the people.