Program and meetup: Online education

Independent scholars, please join us! Thursday, September 12, 7:00- 8:30 p.m., Woodbury Room, Jones Library, Amherst.


Matthew Emerson, a Five College Associate and a department chair at Kaplan University, will give a brief presentation about distance education and online higher education. Discussion will follow. Online learning seems to be the wave of the future; what does it imply for independents and for higher education in general?

Matthew Emerson is chair of the Department of Social Sciences, College of General Education, Kaplan University.


Of course, we’ll have time for conviviality afterward.

Crowdfunding science

The Boston Globe reported yesterday on a growing move toward crowdfunding in the sciences.  (You can find a link in the sidebar “The wider conversation” on this page. In hard copy, see the front page for Tuesday, September 3: “Scientists call on the crowd for funding.”) Most often the fund-raising supports pilot projects and smaller grants, but the report mentions one successful proposal with a budget of $1.5 million. Beyond the familar Kickstarter and IndieGogo, science-specific sites like Microryza and  #SciFundChallenge are starting to appear. There is some intriguing potential for independent scholars here.

One especially interesting observation is that “the outreach is itself rewarding.” Specialists seeking funding must explain their work – and its significance – to a broad public. Sounds like a creative way to build bridges between academe and everyone else.