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items tagged with Augustana College

Melancholia, Baby: "The Big Funk," at Augustana College through October 25
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-10-19 12:00:00

At heart, the 1990 tragicomedy The Big Funk is less a theatrical production than a wrestling match, one between its playwright, John Patrick Shanley, and ... John Patrick Shanley.


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A Textbook Case: Why Digital College Materials Haven’t Taken Off
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-23 14:13:03

At the beginning the school year, in a chemistry class at St. Ambrose University, Professor Margaret Legg offered students the option to buy a less-expensive e-book instead of the usual physical textbook. No one opted for the digital version.

Kelsey Berg, a sophomore majoring in biology, said she had already bought the hardcover edition. Had the e-book been offered before she bought it, Berg said she still wouldn't have purchased it. "I don't like reading on a computer. It's hard to concentrate," she said, adding that it wasn't worth the cost, either, because one can't sell an e-book back.

Many college students are embracing digital and open-source textbooks, which are accessed through computers and digital readers such as Amazon's Kindle. For some, it provides a more convenient way to carry multiple textbooks. Beyond being easier on students' backs, e-books are also better for the environment, because no natural resources are used in the production or transportation of a physical book.

But the major selling point is a lower cost compared to new textbooks. Textbooks cost an average of $900 per semester, according to the federal Government Accountability Office. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has been advocating for reducing the prices of textbooks, which they say have risen faster than the rate of inflation in the past several years.

Although e-books are often 50 percent less expensive than unused print editions of textbooks, the cost evaluation isn't quite so clear-cut. In many cases, there's little or no cost savings to students in the long run.

And some people, like Berg, resist e-books for other reasons.


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Fall’s Swell, and Ends Well: Fall Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-08-31 12:00:00

Kathi Osborne, Carrie Saloutos, and Jessica Swersey in Circa '21's Mid-Life! The Crisis MusicalAt last count, there were a whopping 46 area-theatre productions scheduled between September and December, and included among the titles are A Dog's Life, The Big Funk, Scrooge!, Don't Hug Me, and Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical. It's the season that my editor, Jeff, has been waiting for!


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Teaching the Whole Child: Longfellow-Augustana Partnership Brings the Liberal Arts to Primary Education
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-07-29 21:13:19

A classroom in the 'new' Longfellow

Students stepping into Longfellow Elementary in Rock Island this school year will notice physical changes: a new media center and library, a new cafeteria, and a renovation that has added four new classrooms. But a more important change will be the school's new formal partnership with Augustana College.

The relationship will bring a liberal-arts-based curriculum to Longfellow - a contrast to the No Child Left Behind-forced shift in primary education that emphasizes reading and math skills to the exclusion of other subjects. Though the content of the curriculum will still conform to district standards, the way that content is presented will change: The focus will move to collaboration among students, small-group and individualized instruction, interdisciplinary learning, thematic teaching that attempts to make the coursework relevant, and the fine arts.

A No Child Left Behind-influenced curriculum "doesn't have anything to do with creative problem-solving, imagination, collaboration - all of these skills we need to survive in the next millennium," said Pat Shea, an assistant professor of education at Augustana who was part of the planning team for Longfellow. "If we don't get those things taught, it doesn't matter how many facts we know. ... We are so off-target about what it means to be an educated person, and I think we as educators have the first line of responsibility to start speaking to that."


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Future Tense: "Omniscience," at Augustana College through May 10
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2009-05-04 12:49:44

In the science-fiction drama Omniscience - currently playing at Augustana College - playwright Tim Carlson imagines a not-too-distant U.S. future in which several Midwestern states are under Asian control, violent militia activity is commonplace, behavior is governmentally regulated through mood-leveling drugs, and surveillance systems monitor our every move.


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