What’s in a name?

Come Here To Me!

An impressive seventeen bridges span the River Liffey in Dublin city, and in many cases their names honour dead nationalists of Ireland’s past. Sean Heuston, the 25-year-old rebel executed in 1916 for his role in the Easter rebellion, gives his name to the bridge next to the train station also named in his honour. Today, the LUAS passes over Heuston Bridge. It’s ironic that the bridge was first opened with the name Kings Bridge to commemorate a visit by King George IV in 1821.

Further up the river, one finds Liam Mellows Bridge, named in honour of the progressive republican Liam Mellows, who was executed by the Free State during the civil war. As hxci has noted in an early post on this site, “at 248 years of age, Mellows Bridge is the oldest existing bridge across the Liffey.”

Yet in recent times there has been real shift away…

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The same week I interviewed an author who dismissed local food as nothing but “a niche product for upper-crust consumers,” I learned about a project in New York City that directly challenges that assumption. The folks behind Harlem-based Corbin Hill Farm don’t see sustainably grown local produce as a passing craze for the foodie elite; on the contrary, they’re figuring out a way to make it accessible to low-income communities on a large scale.

Founder and longtime Harlem resident Dennis Derryck has long been aware that people in his community and the nearby South Bronx don’t have much access to good, fresh food. But when it came to solutions, as he saw it, “all these small and beautiful things had very little impact. School gardens, rooftop gardens, educational programs — at the end of the program, where was the parent or the kid supposed to go?”

Derryck saw promise of…

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The Guardian grabbed five minutes with Steven Schwartz, VC at Macquarie University, to talk about the online course revolution and how the UK and Australia compare on social mobility.

Schwartz’s comments and observations on social mobility make for interesting listening.  He highlights what many of us already probably suspect is happening, ie that the current financial climate is seeing a decline in social mobility in the UK.

However, it was his comments about announcements of new MOOCs and groups of Universities collaborating in the develpment of MOOCs and open courses coming out of the US almost every day, but none coming out of the UK, that made me stop and think.  He’s right, in the UK there are hardly any announcements about MOOCs. There are only two that spring to my mind the Oxford Brookes First steps into learning and teaching MOOC and the recently announced OU MOOC on curriuclum…

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