Ideas wanted - CASTLE summer book club

Today we officially topped 60 participants for CASTLE's first annual summer book club. That's great! - and many more people than I ever anticipated - but it also presents some challenges...

  1. It's clear to me that we're going to need to have more than one discussion group. Even accounting for some attrition, if we don't break up into smaller groups then folks are going to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of comments. I also want to make sure that people have an opportunity to have a meaningful say rather than being the 53rd person on the comment list. Based on my experiences with the online courses that I teach, right now I'm thinking at least 2 and maybe as many as 4 groups.
  • I've been playing with Lefora as a potential discussion tool. I've also considered blogs and/or wikis. I definitely do NOT want WebCT / Blackboard / Moodle or any other kind of course management system (although Moodle's the least objectionable of those three). I'd like RSS subscription capability, maybe for both posts and replies. The ability to see what's new / read / unread would be nice too (I don't think Lefora has this). I'm not sure what else is out there.
  • If anyone has any ideas on either of these fronts - thoughts regarding group size and/or what good tools might be for this - I'm open to suggestions. I need to make some decisions soon. Sign-up ends June 1 and we start June 9!

    Anything else I should be thinking about? I'm excited to get going!

    LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

    Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

    Getty Images
    Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

    No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

    Keep reading Show less

    26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

    The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

    Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
    • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
    • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
    Keep reading Show less

    People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

    Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

    Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer

    Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

    Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

    Keep reading Show less
    • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
    • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
    • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
    Keep reading Show less