Peep's Diary

November 2, 2007

Wot u doing on Web 2.0?
An anonymous US academic, writing on a blog called Rate My Student, is disturbed by tutors who spend too much time on Facebook. "My colleague across the hall is always talking about events he reads about on Facebook, knows the nicknames of most of his students and posts a tonne of personal info about himself on his own page. On his Facebook 'wall' dozens of students had left him messages like: 'Prof, dude, how's it hanging?' and 'Yo, Proffy, wot that smile on u face?!!'"

The academic goes on to say that she has never heard "a single untoward thing" about the professor, but asks: "Is Facebook one of those lines that faculty shouldn't be crossing?" Steve Wheeler, a senior lecturer at Plymouth University, responds on his own site: "It could be worse - he could be on Bebo."

Possessive about its brand
Oxford University has posted an exhaustive "toolkit" on its website to help staff who might be confused following the university's review of its "visual identity" (that means brand to you and me).

The site's operators clearly do not think much of staff's standard of education: they include a helpful guide to punctuation, with advice, for example, on the apostrophe to show possession: "The teacher's book (one teacher); the students' essays (several students)." The site also advises to use 's after plural nouns that do not end in s: "people's rights; children's toys".

Meanwhile, somebody is so upset by Oxford's website that a site has been set up specifically to attack it. The rival site - at http:/// preview - lists "things that are wrong with the new Oxford website", including grammatical errors.

Beans means burgers
We are pleased to learn that Glasgow University has become the first in the UK to gain official "Sunflower Standard" from the Vegan Society after its hospitality services introduced daily vegan options. Among the dishes on offer at the university's OATS brasserie are butterbean burger with soya spring-onion dip, chickpea arrabiata and grilled tofu sausage with cranberry polenta. A university spokesman has assured Peep that none of them will be deep-fried.

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