Weekend Reading: Spring Break Edition


Once a year, digital humanists pitch in to blog in detail about their workday. Sensibly called The Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities, it’s a great way to showcase the different kinds of work being done in DH, by all different kinds of folks, at all different points in their (very different) careers. They’ve got a pretty awesome list of participants, so check it out!

Also, if it’s March 18, then it’s probably time to check the ProfHacker irony meter, via xkcd:

Productivity blogging

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Everything still working? Great, on to this week’s links!

  • Pseudoteaching, as described here by Frank Noschese, is a real problem, not least because most people–including students, alumni, parents, and others–misread it as real teaching: If you look past his enthusiasm and his displays of physics awesomeness, Lewin was pseudoteaching. It looks like good teaching, but he was the one doing all the talking. It looks like the students are learning, but they were just sitting there watching. It’s like trying to learn to play piano or play a sport by watching your teacher or coach. It doesn’t work well. (Via Fortnightly Mailing)
  • The always-thoughtful Melanie McBride offers a skeptical, and useful, take on gamification as yet another creepy treehouse problem: Let’s face it, a lot of what we enjoy and call play isn’t stuff we would say or do in a classroom or any space where we are being observed by power holders (or if we do, we do so out of their gaze). A boss might think a game of paintball, golf tournament or a night out at Appleby’s is a fun night and playful icebreaker. But most  employees experience it differently. The un-reflexive lets-play-videogames together teacher is not unlike The Office’s boss Michael Scott, whose total absence of perspective on power relations results in uncomfortable moments for his staff. As teachers, we often do the same thing when we unpack “fun” activities that our students are obligated to participate in – often forgetting that having to do things and wanting to do them are two different things.
  • Dr. Davis offers some handy guidelines for live-blogging academic conferences: One of the live-blogged presenters’ SIL found the post I made on the presentation. She let her SIL know about it. (Perhaps thrilled that someone listened or perhaps concerned about the post.) The presenter was upset/worried because she thought the blog post might count as publication, which would endanger the publication of her work later on.
  • Boone Gorges launches Project Reclaim: Lately I have been feeling increasingly uneasy about the state of my digital affairs. I am a leader on a number of open source software projects that pride themselves on, among other things, their ability to enable users to “own their own data”. Moreover, I am trained as a philosopher, and have spent a pretty fair amount of time reading and thinking carefully about the nature of data and our relationships with it. If anyone is in a position to develop and advocate for good models of digital independence, I am. Yet, when I look around my digital world, I see instance after instance where I am, to a greater or lesser extent, completely reliant on the good will of commercial entities and their propietary systems.
  • Michael Caulfield explains that, in open education, getting people to share isn’t the pain point. Getting folks to reuse the shared material is: In that way, the initial impulse of OCW and other movements was exactly right — what are the artifacts of the course? Syllabi, Powerpoints, Reading lists, etc. It made sense. Unfortunately they were artifacts of a lecture based framework which we are trying to move away from. Yes, if you want to do straight-up lecture hall lecture and testing you can find a bunch of resources on the web. But we don’t want to do that. That format is exactly the format that is ruining education. So we start getting people to share their non-lecture assignments, and what do we find? When we get away from the lecture format there are no commonly defined artifacts. Everything is contextualized for own custom format. Reuse ends up being hard

At Science Online 2011, Kate Clancy, Sheril Kirshenbaum, Anne Jefferson, and Joanne Manaster participated in a session on the “Perils of blogging as a woman under a real name. The entire panel is now online::

Have a great NCAA tournament spring break weekend!

Photo by Flickr user syvwlch / Creative Commons licensed

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