This is the final weekend reading post of 2011, so let me make a few programming notes: ProfHacker will hibernate for the winter beginning on Wednesday, December 21, and will return with a slightly lighter posting schedule (2x daily) in January, and fully return to regularly scheduled programming on February 1.
Also, any readers who are going to MLA--or just live in Seattle, might be interested to know that a ton of us will be at that conference. (Including Ethan, who’s not even an languages/literature type!) Please say hi!
Thanks so much for reading this year, and look forward to big things for 2012!
- Kate Clancy provides a tremendously helpful overview of “the place of science blogging in academia”: I have no desire to alter my writing style or choice of topics on my blog to help me get tenure. At the same time, I would like to be able to articulate the ways in which the process of blogging, the networking from blogging, and scholarly blog posts are a meaningful part of my identity and production as a tenure-track professor.
- Timothy Burke pivots off John Jones’s recent post about search algorithms to imagine how teaching would change if we actually knew what everyone taught: Think about the way that academics have traditionally represented (and deconstructed) canons to each other. A comprehensive picture of pedagogical usage might surprise us in all sorts of ways, change our sense of what we think our practices are. Yes, with some potential for perverse or unintended effects, as in the case of comprehensively tracking citations and using citations as a metric of scholarly value. But mostly I think it is fantastically generative to be able to put aside a massive swamp of arguments and studies that never get beyond an initial attempt to answer the question of “what is it that people actually do“, whether or not the answer is what we expected it to be.
- Lincoln’s post this morning about tracking e-mail reminded me of Dr. Crazy’s plans to track her workload over the spring semester, in part to optimize the balance between teaching, research, and service: Once I broke it down this way (which, I’ll be honest, it’s the first time in my career that I’ve ever bothered to do this), I realized that I have never, ever, spent 12 hours per week on research (even when working 60-70-hour weeks) except for when I had course releases. I also realized that I regularly spend upwards of 10 hours per week on service, which goes unacknowledged and gets me no closer to my professional goals, whether in the broader profession or at this institution.
- A lot of people have seen danah boyd’s rant about saving “scholarly ideas, not the publishing industry”, and so instead I’ll point to Heather Piwowar’s useful, link-y post on where journals are now, what to do next”, in particular the links around making data more available.
- Caroline Lego Muñoz and Terri Towner offer some strategies for using “Facebook in the college classroom”: The ability to quickly learn about one’s peer via a Facebook profile and perhaps engage them online or off–line, is uniquely important to higher education students, where students often enter a class not knowing anyone else enrolled or enroll in a hybrid/distance learning class where socializing opportunities are hindered. The traditional classroom experience, especially in large courses, often does not lend itself to establishing classroom transparency or a genuine, collaborative learning community.
ProfHacker tradition mandates linking to a performance of “Let There Be Rock” by The Drive-By Truckers and The Hold Steady at the end of the semester, and I am not one to buck tradition:
For more conventional ProfHacker-themed content, why not try John Bohannon’s dance vs. powerpoint talk?
Have a great holiday season and happy new year--see you in 2012!
Photo “new year’s snow cave decor--sparkler and tealight happiness” by Flickr user iwona_kellie / Creative Commons Licensed