Cultivating an Online Scholarly Presence

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Graduate students are often confronted with conflicting advice about how much of their academic work they should share publicly online.

Although there are good reasons to consider carefully what one shares and how, graduate students who do not intentionally cultivate an online scholarly presence will increasingly be at a disadvantage both professionally and academically.

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HASTAC 2011: Digital Scholarship and the Institutional Structure

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Long at HASTACANN ARBOR, MI – The story I told at the 2011 meeting of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) conference is rooted in my pedagogical practices of using digital media technology to cultivate communities of learning in the classroom. The story itself is told at a moment of intense transformation in education as we move from a culture of print scholarship to that of digital scholarship.  The main thesis of the presentation is that by drawing on the best virtues of both print and digital scholarship a new educational model capable of transforming the culture of the university itself can be developed.

In the presentation, I attempt to articulate how I have sought to translate those pedagogical practices associated with digital scholarship — openness and collaboration – with those practices associated with print scholarship — careful review and the certification of expertise — into both my scholarly and my administrative practices.

In the presentation I did not have enough time to talk about the details of the work we are doing in the College of the Liberal Arts to cultivate a digital culture of scholarship.  When I started as Associate Dean, we hired John Dolan at Director of Digital Media and Pedagogy in the College. Last summer we held our first Liberal Arts Scholarship and Technology workshop for faculty and graduate students in the Liberal Arts. John has been working with both faculty and staff to find new ways to use digital media to enrich our work in the College of the Liberal Arts.

HASTAC11: Digital Scholarship and the Institutional Culture.mp3

Resources

Pedagogy

Research

Administration

  • Digital Research in the Liberal Arts: This blog is co-authored by faculty in the College of the Liberal Arts doing academic scholarship using digital media.
  • Instructional Space at Penn State Task Force Blog: This blog is part of our attempt to up a university wide discussion about instructional space and scheduling. It is an example of how I have sought to use what I learned in my teaching with technology in my administrative work.

New Cultures of Scholarship

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STATE COLLEGE, PA – In my keynote address at the inaugural Liberal Arts Scholarship and Technology Summit, I discuss how the transition from print literacy to digital literacy is transforming the nature of academic scholarship.

[The live stream recording of the event can be seen below.]

The presentation is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the theoretical background that helps us put the transformation of literacy through which we are living into a wider context. In the second part, I focus on a few of the ways I have sought to integrate digital technologies into my scholarly practices.

The theoretical background begins with a discussion of what Lars Sauerberg has called the “Gutenberg Parenthesis,” suggesting by this term a contained period of literacy characterized by the dominance of the printed book. I use Thomas Pettitt’s lecture at the 2010 conference at the MIT Communications Forum to emphasize that the parenthetical period was no mere digression, but added substantively to the history of literacy.

After pointing briefly to how pre-literate oral cultures undertook many of the practices we now find in digital culture–remixing, borrowing, creatively changing and modifying stories for particular audiences–I turn to Walter Ong’s book, Orality and Literacy, to suggest the manner in which print culture values the ideals of completeness, originality and creativity in ways that gave rise to the idea of authorial genius that continues to determine how we think about scholarship and scholars.

In the second part of the talk, I illustrate how I have sought to use digital literacy to reinforce and amplify those values of print literacy worth retaining–the established practices of peer review, caring attention to detail and the permanence of books. I tell the story of my own use of digital media for scholarship, focusing on how I used Diigo to annotate and respond to a recent review of my book in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, and how some of my colleagues, notably Rose Cherubin from George Mason University, added substantively to that digital discussion.

I talked also about the Digital Dialogue podcast to suggest how digital media can be used to create new print scholarship.

Resources
Quotations
From Sauerberg:
In a cognitive context the mass-produced and mass distributed book has been of the greatest significance for the way we approach the world. In the transition from the printed book to digitized textuality the mode of cognition is being moved from a metaphorics of linearity and reflection to a-linearity and co-production of “reality.” This means moving from the rationality accompanied by the printed book to an altogether different way of processing, characterized by interactivity and much faster pace. The book as privileged mode of cognition is, it seems, being marginalized and transformed (Sauerberg, 79)
From Ong:

“Print encourages a sense of closure, a sense that what is found in a text has been finalized, has reached a state of completion … Print culture gave birth to the romantic notions of ‘originality’ and ‘creativity’, which set apart an individual work from other works even more…” (Ong, 132- 133).

From Carson:

An individual who lives in an oral culture uses his senses differently than one who lives in a literate culture, and with that different sensual deployment comes a different way of conceiving his own relations with his environment, a different conception of his body and a different conception of his self (Eros the Bittersweet, 43).

 

Collaborative Research in Philosophy

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Today in the Foster Auditorium of the Pattee/Paterno Library, my undergraduate research assistant, Lisa Lotito, and I gave a presentation about the workflow we use in doing philosophical research.

I have written in some detail about my basic research cycle, but this presentation allowed us to articulate more fully how we use the collaborative power of digital media to do scholarly research in philosophy.

The process begins with a discussion about my current book project on Socratic and Platonic politics. Once Lisa had a sense of the project, we were able to delineate a basic set of sources on Plato’s Phaedo for a chapter on that dialogue I was also going to present at the 2011 Hermeneutisches Kolloquium in Freiburg.

The presentation, the recording for which I embed below, articulated how we created a shared collection on Mendeley to manage pdf resources, how Lisa added notes to Mendeley summarizing some of the main points of those articles and how they related to my thesis. We discuss how I use Dropbox to collect all the documents and Evernote and GoodReader to annotate the pdf files.

We used direct messaging in Twitter to communicate in a dynamic and asynchronous way that allowed me to request more resources or ask Lisa to look for specific issues in the secondary literature. This was particularly helpful during the two week period when I returned to the primary text to develop the details of my interpretation. I was able to rely on Lisa to help me recall the terms of the debate in the secondary literature on an issue or theme in the dialogue.

I used Word and Scrivener to write the chapter and, because of the ongoing limitations of Mendeley with citations, we returned to Zotero to add citations.  Obviously, the constellation of technological tools we used to do this research is varied and perhaps complex; but what stands out, it seems to me, is the way Lisa and I were able to work in a collaborative way to do serious philosophical research. The asynchronous nature of our communication and the digital medium of many of the texts to which we referred allowed us to work in a collaborative way even when we were often at opposite ends of the Commonwealth.

My hope is that this might serve as one model for collaborative research in the humanities; for we have not historically cultivated the models of scholarly apprenticeship in the humanities that the sciences and social sciences have when they undertake research with students in their labs and research groups.

The Research Circle from Christopher Long on Vimeo.

Liberal Arts in a Time of Crisis

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Pharmakon

Originally uploaded by cplong11
STATE COLLEGE, PA – These remarks were delivered at the 2011 Symposium of the Center for American Literary Studies: Crisis? Whose Crisis? What Crisis?

Imagine that you are a graduate student in Philosophy writing a dissertation on Plato in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and you met a visiting professor from Egypt; let’s call him “Theuth.” And Theuth came to you and said: “I have discovered a new art of writing; one that will make it possible for you to simultaneously co-author a document with your students about the Platonic dialogues you are teaching.” 

Let us imagine further, that Theuth explained his new technology this way: “This living document is structured in such a way that you and your students can comment on what you are writing together. It allows you to tag the things you write with multiple terms so you can actually watch themes arise organically in the course as you and your students write reflectively about the dialogues.” 
And then imagine that he began to get very excited and said, almost in a whisper: “The best part of this new art of writing, the aspect that makes it most wonderful and compelling, is that it can be made public in such a way that anyone, anytime, from anywhere can read and respond to it.” 
How would you respond? 
Would you say to Theuth: “as the father of this new technology, you have too much affection for it and you fail to see the damage this sort of exposure to the public will do to these young, impressionable minds; you fail to recognize that young people are not prepared to determine for themselves what is important or interesting or compelling about these ancient texts. And besides, it will kill our students’ capacities to concentrate and contemplate.” 
And let’s imagine yet further, that Theuth was so deflated by this that he returned to Egypt and hid his technology away and that you went on teaching as you were taught, lecturing, encouraging students to focus, concentrate and reproduce on exams and papers the wonderful things they heard from you, which they submitted dutifully–and privately–to you as the authority on the topic. 
Suppose, however, that one day, Theuth’s technology was discovered and put into the hands of students, and that some faculty had wind of this and were beginning to find ways to use it to empower students to write reflectively and dynamically on all conceivable subjects. Imagine that you have in the meantime become an established faculty member, a respected authority in your field. 
This would be the crisis you then faced: the intellectual and ethical capacities you have developed over the course of your career, the very abilities that made you the success that you are, no longer provide traction in a new, more dynamic world in which an unfathomable amount of information is always accessible, collaboration is the main way to create meaning and writing is instantly public to the widest extent imaginable
What I hope you can imagine feeling on a personal level–overwhelmed, dismissive, defensive, and ill-equipped–is amplified and rendered acute when we move from imagination to the concrete realities of our educational institutions. For you see, whatever else this time of crisis involves, whatever the limits of our old funding models, whatever the challenges the liberal arts face from increasing professionalism, whatever budget cuts are announced, these all pale in comparison to the crisis brought on by the revolution in literacy new media technologies have introduced
How will we as faculty, as administrators, as institutions and, indeed, as human beings respond? 
The good news is that the core values of a liberal arts education have never been more important as we attempt to navigate this crisis in ways that might in fact enrich rather than impoverish our lives. The bad news, however, is that although we have long held the values of excellent communication, ethical imagination, global understanding, an openness to difference and responsiveness to change–we have in our teaching and in the structures of our institutions done less to cultivate the intellectual and ethical practices that underwrite these values.
Our teaching remains largely a matter of conveying information delivered by the authoritative expert who controls the discussion and assesses the value of the responses. Our scholarship–particularly in the Humanities–is pursued largely in isolation, made public–to the extent that it is–at small, intimate conferences and only after long periods of incubation. Our disciplines remain dependent on a model of authorship that measures success by the reputation of old media journals read rarely and when read, almost exclusively by isolated experts. Our institutions remain determined by a business model that rewards the adoption of practices that increase efficiency rather than the quality of the educational experiences of our students. 
And yet, our institutions have the capacity to adapt; they remain committed in principle at least to the core values of the liberal arts. Our disciplines have become porous and are beginning to reach out across boundaries to draw rich resources to and from one another. And our scholarship–especially in the Humanities–is able to reflect upon the limits of its practices, to criticize the calcified conceptions of authorship and authority on which we have come to rely and which have begun to dissolve. And in our teaching, we are learning to empower our students to take an active role in their own education, to become writers, podcasters, bloggers, videographers–makers of meaning in a new and multifaceted world. 
Imagine, then, if you were a graduate student studying Philosophy today and you found your students and a few colleagues, perhaps even a faculty member or two, using Theuth’s technologies–how would you respond? And more importantly, how will we as faculty, administrators, institutions and, indeed, as human beings respond to this revolution in literacy in ways that enrich the educated life? 
Cultivating the intellectual and ethical practices that enable us to do this should be the main focus of the liberal arts in this time of crisis.

Curating Your Digital Vita

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WACO, Texas — During my visit to Baylor this week, I guest taught Anne Schultz’s class on Plato’s Symposium and joined the Academy for Teaching and Learning to speak about how I use digital media in my teaching, research and administrative work.

The title of my talk is Curating Your Vita: Cultivating Communities of Teaching, Research and Administration in a Digital Age.

The presentation is divided into three parts: Teaching, Research and Service. It takes each activity in turn as an opportunity to cultivate community around one’s scholarly interests. I tried to rely on concrete examples of what has worked, and failed to work, for me as I put social media into practice in ways that, I hope, invite dialogue and discussion.

Teaching

My Philosophy 200 course, Ancient Greek Philosophy, was the focus of the section on teaching. Here are resources related to how I used a co-authored course blog to create a community of education in that course:

Research
I talked about the way I use the Digital Dialogue to invite scholars and colleagues to talk about their work and to develop my own work on Socratic politics.

Administration
I talked about how we use blogging, podcasting and video in the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies office in the College of the Liberal Arts to empower students to give voice to their undergraduate experience in the liberal arts.

In putting the presentation together, I was struck by something that had not occurred to me in concrete terms about how and why I share my activities on the internet. Although this sharing, which for some, I know, is over sharing, began as a natural desire to reach out to others about my work and invite them to share theirs, I realize that one of the most powerful things about sharing on the internet is the unanticipated possibilities that open when people put words to their experiences in public. In the presentation, I put it this way:
Sharing opens the possibility of serendipity.  
Here are some videos that show some of the serendipitous possibilities that opened as I shared my teaching, research and administrative activities: 

Finally, take a look at the slideshow of my excellent visit to Waco and Baylor University.  Thanks to all who made it possible.

Institutional Transformation

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The annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium held yesterday at the Penn Stater had an intensity to it that I had not experienced in years past.

The energy and excitement we felt so palpably are symptoms, I think, of the success we at Penn State have had in theorizing and practicing social media in ways that create an enriching community of education. At the heart of our practice has long been the recognition that the educational power of social media lies in its ability to cultivate dynamic and genuine relationships between students, faculty and administrators.

Yesterday’s conference was eloquent testimony to the degree to which the communities we have been cultivating at the local level are taking root at the University level.

For me, one of the most remarkable moments at the Symposium happened at the very start, during the keynote address by Clay Shirky.  Shirky is widely known for having said: “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution,” a statement Kevin Kelly dubbed the Shirky Principle.

So it was striking that Shirky emphasized that he used to think digital media would transform the academy discipline by discipline as each determined ways to effectively adopt new media technologies for their specific content areas. Yesterday, however, he said he was increasingly convinced that the academy will be transformed institution by institution as administrators become willing, as he put it, to provide “air cover” for faculty on the ground engaging their students through social media.

As Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts, these words resonated with me. Indeed, they affirmed something I have been attempting to do since taking on this position a year an a half ago.

But Shirky’s point needs further refining, because it is not simply by providing “air cover” for faculty that we will transform institutions of education, but by adopting communicative practices as administrators that are rooted in the recognition that education is a cooperative, social activity.

At this year’s Symposium the Liberal Arts Undergraduate studies office gave a presentation that focused on how we have adopted precisely such a communitlcative practice in an attempt to empower our atudents to give voice to their undergraduate experience in the liberal arts. Geoff Halberstadt, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council President, has written eloquently about his experience engaging with us in LAUS through digital media. Jillian Balay spoke about her role curating our blogs and podcasts by thoughtfully working with students to articulate their educational experiences in compelling ways. And John Dolan talked about our College wide Teaching and Learning with Technology initiative which is designed to allow faculty to lead the College as we adopt new media practices.

In order to try to capture the spirit of the approach we have undertaken, we put together this fun little video which not only shows students, faculty and staff engaged in a cooperative project, but presents the caricature of an Associate Dean who does not get it, played by an Associate Dean who is trying to understand the affordances and limitations of social media by putting new digital media into practice:

Blogging and the Business Classroom

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July 2010 029

Originally uploaded by Penn State Smeal MBA

Today I venture outside of my comfort zone in talking about teaching and learning with technology in the Liberal Arts to address a group of faculty from the Smeal College of Business. In so doing, I am been thinking about how to translate the teaching and learning philosophy that has guided my teaching of Philosophy courses into the context of the Business classroom.

This led me to the embedded video below, in which Professor Debbie Ettington says:

“I think of learning as an active process, as a social process … we try to use lots of different ways to engage different learning styles, to engage students in working with each other …” (see: 0:45-1:03 in the video).

Professor Ettington’s words resonate with my own attempts to put a genuinely cooperative approach to education into practice in my teaching. They also give me the courage to share the story of how I use blogs in my Philosophy courses in order to open a discussion about how this model might be adapted to the particular contours of the environment in a Business classroom.

Below is a link to the presentation that lays out the model, but how precisely this might be taken up by professors in Business will, I hope, be part of our discussion we have in the session and perhaps here on the blog.

Traditional and New Media Literacies

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Writing Three Ways

Originally uploaded by cplong11

New media technologies are transforming the practice of education, and our practices of education must change in the wake of the emergence of new media technologies.

In this presentation, I discuss how new media literacies can be cultivated in students, faculty and staff in ways that deepen our understanding of the world, the university and the community of education in which we live.

Focusing on some the initiatives we have adopted in the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies office, I point to concrete examples of how new media literacies are empowering students to critically reflect upon their undergraduate experience. In the process, they are learning, and teaching us, about the educative power of the social web.

Here is the YouTube video of the presentation itself:

I also embed the Prezi itself here so everyone can explore the videos posted of our students:

CAS Teaching with Technology Workshop

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In my ongoing attempts to think more reflectively and act more deliberately about teaching and learning with technology, I am speaking with a group of graduate students and faculty today in the Department of Communications, Arts and Sciences. 

Today I am talking more about the meaning of cooperative education, about which I have written previously. My hope is that CAS students will join and contribute to some of the work we did in a workshop a few weeks ago with PHIL students in which we developed a Google Doc that is designed to be an ongoing, co-authored field guide to teaching and learning with technology.
The idea behind the guide is to see if we can develop a living, ongoing and collaborative document that articulates the goals, vision and best practices of education rooted in a vision of genuine cooperation.
The Google Doc is embedded below. If you are interested in co-editing, send me your gmail account and I will add you.
 

Teaching Philosophy with Technology Workshop

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Colorful Prometheus

Originally uploaded by Allison Harger

This workshop, for graduate students in the Philosophy Department at Penn State, focuses on using social media technologies to cultivate cooperative communities of learning in Philosophy courses. Its purpose is to transform our pedagogical practices in ways that empower students to take co-ownership of their own education.

Its main outcome of the workshop will be a co-authored field guide for teaching and learning philosophy with technology. In order to facilitate this, participating students are asked to send me their gmail addresses (and to sign up for a gmail account if they don’t already have one) so I can add them as co-editors to our shared google document.

The workshop itself will be held on Friday, September 3rd, from 3:30-5pm in Willard 173.
Participating students are asked to do two other things prior to the workshop. First, please visit the following poll we have set up to learn a bit more about your familiarity with social media technology.
Second, please take a moment to write a comment on the current blog in which you tell us two things about yourself, one of which is true, the other of which is false. Do not tell us which is true and which false as we are going to use this for an ice breaker at the workshop.

Finally, students are encouraged to bring their laptops to the workshop if they have them.

Reflections on the Hacking Pedagogy Presentation

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LDSC37

Originally uploaded by docZox

My friend and colleague, Cole Camplese, and I gave a joint presentation on a collaborative project we have developed called “Hacking Pedagogy.” The idea is to open a digital space in which we, together with the education technology community here at Penn State and beyond our institutional boundaries, will write a living field guide dedicated to articulating, cultivating and facilitating a cooperative approach to education.

Specifics about how to participate in this project are available on our Hacking Pedagogy Blog.

In reflecting on the event, there are a few points I would like to emphasize that were either insufficiently developed in the presentation or left unaddressed from the Live Question Tool from the event.

Let me begin with the term ‘hack’. There are a number of connotations associated with this term, some of which I would like to endorse, others I would not. I would not endorse, for example, the notion that a hack is something that involves the unethical appropriation of the work of others without giving them due credit. Nevertheless, I would like to affirm some of the subversive connotations of the notion of a ‘hack’, particularly those that understand hacking as an attempt to leverage existing structures of hegemonic authority in order to open up new possibilities of relation less dominated by a desire to dominate. Hacking has always had these two sides, the one interested in subversion for its own sake, the other animated by the attempt to establish new, more liberating and responsible community dynamics. This latter is the sense of hacking to which Rey Junco appeals when he suggests that “educators must become hackers.” 
The Hacking Pedagogy project aims at undermining those existing pedagogical practices rooted in a logic of domination and control in which faculty authority suppresses student creativity
The corrosive sense of ‘hack’ seems to have found a counterpart in a corrupted understanding of cooperation, at least as it was articulated by one respondent to our Live Question Tool. There it was suggested that cooperation can be understood to involve submission to a dominating power or interest. I do not deny that much coercion has been perpetrated under the guise of “cooperation.” Yet, there is a difference between cooperation and conformity; for genuine cooperation does not involve capitulation.
I tried to articulate the deeper meaning of cooperation in my post, From Engagement to Cooperation. There I suggested that cooperation means, literally, to work together, to act in conjunction with another. All human relations, indeed, all human interactions with the world, are predicated on a certain capacity to cooperate; without it, our eyes could not see, nor our ears hear.
These these rudimentary modes of cooperation – the sort of cooperation that opens the world to us – points to another, higher dimension of cooperation: the ability to work together to articulate a common vision of truth or justice or meaning. This is the sense of cooperation at stake in the discussion of cooperative education.
Thus, in the presentation, we sought to identify four pedagogical attitudes:
  1. Disengagement involves general apathy and, often, the active repression of the natural human desire to learn.
  2. Engagement involves attention, directed psychic involvement with the learning community.
  3. Participation involves taking an active role in the pedagogical process but,
  4. Cooperation is rooted in the recognition that pedagogical practice is most transformative when it is undertaken as a conjoint activity in which student and teacher share ownership. 

Teaching the Ethics of Dialogue

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Last Fall I gave a presentation to faculty in the Rock Ethics Institute entitled The Ethics of Blogging Ethics in which I outline some of the main pedagogical benefits of adopting an open blog as a site for cooperative learning.

Subsequently, I posted a screencast of a related presentation entitled the Pedagogy of Blogging that articulates why I consider blogs pedagogically important.
Today, as I address another group of faculty from the Rock Ethics Institute, I would like to focus attention on one specific dimension of teaching ethics, namely, the cultivation of the excellences of dialogue.
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Relinquish Control, Empower Engagement

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In this presentation to the Teaching Forum of the Department of Sociology and Crime, Law, and Justice, I emphasize how relinquishing control of assignment topics in a course can open a space for students to take a more active role in their own education.

The key pedagogical decision I made in structuring my PHIL200 course was not to decide the writing topics on which students would focus during the semester.
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TLT Symposium 2010: Teaching and Learning in Digital Dialogue

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Today students from my Fall 2009 Philosophy 20, Ancient Greek Philosophy, course present a short video that seeks to express something of the learning community that grew when we did all our writing in the course in public on a course blog.  (The students posted the video on the course blog as well.)

All the words spoken on the video were written on the blog during the semester.  I am grateful to Cody Yashinski, Pam Dorian, Jordan Sanford and Joni Noggle for helping to conceive and produce this video, and to Tony Arnold, Anthony Zirpoli, Daniel Mininger, Sam MacDonald and Marina McCoy for participating.

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Brief Reflection on the Essence of Technology

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Consider the following two passages, written in the wake of the enormous technological advances of the early 20th century:

“Technology is … no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing.  If we give heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of technology will open itself up for us.  It is the realm of revealing,
i.e., of truth.” (Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology,
1949-50.)

“During long periods of history, the mode of human sense perception changes with humanity’s entire mode of existence.” (Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1936.)

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Engaged Learning with Technology

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UVU View.jpgOREM, UT – I was asked to address a group of faculty at the Utah Valley University, where there is a strong commitment to engaged learning. In the presentation that follows, I offer a model by which social media technology can be used to cultivate the active engagement of students in their own education. This model has been developed in my Philosophy courses taught at the Pennsylvania State University.

The model is based on two insights:

  1. Learning is social and so it is most effectively pursued in communities of education in which teachers and students are actively engaged together.
  2. Social media technologies are transforming education because they are able to open dynamic communities of learning between teachers and students.

The power of new social media technologies for education lies not in the information they deliver, but the communities they can create.

Let me begin with a short presentation on the pedagogy of blogging and why I think it is particularly powerful in cultivating dynamic communities of engaged learning.

In order to speak in practical terms about how faculty might begin to cultivate such a dynamic community of learning in their classrooms, I would like to highlight the structure of my course on Ancient Greek Philosophy at Penn State.

This course focuses on the question of Socratic politics and is driven completely by our course blog, Socratic Politics in Digital Dialogue.  All the writing for the course except for the final research paper is posted to the blog.

Here is the syllabus for my PHIL200 Ancient Greek Philosophy course in pdf format.

There are no specific writing assignments. Students write when they are moved to write by the texts we are reading. As faculty, I have clearly set out the expectations for the course in the Blogging rubric (.pdf), which is the key to the success of this model.

The other way I try to cultivate the active participation of the students is through the Weekly Round-up podcasts they produce in teams each week.  The goal of these podcasts is for students to reflect upon the week of class and to highlight readings, aspects of in-class discussion, blog posts and to connect them to issues of contemporary social-political concern.

Highlighting Success
Here I have gathered some links that highlight some of the ways we have been successful in cultivating a community of learning this semester:

  • Cody Yashinsky and Pam Dorian produced a weekly round-up podcast that focused on the media’s influence on Philosophical discussion, the question of the Good and specific blog posts of the week.

Listen to Cody and Pam on Weekly Round-up #2

  • Themes and topics emerge organically as students gravitate to issues of common concern.  This semester some of those issues have included:

These examples beautifully illustrate the power social media has to cultivate a dynamic community of engaged learning.

Videos Tell The Story
Below you will find a three videos related to PHIL200.  The first is entitled The Story of PHIL200 in which my students and I recorded ourselves speaking text from the blog we had written during the semester.  We did this in part to try to capture something of the nature of our dialogue and, in particular, our encounter with an antagonistic anonymous commenter on the blog.  
The second is a video of a presentation outlining the basic structure of the course and the pedagogical principles behind it.
Finally, there is this documentary video of the course with student testimony, produced by my colleagues at Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State.
The Comments
Finally, the story behind the first comments you read below is this: About two hours before I gave this presentation, I emailed the class to tell them that I was about to present on what we were doing in

class.  I invited them to comment and, by the time I went to present, I had a number of very good comments posted here to which I could refer.

Time Management for Graduate Students

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One of the most difficult things for new Graduate Students to manage effectively is their time. This is in large part because graduate study has built into it large segments of unstructured time that can easily be wasted. One of the most important skills graduate students can learn early in their career is how to structure their time effectively.
I have gathered here some suggestions that might help students take control of their time so that it can be used most productively.

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