February 3, 2012, 11:00 am
As I wrote in a post two years ago, K-12 education matters to those of us in higher education for many reasons, but especially because our missions are at core the same, and because we are reliant on K-12 teachers sending us students prepared for our classes. This past weekend I attended EduCon 2.4, the fifth iteration of this conference that is put on by the students, parents, and teachers of the Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a magnet high school in Philadelphia that is partnered with the Franklin Institute.
EduCon’s guiding “axioms” and the approach they represent explain why as a teacher of undergraduates I find this K-12 education conference so useful:
- Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members
- Our schools must be about co-creating — together with our students — the 21st Century Citizen
- Technology must serve pedagogy, …
October 29, 2010, 11:00 am
We here at ProfHacker are big Omeka fans. Julie and I have written about its value for individuals, for institutions, and for teaching. This open-source, free, web-based publishing tool is both a digital repository and a way to build online exhibits. Created to be used easily by non-programmers, it is also flexible and powerful enough to meet large institutional needs.
Up until this point, however, Omeka users have needed to install Omeka themselves, either on their own server or on a web host. While this is a fairly easy process, it is a barrier that some people have been unwilling to take, because of ability, opportunity, or simply comfort level. If you are one of those people, however, you have one less excuse for not using Omeka than you did yesterday. At the Museum Computer Network Conference on Thursday, the Center for History and New Media, the makers of Omeka,…
August 9, 2010, 11:00 am
[Editor's Note: Although this is a post by ProfHacker author Jeffrey McClurken, we would like to acknowledge the assistance of super friends-of-ProfHacker Amanda French and Jeremy Boggs in the creation of this post.]
Now that Julie has told you what Omeka is and what it does, it’s my job to talk about working with students using Omeka. I’ve done so twice as part of a senior undergraduate seminar on Digital History. In both cases I didn’t require students to use Omeka, but introduced it as one of a variety of tools from which students could choose for their digital projects. Here are some lessons I learned from working with students on those projects and in talking with two others who have used Omeka in teaching, Amanda French (in a graduate course at NYU) and Jeremy Boggs (Creative Lead at CHNM and adjunct professor at American University). Most of these lessons take the form of…
June 3, 2010, 2:00 pm
As with the two previous posts in this series (new tenure-track and newly tenured professors), this piece is intended to offer advice to people moving into a new position in their academic lives. In this case, of course, we’re talking about a position that many academics never take on in the course of their careers, and it’s a transition that many academics don’t ever want to make. Rarely do people go into graduate school thinking, “Gee, I can’t wait until I’m a department chair.” And yet, at most academic institutions, having an effective department chair is incredibly important for the functioning of a healthy department and school, and the actions of a chair can significantly affect the experiences of the people at the stages that Billie and Nels talked about.
As with previous posts in this series, this is not intended to be a complete manual for being a chair, but rather a collection…
May 20, 2010, 10:00 am
The department website, standardized across an institution, has become a common feature of the digital landscape of higher education. Although it is possible to create something useful with a great deal of work, passionate advocates, and skilled people, in most cases the static, limited department site, often with a single gatekeeper or two, restricted formatting options, and limited multimedia usage doesn’t do a good job of meeting the main goals of a department site.
These sites should, at a minimum, allow faculty of a department to share disciplinary resources, practical announcements, and student/faculty accomplishments with current students. These sites should also increase interaction with the faculty of the department (preferably by doing more than just including email addresses/phone numbers/office hours). Ideally these sites should facilitate communications with alumni and…
March 16, 2010, 10:00 am
The Problem: I schedule at least five office hours per week. [I'm there a LOT more, but these are scheduled hours, the same from week to week throughout a given semester, when people can more or less count on me to be there.]
The problem is that as chair of my department, I’m involved in a number of on and off-campus committees, many of which, of necessity, conflict with those office hours. Although I try to let students and department faculty know about these changes in advance, the fact is that sometimes these meetings are scheduled at the last minute, sometimes they just run late, and sometimes I just don’t want to overwhelm my students and colleagues with a torrent of emails about my office hours that the vast majority will just delete and don’t need.
Also, as chair, there are a number of people who stop by my office, expecting me to be there, regardless of scheduled…
February 18, 2010, 2:00 pm
Following Jason’s request for help in redesigning a campus computer lab, this post looks at one piece of cutting-edge technology to begin to suggest some ideas about our campus classrooms and what we might want from them going forward.
The Big, Cool Wall
This conversation about the classroom begins with what I found to be among the most thought-provoking sessions at the recent EduCon 2.2 conference, those led by Jeff Han and Toby Sanders of Perceptive Pixel. Han is the inventor of the large, pressure-sensitive multi-touch wall that is well known if you’ve watched any of the major news channels, especially during the 2008 presidential campaign. [Though you might have seen that use of it made fun of by a certain weekly comedy show.] In any case, it is an impressive hardware and software combination, especially when used in person (and even more so with several…
February 4, 2010, 6:00 pm
Though ProfHacker is focused on higher education, we recognize the vital importance of K-12 education (both in the sense of shared endeavor and in terms of the reality that we need K-12 teachers if we have any chance of succeeding in our own educational mission). In that spirit, this post explores an increasingly important K-12 education conference, EduCon. This conference, in its third iteration (version 2.2), is held every year at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia.* [This post will also be the first in a series on ProfHacker looking at the important connections between the expectations and experiences of teachers and students in K-20 education.]
EduCon (aptly billed as “both a conversation and a conference”) has five guiding “axioms” that I suspect will resonate with many ProfHacker readers:
1) Our schools must be inquiry-driven,…
October 14, 2009, 6:00 pm
ProfHacker’s series on mentoring has already included a number of gems of advice that I wish I had been privy to as I began my academic career. I’ve been fairly fortunate, however, to have good mentors at almost every level of my academic career, from my undergraduate days to that year “off” working two full-time jobs to graduate school to my early days as an adjunct and then as an assistant professor. Even as a tenured faculty member and chair of my department, I have been able to rely on the advice and mentoring of other academics I trust and count on. Throughout an academic career stretching over half my life I’ve rarely felt isolated or alone.
I mention all of this as context. Given my long history of having helpful mentors, it is perhaps not surprising that I was particularly interested in the idea of getting junior faculty their own mentors. One of…