Here at ProfHacker, we devote about one-third of our posts (and our time) to teaching-related issues and activities. Our posts have covered, among other things, pedagogy, students, colleagues, tips, tricks, books, and lectures. We understand the importance of teaching in higher education. Nevertheless, we are not the only ones who understand it. At ProfHacker, we believe in collaboration in and the sharing of knowledge.
Back in April, George Williams (re)introduced ProfHacker readers to the Teaching Carnival, a round-up containing teaching related posts from around the blogosphere, or, what George has termed, “a traveling collection of constantly updated links to blog entries about teaching in higher education.” From 2005 to 2009, academics from all ranks and disciplines hosted the Teaching Carnival on their personal blogs. To peruse previous carnivals, head on over the Teaching Carnival’s home site.
In that spirit of collaboration, the Teaching Carnival is back. It will no longer travel from blog to blog (the way carnivals once traveled), but it will stay here and ProfHacker will be the constant host of the TC. It will, however, contain the same types of wonderful information the traveling carnival held. Each month, a new writer will collect and sort teaching-related links and will post them here. (If you are interested in writing one of these posts or contributing links to the roundup, see the info at the bottom of this page.)
OK, there have been many busy bloggers at the beginning of this semester. Let’s see what they’ve been doing the past few weeks:
Several bloggers considered the beginning of the semester in their posts:
- Jim Aune at the Blogora provides a “Prayer for the First Day of Class.”
- Sharon Gerald at Writerly Haphazardry recognizes that teachers need to ready themselves for the teaching work ahead, and she supplies “Day 1: Back-to-School Prompts for Teachers.” Her first prompt, “This year, I declare myself free to…” is one that she answers (models) on her blog.
- Mike Duvall at Duveronymous Yawp gives his thoughts on organizing his classes for the semester: ” ‘Questions are Crucial’.”
- Delaney Kirk at Ask-Dr-Kirk asks several important questions, “Do Your Students Know Their Preferred Learning Style?”, “What if You are (or Look) Too Young to be a Teacher?”, “How do I get My Students to Come to Class on Time?”, and finally, “What if I Don’t Know the Answers to a Student’s Question?”
- Lastly, Kelli Marshall reflects on the student-professor relationship in “Slipping off the Pedestal: Shifts in the Student-Professor Relationship.”
Other bloggers wrote about the classroom and the students who will populate those spaces.
- Deborah Hawhee at Blogos explains “What we Talk About when we talk about Teaching,”
- Tenured Radical writes about the parents of students in “The Annals of Anxiety: Constructing Velcro Parents as a ‘Problem’ For Higher Education.”
- Kelli Marshall explains, “Why Students (Rarely) Ask Me for Extra Credit” and “Why I Don’t Take Attendance.”
- New Kid on the Hallway offers a little advice for first-year law students.
A number of bloggers wrote about pedagogy in a “how to” approaches to subjects in the classroom:
- Rebecca Moore Howard at Writing Matters discusses the “Ten Principles of Teaching with a Handbook.”
- Audrey Watters from Hack Education gives us information about Google and student use: “Students Equate Google Search Rank with Accurate Info.”
- Femonomics: the Women’s Magazine We Wish Existed provides an interesting essay on “The Teaching Methods of Higher Education — Sexist or Simply Part of the Profession?”
- Derek Bruff offers “Using Visual Thinking in the Classroom.”
- “When Teaching the Right Answers is the Wrong Direction” is a piece from Edutopia that explains lesson planning and inquiry modeling in the classroom.
- The National Writing Project suggests that “A Social Networking Space for Teachers of English Language Learners” could be a useful addition to teacher pedagogy.
- Traci Gardner at Tengrrl inquires, “What’s the Trick to Building Community in the Classroom?”
- Teachers from all ranks of higher education see students multitasking and we wonder how they do it (or if they do it well). Wendy Drexler recommends “Teaching the HOW to Learn, HOW to Multitask, HOW to Focus” at TeachWeb. This site’s focus is on K-12 education, but her work here is relevant for all educators.
Assignments and Syllabi are another category of blog posts that are helpful to share.
- Educators are beginning to use Twitter, and Silver in San Francisco gives us his Twitter assignment.
- Kelli Marshall explains how “Teaching Seinfeld” (and other television and film examples) is relevant to the teaching she does with popular culture.
- Jeremy Boggs at Clioweb provides a working copy of his syllabus on Web Design and Usability.
- Cameron Dodd offers some tongue-in-cheek “College Writing Class Assignments with Real World Applications” at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. For example, assignment #7 instructs the writer to “Write a post-it note to your landlord with some feasible yet not cliché explanation for being late on this month’s rent.”
When professors assign work, there is always the concern about academic dishonesty.
- In a New York Times Opinion article, Brent Staples focuses on plagiarism in “Cutting and Pasting: A Senior Thesis by (Insert Name).”
- Trip Gabriel in the New York Times Education section explains how “Plagiarism Lines Blur for Student in a Digital Age.”
When searching for teaching links for this Teaching Carnival, it was easy to see long-time bloggers who have also been teaching for quite some time. These bloggers cease writing about teaching (or at least not as frequently) because they are now writing about evaluation and assessment:
- Liz Kleinfeld at RevisionSpiral also discusses student evaluation in her post, “Enabling Usable Student Feedback.”
- Derek Bruff provides his thoughts on “Steven Zucker’s Essay on Student Course Evaluations” and “A Few Thoughts and Tips on Grading.”
- Even The Washington Post‘s Daniel de Vise weighs in on student evaluations of professors, “Study: Highly-Rated Professors are . . . Overrated.”
- Jim Aune at the Blogora provided a link to Slate Magazine and an article, “E is for ‘Fail’” that discusses the grading system used by most in higher education.
- Shannon Christine Mattern from Words in Space writes about “Evaluating Multimodal Student Work.”
- Alex Reid at Digital Digs offers “Concerns for Assessment” and “Ethics, Professionalism, and Standardized Testing.”
- Jeff Rice at Yellow Dog discusses “The Practice of Assessment Invention.”
Teaching is something we do in higher education, but sometimes we need tools to teach effectively. The web is ripe with tools that are useful in the classroom:
- Meagan Rodgers describes how to make your own DIY Planner on her blog Intent/Effect, “Back to School: DIY Planner Tutorial.” ProfHacker highlighted another of Meagan’s DIY creations several months ago when we published creating lesson plans.
- Online Masters lists the “40 Best Comics for the Classroom.”
- Mashable (always a good site) gives us “26 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed.”
- Mark Wagner at EdTechLife examines writing tools in the classroom in his Wiki post “Blogs, Wikis, Docs: Which is Right for Your Lesson? A Comparison Table.”
- The New York Times Education section provides an index of links to resources on often-taught subjects: “Teaching Topics.”
- Audrey Watters at ReadWriteWeb asks, “Teachers Pick Their Top 5 Back-to-School Tech Tools.” (These lists include Twitter and the iPad.)
- Speaking of the iPad, a wiki titled, “Teach with your iPad” by Nathan Stevens looks promising.
- The Huffington Post examines some back-to-school gadgets students could use, but teachers could use them, too. Check out the pivot power cord. Want!
- NCTE provides a blog round of up of literacy links.
Blogging, Tenure, and Promotion are other topics teaching bloggers explored over the past few months:
- Bill Wolff writes ”On Blogging, Tweeting, Professional & Course Web Sites, and Tenure.”
- Chuck Tryon also writes about “Blogging and Tenure.”
- Cathy Davidson joins the chorus when she asks, “Should Blogs Count for Tenure and Promotion?”
Lastly, an interesting video that riffs on the classic film, “12 Angry Men”:
- In “12 Angry Teachers,” teachers argue whether or not to grant tenure to a colleague who uses inquiry-based methods in his teaching.
Whew! That’s a lot of reading, but we hope you find many things useful and interesting in this round up. Surely, we missed links, but we can change that in the next Carnival. Let us know about your work! You can easily have one of your blog posts about teaching in higher education included in an issue of the teaching carnival by doing any or all of the following:
- Email the next host directly with the address to the permalink of your blog post, and/or
- Tag your post in Delicious with teaching-carnival
Traci Gardner will host the next Teaching Carnival (4.2) on October 1. Please send her your links or information you’d like to have included, @newsfromtengrrl on Twitter or through email: email@example.com.
If you have comments, feedback, suggestions or additional links, please leave them in comments below.
[Image by Billie Hara and used under the Creative Commons license.]