Day 28: Podcasting Upgrade

28 10 2009

Today was my birthday; if you’ll look closely at the iPhone in the picture, you’ll notice that it is actually a birthday cake (from Nobody got me a birthday cake quite this fancy, however I was able to celebrate by spending all day in a computer lab while the seniors from my other two classes took an exit exam. Happy birthday to me!

However, my students in the connected learning class did not suffer too terribly from my absence (I’d like to think that they missed my stunning good looks and my rapier wit, but these are both doubtful as well). Read the rest of this entry »


Day 25: Dislocated teaching

19 10 2009

One of the hardest questions to ask yourself is whether you have become obsolete. About three years ago I designed an online course for our university. It was sort of an experiment for me as we move some of our less frequent offerings (especially at the graduate level) to an electronic format. For this process I took an existing course and recreated the lessons, experiences, illustrations, and other elements so that an individual anywhere in the world could complete the course from home. Since that time, a few hundred people have completed the course, all with relatively little involvement from me.

Ironically, if we take that model and extend it to its ultimate possible degree, we reach a point where a team of professors could spend two or three years moving an entire degree plan online, at which point they could all retire (if they are old enough) or just file for unemployment (if they are not), while the course was taught by adjuncts, grad students, or someone else for the next ten or twenty years. This is the outcome which troubles professors across the nation right now, and it remains to be seen how it will play out. Of course that topic is far too large for us to consider here, so let’s leave that depressing thought and move to something more immediate. Read the rest of this entry »