In the fall semester, I introduced the iPod Touch in my senior level Italian courses. Our majors and minors were excited about the idea of the iPod Touch but their excitement was far surpassed this semester, when I introduced the iPod to intermediate level students. These students, few of whom will declare Italian as a major or minor, were thrilled beyond words. I remember the looks on their face when we started distributing them last Thursday. I hadn’t provided them with the syllabus yet so they did not know that some of the usual language learning objectives were going to be reached via mlearning.
I walked into Monday’s class with time to spare and all the students present were using their iPod. Were they doing anything class related (i.e., in Italian)? Only 2 of them. The others were just using them, making it a part of their daily routine. Will this help them become better Italian students? I hope it will be giving them immediate access to information (see this interesting article on learning & technology in eLearn Magazine) in the target language and give them access to it whenever they seek it rather than waiting to get this information from me in class those 150 minutes a week.
I will share via Twitter some milestones and would like to blog more about it…however, for different reasons, I can’t make any promises as to the frequency of these updates. For the time being, remember Marshal McLuhan‘s famous expressions: “global villages” and “the medium is the message”.
I have just tried to update my vita with my accomplishments (?) from this past academic year. There is a specific layout which I am using (strongly suggested from my institution) that has me do a literal head count of my teaching, research and service. At my four year mark, I have accomplished the following:
- I have taught over 500 students in language classes capped generally at 25 students
- I have presented at 16 conferences
- I have been invited to review 2 books (but volunteered to review 3 more)
- I have written endlessly and still have two completed articles and a book proposal waiting to be accepted (2004 to date, refereed publications 6)
- I have served the university endlessly, on at least 13 different committees
I have to stop counting, my head hurts…
And the fun doesn’t stop here. I must prepare my narratives and organize my binders to provide supporting documentation to the university that my tenure application is worthy of consideration.
In addition to outlining what I have accomplished, I must demonstrate that I am continuing to conduct research: my fall semester will commence a pilot project that use of pageflakes as a course management tool (& I’m still keeping my fingers crossed … the grant for which Patty, Michael & I applied); the use of a wordpress blog (yes, I have another one) for a grammar & composition course; AND a teacher’s workshop symposium in which I will be presenting, partially organizing then publishing the proceedings. Oh, I forgot. I will be teaching 3 classes and sitting in on committees too. Wow, I’m exhausted just thinking about all of this.
Fortuitously, faculty at the university is accustomed to this grueling, rigorous and challenging self-promotion. To different degrees, the appointment process has us go through the motions annually. Really, it is not THAT bad.
For me, this year is the most demanding. If I am denied tenure, I must start the job search again. I won’t be advised of the university’s decision until late November so maybe I’ll be proactive and start perusing the classifieds early fall.
So, if on Sept. 5 you remember me for some reason (given it is my b-day too), keep your fingers crossed as I will be submitting my tenure application. Good karma never hurts
The Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science is perhaps one of the first, if not only, post-secondary institutions to grant a Masters of Science Degree on Twitter as a thesis topic. I came across this dissertation in December 2007 (it was submitted in September 2007) and greedily held on to it … not wanting to share this interesting morsel on Twitter. It takes Erving Goffman’s “presentation of self in everyday life” and looks at it through the theoretical framework of Social Shaping of Technology (SSOT) and Social Construction of Technology (SCOT).
Given my propensity to want to do too much and, realistically speaking, limitations imposed simply because it is not within my realm of expertise, I will share this with my handful of readers with the hope that you might share this information with like-minded individuals in academia, business, technology, etc.
Given all the media coverage on Twitter of late, the idea of a Master of Science Degree from such a prestigious university (see Wikipedia for different rankings nationally and internationally) may make believers out of more than just us converts.
Twitter: Expressions of the Whole Self
An investigation into user appropriation of a web-based communications platform
Twitter.com is a web-based communications platform combining Instant Messaging and SMS that enables subscribers to its service to send short ‘status updates’ to other people. Beyond its hybrid platform, Twitter’s unique feature is its overarching question “What are you doing?”, which acts as a ‘guidance note’ on how users should phrase their postings. Although it is a ‘soft restriction’, meaning that other formats and styles are possible, this study investigates the extent to which users of Twitter are responding to the question. In the case that people are going beyond “What are you doing?”, are there commonalities in the ‘other’ uses thereof? To develop this premise, a content analysis of 60 users’ postings was conducted to seek for deviations and to categorise them accordingly. To acquire a better understanding of why people use Twitter to disseminate messages, several users participated in a questionnaire to provide insight into the platform. Based on the content analysis’ results, it is possible to conclude that the majority of Twitter users observed are appropriating the platform beyond “What are you doing?”. The findings are discussed within a theoretical framework exploring the role of society in shaping technology and the influence a technology’s design may have on how it is used.
Archiviato in research, Web 2.0