Yesterday proved to be insightful when talking with my students. I am constantly stumbling over cultural references when trying to reach them. I grew up in the 70s. They grew up in the 2000s. I realized just how big of a gap this is, when I asked them if they had heard of the Internet phenomenon, PostSecret.
Not one student had heard of it. I thought that PostSecret was pretty common knowledge, especially among Internet-savvy youth. I thought wrongly. So it is apparent to me that the tide has shifted from one where my students and I explore the Internet together sharing a wonder of discovery, to one where I can serve as a knowing guide on a well-travelled path. Of course, I will always be able to learn new things from them, but even while to me it is still quite new, I really, truly know much more about the Internet and it’s short heritage than they do.
The reason I mentioned PostSecret is that I was hoping for establishing a common reference point that speaks to the vulnerability and hurts that we all have. I am trying to build empathy for others.
Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world. – Frank Warren
I remember hearing the PostSecret founder state this truth, and it has always stuck with me. Probably no one has heard more confessions than Frank Warren, except perhaps the Curé of Ars, so he certainly has a firm understanding of the human condition.
I have been working at Kansas State University for a dozen years now. Before that, I taught at Cloud County Community College. The main difference between the two institutions is the scholarship expectation for faculty members. At both institutions, effective classroom instruction is expected, as is service to community and to the institution. But when I changed jobs, the scholarship expectation was something new.
I rather like the scholarship requirement. It encourages us to stay current in our field, rather than stagnate. In our department, most of us have assignments of 80% teaching, 10% scholarship, and 10% service as the percentages of how we are supposed to spend our time. We still place a high priority on instruction, but the other two are requirements as well.
My own scholarship is in scholarship of teaching. The papers I have written and presented are all related to courses I teach in computer technology.
One thing that I haven’t really experienced though, is noticing my papers being cited by other authors. That all changed recently, when I was doing a search for my American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) papers. I found three papers with my name in them that I didn’t write. In other words, I’m a cited author. I suppose that for more preeminent scholars, this is to be expected. But for me, it felt really cool to see my work cited in someone else’s reference list.
Below are the papers that cited my work:
2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
There is no question that social media has turned the world upside down. I remember many years ago being stunned to learn that people were earning a living by blogging. Now people are earning a living by entertaining us on social media. Tonight’s segment on 60 Minutes, “The Influencers,” tells us what that looks like.