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Todd Suomela

the mass defunding of higher education that's yet to come - the ANOVA - 0 views

  • I am increasingly convinced that a mass defunding of public higher education is coming to an unprecedented degree and at an unprecedented scale. People enjoy telling me that this has already occurred, as if I am not sufficiently informed about higher education to know that state support of our public universities has declined precipitously. But things can always get worse, much worse. And given the endless controversies on college campuses of conservative speakers getting shut out and conservative students feeling silenced, and given how little the average academic seems to care about appealing to the conservative half of this country, the PR work is being done for the enemies of public education by those within the institutions themselves. And the GOP has already shown a great knack for using claims of bias against academia, particularly given the American yen for austerity.
  • But his critics can’t see something that, for all of his myopia, he always has: that our political divide is increasingly bound up in a set of class associations and signals that have little to do with conspicuous consumption and everything to do with a style of self-performance that few people ever talk about but everyone understands. It is the ability to give such a performance convincingly that, in part, people buy with their tuition dollars.

    That this condition makes egalitarian politics a part of elite class formation has gone little discussed in my political home, the radical left. I have been excited to see a recent groundswell of young left-aligned people, and many of them are bright and committed. But almost none of them seem aware of the fact that their ironic Twitter accounts and cultural references and received opinions on all manner of political issues are as sure a sign of their class identity as a pair of wingtips and a blazer once was. And until and unless they understand how powerfully alienated the great mass of this country is from their social culture, we cannot hope to build a mass left-wing movement and with it do good things like defend public education. I agree: it’s the economy, stupid, and we must appeal to them by making the case that things like universal free college are good. But if recent political history tells us anything it’s that no economic policy, no matter how sensible, can win if its proponents refuse to grapple with the politics of resentment. The left, broadly, has not done a good job of that. The professoriate? My god.

jatolbert

DLAx | The Digital Liberal Arts Exchange - 0 views

shared by jatolbert on 08 Jun 17 - No Cached
  • Many schools have recently embarked upon initiatives in digital scholarship – those forms of scholarship largely in the humanities and humanistic social sciences that emphasize digital tools and infrastructure, as well as accompanying expertise and support.
    • jatolbert
       
      Why is it "largely in the humanities and humanistic social sciences"? I don't buy this.
jatolbert

Open Stacks: Making DH Labor Visible ← dh+lib - 1 views

  • When infrastructure is understood as an irrational social formation, emotional labor tends to compensate for a perceived lack of resources. Scholars who are used to the invisibility of traditional library services, for instance, find that digital projects expose hierarchies and bureaucracies that they don’t want to negotiate or even think about, and the DH librarian or one of her colleagues steps in to run interference. Why can’t the dean of libraries just tell that department to create the metadata for my project? After all, they already create metadata for the library’s systems. Why can’t web programming be a service you provide to me like interlibrary loan? I thought the library was here to support my scholarship. Why can’t you maintain my website after I retire–exactly the way it looks and feels today, plus update it as technology changes? In some conversations, these questions may be rhetorical; it may take emotional labor to answer them, but doing so exposes the workings of the library’s infrastructure–its social stack.
    • jatolbert
       
      More conflation of DH with all digital scholarship
  • How does DH fit within this megastructure? According to some critics, DH is part of the problem of the neoliberal university because it privileges networked, collaborative scholarship over individual production. If creating a tool (hacking) or using computational methods has the same scholarly significance as writing a monograph, then individualized knowledge pursued for its own sake, the struggle at the heart of humanistic inquiry, is devalued. Yet writing a book always depended on invisible (gendered) labor in the academy. Word processing, library automation, and widespread digitization are just three examples of the support labor for traditional scholarly work that Bratton’s globalized technology Stack has absorbed. (And we know that the fruits of that labor are in no way distributed equitably.) What has changed in the neoliberal university is that the humanities scholar becomes one more node in a knowledge-producing system. Does it matter, then, whether DH work produces ideas or things, critics say, if all are absorbed into a totalizing system that elides the individual scholar’s privileged position? This is of course a vision of scholarship that is traditionally specific to the humanities; lab science and the performing arts, for example, have always been deeply collaborative (but with their own systems of privilege and credit).
  • DH librarians, whose highly collaborative work is dedicated to social justice and public engagement, may be one particularly vital community of practice for exposing the changing conditions that create knowledge.
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • like the fish who asks “what is water?”–most scholars are unaware of the extent to which their work, professional interactions, and finances are imbricated with the global technology Stack.
    • jatolbert
       
      Also not sure that this is true.
  • Many DH programs, initiatives, and teams have arisen organically out of social connections rather than centralized planning.
  • the myth of scarcity
  • Scholars often presume that because libraries acquire, shelve, and preserve the print books that they write, that the same libraries will acquire, shelve (or host), and preserve digital projects.
    • jatolbert
       
      This is a natural assumption, and in fact is true in many cases.
  • digital scholarship
  • DH
  • digital scholarship
Todd Suomela

New World Notes: Palmer Luckey's Support for Pro-Trump Group Reminds Me of His Support ... - 0 views

  •  
    Palmer Luckey is the founder of Oculus.
Todd Suomela

Data, a first-class research output - 0 views

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    "

    The Make Data Count (MDC) project is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop and deploy the social and technical infrastructure necessary to elevate data to a first-class research output alongside more traditional products, such as publications. It will run between May 2017 and April 2019.

    The project will address the significant social as well as technical barriers to widespread incorporation of data-level metrics in the research data management ecosystem through consultation, recommendation, new technical capability, and community outreach. Project work will build upon long-standing partner initiatives supporting research data management and DLM, leverage prior Sloan investments in key technologies such as Lagotto, and enlist the cooperation of the research, library, funder, and publishing stakeholder communities."
Todd Suomela

The Necessity of Looking Stupid | Just Visiting - 0 views

  • I’ve found students to be very insightful when it comes to understanding and assessing their own learning and very forgiving of my “mistakes.” Just about 100% of what I now do in the classroom has been “authorized” by student feedback, not given through end-of-semester evaluations, but collaborative discussion.

    Ask students if something worked, and they will tell you.

    The best part of moving the professorial pedestal out of the room is that all of us get to be a little less fearful, and little more brave.

Todd Suomela

MOOCs Find Their Audience: Professional Learners and Universities | EdSurge News - 0 views

  • In my last year’s analysis of the MOOC space, I concluded that there’s been a decisive shift by MOOC providers to focus on “professional” learners who are taking these courses for career-related outcomes.

    At the recently concluded EMOOCs conference, the then CEO of Coursera, Rick Levin, shared his thoughts on this shift. He thinks that MOOCs may not have disrupted the education market, but they are disrupting the labor market. The real audience is not the traditional university student but what he calls the “lifelong career learner,” someone who might be well beyond their college years and takes these online courses with the goal of achieving professional and career growth.

  • One of the lessons I learned from running Class Central is that to make money, you need to make others money. By targeting professional learners, MOOC providers are trying to exactly do that.

    To better serve this audience, every MOOC provider has launched products that range from tens of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. As a professional learner, I feel a certain amount of comfort knowing that high-quality educational material exists for skills that I would want to learn in the future. But if you are true lifelong learner—the ones that helped start all the hype in the first place—the MOOC experience has largely been reduced to basically a YouTube playlist with a cumbersome user interface.

    Unless, of course, you are willing to pay.

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