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A Conversation with Geeky Mom

Day 25 of Emerging Genres
A Conversation with Geeky Mom,
Senior Instructional Technologist and....
Benevolent Dictator?

(Seen from back and front, inside and out)

"Being a connected, contributing human being is a lot of work."

"I couldn't have gone into this with my eyes open.
I had no idea where I was going.
and quite frankly, I don't think I should have known."

"I'm here to help...scholars and teachers find relevance in the web world."

"The web has the potential to level the playing field
and we have the opportunity to define the field."

"The Internet is actually making the academy even more relevant
but only as long as it doesn't shut itself inside the ivory tower."

"the truly technical folks...have no idea how the academic side of the house works...
decisions create unintended consequences that prevent freedom and innovation...."

"faculty...don't have an institutional perspective.
They still think only of their little corner of the world, their own pet peeves.
As an administrator, you have to think more broadly..."

"...ideas come from unexpected quarters...
opening up the conversation makes it richer and more valuable."

"girls are generally outpacing boys in Internet content creation...."

"educators are not teaching students what it means to write for a wider audience....
being in the public eye means being repsonsible."

"...if you are using social software, nothing is private...
And maybe being more a good thing.
Maybe it makes us more accountable."

"...dispel the myth that freshmen will be transformed by their first year of college....
most students just learn to manage their lives during that first year
and they hold their views fairly sacrosanct...
we need to...personalize the content.
We need to help students understand where they fit in the world...
I might apply these ideas to faculty...
faculty mostly just manage their lives the same way the students do...
so, like students, their questions are bad."

"The real work of scholarship takes place in isolation....
scholarship is valuable to me...when its context is clear...
brought out of the footnotes...and made visible...
this context isn't more visible for most works...
because it serves a gatekeeping function...."

Notes from Our Conversation:
Laura is interested in "social software"-->  the main point is connection to others
blogs were invented as "links with commentary"; after 9/11 and the 2004 election,
they became more personal, more reports from "on the ground"
she "became addicted": needing a place for her thoughts to go
her  blog that is all "random stuff," with no centralized topic
(but w/ links to help with navigation)
this is a "hybrid" of Tim and Kate's blogs
there "are no fights on Geeky Mom": folks "take issue politely"
Live Journal is about "controlling your audience"; there "are no random readers"
in contrast, Laura's blog is open; it "doesn't tell you what it is";
it may be "more welcoming because less defined" and because it
does not presume prior knowledge or a specialized vocabulary
we have an interest in the "constructed life story":
the persona here is constructed to "make connections"
Laura's blog also serves a diary function, a record of how she felt in the past
she is a "tech jockey," with "no tribe" (straddling the worlds of faculty and staff);
the blog gives her company (in writing her dissertation, for instance)
Coursekeeping for April 22

By 5 p.m. Monday, April 28: 4 more pp. of blogging due, about the
emergence of the genre of the blog (diary? autobiography? The Scarlet Letter?)

Calderon, "Blogs"...
and the new "cut and past from Word" button (5th from left, above....)

For next Tuesday, read my Stranger in a Strange Land: Grokking in Central America
come ready for a summative conversation both about blogging and the course (evals, etc.)

Also! self-organize for your final presentations, next Thursday!