I try to engage with audiences other than academic journals on topics related to my areas of interest. I do this through both teaching and in public settings, online and face-to-face.
I draw together my teaching approach from my work on connected learning, a perspective that considers students’ own interests (including their family background, youth cultural participation, and personal preferences for activities) in both curricular development and pedagogical practice. As an example, I taught a hybrid online/offline undergraduate course on social inequality that I built with Andrew Penner. We used Canvas, a learning management system, to construct opportunities for both traditional learning experiences (online discussion of assigned readings, both verbal and written) as well as digital production (creating videos and online portfolios that reflect critical thinking and synthesis). In particular, I’m proud of my students’ final projects (for examples, take a look at ePortfolios by Carla, Gabby, Jerry, Lan, and Isabel — shared with permission). I’m trying to write about the course design and implementation experience so other faculty can get a sense of what we did and how we did it. I wrote a how-to post here.
The idea of public sociology is that scholars should actively participate in dialogue with spheres other than the ivory tower (Michael Burawoy has a nice write-up about the topic). I try to connect my interests and work in different public settings. I do this in several ways. First, I write on topics of interest (usually digital technology, learning, and/or inequality) for various blogs, news platforms, and on social media like twitter. I maintain a list of some of these examples below. Second, I help develop content for the Digital Media & Learning Commons, an open online learning community for junior scholars. My work as a member of this initiative is twofold: I work on the backend as a user experience researcher to improve the platform, and I also participate by developing course content on research design. These courses are multimodal (using live webinars, collaborative workspaces, social media, etc.) and are open to anyone.
Public Writing (select list):
- “Seeking the Next Steve Jobs,” Digital Media & Learning Central, 7.17.15
- “A Call for Data Literacy,” Huffington Post, 4.1.15
- “On Researcher Betrayal: Exposing Youth Technology Practices to Parents,” The Society Pages: Cyborgology, 5.14.14
- “Connected Parents: Sharing Classroom Practices through Social Media,” Connected Learning Research Blog,” Connected Learning Research Blog, 2.22.13
- “Augmented Learning through Fashion Design,” Connected Learning Research Blog, 1.11.13
- “Connecting Youth to Online Resources through Mentorship,” Connected Learning Research Blog, 4.26.13
- “‘I Want Everyone to Know ;)’: Negotiating Online Publics for Learning, Production, and Self-Promotion,” Connected Learning Research Blog, 10.26.12
- “‘Fitting In’ Childhood: Technology’s Place in Schools,” The Society Pages: Cyborgology, 10.30.11