Sharon Guan with the Instructional Design & Development Group at DePaul University has invited me to present at a faculty conference next April. I will be speaking about the manner in which new technologies are pushing us to blur the lines between the professional and the personal. [See last year’s website here.] She needed a picture to post on the conference website that could represent this shift. Here are two that I came up with.
The fragmenting professor
I think we are going with the latter. What do you think?
For the record, here is the abstract of the presentation
Blurring the Boundaries Between the Personal and Professional in A Webbed World
One of the primary goals of teaching is to make the life of the mind come alive for our students and we attempt to do it any which way we can, manipulating props and ideas to convey a personal and unique connection to our students and the subject matter being taught. As teachers, we want our students to see us as being knowledgeable yet accessible, wise but funny, cerebral but warm, benevolent and yet firm. With increased use of online technology, these paradoxical demands get further complicated because in the online context these contradictory impulses need to be represented through the arcane language of HTML and “channeled” through a bunch of electrons sitting on a web server somewhere. Moreover, the increasing use of content management systems and an emphasis on “standardization” has led to a bland and uniform look and feel for course websites. In this presentation, Dr. Mishra decries such a one-size-fits-all approach, and argues that the design of any course needs to carefully reflect the passions and pedagogical philosophy that drive the instructor. This becomes increasingly important as we move into newer Web 2.0 and social media that blur the boundaries between the personal and professional, between faculty and students.