Representing me

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

Teacher 2.0 Badge

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.


  1. I came across your website and think it’s fantastic.I would like to start a web design blog. Thanks!

  2. Sean, yes these were created using the “Hockneyizer”… I should have mentioned that in my original posting. I look forward to playing with photofunia as well. thanks

  3. Brooke, thanks for the note. I think DePaul chose to go with the second one, though I think the first one may be more appropriate (and cooler). Thanks also for the link to the photo-collage. That is cool.

  4. I like the former, but they both work! I am the advisor of “Shutter to Think” photography club at the High School where I teach. Each week we have an assignment, then we get together and show our results. There is some amazing talent in the group and we have a lot of fun. Last week our topic was “The Real Me” and I had to send you this link, because I too did a photo collage to represent me, although I do not appear in the piece. Instead it is of my classroom. :)

  5. I like the first one – aren’t we talking about not necessarily getting the whole picture at times? Until all members of the conversation are skilled in output and input of the conversational turn taking – we really won’t have the big picture. So I like the first one…… The second one tells me too much about you – do I need to know all that if I am a student in your class? a member of your faculty? a family member? Our relationships have become so specific and non-encompassing – We segregate our relationships – I am one to my MSU colleges and another to my work colleges and yet another to my religious sect members.

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