Friday, March 28, 2008

Are Professors Using Technology?

Most college classrooms across the nation have data projectors, smart boards, touch screens, elmo machines, and wireless mice. These forms of technology cost colleges and universities an extra ordinate amount of money. Do college professors actually use these forms of technology their the fullest extent?

As a millennial, I try to take advantage of these forms of technology every day that I am in the classroom. This semester, I am fortunate to teach my classes in classrooms that include all of the technology listed above.

When planning my classes at the beginning of the semester, I include a brief visualization session in the planning process. During this visualization session, I adopt an undergraduate student's perspective for a brief amount of time. Then, I ask myself the following questions/statements:

What would keep me awake during class?


I would prefer a lecture that includes the following elements: A, B, C, and D.

I wish my professor would...

I would like to learn about XYZ technology this semester.


What are the most prominent issues in the media that students should know?

After answering these questions, I start revamping my syllabus. I hope that I do not overload my students every semester with Blackboard discussion questions and Youtube videos. However, I believe that I am teaching them valuable technological skills.

Today, I was inspired to write my thoughts regarding new technology in the classroom from the following article, "How to Find What Clicks in the Classroom" (by Judith Tabron).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Professors Strike Back! - Professors on Facebook

If I were a freshman student, would I want to have my professor as a friend on facebook? Facebook is supposed to be a website that college students keep in contact with college students and alumni keep in contact with alumni (or any combination of the prior groups). Now the prevailing question is, "What happens with the professor happens to be a newly minted alumna/alum of an institution and is an active member of facebook?

Today, the New York Times released an article titled, "The Professor as Open Book". I received the article this morning via Google Reader (RSS feed). This article touches on the following topics:
  • Ratemyprofessors.com -> Professors Strike Back (A television show that allows professors to verbally refute their students' negative comments on ratemyprofessors.com)
  • Professors' Personal Decisions to Divulge Their Personal Information on Social Networking Websites.

My Analysis - I have a facebook profile that is private (my students cannot search for me). This profile affords me several benefits: (a) I can communicate with friends from my college years, (b) I can conduct research on facebook with students from other institutions, and (c) I am able to post pictures of family/friends without having undergraduates viewing them.

However, I think that professors should have a public profile that their students can access. Research has proven that professors who have public facebook profiles are more likely to have a positive relationship with their students. In addition, I strongly urge professors to practice professional demeanor on facebook.com.

Sometimes it is hard to do because there are so many features that jeopardize academic professionalism. For example, facebook users can take quizzes on their profiles that may not be very professional (Test Your Sex in the City IQ) or they also have to option to add applications (Send a Drink - alcoholic, non-alcoholic, water). I recently read an article about student affairs professionals and facebook.com - Best Practices Among Student Affairs Professionals Using Social Networking Websites.

Question of the Week - Should professors have profiles on facebook?

Millennial Professor

Friday, March 14, 2008

Have Your Say! - Take the Millennial Professor Poll!

Readers,

I want to cater the blog content to you and your interests! Please take the Millennial Professor poll.

What Should I Write About?

- My millennial faculty experience.
- My African American faculty experience.
- My writing updates.
- My usage of new technology in the classroom.
- My integration of service learning in the classroom.

The poll will be open until March 31st at midnight.

Thank you!

MP
Publish Post

Millennial Professors -> Like Gold Stars!

Earlier this week, I started feeling like I have not conducted any research or published any scholarly work. This morning I started having a NEW ATTITUDE!

I have accomplished the following this semester (so far):

  1. Delivered both a keynote and workshop presentation for a conference.
  2. Wrote an article for a national trade publication (for women).
  3. Wrote a grant for a local organization.
  4. Four newspapers have featured me in an article.
  5. Created a new course for my department.
The next time that you feeling accomplishment deprived, write a list. Sometimes it is helpful to see your accomplishments in front of you.

In addition, I JUST received a certificate of appreciation for my keynote speech last week. Wonderful! I have another item to add to the growing portfolio.

Yes, millennials like gold stars... or certificates of appreciation.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Great Debaters: A Historical Female Star Passes Away!

Henrietta Bell Wells, a Pioneering Debater, Dies at 96

Mrs. Wells, the only female debater on the Wiley College debate team, died recently. As a former high school debater, I was enamored with the fact that a major motion picture was released about a debate team at a historically black college. I actually attended Wiley College for a semester and I learned a lot from my short experience at an HBCU.

It is very ironic that Mrs. Wells passed away after the movie was released. I am very glad that such a phenomenal woman had the chance to see the movie about her life at Wiley College.

Read the article - Henrietta Bell Wells, a Pioneering Debater, Dies at 96

The Pros of the Scholarly Journal Peer-Review Process

Revisions
Today, I start the revisions of one of my submitted manuscripts. I received my first rejection letter before Christmas and I have not touched the document since that time. As I stated before, the first rejection letter is the worst and then the scholarly journal rejection process gets better.

I think that the best way of dealing with a rejection letter is to:

1. File the rejection letter
and reviewers' comments away for awhile
2. Reflect on the process (perhaps write your reflection in a blog) :)
3. Search for another journal
4. Dig up the rejection letter and comments
5. Print and read the comments
6. Make revisions
7. Reflect on the revisions
(perhaps write your reflection in a blog) :)
8. Read the document a few more times.
9. Submit the document to friends, family, and former dissertation advisers (perhaps a writers club)
10. Submit document to the selected scholarly journal.


I am actually in the fifth stage and I hope to progress through the sixth and seventh stages over Spring Break. The deadline for the new journal is April 15th. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Unexpected Interlibrary Loan Prayer

A few weeks ago, I ordered a book through the Interlibrary Loan system entitled, "Getting Tenure" by Marcia Lynn Whicker, Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld, and Ruth Ann Strickland.

Yes, the book seems interesting. However, I experienced a lot of coincidences while reading the book.

1. The first coincidence was that the book was from my undergraduate institution. I have ordered many books through the interlibrary loan system, but this is the first one from one of my former institutions.

2. The second coincidence occurred when I turned to page 65. The subtitle on this page was, "Being Denied Tenure". Sometimes I can be a pessimist, but someone inserted a small sheet a paper that read:

The Power of Prayer

The day was long, the
burden I had borne
Seemed heavier that I
could longer bear;

And then it lifted -
but I did not know
Someone had knelt in prayer;
Had taken me to God that very hour
And asked the easing of the load,
And He, in infinite compassion,
had stopped down
And taken it from me.
Someone had prayed - how
often hearts
Find sudden peace and rest,
Somewhere a prayer, - and Mercy
Yields lovingly to Faith's request.

I guess that I needed it today, because for the past few days I have graded papers! A unexpected prayer sometimes makes the tenure track process a little easier.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

Millennial Conference Highlights!


On Friday, I attended a conference that was focused on teaching millennial students. As a millennial and as a researcher on millennial issues, I was very pleased with the content that was presented in the workshops and the keynote speech.




During the conference, the following topics were addressed:



  • Virtual Textbooks

  • Social Networking Websites

  • Instant Messenger & Virtual Office Hours (My Workshop)

  • Usage of Wikipedia in Student Research

  • Usage of YouTube in the Classroom

  • Blackboard

  • Usage of U.S. Census Website in the Classroom

  • Why College Students Do Not Read Textbooks

  • Podcasting Lectures

  • Text Messenging in the Classroom

  • Academic Integrity of Millennial Students

  • The Millennial Mindset List (Beloit)

  • Twitter and Skype in the Classroom


Overall, the conference was very interesting and I hope that the university continues to offer such informative and intriguing information to the faculty and staff.



As a millennial professor, I was inspired to continue my research and to spread knowledge to other professors about my interesting generation.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blogging is Good for Your Health

This week, Claudine Ryan of ABC Science/Discovery Health offers an article titled, "Blogging's is Good for Your Health". This article is exactly what I needed today.

This week has been a VERY busy week at XYZ university in the south. After midterms, I had to compile the grades for almost all of my classes and I have revealing the grades to each class all week. I have a presentation on Friday that I am very excited about and I hope that the audience will be as excited as well.

Wish me luck on my Friday presentation on my favorite type of college students.

Read the article, which I hope will make your day a bit brighter.