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#change11 Week 3 - Digital Scholarship,Teaching, and Research

This week we have a couple of articles to read from Martin Weller's book and some questions to consider. This is familiar. I like it.

Digital Scholarship and Teaching

How might abundance impact upon teaching you are aware of?

Martin says in Ch. 5 of The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice, "their own time and attention become the key scarce resources now" and "expertise is still rare." These are key ideas for me. My job involves creating online learning environments that cater mostly to busy adult learners who may be underprepared. I see helping learners to make optimal use of their limited time and attention as a major challenge, one that may not be compatible with desiderata such as student-student interaction and inquiry-based learning strategies. 

It seems like a great thing to me that students can go out and find what is considered the best expertise on a given subject and challenge their instructors--it's a win-win--everybody learns. In our online self-paced, individualized study model, though, they might feel like they are challenging the Moodle site rather than a person, which could take the fun and the potential learning experience out of it. 

This focused only on abundance as one implication of digital scholarship, what other impacts can you think of? Returning to "expertise is still rare," I often wonder if abundance and openness will change the nature of expertise. For example, scholars are more keenly aware of other communities of practice and interpretation. Maybe groups of scholars will be more likely than individuals to build reputations in the future.

Abundance of information, as we all know, is not abundance of knowledge. I honestly am not sure any more what people mean when they talk about creating knowledge. We probably have entirely different referents in mind in many cases. 

If we were to consider the impact of social networks on teaching, suggest four ways in which it might (or is already) influence current approaches as it becomes more embedded in practice.

(This suggests that I should have been looking for the four ways hidden like Easter eggs in the material that has come my way so farWink) I have one thought: While the idea of learners creating content by interacting may be exciting to educators, students are probably already experiencing it as the status quo and not that exciting--it is work for all concerned. And that's not a bad thing.