Tag Archives: PFP

“10 Cool Ways Teachers Use Social Media to Enhance Learning” by V. Harris

My task for this week was to find an article related to how teachers are using technology to enhance learning.  The first article I came across was this quick read by Vicki Davis.   She provided 10 examples of how teachers have incorporated tech in their classroom.  One teacher had students create Twitter handles using names of famous Aztecs.  As they walk through the history lessons, students sent tweets that stated how they think a historical event transpired.  I was inspired by several of the examples shared by Vicki, but then I started to think about how these ideas would align with higher education. Based on the provided examples, I assumed that most of them were drawn from K through 12.

I have found the delivery of most professors to be predictable, and this could make learning more of a chore.  However, a select few have made an effort to teach outside of the box.  One professor used a survey app to push questions to us [students] as we moved through the lesson. In fact, the professor projected our collective responses on a screen and we discussed each element of the lesson with great detail.  The professor used this tool a few times throughout the course and I thought it was a great way to spice up an otherwise mundane topic.  More importantly, I noticed that people were fully engaged.  Learning should be fun, and I think his use of tech helped to make that happen.

One challenge for higher ed is that we may sometimes find that our class population is not homogeneous.  Meaning, some students may be technologically challenged, and some students may not have the means to purchase or participate in certain platforms.  If we decided to make technology a centerpiece to our lesson plan, we must keep these type of issues in mind.  With enough creativity and patience, we can bring along those who are not savvy with technology and we can ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate.

If any of you have used technology as a centerpiece to learning, I would love to hear about it.

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Bad Brandi


I have had bad Brandy before, and the punishment I received for drinking it was far worse than that issued to Brandi Lyn Blaylock.  Ms. Blaylock was a graduate student and researcher who falsified research that was supported by NIDA and NIH.  Feel free to review the case summary.  My stance on this case is that the punishment does not match the seriousness of the ethical violation.  I believe we would see less of these cases if we were more punitive in our response to such matters.  For example, if you receive federal funding and you purposefully alter findings, this behavior should be treated as a federal offense.  Typically, when people misappropriate federal funds there is the chance that they will be subject to harsh fines and even jail time.  For some reason, ethical violations within the world of research are not held to the same standard.  This laissez-faire approach could place thousands if not millions of lives in danger.  Instead, Bad Brandi received supervisory restrictions and a requirement that her work be monitored.  Really?  Here’s how the case should have been handled:

  • Barred from applying for any federal and state-level funding; and
  • Barred from publishing in any peer-reviewed journal.

If we want to heighten the value and quality of scholarship, there should be no lax policies nor should there be the impression that ethical violations are but a hiccup in one’s career.

Am I violator-shaming right now? Why yes I am.


Additonal Reading:

Former Wake Forest grad student fudged data for drug study

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Tips for Your Job Hunt



Here are a few tips regarding the application process for professorships.  I hope this post will help some of you with your planning:

1. Keep your chair informed. Make sure that your chair is aware of the timelines for each application. Your future employer will ask him/her about the status of your dissertation.

2. Be realistic with your timelines. If you plan to complete your dissertation and start work shortly thereafter, make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the dissertation. If you don’t finish the dissertation in time, the school may withdraw their offer. The situation could cause strain on both parties, and that’s not a good way to start a job.

3. Get organized! Create a document with the point of contact information for each school, the key requirements of the application and important dates/deadlines. It is easy to get things mixed up when you are applying to more than one school.

4. Know your tolerance level and job expectations. Ask yourself, would I be ok with a heavier teaching load and less pressure to produce scholarly work or vice versa. Am I open to either scenario?

5. Get to know the common hiring practices.

  • Most tenure-track positions and some adjunct positions are advertised in the Fall prior to the upcoming academic year; you would apply for a position that starts in Fall 2017 position in Fall 2016.
  • Most full-time non-tenure positions are advertised in the Spring prior to the upcoming academic year; you would apply for a Fall 2017 position in Spring 2016.

Happy hunting!

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