For me, the medium matters

[Since CoComment won't play nice, here's my response to Clay Burell's post]


When I started blogging in August 2006, I was feeling very down about the idea of writing. The range of acceptability of style and form in academic writing is pretty narrow. The belief of my peers that publication in peer-reviewed journals was the only writing that was worthwhile also was very constraining, particularly since the educators that I'm trying to reach don't read those publications. I was struggling to find meaning and value in what I was supposed to be writing.

Blogging cured me of my writing blahs. It provided me with an outlet that fits me like a glove, helped me discover my writing voice, and made me realize that I LOVE to write - indeed, maybe LIVE to write - if given the proper medium. A few months of blogging also gave me the courage to say:

This is who I am. This is what I'm all about. I'm a practitioner-oriented professor trying to facilitate change in schools. I'm a professor who thinks that there is unbelievable power in the 'Social Web' and I am going to try to figure it out, regardless of what others think. If U. Minnesota won't reward that, it's time to find a place that will. And the hell with those who think I'm moving down the institutional pecking order. What matters is job/life satisfaction and I'm going to find it.

So it turns out that I am a writer after all. I just didn't know it because I had been trying to follow someone else's writing paradigm, one that didn't fit me very well. I'm lucky that my new university, Iowa State, finds value in what I do. And I'm lucky to live in a time when these self-publication tools are so readily available. 'Cause I'm going to milk them for all they're worth.

Ethnic chauvinism: Why the whole world shouldn’t look like America

We are constantly trying to force the world to look like us — we need to move on.

Videos
  • When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, many Americans jumped for joy. At the time, some believed there weren't going to be any more political disagreements anywhere in the world. They thought American democracy had won the "war of ideas."
  • American exceptionalism has sought to create a world order that's really a mirror image of ourselves — a liberal world order founded on the DNA of American thinking. To many abroad this looks like ethnic chauvinism.
  • We need to move on from this way of thinking, and consider that sometimes "problem-solving," in global affairs, means the world makes us look like how it wants to be.
Keep reading Show less

Physicists find new state of matter that can supercharge technology

Scientists make an important discovery for the future of computing.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new state of matter called "topological superconductivity".
  • The state can lead to important advancements in quantum computing.
  • Utilizing special particles that emerge during this state can lead to error-free data storage and blazing calculation speed.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less