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Reflections - Class #3 and #4

The class discussion on publishing brought me back to thoughts I have been having about the insanity of academia -- I feel like I am a puppet in junior high all over again.

The article by Voithofer (2005) provided me with some hope about how academia and research can change...however, the Zhao and Frank (2003) article prompted me, once again, to be reflective about my academic goals and attitudes towards academia.

Ideas from class discussion and Klinger, Scanlon, Pressley (2005):
Last night, I kept drawing circles in my notebook to symbolize all the hoop jumping an academic must do in order to "make it". The discussion on author order, publishing expectations/guidelines, and intellectual property was very disturbing. I felt like I have jumped through hoops my entire life in order to measure up to the standards demanded by middle-class American society; do I want to continue jumping through hoops in order to be accepted by "the academy"? Of course, there is freedom inherent in being a professor and researcher, but at what expense? I know that I can be an academic, but is that what I really want? I do find pleasure and excitement in scholarly activities, but I find that there is very little appreciation, gratitude, or community within the halls of academia. At least the academia I have been exposed to and worked within. Of course, my angst ties into the current identity crisis I am experiencing.

Ideas from Voithofer (2005):
- What could new research look like? How can a larger audience be included?
- How can education research maintain relevance within the context of changing pressures on education to address the multiple literacies that emerge as a result of the growing diffusion of new media? (p.3)
- MIT: focus on new media and literacies
- Manovich (2001): "digital materialism". 5 ways new media are sites for the computerization of culture - 1) numerical representation, 2) modularity, 3) automation, 4) variability, 5) transcoding.
- "through modularity, media objects can be combined (e.g. authored) without losing their individual characteristics, therefore allowing for all of the objects in a study to be perpetually recombined in various configurations and presented through diverse interfaces" (p. 5) ** I hear Bakhtin in here!!!
- transcoding = the blending of computer languages, media languages, and other human discourses.
- "the world told is different from the world shown" (Kress, 2003).
- Pink (2001) = new methodologies are necessary for visual analysis.
- olivero, John, and Sutherland (2004): the use of video papers (computer-generated texts that integrate video, text, and images) can bridge the divide between education research and practice
- "As the process of research design and implementation become increasingly digitized and collaborative through communication technologies, the distinction between doing research and reporting research may increasingly blur" (p. 9).
- "scholary skywriting" (Harnad, 1991) = an option for dissertation?
- "we tend to seek what we know how to find" (Eisner, 1997).

Further thoughts on academia - Class #4
Despite the energized discussion in the class and debatable issues within the Zhao & Frank article, I was unenthused to do much else other than soak in the critiques made by others in class and silently frame them in my head against my own thoughts. Perhaps my attitude was more reflective of my already thorough, personal work earlier this fall with the article for the RAT project. I also believe that my stance is a bit different than some of the folks in class in terms of how I am trying to make sense of academia, and thus my coursework, using questions and experiences from both Aaron and my personal [long] academic histories and experiences within and outside of the department. I feel like I am at a crossroads of sorts, in my brain at least. I am trying to figure out how and who to "be", how to move forward.

I am not capturing well what I want to express here....

I guess what I want to say is that although I found the discussion on the Zhao & Frank article interesting, I did not find myself motivated to actively participate in the conversation. Perhaps I was simply tired? exhausted? I need to shake out of this funk and fast -- for the most part, I really enjoy coursework; I really enjoy learning. I need to "embrace the chaos and questions" this semester - a new mantra, perhaps?

Comments

I am not sure. It can be so much fun to critique research and writing -- I really do enjoy it, as difficult as it can be at times. What parts of the academic community would you change?

I also wonder about the role gender plays in the LT communities. Do you have any thoughts on this? I counted the number of female authors listed in the appendices of the ETR&D article last week and was a little dismayed... Only three women (not including the Vanderbilt group) were included in the list of 13 folks who have published in both LS and ISD flagship journals; the other appendix seemed to be just as tilted.

So the question is (perhaps unanswerable) what kind of discussion might have motivated you to discuss the Zhao and Frank? Some have said we were too critical, not pointing out the merits of the article. Perhaps that is part of it. Do we have to be overly-critical to be "part of the academic community"? I would like to be part of changing some of the academic community..but at times I see myself engaging in the same behavior I do not like about academia.