To Do List for Day of DH2014

(Cross-posted on my Day of DH2014 blog site: The Humanist and the Digital Tool)

Like everyone, I have several specific tasks on my plate for this Day of DH 2014. Some of them are of the more run-of-the-mill variety. Others are directly related to exciting and promising projects at the intersections of DH, philosophy, pedagogy, ethics, leadership, public engagement, and academic job markets. With the exceptions of a quick side-trip to Wegman’s, dinner with the family, and a break for some epic Women’s Basketball, everything on my to-do list for today is related to one or another of the projects I am involved in through my hybrid position in Philosophy and the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State. Here is a rundown:


    • Actions:

Respond to query from a colleague at Penn State Educational Technology Services concerning a proposal for a Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Fellowship.

Attach short description of ideas for experimental use of badges in credentialing graduate students for specific digital literacies that can be highlighted in their teaching dossiers.

  • Project:

As TLT Director for Philosophy, I am concerned (among other things) to help graduate students orient themselves and their own workflow towards the realities of traditional and non-traditional academic careers and careers outside the academy that make use of the skills they develop through training in academic philosophy. This is as much a philosophical project for me as it is a set of practical tasks aimed at readily observable and quantifiable outcomes. The business of academic philosophy is important to understand, but not just in order to ‘play the game’ successfully according to the rules currently in place. As graduate students, we make decisions about where we will find the best fit between our own motivations, intentions, and interests in pursuing philosophical studies and the missions and priorities of the various institutions that have an interest in hiring persons with advanced degrees in philosophy. Teaching and Learning with Technology in Philosophy should be roughly equal parts application of tools to longstanding challenges and  reflection  on the aims one has in reaching for these tools, and in pursuing the larger projects in which it makes sense to do so.

9:15- 10:45am

Compose first post of the day for Day of DH2014. Outline the various tasks on my plate and the general projects of which they are a part.

11:00am to 12:30pm:

    • Actions:

READ! Reflect! Curate!

Peruse the various web sources I consult regularly to keep up on what is going on in areas of my specific research, teaching, and public interests.

Spend some time reflecting on what I have read and how it relates to specific ideas I have been kicking around, or specific challenges I am looking to work on.

Call attention to pieces that I think will be interesting to colleagues and potentially productive in relation to further discussion of points of mutual interest.

    • Project:

As founding Co-Editor of the Public Philosophy Journal I am working with colleagues at Penn State and elsewhere (including MSU’s Matrix) on building a community of participants in the work of the journal. We are interested in supporting ongoing discussions of challenges we face together as citizens and that we might be otherwise be likely to approach separately due to differences in things like social and economic class, cultural heritage, general education, specific training, work and life experience, career path, etc. One of the ways to contribute to such discussions and to cultivate such a community is to share the fruits of our own intellectual labors in ways that preserve them and make them accessible and inviting to others.   


    • Action:

Meet with student in my PHIL 012 WEB Symbolic Logic course to discuss challenges with the material and preparation for the upcoming exam.

    • Projects:

As the instructor for the course, I am expected to provide additional assistance to students who are struggling with the material. As the Director of Teaching and Learning with Technology for Philosophy, I played a central role in designing this WEB course, and I continue to work with students and other instructors to assess its value and to consider and make improvements to its design, materials, and methods of delivery. I tried to ‘meet’ with this student virtually last evening, but the wi-fi connection prevented our video chat from being maximally effective. Meeting in person is the short-term fix focused on the individual student, but the situation itself is another step in the ongoing process of determining how best to provide individualized assistance to students in courses that are delivered online.


    • Action:

Work on revising the menu structure for the online Module on Moral Literacy I am developing for the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute.

    • Project:

As Assistant Director of the REI from 2010-2013, I was involved in an Institute-wide initiative to reach out specifically to the undergraduate population at Penn State, make them aware of the initiatives, events, and resources we host, and engage them in multi-disciplinary reflections on the ethical challenges we face and will likely face in the future. Most of my duties in that capacity have since been taken over by people who are more focused on, and better prepared for, carrying out these aspects of the Institute’s mission. I continue to work with the REI, however, to develop some ideas concerning online ethics education that germinated during my time as Assistant Director. I am developing these modules from a standpoint of neutrality concerning context of delivery and level of instructor supervision. They should be suited to serving as stand-alone, self-directed educational opportunities, but also as materials to be used in online and hybrid workshops and academic courses that also involve more structured discussion, peer-to-peer interaction and review, and instructor presence and oversight.

4:45-5:45 (tentative)

    • Action:

Meet with colleague and friend to catch up in general and to discuss relationships between his work, the Bioethics program at Penn State, and the Public Philosophy Journal.

Wee Hours

Post some artifacts from my thrilling Day of DH2014…

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