A few weeks ago, WordPress re-did their program again so that immediately after you post something, they tell you how many posts you have on your blog. That’s why I know that when I hit “publish,” this will be my 1000th post. Honestly, I should just go back and delete at least 500 of the others. Whenever I catch a peak at my “Sarah Palin” category down from here and to the right, I always ask myself, “Why did I even bother?”
A few months ago, I set some ground rules for the blog going into the summer: Write only when I have something to say and have the time to post. I think that’s worked very well so far, so I’m going to keep following those rules going forward. It also helps that I seem to have found a useful and popular theme for this little writing endeavor.
After educational technology, my secondary theme is going to stay one that I’ve had since pretty close to the first post here: academic labor issues. The two are related, you know. Take this line coming from the University of Southern New Hampshire that I spotted yesterday:
The vision is that students could sign up for self-paced online programs with no conventional instructors.
They mean to take your jobs. Somebody needs to sound the alarm, so it might as well be me.
All this is actually a lead up to how I spent three and a half hours of my morning this morning. I went to a seminar titled “Making the Move to Hybrid & Online Courses.” I’d like to tell you that I had an excruciating time, but I didn’t. It was kind of like visiting another country. For one thing, I was literally the only person in the room from the humanities (and the faculty from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU-Pueblo outnumber those at all the other schools put together). I asked a few “Ugly American” questions and got measured, interesting responses as well as enough blog material for the next ten posts.
I’ll cover just one small thing for now because it aligns so well with Britney’s guest post here. When discussing discussion boards, our facilitator mentioned that he thinks that you can only have a good online discussion in groups of twenty people or less, so if you have a class with a hundred students in it, you should break it up into five groups. In response, I asked, “Isn’t that five times as much work for the professor?” To which he suggested that faculty shouldn’t read everything that gets posted.
Leave the problem that Britney introduced to us and the question of educational quality aside for a moment. Let’s go back to the University of Southern New Hampshire’s explicit objective: If students can take a class without professors, pretty soon they’ll do without professors entirely.
Do you want to wake up one day and find out that your profession has gone the way of bank tellers and travel agents? What are you going to do about it?
Update: There are no fireworks or whistles when you publish your 1000th post on WordPress. It does, however, say “Impressive!” after the post number.