1. How has technology impacted your specific academic discipline?
In my discipline of English, technology has made the abilitiy to access texts and information move at light speed. Before, if a scholar or student lived far from the library or only near a small public library, it was very difficult to get to information that one might need. Now, no matter where I am, if I have an internet connection, I can access nearly anything I want as well as engage in discussions with others interested in the same topic-from just the person with a passing interest to leading experts in the field.
Then when the time comes to write up the research or work on a creative piece, I can save drafts, edit, tear them up and turn them all around adding pictures, graphics, links to outside sources or whatever I need. I don't have to start typing over and over again if I make too many errors on my typewriter page. I don't waste as much paper because I can view my drafts on-screen and only print those necessary.
When teaching, if I need an idea or activity, I can immediately search the web and draw on resources from all over the world. Just in my teaching lifetime--a scant eight years, this whole aspect has emerged and changed at a rapid pace. We are experiencing a real paradigm shift in the way texts and ideas are exchanged, considered, and taught around the world.
2. How has technology impacted the way you work as a scholar?
I think I answered this in #1. I used to live way out in the sticks of WV, so in order to get the things I needed I had to order them via our state's regional library system or use the closest state college's library to get the information via the college network's interlibrary loan. However, once the internet became available and more and more resources went on-line, my remote location no longer mattered. I could work just as much from the peaceful WV countryside as I could in my office on IUP's campus.
Likewise, if I have a question for a colleague, or even just a question of my own about something I've read or been exposed to, I can Google it and begin tracking down an answer. I can find an expert, a former teacher who taught a certain lesson, or just chase down the random answer I want.
3. What are three of your most critical goals when teaching in your discipline?
4. How might you use technology to better achieve your teaching goals?
5. What is one key way your pedagogy could evolve to respond to life in a digital age?
6. If you were going to have students blog about an important topic in your discipline, what are some simple topics they could try writing about?