Categories
Digital

Academics Exposed to CyberCreeps

Image Credit: Stockfresh
Image Credit: Stockfresh

Having recently research cyber-bullying re:kids, and knowing that it’s a problem in the workplace – I hadn’t thought so much about this, although I guess I may have seen the negativity that public figures attract when seeking impact:

She was also concerned that academics were more at risk than other professions because of the “impact agenda”, which pressured them into building a public profile – often by cultivating a strong online identity.

“If your institution is requiring you to have an impact online, then they need to have mechanisms in place to keep you safe,” she added. “We found that they don’t have those mechanisms, or where they do, the onus is always on the individuals to do something themselves, such as confront the person, or delete their [own] online account.”

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Academic

Lecturing on an Ocean Cruise: Sounds Good!

Cruise LinerWell, there’s an idea:

The scholar on stage holds the status of entertainer, putting on a show for a paying audience whose scores will determine whether their lecturer’s short-term contract is renewed.

Fear not: this is not a vision of some dystopian future but rather an unusual, and fascinating, break from the day job – with azure waters and plenty of sunshine thrown in.

For Kathleen Lynch, associate professor in the department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, lecturing on a cruise ship is “the very best kind of outreach experience possible”.

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Academic

The Public Intellectual.

The public intellectual? Always existed? Part of the impact agenda?

No stranger to broadcasting himself, Christopher Bigsby considers the rise of the public intellectual – halfway up a mountain, on a motorbike, quoting Aeschylus, coming to a telly near you

There is a plaque in Norwich Cathedral I have always liked. It praises a clergyman for delivering sermons “entirely without enthusiasm”. I have sat through many a lecture dedicated to the same principle. Once, at the University of Cambridge, I passed through the back of a room in which a man wearing a gown was lecturing, I have to say entirely without enthusiasm, to a single student. Now there’s a staff-student ratio to be envied.

On another occasion, I attended a lecture by an art historian (not at my institution) who made the mistake of lowering the lights in order to show slides, only to be confronted by an empty lecture theatre when the lights went on again. Today though, slides, all too often engagingly projected back to front, upside down and out of order, smack of the spinning jenny: not without their utility in their day but a touch out of date. Now showbiz has entered academe. Human communication, it seems, has to involve electronic mediation. Blackboards are now virtual, while chalk, pens and paper are doubtless in containers ready to be shipped to needy countries alongside stolen cars and Henry Moores melted down for scrap.

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Academic

Ripping Yarns

With an interest in the impact agenda, an interesting story in Times Higher Education identifying some of the positives of it:

“Impact” has had a bad press from many working in higher education. To some, the intention to assess the impact of research is a crude infringement of researchers’ freedom to pursue truth, beauty and uncertainty, and as such is likely to corrupt and diminish the value of research. To others, it is yet another example of the sinister marketisation of higher education, where the “public” good is being sidelined in the headlong pursuit of “private” benefit.

However, now that the final panel guidance on the research excellence framework has been published, resistance seems to have melted away. An impact army has been mobilised in universities across the UK as people get to grips with the impact framework and begin to identify and draft their case studies ready for the submission deadline in 2013. In the process, do we risk moving seamlessly from a period of spirited resistance to one of slavish compliance with the new assessment regime?

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Categories
Academic Digital

Pod Academy: Academic Podcast

http://podacademy.org/
http://podacademy.org/

Excellent idea, I must look further into this:

Pod Academy is an independent, not-for-profit platform for podcasts on academic research.  Set up by a group of academics, techies and journalists, it aims to inform public debate and uncover intriguing and challenging new ideas.

We are always looking for interesting new research, including research that throws light on events in the news, and work with researchers to develop entertaining podcasts that are accessible to the general public, as well as rigorous in their scholarship.

I read about it in Times Higher Education.