Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scholar2Scholar Conference

I attended the Scholar2Scholar conference at Drexel University yesterday: "How Web 2.0 is changing scholarly communication." Open source and open access were the words of the day. The keynote address, by Drexel chemistry professor Jean-Claude Bradley, had to do with "open notebook science," in which he makes his laboratory data immediately available for anyone to examine and critique or reproduce via a number of free and public online tools -- blogs, wikis, GoogleDocs, etc. A vocal attendee encouraged all faculty to get out from behind the barriers of course management software to make their knowledge and information freely available.

Bureaucracy and legal wrangling that this would necessitate aside, all this made me wonder how these things can be applied to art history instruction -- it's not as though we're working in a lab with these slides! But I've already created a GoogleGroup for my students for open discussion, and am hoping to get their input in using more publicly available sites, and social networks for learning about art history.

2 comments:

Beth said...

Great questions Monica! I wonder the same things. How would our work as scholars be different and our teaching be different -- and even the learning our students do -- if we were to get out from behind the walls of our course management systems. More and more I feel like there are enough "small tools" to teach art history outside of the CMS, tools like Cozimo (see my post about Cozimo embedded in Wordpress -- http://smarthistory.org/blog/ha112-ol1/) -- all you need is that and a threaded discussion tool (that allowed you to drill down to posts by one individual so you could do assessment) and some tools for assessment, and you're done! What would happen if our classes collaborated? What would happen if I could see how you teach what you teach? Wouldn't we be better teachers?

Jean-Claude Bradley said...

I'm glad you were able to attend the conference and write your thoughts! If you're looking to play around with an open "course or document management system" I recommend a free hosted wiki like Wikispaces
You can just start with a single page and add useful links and content as you come across it.
You're already using Google Groups and blogging so you're well on your way.