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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Monday, June 19, 2006

We Interrupt This Discussion...

Okay, I have had these gaming links in my Bloglines for quite some time and wanted to get them out there. Hopefully I'll have some more time next week to get back to the discussion about academic publications, but until then...

Now some of you may wonder why I am into or got into gaming. I guess the easy answer for that is because Dr. Lloyd Rieber is on my doctoral committee. A more complicated answer would be that I used to teach a course in technology integration and after seeing a group of grade five students create their own Homemade Powerpoint Games, I became sold on the idea of gaming in education and particularly the the construction of games, to the point I used to have all of my own undergraduate create their own Powerpoint Games.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Some More Items on Academic Publications

Okay, so I really don't have time to get into a detailed follow-up post about publishing and academic publications like I had hoped due to the fact that I am trying to get some semblance of routine established for dealing with my dissertation data that I have just finished collecting. But I did want to share some links on related issues that I felt might be useful in our discussion of this topic.

Hopefully now next week I'll be in a routine for my data and will be able to spend a bit of time reflecting on this again.

Tags: AECT, blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Does Academic Publishing Need To Be Revised?

Okay, so a while ago (i.e., last March, April, and May) a bunch of us (i.e., Johannes, Nate, Heather, myself, and a few others) were having a conversation about the need to reform how academic publishing currently operates. In January I tried to revive this conversation, and the momentium that we had for some of the ideas, with my entry entitled Picking Up on an Old Idea. While none of my original colleague did pick up on their end of the conversation this time around, I discovered a few days ago that someone had.

It seems that a few days after my last post on this topic, Vegreville added his/her own contribution to the discussion with Slow academic publishing. It is interesting, because unlike the participants in the original conversation, Vergreville doesn't seem to mind the time that it takes for the publishing process to be completed. In the comments to his entry, one individual feels that he made a good point, while the lone editor in the commens section seems to be the main one concerns with the time it takes.

Are we, as technology people, simply spoiled by the speed of what is possible? Is it that the rest of the world accepts the, as Vergreville puts it, the ability to "see many good papers at seminars and conferences long before they are in print.... [and the fact that] working papers are so freely available on the web that you do not need to wait for publication to see the paper anyway"?

Tags: AECT, blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

Monday, June 05, 2006

Some New Stuff On Gaming

Some new links on gaming from my Bloglines that I wanted to get out there...

Links for 2006-05-31 [Furl]

Innovate - MMOGs as Learning Environments: An Ecological Journey into Quest Atlantis and The Sims Online
And a second one...

Game Theory As Useful as Critical Theory for Business
By Platypus Matt on game theory

Well, it looks like I'm not the only smuck who can't make head nor tails of game theory: businesses don't get it and aren't using it either. "Can you think of any examples of real, live companies that have consciously applied game-theoretical concepts to a real business problem?" You can guess the answer: Nada. Of course, there are various ways to hedge on the question. For instance, perhaps people are using game theory but just don't realize it. That's what I tell my students about postmodernism: "If you think you're not using it, that's precisely because you are using it!" Duh. read more
Until next time...

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

More On Presentations

About a week or so ago, I posted an entry AECT Presentation Quality responding to a few of my colleagues about creating better conference presentations. Since that time I came across this blog entry, which may provide some additional guidance:

Strategies for Avoiding Paper Readers at a Conference
By Platypus Matt on soylent green is people

This paper reading at conferences has got to stop. Don't read your paper at a conference. The next time you think, "Oh, I'll just bring my paper and read it at the conference," remember: Platypus Matt told you not to do it.

There are few things I fear more at a conference than getting stuck in a stuffy conference room and forced to endure one hour and fifteen minutes of paper reading delivered at a monotone (the word from which "monotonous" is derived--look it up). Yes, I know that this is entirely my fault. I could get up and leave, mumbling something about "dagnabbit paper readers" under my breath as I vacate the premise like Sonic the Hedgehog. I always end up sitting in the front, right in front of the, er, "speakers," and would feel guiltier than OJ just standing up and walking out. You see, I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, even as my consciousness is sucked from my brain with a loud "spllggging" sound.

read more


Tags: AECT, , graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm An Acorn

So, after spending a total of three nights in my own bed - having been in Newfoundland for thirty-one nights and Toronto for another two - I'm back on the road again in Lincoln, Nebraska. Having been invited to be am exam reader for the Advanced Placement European History for five years now, I was finally able to accept - apparently I can do it undermy F-1 visa as Curricular Practical Training or CPT. No one told me that was possible for the past two years, otherwise I would have been here for two years ago.

Anyway, so we are at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reading some 90,000 exams over the next seven days. As I'm a first year, my name tag as a little tag on it with the College Board's logo - which features an acorn.
All first years have this on their name badge, hence the fact that all first year readers are called acorns. Kind of a nice or at least unique way to say rookie.

So, I'm here until the end of next week and then I look forward to a summer in Athens (for the most part), organizing and analyzing the data that I collected for my dissertation, hopefully doing some writing on manuscripts that I have let slide a bit, and just taking it a little easier for a change.

Tags: Advanced Placement, AP, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Finalizing CSSE

Well, CSSE started out with such promise (see entries on First Impression of CSSE and Finding An Academic Position), but ended for me as a bust - but not because of anything CSSE did.

It appears that Monday morning, the same Monday morning that I was supposed to give my roundtable session at CSSE, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) decided to stage an illegal, wildcat strike. Now being a Canadian and a former teacher, I'm as much a union guy as the next and prior to Monday I supported the TTC in their efforts to fight management for safer working conditions - which was the biggest issue on the table, driver safety. However, after simply walking off the job with little to no warning - leaving the 770,000 people who rely upon the TTC to commute back and forth to work, not to mention the 8,000 people in town for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (which is the larger entity that hosts the CSSE annual meeting).

In any regard, after 90 minutes of calling one phone company and then another 25 minutes on hold - only for the cell phone I was using to drop the call - then another 45 minutes of calling and an additional 20 minutes on hold, we finally got a hold of a taxi (keep in mind we started dialing at 7:30am). At this stage I was less worried about the conference and more worried about giving Lisa (my wife) enough time to renew her visa, so we went straight to the airport. Needless to say that for the first timein my life, I had an accepted presentation and had intended on going to the conference to deliver it and was unable to do so.

All in all, I enjoyed what I got to attend of CSSE and would go back again next year. Hopefully Saskatchewan won't have any transit trouble while we are there...

Tags: CSSE, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education