Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

What’s Public Scholarship Anyway?

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds

Reading Time: 2 minutes

So… A few days ago I got shout-outs for being a “public scholar” and I was a little..uhh… Well happy and ego-inflated but it also made me think a lot. Like, is that what I am doing? And is that enough?

I used to think of public intellectuals a la Edward Said, as the role of the scholar in public life, in life beyond the academy, in affecting public opinion, and it’s tje reason I publish in magazines that will be read by ppl outside the edtech and higher ed communities. But I don’t think I am enough of one in my own country…i’m getting there, tho, if they’ll keep allowing me to disrupt formal conferences with fun stuff 🙂

But public scholarship as in using the internet and making our work public, yeah, sure 🙂 I guess I do that. And many ppl do it better including the people who called me apublic scholar (Bon and Laura)

I just finished watching this #rhizospeare hangout between Dave Cormier and Jesse Stommel and it is an awesome example of public scholarship. 

Here’s why:

  1. They could have had is convo privately on the phone but they chose to open it up, stream and record.
  2. They could have done this at a panel at a conference which few ppl would attend – they didn’t wait and do that
  3. They could have co-authored a peer-reviewed paper but they made it more accessible this way (i hate video but i would watch these guys any day; took me a 3-part trial to finish it coz life got in the way but still…)
  4. They could have each done one separately but they did it together and it was so much better for it

What I am saying is that the video above is an example of scholarship. It’s arich conversation about MOOCs. By two ppl who really know what they’re talking about and if they’d just called it a panel not a hangout our institutions would recognize it as something. Not that it matters what pur instiutions say, but you know…

In that hangout they talked about isues related to facilitator role in MOOCs similar to the ideas I wrote about in a recent Hybrid aped article of mine, Pedagogy of Care — Gone Massive and is a topic I think that bears further discussion. They also talked about what a cMOOC feels like and whether it is replicable (they decided not since ppl would be diff but ppl should still be encouraged to try one if they are interested). They also touched on the topic of trolls/blocking people and what it means and how it feels.

Anyway watch the hangout, its cool 🙂 and really informative about what a cMOOC is like, I thought.

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