So Easy a Caveman Could Do It or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog
This presentation will serve as a definitive refutation of Jason Davidson’s ignorant and intellectually facile presentation from Faculty Academy 2008, titled “Confessions of an Instructional Technology Luddite.” The presentation draws on the author’s spring 2010 experience with a class blog for PSCI 471S1 Alliance Politics to make three core points. First, an individual with only moderate sophistication with information technology can create a class blog almost completely on her/his own. A faculty member may be concerned that in asking for help from DTLT he/she would end up drinking arsenic-laced Kool-Aid after having transferred all one’s wealth to an offshore bank account controlled by someone called “The Reverend.” Fortunately, the UMW Blogs platform is incredibly straightforward, even for those without prior blogging experience. Second, creating and maintaining a class blog takes little time relative to other class preparation tasks. An instructor with no prior experience can create a class blog in about the time it takes to give one’s self a perm. Third, a class blog can fulfill one or more functions that other IT tools like Blackboard or traditional assignments cannot fulfill as well. PSCI 471SI students used the class blog to post their analysis of breaking news regarding “pet alliances” they signed up for at the beginning of the semester. The presentation will conclude with the author’s reflections—some based on student feedback—on lessons learned from this life-changing experience.