About

A teacher, technophile, and poet, I’m also working  distracted from working on my dissertation in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s English department, concentrating in Folklore Linguistics Creative Writing. Following my old folkloristics professor, John Laudon’s advice, I started this blog as an experiment to test putting my voice into the public domain. After writing on a number of different topics, I find that I’m most comfortable talking about How-to sort of topics, especially in the computer world, usually on tiny projects that I’m trying to work through myself. I’ve found, though, that the longer I teach, the more my discussions have begun to focus on what I’m trying to do within the classroom. I was a programmer and tech jack-of-all-trades in a former life, and so I’m incline to look for or create tools that help me in the academic world. It seems that most people find their way here because of  my posts on R (you perhaps?). But I’m also a digital humanist, and am concerned with education reform, especially in the area of collaborative learning and so I try to share my different experiences in implementing this concept in the classes I teach each semester (hence the tagline, “…notes from the collaborative classroom”). When I started these experiments, I had a difficult time finding detailed examples in higher education. Oh, people posted general things such as, “I did X, and it was great for students!” Yeah, yeah. That’s not very helpful. I wanted to see all the details. So, though I’m nervous (who actually enjoys airing out their dirty laundry for all the world to see?), I try to include specific documents, like writing prompts, as well as workflows and methodology, along with heaps of how-to’s along the way, discussing both my successes and failures. I have also been taking MOOC courses from different providers in topics ranging from programming to literature to help me think about what might work best for my own teaching style. Although I am interested in the topics themselves, I am even more interested in how these classes were structured as well as the professors’  use and implementation of different technologies. Since Covid-19, there is so much more discussion about these things across entire campuses now, rather than “just” within digital humanities (it seems that these days, everyone is talking digital humanities, though they may not realize it!):  throw a digital rock on Google, and you will hit hundreds of sites claiming best practices along with some shadier “10 easy steps to ___ your classroom!” type places. As always, though, experience is the best teacher; and with that, I hope you find some of my experiences useful.