This week, Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching by Derek Bruff was the CTL Book Club pick for the semester at my university. CTL, our Center for Teaching and Learning, regularly hosts fantastic events for faculty, graduate students, and staff to improve their instructional performance. Intentional Tech is packed with information to engage and inspire instructors to use all the technology at their fingertips. Technology can range from large Post-it notes, Twitter, blogs, boards, and moveable desks. Each chapter focuses on a style such as ‘time for telling’ and ‘knowledge organizations,’ within these chapters, numerous examples are provided to help you figure out what might work best for your course or workshop. The chapters end with ten practical advice bullets as conclusions.
I took lots of notes for this book and had a sticky for each chapter. Some of my takeaways:
I highly recommend this book to anyone teaching and at any stage in their career. What if you don’t teach? Do you host workshops or help others learn new things at work? This book will improve your skills.
My advisor once told me to rewrite the thesis in my own words for each book that I reviewed for my comprehensive exams. I created a habit of rephrasing the titles; I broke that habit. Honestly, I’m not sure I can rewrite this title without parts of the title. This book is designed to help you finish your thesis; the author will help you find ways that work best for you and your schedule. It doesn’t matter where you are in your writing; this book is valuable. Dr. Bolker suggests you start by writing daily, write pages each day, find what works for you, and create an award system to keep you on track. She goes through a similar process for editing and revising and provides tips on joining writing groups. Bolker ends with what’s next after you’ve finished and your committee has approved your dissertation.
I found the book amazingly helpful, but it was written before computers. An appendix was added post-computer age, but still not in our time of technology dependency. She suggested not using a computer, which is not helpful at our age. Even in the writing sections, I mentally changed that to typing. I While it is an excellent read for anyone working towards a Ph.D. You do often have to remember it was written in the 1998 so you mentally need to flip items to present day.
The book is divided into section that will help you through each section as previously mentioned, I took copious notes in the first four or five chapters but after that I tapered off my note taking. The best advice is honestly from the introduction ‘instructing you to work on your dissertation daily, (xviii).’ The more you do, the more you produce the better off you will be. Yes, you may produce junk, but that junk can lead to gems.
One question to ask yourself before you start writing, is why you doing this? “People write dissertations for many different reasons, (4).” What is your reason, chapter one gives you a few questions to ask yourself. You should love what you write, so know the answer! All the little fun things can come later, but concentrate on the one large piece now. Chapter two helps you decide on your advisor and a committee – what do you need? Why are they good for you? Are you a goof fit for them? Constantly ASK questions!
Your dissertation is all about trust, writing a daily and setting a goal/reward system that works best for you. You know you best and this book helps you define and outline how best to succeed.
Title: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing your Doctoral Thesis
Author: Joan Bolker, Ed.D.
Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, is the third in a series by Austin Kleon and the first book for my Friday academic reviews! The first two books are Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative and Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad. These short non-fiction books fall under self-help, writing, and creativity. How does that work in academic reviews? I wanted to start with a fun read and I love Kleon’s work, these books are about writing and that’s pretty academic when you are trying to write a paper, proposal, dissertation, etc. Show Your Work is about getting noticed, what can you do to get your (insert creative thing) noticed. These 10 ways explain how and why it’s important to show your work and how to give credit where credit is due! Kleon is an artist and the book shows that, I read this book on my kindle while having read physical copies of his other works. I highly suggest reading the physical books. His art work and process bring the book to life that doesn’t translate as well on the screen.
A few favorite quotes sans page number, my kindle only gave % done, sorry!