söndag 30 juni 2013

Follow-up (autumn 2012)

Last year, I wrote a follow-up blog post that revisited, followed-up and clarified what had happened after I wrote about topics x, y and z in the blog. This is the first of two blog posts that follows up loose ends in blog posts I have written during the just-finished academic year (2012-2013). 

In this blog post I revisit the 30 or so blog posts that I published during the autumn of 2012 (August-December). In the next blog post I will follow-up stuff I have written about during the spring 2013 (January-June).

I wrote a blog post, "Bridging the distance between me and my students" and proposed that I would eat lunch at a public restaurant once per week and announce this to my students. The idea was that anyone who wanted to discuss a formal or informal topic outside the classroom could join me for lunch. Few students showed up. Perhaps I didn't market this idea aggressively, perhaps students think it is awkward to eat lunch with a teacher, or perhaps there are other reasons for why it didn't take off. I quit this habit after two months or so and after having had company only twice.

I wrote a blog post, "New term, new courses" about the two courses that took up a major part of my time during the autumn term; "Future of Media" and "Sustainability and Media Technology". I will give the same two courses next term and this will again take up a major part of my time during the autumn.

Back in September, I wrote two blog posts summarizing my (unsuccessful) attempts to write research grant applications during the first half of that year (2012), "Writing research grant applications = wasted time?" and "My price tag". What went missing was a third blog post with the consequences I drew from this large but unsuccessful investment in time. It's a pity I didn't write that blog post since my opinion regarding these issues has since changed, but I did hold a "Young faculty" seminar in March where I laid out some of my conclusions (albeit half a year "late"). My current attitude is to wait for the Opportunity, for the right research grant call, and then go "all in". That also means developing a much more strategic and perhaps cynical attitude towards writing applications. What do they want? Who do I have to be affiliated with to increase the chances of getting a grant? It's just as much about who applies, about using the right keywords and references as it's about the actual merits of the project idea and the application (text) itself. I'm working on an application right now and will for sure write a blog post about it after we submit it come September.

I was very busy teaching in September and October. One of my courses, "Sustainability and Media Technology", ended in October and here is the line-up of great guest lectures in the course. We're busy planning the next installment of the course as it starts right after the summer.

I worked really hard (but only for a very limited period of time) together with Leif Dahlberg putting together a Nordforsk application about establishing a Sino-Nordic network on ICT and Sustainability, i.e. asking for money to organize six meetings/workshop/conferences in China and the Nordic countries during the coming three years. We signed up a dozen different institutions and the application we handed in was very good (says everyone who read it). We were thus quite surprised when it later turned out we didn't get our application granted. I guess the competition was very tough...?

Me and my colleagues Björn Hedin and Stefan Hrastinski submitted an article, "Using social annotation systems to support students' academic writing" to the open-access journal Högre Utbildning [Higher education]. It was accepted and issue number 2/2013 was published just the other week. Our paper is now available online

I wrote a whole bunch of blog posts during the autumn about my course "Future of Media". Last year's theme was "Future of Magazines / Magazines of the Future" and the course ended with a final presentation in front of an audience of hundreds. Here is the great line-up of guest lectures in last year's course. Me and my (new) course assistant, Malin Picha, is busy planning the next course. It starts after the summer and this year's theme is "Future of News / News of the Future".

I wrote a blog post in December about starting up a network for researchers within the "growth-critical" grassroots movement Step 3. The idea of such a network is great but nothing much has happened and I'm ashamed to admit that I dropped that ball. I didn't have time to fix this in December and the urgency then receded. I wonder if it's possible to pick up that ball again?

I'm the team leader of the MID sustainability team. In December we finally had our (much-delayed) kick-off! It was a good kick-off and it created new energy within the team in preparing for the spring term. The sustainability team has only been around for a little more than a year but it seems to be on a roll. It will be exciting to see what happens with the team next year and it's pretty clear that some team-related research application will be handed in after the summer.

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