BA in French Teaching; PhD in Educational Technology; Associate Professor of ICT at University of Kentucky School of Information Science
I am an transdisciplinary digital methods researcher studying meaning-making practices on online platforms.
My CV is available here.
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Family is out of town this weekend, so I’m catching up with work, including going over the proofs for this long-in-the-making chapter.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Publisher Wants $2,500 To Allow Academics To Post Their Own Manuscript To Their Own Repository | Techdirt'
I bristle a bit at Moody’s suggestion that academics are dumb for signing over copyright—it’s dumb that we have to, but there are systemic issues at play here. Yet, especially now with tenure taken care of, I do wonder if we consent too readily to the system. link to “Publisher Wants $2,500 To Allow Academics To Post Their Own Manuscript To Their Own Repository | Techdirt”
Squeezed some coding in between meetings!
Next month, I’m flying to Salt Lake City to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion to present some of my work about social media, religion, and the far right. I’ll be presenting on three different projects at SSSR—this was biting off more than I could chew, but since two of them connect with Mormonism, Salt Lake suggested the possibility of a larger-than-usual audience for that work, so there you go.
Look, I’m glad my university is aware of and responding to the digital divide, but I’d appreciate a more critical treatment of what we’re doing. This sounds almost like ad copy for Apple, and it’s falling into a lot of tired edtech tropes about how technology must necessarily improve learning. link to “Leveling the technological playing field with Apple | UKNow”
Squeezed in a few minutes of coding before meeting with a student.
I’ve recently been supporting a grad student with this study of messaging strategies on the UNHCR’s Instagram account. We’re meeting later this week, so I needed to get some coding done!
Last year, Daniela DiGiacomo, Sarah Barriage, and I published an article on student and principal perceptions of ClassDojo. Our findings weren’t entirely what we expected, even if they weren’t a huge surprise. In short, students and practitioners don’t always share the concerns about edtech platforms (like ClassDojo) that are gaining steam in the critical educational technology literature. I don’t say this to shame edtech users for not thinking the way that we ivory tower types do—rather, it speaks to a long-recognized tension between theoretical and conceptual concerns held by academics vs.
I need to present on this in about a month at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, so it’s time to hussle! I spent some time coding Gab posts according to a codebook I put together last week.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Dependence on Tech Caused ‘Staggering’ Education Inequality, U.N. Agency Says - The New York Times'
I’d like to read the whole report before coming to definitive conclusions but wow, are there some important lessons in here for edtech—not least, that efficacy cannot be our only concern! link to ‘Dependence on Tech Caused ‘Staggering’ Education Inequality, U.N. Agency Says - The New York Times’
This is an interesting academic year for me in a number of ways. It was five years ago that I joined UK as an assistant professor and ten years ago that I started at MSU as a new PhD student. It’s my first year as tenured faculty, and there are leadership changes in my unit and college that are—by the inherent virtue of any change in leadership—inviting opportunities to think about what the future of both look like.
I’m happy to share that the Fall 2023 edition of my remixed Introduction to Data Science textbook is now available on my website. This book adapts material from the “ModernDive” Statistical Inference via Data Science course, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein’s excellent Data Feminism, a number of other Creative Commons-licensed works, and some of my own contributions to put together a no-cost, openly-licensed textbook for my data science students. I put together the first edition of this book for last Fall’s version of this course, but the first run through taught me a lot, and I’m very happy about this edition (though I do have a small laundry list of errors to fix, and I’d like to eventually get into some fiddlier bits like removing social media icons from the header).
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Use of AI Is Seeping Into Academic Journals—and It’s Proving Difficult to Detect | WIRED'
Good article on a worrying trend. It’s things like this that make me skeptical of arguments that generative AI could have real benefit when used properly. It’s not that I disagree—it’s that in the aggregate, I’m not sure the proper uses will outweigh the problems. link to ‘Use of AI Is Seeping Into Academic Journals—and It’s Proving Difficult to Detect | WIRED’
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'An Iowa school district is using ChatGPT to decide which books to ban - The Verge'
Even if ChatGPT could be trusted to do this task, “let’s remove books from libraries with less work” is a good example of how efficiency isn’t always a good thing. link to ‘An Iowa school district is using ChatGPT to decide which books to ban - The Verge’
I love hearing from former students about the great and interesting things that they’re up to—and especially when something they learned in one of my classes helped them along the way. In my experience, former students who are up to great and interesting things would often be doing those things whether or not they had taken one of my classes, but I still appreciate feeling like my teaching contributed in some small way.
This project is in its early stages, so I spent some time brushing up on relevant literature.
Late last year, I announced the publication of a study I participated in with Dr. Evan Brody and UK PhD student Mehroz Sajjad where we examined LGBTQ+-friendly spaces on the Gab social media platform. Although that was the main focus of our research project, we also found as we were completing it that there were a number of LGBTQ+-friendly spaces that had been overrun by queerphobic activity and discourses. I’m happy to announce that our second paper, focusing on those specific spaces, has just been published in the Journal of Homosexuality.
This past weekend, Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune published an article about the #DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter, which takes cues from far-right and anti-feminist online communities. In her article, Peggy was kind enough to reference (and quote from) my new publication with Amy Chapman in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association, which presents the (partial) results of a qualitative analysis of over 1,400 DezNat tweets from 2019.