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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🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Twitter Threatens to Sue Center for Countering Digital Hate Over Research - The New York Times'

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This is ridiculous. link to ‘Twitter Threatens to Sue Center for Countering Digital Hate Over Research - The New York Times’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'A jargon-free explanation of how AI large language models work | Ars Technica'

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Haven’t read this yet, but I’m bookmarking for my classes. link to ‘A jargon-free explanation of how AI large language models work | Ars Technica’

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I don’t want to contribute to the misconception that professors don’t work during the summer (which is hilariously false), but I’m really glad I took advantage of my nine month contract by prioritizing time with kiddo these last few months.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'JCPS approves $11.7M for AI weapons detection in schools'

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Guns in schools are bad, but adding surveillance to schools is not the solution. link to ‘JCPS approves $11.7M for AI weapons detection in schools’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: The surprising truth about data-driven dictatorships (26 July 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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Interesting stuff from Doctorow. If I can, I want to work it into my data science textbook for next semester. link to ‘Pluralistic: The surprising truth about data-driven dictatorships (26 July 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow’

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It’s good to ask whether generative AI is good or bad for students, instructors, or education, but it’s arguably more important for ed. stakeholders to ask who else generative AI is good or bad for. Edtech needs to pay more attention to broader contexts.

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I’m not the only instructor out there with an idiosyncratic but very specific mental style guide for LMS content, right? Right?

draft syllabus statement on code, plagiarism, and generative AI

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I’m spending a chunk of today starting on revisions to my Intro to Data Science course for my unit’s LIS and ICT graduate prograrms. I’d expected to spend most of the time shuffling around the content and assessment for particular weeks, but I quickly realized that I was going to need to update what I had to say in the syllabus about plagiarism and academic offenses. Last year’s offering of the course involved a case of potential plagiarism, so I wanted to include more explicit instruction that encourages students to borrow code while making it clear that there are right and wrong ways of doing so.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Cowboy releases cheeky app to keep VanMoof e-bike riders on the road - The Verge'

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We read Cory Doctorow’s “Unauthorized Bread” in my class on computer fundamentals, and I try to share actual examples of how tech companies going bankrupt can create actual problems like in the story. Bookmarking this for next time I teach. link to ‘Cowboy releases cheeky app to keep VanMoof e-bike riders on the road - The Verge’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Why AI detectors think the US Constitution was written by AI | Ars Technica'

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I don’t like generative AI, and I get grumpy about advice to accept it and work it into classes (even though I probably agree with that approach at the end of the day). For all that dislike and grumpiness, though, I feel even more strongly that AI detectors are not the way to go. This is a really interesting article. link to ‘Why AI detectors think the US Constitution was written by AI | Ars Technica’

how I'm talking about generative AI in my content management class

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Fall 2023 will mark my fifth time teaching my department’s class on Content Management Systems. I have really loved taking on this class and making it my own over the past several years. It’s also been fun to see how teaching the class has seeped into the rest of my life: It’s a “cannot unsee” situation (in a good way!) where the concepts I teach work themselves into everyday encounters with the news, my own websites, and other things around the internet.

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In a current side project, I’m using Markdown footnotes for the first time, and I’m really impressed. Writing fully in Markdown is seeming more and more feasible the more I tinker with it.

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Slowly realizing that I have no choice but to make generative AI one of the themes of my content management class in the fall.

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After five years of teaching in an LIS program, I’ve finally had the moment I’ve been dreaming of: Running into a former student during a family trip to a local library.

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It just occurred to me that I know the fight song for CGNU (a fictional university from an early 2000s web cartoon) better than the fight song for the university that pays my salary.

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Today’s the day tenure takes effect; time to change my business cards, email signature, and CV.

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It annoys me when a journal asks a reviewer to address specific prompts; it annoys me more when I only realize this after writing my review.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Student Monitoring Tools Should Not Flag LGBTQ+ Keywords | Electronic Frontier Foundation'

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Student monitoring software is gross to begin with, but monitoring for LGBTQ+ content makes it even grosser. Love it when EFF tackles ed tech. link to ‘Student Monitoring Tools Should Not Flag LGBTQ+ Keywords | Electronic Frontier Foundation’

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Just had a long conversation with a student that reminded me that we cannot (and should not try to) assess that which we do not effectively teach.

appearance on Dialogue Out Loud podcast

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One of my most recent articles—a piece on technology, naming, and legitimacy in the Latter-day Saint tradition—was published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Publishing in Dialogue has been a wonderful opportunity. It’s a niche journal, so it may never reach the breadth of audience that I usually aim for in publishing. However, that niche focus has also come with a number of benefits. I want to write more about this soon, but the purpose of this post is just to draw attention to one of these benefits: the in-house podcast(s) produced by the Dialogue team.

new publication: far-right and anti-feminist influences on a Mormon Twitter hashtag

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I am very happy to announce that a paper I wrote with Amy Chapman is finally published and available open access in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association (I have also archived a PDF of the article on my website, available at this link). Amy and I began this project in the spring/summer of 2019, so it’s a relief to finally see our first paper in print. In short, the paper is a descriptive look at tweets using the #DezNat hashtag; DezNat, short for either Deseret Nation or Deseret Nationalism (depending on who you ask) is a movement of arch-conservative Mormons on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Twitter just closed the book on academic research - The Verge'

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This is a real shame. link to ‘Twitter just closed the book on academic research - The Verge’

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Eternity in the Ether: A Mormon Media History, by Gavin Feller

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I have been looking for this kind of book for a long time, and some of my recent publications would have been stronger if this had come out in time for me to reference it beforehand. It’s not perfect: Some wording is awkward and the conceptual framework (while interesting) could be stronger. However, it’s invaluable for the history it offers and I expect to cite it regularly in the future.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Twitter Demands Academics Who Won’t Pay $42k/Month Delete Any Twitter Data They Currently Have | Techdirt'

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This is… I don’t know what this is. Besides a whole bunch of nonsense. link to ‘Twitter Demands Academics Who Won’t Pay $42k/Month Delete Any Twitter Data They Currently Have | Techdirt’

new(ish) publication: inauthentic accounts on teacher Twitter

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This article has been available online for nearly two years, but since I don’t have any previous posts about it, I’m happy to announce that a study of mine with Dan Krutka has just been assigned to an issue at the Journal of Research on Technology in Education. A number of years ago, Twitter released some large datasets of tweets associated with accounts created as part of various governments’ information operation efforts.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Moderator Mayhem: A Mobile Game To See How Well YOU Can Handle Content Moderation | Techdirt'

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This is a neat game that shows how difficult content moderation is. Excited to have my content management students play it in the Fall. link to ‘Moderator Mayhem: A Mobile Game To See How Well YOU Can Handle Content Moderation | Techdirt’

technology-mediated authority in early Mormonism

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As I wrote earlier, I recently appeared on the Salt Lake Tribune’s Mormon Land podcast to discuss a recent publication in which I discuss the history of official Latter-day Saint domain names. Near the end of the interview, David Noyce (managing editor of the Tribune and one of the podcast hosts) asked me the “so what” question—sure, this history is interesting, but what’s the takeaway? Here’s (part of) how I answered:

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'People are arguing in court that real images are deepfakes : NPR'

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Very interesting look at some of the less obvious implications of generative AI. link to ‘People are arguing in court that real images are deepfakes : NPR’

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A friend of mine who works outside academia wrote yesterday to say that she thought my most recent article made for good road trip reading, and I honestly don’t know if anyone’s ever paid a higher compliment to my research.

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Heading into finals, campus sent out a message about AI detection tools maybe not being trustworthy, which is great. However, this is in the context of these tools being wrapped into plagiarism detection software we already have access to, so they should say the same about it, too.

media coverage of recent article on Latter-day Saint online presence

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I recently wrote about a new article of mine in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought where I trace the history of the official domain names of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This past week, I was lucky enough for the fine folks at the Salt Lake Tribune to take interest in the article. Peggy Fletcher Stack wrote a summary of my findings in this (unfortunately paywalled) article, which appeared on Sunday.

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This has been a long semester, and it’s not over yet, but I did get notice of promotion and tenure yesterday, so that is making this last stretch more manageable.

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I don’t know if anything makes me angrier about my profession than when a student apologizes that there’s been a death in their family at a busy time of the semester. What have we as professors done to make students feel like they have to apologize for and justify their grief?

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Starting to get notices about my Twitter API access being suspended. So long, Twitter research: You were an important part of my career, and I’ll miss you.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Twitter’s Open Source Algorithm Is a Red Herring | WIRED'

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Some good commentary here. Musk loves certain buzzwords and flashy stunts, but they’re often in tension with the other decisions he makes. link to ‘Twitter’s Open Source Algorithm Is a Red Herring | WIRED’

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'The poop emoji: a legal history - The Verge'

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Fascinating read—and one that reminds me that academic journal software doesn’t always render emoji either, which is a problem for social media research. link to ‘The poop emoji: a legal history - The Verge’