Year in Review

According to Ethan Watrall over on ProfHacker, I should write an end-of-semester blog post right about now.  I’ll go a bit further back, however, and share some highlights from the whole year…

  • My book, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems, was published by Jossey-Bass back in February.  The book peaked briefly in the top 2000 books on Amazon, spending most of the year in the top 50,000.  As of early November, almost 2000 copies of the book had been sold.  I’m sure with the holiday buying season, that number has skyrocketed!  (It’s now a whopping 14% off on Amazon.)  Speaking of Amazon, if you’ve read the book and liked it and are so inclined, I wouldn’t mind another positive review or two on Amazon.
  • I was interviewed about the book by Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The National Teaching & Learning Forum.  Each of those interviews led to a spike in book sales on Amazon, by the way, so press coverage matters when you’ve written a book.
  • Thanks to the book’s release, I was invited to give a number of talks on teaching with clickers this year.  I spoke at the Abilene Christian University ConnnectEd Summit in February, the Muskegon Community College Math & Technology Workshop (from a distance) in August, the University of Iowa’s Clicker User Conference in September, the Turning Technologies National User Conference in October, and at Youngstown State University in October.  Online, I presented a Turning Technologies webinar, two three-part webinars for the TLT Group, and a webinar on engaging students through questioning for Higher Ed Hero.
  • Meanwhile, I talked about clickers at a few conferences, too.  Colleagues from Carroll College and I presented a minicourse on clickers at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in DC in January, I talked about teaching statistics with clickers at the MAA Southeastern Section Conference in March, and I led a session on supporting faculty use of clickers at the POD Network Conference in Houston in October.
  • I had a busy year teaching, too.  In my position, I usually teach one course each academic year.  This year it happened that I taught linear algebra in the spring semester and again in the fall semester.  Since I taught a course on the history and mathematics of cryptography this summer as an overload, that meant I taught in each of the three semesters in calendar year 2009.  And, naturally, I blogged about my use of clickers in each course: linear algebra here, here, here, and here and cryptography here and here.
  • I wrote 104 blog posts in 2009 (counting this one), as well as 1,856 tweets (so far).  2009 was my first year on Twitter.  I joined back in February during the Abilene ConnectEd Summit to participate in the conference backchannel.  It took me a few weeks to get going on Twitter, but once I found some interesting people to follow, I started tweeting more and more frequently.  I’ve enjoyed participating in the Twitter community.  It’s been a great place for networking and keeping up-to-date on educational technology news.

There was more, certainly, but those are the highlights!

I’m looking forward to an exciting 2010.  I’m co-leading another minicourse at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Francisco in January and facilitating a contributed paper session on clickers there, too.  I’m also a keynote speaker at the Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Educational Research Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale in January and at the University of Louisville’s Clickers in the Classroom Conference in June.  I have a few other things cooking for 2010, including a contribution to the POD Network’s Essays in Teaching Excellence series on encouraging deep learning with clicker questions.

Judging from activity on Twitter today, it seems a number of you haven’t yet taken off for the holidays.  However, I’m going to take the next two weeks off from blogging.  Don’t worry, I’ve already got a post in the hopper for January.  See you then.

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