ICYMI 2012

Not Smelling the RosesSince it’s the last day of 2012, I thought I would take a quick look back at the year here on the blog. This is mostly for my benefit, but perhaps you’ll find a link or two below to something of interest.

It’s been a busy year for me professionally, my first full year as director at the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching. I recruited and oriented new staff, learned a lot about managing and supporting staff members, and launched a strategic visioning and planning process for the center that will continue into 2013. I also helped implement Vanderbilt’s Coursera initiative this fall, following up on work with the Chancellor’s committee on social media and the Internet last spring. I’ve been supporting Vanderbilt’s digital humanities efforts, culminating (for this year, at least) in November’s THATCamp Vanderbilt. And I’ve contributed to a few research projects we have cooking at the CFT focusing on student perceptions of educational technology. More on those in 2013.

I hit the road quite a bit in 2012, giving talks and attending conferences in North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Iowa, Minnesota (again), and Washington. My favorite topics were teaching with clickers, the scholarship of teaching and learning, social pedagogies, and visual thinking.

There’s one new publication on my CV for 2012, a co-authored article in To Improve the Academy analyzing the Twitter backchannel at the 2011 POD Network conference. Looking back, I see I had a lot to say about Twitter in 2012. Tennessean reporter Heidi Hall interviewed me for a story on the MLA’s new rules for citing tweets, and Chronicle blogger James Lang talked with me about using Twitter as a source for professional development around teaching.

Also keeping me busy in 2012: I taught two courses, a statistics course in the spring and a first-year writing seminar on cryptography this fall. I didn’t blog as much about teaching these courses as I would have liked, given everything else on my plate, but both courses went well and provided me opportunities to experiment with a few new teaching techniques.

Speaking of blogging, I’ll end this year-in-review with a list of the most visited posts here on Agile Learning. Original post dates and 2012 pageviews are listed in parenthesis.

  1. Flipping Out (April 20, 2012; 939 pageviews)
  2. Diigo vs. Pinterest: The Student Perspective (May 31, 2012; 933)
  3. Backchannel in Education: Nine Uses (January 21, 2010; 751)
  4. A Crowdsourced Rubric for Evaluating Infographics (April 11, 2012; 587)
  5. Mobile Learning and the Inverted Classroom (April 28, 2011; 569)
  6. A Social Pedagogies Reading List (June 7, 2012; 549)
  7. Concept Maps at the Beginning, Middle, and End (January 7, 2012; 471)
  8. Getting from Here to There: The Problem with Wildly Innovative Teaching (February 12, 2012; 470)
  9. Infographics, Rubrics, and a Seated Poster Session (April 30, 2012; 396)
  10. Using Clickers to Enhance Student Engagement (February 20, 2012; 386)

I started this blog back in 2008 as a way to keep writing about teaching with clickers after finishing my book on that subject. For the first couple of years, all my posts were about clickers. Although I’m still passionate about using clickers to enhance student engagement, I’m glad to see that the top-ten list above includes posts on a variety of topics of interest to me. I’m also glad to see a couple of older posts on that list, including one on backchannel from 2010 and one on mobile learning from 2011.

When I redesigned my blog about a year ago, I wanted to highlight both the variety of topics I write about and some older posts that I think are still worth reading. It looks like I’ve had some success with both of those goals, although I notice that only one of the “featured” posts on the blog cracked the top ten this year. I’ve been meaning to upgrade the “featured posts” interface on the blog’s home page; maybe I’ll get to that before classes start back up next week.

That’s it for 2012! I’m looking forward to a productive 2013, starting in about 10 hours…

Image: “Not Smelling the Roses,” me, Flickr (CC)

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