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Higher Education

Teaching with technology

On Thursday 10 January 2013 I was invited to give a presentation to The University of Hull History Department on teaching with technology. It was at the Hull History Centre. My presentation included a live demonstration of using Socrative and GradeMark, both of which are online tools. Socrative is a student response system that can be accessed from any internet-enabled device. I have a bunch of iPod Touch’s that I hand out to students, and in this case academics! GradeMark is a part of the Turnitin suite and is used for online marking. You may not know anything about these products so I thought I’d post my Keynote slides to give you an overview of what they do. There’s more information on GradeMark because I actually used Socrative during the presentation, rather than just talking about it. One of the things that frustrates me about teaching and learning conferences is that everyone talks about new ways of teaching, and yet at those conferences you just sit passively in large lecture halls! So, I thought I’d practice what I preach. Anyway, I hope the slides are of some use. I tend not to put much on my slides and so talk around them. Read More...
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Getting published. An author, reviewer, and editor perspective.

Publishing your research in an academic journal is a difficult but necessary part of being a researcher and/or an academic. Over the years I’ve observed the publishing process as an author, a reviewer, and most recently an editor. Here are some of my thoughts on that process from those perspectives, including some of the pitfalls to avoid.
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University…why bother?

Starting in September this year, a university education gets a lot more expensive here in England. For most students, fees will be set at £9000 per year. While I don’t want to discuss the pros and cons of setting higher fees in this blog, I will say that I think higher fees are not the way forward. Like health care, education should be free, paid for by everyone, and accessible to everyone. What I do want to discuss is what universities are for. With more pressure on students and parents considering if they should commit to racking up large debts, they are inevitably asking “is it worth it?”. From my perspective the answer is yes. Here’s why.
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Getting a job and all that.

As an academic who teaches undergraduate students I have a strong interest in what my students do when they finish university. While I don’t believe that employment should be the only outcome of a university education, it is certainly a high priority for both students and their families. Here are the five things that I think will get you a job:

  • Doing the best you can in your degree(s).
  • Experience.
  • Skills.
  • Knowing those already in the job.
  • Being creative.
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