The Chronicle of Higher Education - Vitae
October 21st, 2014
Last week, I attended the De Lange Conference held at Rice University every other year, this time on “Teaching in the University of Tomorrow.” The future-oriented theme had both intrigued me, and left me a little skeptical. But ultimately I was won over by the chance to attend, for the first time, a conference exclusively focused on teaching. I would be able to talk shop about learning and pedagogy. Like many other academics, I’m concerned about what the university of tomorrow might become.
Additionally, the conference organizers at Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence hoped to develop an active Twitter backchannel alongside the lineup of powerhouse speakers. Joshua Eyler, the center’s director, even recruited a cadre of “so-called social media fellows,” including Jason Jones, Dorothy Kim, Liana Silva, Ben Railton, and me, who tweeted the event under #delange9. This was my first conference as an official tweeter, though I’ve done so unofficially on panels at the American Academy of Religion and American Studies Association. I hoped that our Twitter backchannel might not only report on keynotes, teaching demos, and panels but also offer analysis and commentary. The best conference tweets include not only what was presented but also critique.