Why the interest in blogs by professors? I think academics often have a unique perspective. Think of how their community of peers, researchers and students are different than your own. Think of the journals and books they read, the research they conduct, the conferences they attend, the lectures they present, and the discoveries their students make. This gives them access to ideas and concepts that can promote distinctive thinking.
Fortunately for us, blogging is an excellent channel professors can leverage without going through the rigors of formal publishing. So if you’d like to see what professors of instructional design/technology, education, media and business technology are writing about, here are some you’re bound to find interesting. And for multilingual readers, there’s a bonus Spanish eLearning blog at the end.
1. Kapp Notes
Karl Kapp is a Professor at Bloomsburg University and author of Learning in 3D. He is a passionate proponent of learning through games, particularly as a means for educating the next generation. Although his blog covers many learning-related topics, the main focus is on how to incorporate virtual worlds and games into learning experiences. You’ll discover a wonderful collection of articles on these topics as well as industry news.
George Veletsianos is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas’ Instructional Technology program (my alma mater!). His blog focuses on emerging technologies as well as the design and development of innovative distance learning experiences. You may also be interested in Veletsianos book, Emerging Technologies in Distance Education.
I find visually oriented blogs simultaneously relaxing and exciting. Information Aesthetics, by Andre Vande Moere, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, has been exploring information visualization and design on this site since 2004. Moere collects examples he finds original or intriguing and adds a brief commentary. The depiction of concepts, data and statistics is often challenging, so you’ll probably welcome the new ideas and inspiration found here.
David Wiley, Professor at Brigham Young University, has been promoting the benefits of sharing open educational resources for years. This interest goes beyond the academic—he creates ways to facilitate sharing through his projects, such as Flat World Knowledge, which offers remixable textbooks by expert authors (free online). His blog examines open educational resources in a way you are not likely to find elsewhere. If you are involved in education, you’ll probably appreciate what Wiley is hoping to achieve.
Viral-Notebook covers online learning design and associated technologies. It’s written by Michal Grant, Associate Professor at the University of Memphis. You’ll find topics that would interest any instructional design geek, such as posts on mobile learning and instructional design models. There’s also a good set of his favorite bookmarks, some great resources, and links to his publications.
Angela A. Thomas’ blog spans the range of courses she teaches at the University of Tasmania (Art Education and English) as well as her interest in virtual worlds for education. You’ll find much on these topics, plus writings on interactive media, media literacy and relevant research projects.
Andrew McAfee coined the phrase Enterprise 2.0 and wrote a book about it. His business-oriented blog focuses on the ways that information technology affects business, changing the way “companies perform, organize themselves, and compete.” Though previously a Professor (just discovered he’s changed careers), he is now a Principal Researcher at the MIT Sloan School of Management, which provides him with insights you’ll appreciate.
The striking title of this blog reveals that Scott McLeod, Associate Professor at Iowa State, is on a mission to kickstart schools into the 21st century. His blog covers technology and leadership topics as they relate to the future of schools. The blog title comes from the fact that although the world is both digital and global, most K-12 schools are not.
If you’re involved or interested in media, you’ll want to check out Confessions of an Aca-Fan, where you can follow the pursuits of Henry Jenkins, Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. In this blog, Jenkins hopes to break through academic cultural theory to discuss significant issues in media from a consumer’s point of view. Thus the title of the blog reflects his hybrid stance as part academic and part fan. There is a lot to like and absorb here.
By the way, Jenkins is a prolific author. Some of his more recent titles: Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, Convergence Culture and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers.
Terri Griffith, Professor at Carnegie Mellon, shares her discerning perspective on the use of technology in organizations. As you browse through the topics and articles, you’ll see her talent for picking subjects that touch nearly anyone who works in an organization. A few sample titles include, What Does Workspace Mean These Days, A Future of Work is Games, and Training, Education and Systems Savvy. See what I mean?
Virtual School Meanderings covers topics related to virtual and cyber schooling for grades K through 12. Michael Barbour, Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, writes, “The practice of virtual schooling/K-12 online learning is far out-pacing the research in the field. As one of the few academics researching this area of learning, I see my blog as a way to begin to bridge that gap by getting an alternative narrative in the public domain.”
True to the title of the blog, Ray Schroeder, Professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, weaves together a savvy blend of news and updates related to online learning. This blog has been published daily since 2001 and consists of a short summary and link to articles broadly related to online learning. Schroeder says the blog, “Provides a scholarly chronicle of the development of the technology, pedagogy and practice of online learning at all levels of education in the U.S. and elsewhere.”
Bonus: E-dissemination’s Blog
Pedro A. Tamayo Lorenzo, Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Spain, blogs about eLearning and everything related to new technologies for teaching. Lorenzo writes about the practical side of design and development, such as recording narration and how to use colors, as well as the social side, such as how eLearning can benefit society. If you’re interested in broadening your horizons, check out Lorenzo’s blog. (You can copy and paste into Google Translate if you don’t speak Spanish.)
Who did I miss? Please add other relevant and currently updated blogs by Professors in Comments.