Wilder Hazard

grad student blog

Digital pedagogy redux

September 22, 2021 — Asher Wycoff

Monica Chin's new article in The Verge is getting a lot of buzz for highlighting something that many college faculty will doubtless have noticed: Gen Z students don't really think in terms of files and folders. Faculty from a range of institutions, public and private, two-year and R1, report having difficulty explaining to students how to locate files by following directory pathways. If a file doesn't turn up in global search, it may as well not exist. The story presents this in terms of a generation gap, with much of the disconnect explained by the ubiquity of search engines and students' greater familiarity with mobile over desktop computing, while faculty generally have the opposite. But there's displaced emphasis on the former over the latter, which I think is one of the deeper problems.

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tags: web, godge

Citeproc Nights

May 16, 2021 — Asher Wycoff

As I confessed in a post on the old blog, I used to write in Microsoft Word (the horror) and type up all my references myself. It's not that I hadn't tried reference management software, but I had hated it. Word's in-built reference manager is atrocious, of course, and while programs like Zotero are marked improvements, they nonetheless have the same GUI elements I dislike. It was somehow less onerous to type out citations in full multiple times than to type them out once across a dozen text fields and checkboxes (Author, Title, Journal, Volume, Issue...). And integrating Zotero into Word just made it one more toolbar widget I had to keep track of in an already bloated bit of legacy enterprise software.

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tags: diss

Technical adjustments

March 26, 2021 — Asher Wycoff

I recently jumped ship from the Mac following the Big Sur update, which not only introduced an assortment of disgusting UI changes, but signaled a much more fundamental shift. Apple is deadset on cutting macOS down from an OS that lets you do what you want to a sad, locked-down, tablet-with-extras stump. The efficiency gains of Apple Silicon™ are impressive, but it looks like they'll be purchased too dearly from the software side. Thanks to Apple's growing hostility to hardware repairability, I'd been flirting with a move to Linux since the twelve-inch MacBook was introduced. The OS 11 transition looked like the time to commit.

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tags: web

Have you reimagined your digital pedagogy today?

December 12, 2020 — Asher Wycoff

The academy has responded to the pandemic poorly, responding to declining enrollments and budget shortfalls by increasing class sizes, cutting entire programs, and laying off contingent employees en masse. In the midst of all this, those of us lucky enough to keep our jobs are enjoined to "reimagine digital pedagogy" so as to somehow replicate the experience of face-to-face teaching in a remote setting. This is impossible, and I'd bet its impossibility is behind much self-reported "burnout."

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tags: godge