Stranger Danger: When New Ideas Hijack Your Project

a grown up two children and the words "say no to strangers"

In this case, I mean strange ideas, not actual strangers. And by strange ideas, I mean new ones. Image courtesy _chrisUK/Flickr

Project creep.  Before pursuing a DH master’s at Trinity, I hadn’t heard this succinct term for a phenomenon which endangered so many of my previous undertakings.  It disguises itself as too much ambition or too little planning, but in reality belies a sheer naiveté regarding what is feasible based on resources, time, and/or one’s own abilities.  In hindsight,[1] my internship at Marsh’s has been especially instructive in the art of becoming a human creep-seeking missile.[2]

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Confidence and Education: Virtual Worlds and MOOCs

The promise of virtual worlds

In her blog post “Does a virtual world make our world better?”, Olga Vasileva celebrates the emancipatory possibilities of virtual worlds in online education. From her own experience as an educator, Vasileva knows that students with disabilities or in rural settings value the opportunity to seek education on the accessible, anonymous Internet. She embraces virtual worlds (VWs) for their ability to allow these students “to interact similar to the real class experience through their ideal avatar.”

Some avatars hanging at an amphitheatre in Second Life.

This is a real Polish-language university space in Second Life, or so I’ve been led to believe by Wikimedia Commons. (cc) Dex Euromat

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Stick with what you know, kid.

My motivation

Like most of my classmates, I am not pursuing a master’s in Digital Humanities because I’m already an expert on the topic.1  I came to Trinity with the intention of learning a thing or two, discovering my compelling and totally marketable idea, and cultivating a career (ac? alt-ac?? who knows?) in the field.  One piece of prior knowledge I bring to the table is that DH scholars do not just teach, research, and publish like your average humanities professor.  No, DH scholars know which side their bread is buttered on.2  An important activity for this breed of academic is branding, and your blog helps you promote your brand.

toast which says "tastes like funding" on it

The photo used in this sophisticated info-graphic is in the public domain, because I’m a professional. (Thanks, Wikimedia Commons!)

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