Saturday, November 19, 2011

AAR-SBL 2011 in San Francisco

SBL 2011
Saturday, 19 November: I am at the annual AAR-SBL meeting held this year in San Francisco. It was a six-hour flight, but I picked up three hours getting here, so we will see how long I last today... I'm planning to post blog reports as much as I am able.

The first session I attended is "Engaging the ‘Wired-In Generation’: Knowledge and Learning in the Digital Age" with Tersa Calpino presiding.

Mark Goodacre:
“Pods, Blogs, and other Time-wasters: Do Electronic Media Detract from Proper Scholarship”
Pods and blogs and elists are not really a waste of time as long as you are finding some personal usefulness from them. Cf. Goodacre’s blog post for examples of how his work has turned out positively for him.
Why do I blog? Personally, I have found:
  • It provides incentive to articulate, organize, and summarize things I’m working on. I'm quite sure I would not have 'published' much of anything if it weren't for the possibility offered by the blogging platform.
  • It serves as a repository of work I have done. I use it for myself for looking up work I’ve done.
  • When I get questions about a particular topic, oftentimes I’m able simply to point the inquirer to a blog post instead of having to compose a whole new response.
  • It has served to expand my horizons of collegial discourse. It is gratifying to be part of a global discussion
  • It is perhaps peculiar to my Bible and technology focus, but I have been provided with software or resources that I can review.
Christian Brady (Targuman)
“On the Internet No One Knows You’re a Graduate Student, Or How Social Media Can Help You, Build You Up, and Tear You Down”
There are good reasons to maintain multiple personalities on the web. CB is not advocating anonymous identities but ways to organize different aspects of ones work. You do need to be mindful of potential readers and possible repercussions. (“Blogging can be similar to vomiting online.”) Do take it seriously and treat your readers seriously as well. You also need to be ready to accept rejection.
Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch
“Videoconferencing in the Classroom: Broadening the Horizons of Students through Interactive Scholarly Exchange”
KNCB has had positive results using videoconferencing and other social media tools in the classroom. E.g., she has brought in virtually experts in particular fields. It is exciting for students to engage with authors of books they have been reading or to bring in international perspectives.

Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica) was a last minute replacement and talked about his experiences online. One recent development is the increasing comfortableness students have for sharing online. It does mean, however, that educators perhaps have more responsibility helping them think about their online expression.
  • "I hate Twitter... Nothing is more perfectly designed to enable people to say every stupid thought that comes to mind."
  • "I don't have time to listen to podcasts. I would much rather read."
  • If we really wasted so much time in the 90's on elists, then we've done okay. Are blog posts much more ephemeral than a published article?
  • Blogging can be good... If you have one, have a reason for doing so. Identify a niche.
  • "Never write anything down that you can't picture appearing on the front page of the New York Times."


  1. since you're blogging on SBL in SF 2011, you might be interested in these videos.

  2. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.