February 22, 2020

Exciting News: Teaching Online book contract with JHU Press

So, I have exciting news: yesterday I signed a contract to publish a book with Johns Hopkins University Press! The working title is How to Teach Online: A Practical and Provocative Guide, and it's slated to go in the Higher Ed Leadership Essentials series of how-to books. I really appreciate the way this gives me an opportunity to write both for an audience of instructors but also for university administrators who want to learn more about new ways of teaching and learning online. The books in this series are very short and focused (appx. 60,000 words), so the goal is not to provide the last word on any subject but instead an encouraging and insightful overview. That is very much the kind of book I would like to write!

Because the contract just now got finalized, I had already made other summer plans, so that means I'll be writing the book during the 2020-21 school year. It also means I have the luxury for a lot of reading and reflection before I start writing, and I mean to make the most of that, posting more frequently here at my blog as I take notes and brainstorm. I'll be tagging my posts here JHU Book along with other ad hoc labels that might prove useful over the next six months of reading, and then with another six months or so of writing time next year. I am really excited about teaching my Fall 2020 class with the idea of this book in mind, being super-aware of what I'm doing as I teach, and also getting feedback from my students to help clarify important ideas and priorities.

I want to say a huge thank-you to Greg Britton, the JHU editor who made the whole proposal and review process very do-able and also productive. I am very glad to be working with him on this project!

And I also have to thank Bryan Alexander and his wonderful FTTE project (Future Trends in Technology and Education), specifically the Thursday Forums, for making this happen. When there is a guest on FTTE that I really want to interact with, I try to join the live Thursday event. So, when John Warner was a guest back in August 2019, I was there in the audience, and thanks to John's kind words about my approach to teaching online (someone asked about online teaching during the Q&A), I later heard from Greg, who was John's editor for Why They Can't Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities (which is a fabulous book; highly recommended)... and that's how this project took shape. It's the power of connecting and sharing online! 

As an adjunct (we're called "irregular" faculty at my school), I don't have the same kind of opportunities that regular faculty do to attend conferences, etc., but that doesn't keep me from connecting and sharing with other people. It just happens online, instead of in person. So, even though I've never met Bryan or John or Greg in person, I've been able to connect with them, and thanks to those connections, now there will be a book. 

Yay for books, and yay for connecting and sharing online!

Which, of course, is what the book will be about. :-)