Profology is a professional social network created exclusively for higher
education faculty, staff and administrators.
few years ago, with about three weeks before the semester was to
begin, I was asked to teach a class I had never previously taught.
I was slightly panicked. I was comfortable with the material but I
didn't really have any idea how to structure the course, what
textbook to use, how I was going to assess students on this
material, and the list goes on and on. Working at a community
college with a tiny political science department meant that I
didn't really have anywhere to turn for advice. I remember
thinking that it would be great if there was a place online that I
could go to find others who were teaching similar courses where we
could share syllabi, tests, textbook recommendations and teaching
ideas. I got through that semester on my own somehow, but the idea
of having an online meeting place for other faculty teaching
similar courses never left.
was about the same time that Facebook appeared. I decided to give
it a whirl and use it with my students. That never quite worked
out, but in social networking I saw an opportunity to create a
place where faculty and other higher education professionals could
meet, exchange ideas and work to improve pedagogy, research,
classroom technology and assessment, and more.
Profology provides members with individualized discipline-specific
content, all in one place.
noted that following current developments in my discipline was
time consuming and cumbersome, if I really wanted to follow all of
what was coming down the pike. Many of us rarely go to our
discipline specific websites. Some of us go to forums and
listservs, that while useful, generally don't allow for much
cross-disciplinary communication and may not always bring new
ideas. I thought it would be beneficial if the latest and greatest
in my discipline and my specific academic interests could be
delivered to one place where I could view, evaluate and share with
others inside and outside of my field.
our own departmental or institutional politics get in the way of
communication with others inside or outside of our fields on
issues like tenure and promotion. In this age of austerity, we go
to fewer conferences and have less interaction with our peers.
Profology will offer the ability to communicate with peers at
other institutions without institutional politics interfering. Of
course, you'll have the ability to communicate or commiserate
privately or publicly with your colleagues.
Profology is free and there are
no students allowed.
important element in my idea was to keep students out! Many people
are afraid to use Facebook and other social networks because their
privacy settings are a hassle and they don’t want certain
audiences (like students) able to see everything they do. Having a
place to go where students wouldn't be allowed creates freedom for
academics to do what they wouldn't be comfortable doing on a
network open to their students. Some examples of what you can do
on Profology include, discussing the merits of textbooks,
exchanging test questions, lecture outlines and syllabi. It will
also allow free discussion of teaching best practices, classroom
management and the use of instructional technology and much more.
Now I don't propose a complete ban on students, graduate students
are welcome in most fields as they are often teachers and
researchers and vitally important to the academic landscape. But I
think communication about classroom issues is freer if undergrads
aren't able to eavesdrop.
already had hundreds of higher education professionals sign up
from all over the world. I hope we’ll see you here.