Comment on Using the Web to Make Academic Work Useful

@warstrekkid When I developed a course in Finland,  student blogs were a way to enlarge interaction to a larger world.  I had colleagues from around the world looking and commenting on student blogs, with an understanding that students may have only just read deep articles a day or two earlier.

For my own research, I often blog content that leads up to an article to be published elsewhere.  Papers for proceedings and journals have length limits, which leads to terse citations that are useful only to the immersed.  The blog is the place where “unpublishable” work gets aired, and then I have a separate “commons” section for articles that get published or distributed.

Kevin Leung blog post on “Using the Web to Make Academic Work Useful” at

…. I have allowed my class-related work to become my blog content. Sometimes it’s more natural, such as the final essay for Creative Nonfiction, and sometimes it’s less natural, such as short critiques for Moral Philosophy. Most of my motivation for posting this work is pure laziness: it’s really hard to will myself to write a blog post after having worked through an essay. A smaller point, which is the crux of this post, is that it seems a shame that I should spend so much time on classwork that will ultimately be seen by only one grader.

Not all classwork is valuable beyond its own context. [….]

I’ve tried to make most of my original and less embarrassing writing available on this site, either in blog posts or on my Writing page. Despite its pedagogical purpose, classwork can still be original and contribute to knowledge as a whole, especially given how sparse some of the content may be. [….]

For many of my peers who have also worked on various projects, I recommend that you do the same. I’ve seen some really impressive work come out of class projects, and it would be a shame for that to be the end of it. And use it for current projects as well. Should you be doing any coding or research, you should be using a version control system anyways, so you might as well make it publicly available as well. In academia, we’re always all collaborating with everyone.