Cornell Notes: A quick and dirty guide

Wow, who would have thought a tweet about Cornell Notes would prove so popular?

But since it is now my most popular tweet ever, I’m making my guide available for download and use with a CC attribution license.
Cornell Notes Quick & Dirty Guide

A quick Google for “Cornell Notes templates” reveals hundreds of online templates. I mashed up the best (in my opinion!) into my version.
Cornell Notes Blank Template 

Additional Tips:

  • Keep a 3″ x 11″ strip of cardstock or heavy paper in your notebook or binder to draw your margins quickly on the go.
  • Need more space for reviewing? Do your note taking on only side of the page. Then, use the back of the previous page for mind maps, sketch notes, questions, etc.
  • Are you a lefty? You may find reversing the columns more your liking (HT to @DarrinSunstrum for that!)

Further Resources:

I would love to hear how you use these and your experiences with using and teaching Cornell Notes!

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Teaching students how to student

There’s an expression about how the shoemaker’s children have no shoes. Well, the social media consultant is terrible at her own social media!

I’ve clearly fallen behind in my New Year’s resolution of a blog post a month. I thought I might catch up when I had a month off work this summer, but somehow social media was the last thing I wanted to work on.

But I’m back at work now and busier than ever. In fact, this fall will be the most paid work I’ve had at once since I quit a full time job to go back to school a decade ago.

I’m have resumed my social media work with the Faculty of Humanities at the university and what a difference a year in the job makes! I feel really comfortable in the position, now that I’ve figured out what I need to be doing, and I’m seeing the benefits of the connections and network I’ve been building. I’m really looking forward to the year ahead!

I’ve also been fortunate to pick up several other small contracts to flesh out my hours and paycheque. I’ve just started working with our Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) where I’m helping out with a number of very interesting projects, including TA training, support for those teaching large classes, and research into the perceptions of the value of teaching. I have a lot of experience as a teaching assistant (TA) in the classroom and even helping professors develop pedagogical resources, so it’s exciting to be thinking and learning about pedagogy from a different perspective.

Finally, if enrolment numbers permit, I may get to spend a little time in the classroom again this year as a TA.

Which relates to the Twitter thread I want to share with you. @atrubek shared this really great thread tonight and it so important! I think when we’re teaching it’s so easy to get caught up in the transmission of content and forget about the transmission of skills. I don’t mean discipline-specific skills, but the “how to be a student” skills.

It’s easy, when we’ve been academics for 5, 10, 15 years or longer to forget that we, too, started someplace. We didn’t enter university knowing everything. Sure, we like to think we were more self-sufficient and self-starting than “today’s students” but hindsight can have a gloss superiority to it.

Our students come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds and face a diversity of pressures that we may not have faced.

In my case, for example, my mother had attended university and I had two older sisters in university as well, so I had lots of support at home in navigating the system and knowing what I needed to do.

But not every student has that privilege. Some will be the first in their families to attend university. Some will be far from home and perhaps struggling to make friends and navigate a strange system with strange titles like “registrar” and “dean” and “chair,” never mind the myriad of acronyms we use without thinking!

High school today is different from high school “back in our day.” Again, students will have had a diversity of experiences and come with–or without– skills we deem necessary.

So @atrubek’s thread is such a timely reminder. We need to not assume that our students know how to navigate the system socially or how to access resources. We need to teach them how to take effective notes, how to use the library, how to identify a scholarly resource, what a database is.

Because after the final exam, the student may very well never think about our course content again. But they will be taking other courses, and we can equip them with the skills they need to succeed there, too–whether it’s something we teach directly, or we direct them to campus resources.

We don’t just teach content, we teach students how to be students.

#CAMWS17

I live-tweeted the Wednesday evening session and some Thursday panels of the 113th Annual Meeting of The Classical Association of the Middle West and South at Kitchener/Waterloo (April 5 & 6, 2017).

Panels/Sessions:

Opening Evening Featured Panel: Grace Harriet Macurdy (1866-1946) and Her Impact on the Study of Women’s History (Elizabeth Carney, Ann R. Raia, Maria S. Marsilio).

Euripides: Gender and Sex (Joshua M. Reno, Teresa Yates, Thomas K. Hubbard, Daniel Turkeltaub)

Roundtable: The Thersites Project (Monica Florence and Dianna Rhyan)

Roundtable: Increasing Diversity among Classics Students (Debby Sneed and Lauren T. Brooks)

Pedagogy: Tools and Resources (Ann R. Raia & Maria S. Marsilio, Marie-Claire Beaulieu & Anthony Bucci, Summer R. Trentin, J. Matthew Harrison)

Pedagogy: Classics for Everybody (Lauren T. Brooks, Leanna Boychenko, Blanche C. McCune, Mark P. Nugent, Aaron Wenzel)

The Storify can be found here: https://storify.com/InnesAlison/my-camws17-tweets

Working on a couple of blog posts to get out in the next week or two, so stay tuned!

Podcasting in Classics: Thoughts on the Current Conversation

It is certainly exciting times for social media in academics, as the current discussion about podcasting in Classics demonstrates.

As Hannah Čulík-Baird shows in her blog post this past week, conversations about Classics outreach and podcasting at this year’s annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) show that the discipline is starting to recognize the power of social media and its importance for the continued survival and growth of Classics.

Podcasting in particular is huge right now. A quick Google search will show a plethora of articles and statistics on its popularity. More people than ever before are listening to and producing podcasts. Now is the time for the discipline to capitalize on this particular social media platform. The social media landscape can change swiftly and timing is an important part of success.


The suggestion was made on Twitter that the SCS could support podcasting efforts by keeping a list on their website of Classics podcasters. As an independent podcaster, I have mixed feelings about this. I certainly welcome support and the idea of having a list to make it easier to find Classics podcasting is definitely useful and appealing.

But while lists are helpful tools to finding information, they need to be done carefully; a list can easily become (or be perceived as) a gate-keeping device. How broadly do we define Classics in terms of geography, time period, etc, for this list? How much of a podcast needs to be about Classics material to be considered for such a list? David Meadows (@RogueClassicists) has clearly considered some of these questions in his list he released today, but these questions do need to be borne in mind to prevent gate-keeping.

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Having said that, there are some excellent lists out there. As mentioned, David Meadows (@RogueClassicist) has undertaken the monumental task and produced a fantastic list here. Ryan Stitt of The History of Ancient Greece Podcast maintains an excellent list on his website. There is also the Digital Classicist Wiki, which has a list of Classical Studies podcasts (including video). The nascent #HumanitiesPodcasts network on Twitter (@HumCommCasters) includes some excellent Classics and Classics-related podcasts (including ancient Egypt) as well. I keep a running list on the MythTake blog here and Ray Belli of Words for Granted also has a list here. Chris Francese, who spoke on the outreach panel at the SCS, has this Classics podcast list (which can also be found here).

Bear in mind, of course, that with the rapidly nature of social media, there will never be a fully complete list. New podcasts will (hopefully) be always springing up while others may fade away.

The most important support academic organizations like SCS can offer to academic podcasters is perhaps offering small grants to independent podcasters who, by nature of being outside the university system, do not have access to other funding to defray costs. We do not get into podcasting to make money, but the reality is that our projects, which are of benefit to the discipline, have costs.

While it is cheap and easy to start in podcasting, to continue for any length of time and to produce a quality product, investment of time and funds is necessary. Equipment is an obvious expense; A good, basic podcasting microphone, for example, is easily $100 (Canadian funds).

Podcasts need to be hosted online someplace, and hosting services are businesses. Free plans may suffice for a few episodes, but are quickly outgrown. Plan costs vary by service, by storage amount, and by bandwidth. At the time we set up MythTake, for example, the cheapest plan I found was $60 a year; 18 episodes in, we have hit our storage limit. We are now in the position of having to remove older episodes to make room for new, which is far from ideal.

Website hosting is also another financial consideration. Again, free services may work in some situations, but at some point the podcast is going to need it’s own URL for marketing and promotion.

An informal survey of a few #HumanitiesPodcasts members suggests that between equipment and hosting services, a podcaster might spend anywhere from $200 to $500 a year. Some podcasters use Patreon, with varying success, to defray costs.

The investment of time that podcasters put into our work shouldn’t be overlooked, either. We do our podcasts because we love our subject and we want to share our passion and enthusiasm with others. But it does take time, and I think it’s important to recognize that. Depending on the show format (scripted vs conversational, for example), researching, recording, producing, and promoting might take as much as 10-15 hours per episode. And, as one podcaster pointed out, that is on top of the years of university training we’ve already done!

We podcast out of passion, a desire to stay connected with our material, and a desire to share our subject with the public. Providing small financial resources to defray expenses would send a very powerful message about an organization’s commitment to non-traditional scholarship and actively demonstrate a desire to bring non-traditional scholars on the fringes into the community.

Individuals Classicists also have a role to play in supporting the podcasting community.

The most obvious and perhaps the most simple is simply listening to podcasts and providing supportive feedback. Rating a podcast on iTunes may not seem like much, but iTunes search results are based on podcast ratings: the more highly rated a podcast, the more likely it will turn up near the top of the search. Recommending podcasts to peers and students is also very important.

A more innovative approach, which I have been investigating recently, is incorporating podcasts into students’ learning experience. There are already great podcasts out there about ancient history, archaeology, myth, and literature that would make great assigned listening to replace or supplement student textbooks. There is not only pedagogical value in this, but it also shows our students that Classics is relevant, current, and accessible. The podcasters’ enthusiasm for their subjects comes through in a way that it can’t in a textbook, and the literature we study was experienced by its ancient audience aurally, anyway. Podcasting and video casting is closer to the Ancient Greek experience of literature than reading. (I plan to write more about this in a future post; If you are already doing something like this, please get in touch!)

Those of us at the fringes, who are doing our academics independently through social media, have much to offer the traditional scholarly community. We are already on the front lines of humcomm–sharing the diversity and relevancy of humanities with the public and engaging them in conversation. This work is critical to the discipline’s survival and growth, so our voices need to be a part of this conversation. The SCS’ conversation about supporting social media efforts within the Classics displine will be most fruitful and most effective when non-traditional social media scholars have a seat at the table.