• Hacking Grad School

    As technology becomes more integrated into academia and our scholarly identities are more dependent on our online presence, it is important for graduate students to be aware of these changes. As the future professors of the world, we need to find ways to educate graduate students on using technology so that they can become tech savvy and embrace the changes. Technology doesn’t need to be a gimmick or a fad, but rather we need to find ways of integrating it into everyday practice of graduate students.

    In order to work towards this goal, a program called GradHacker was started by a number of graduate students from MSU in order to open up discussions about integrating technology into graduate life. We ran a one day bootcamp that consisted of primarily roundtable discussion on a variety of digital social media that would benefit graduate students in taking control of their online identities. The bootcamp was a thrilling success, and now we are looking to continue the program and open it to other university graduate students.

    For this session, I propose a discussion on how we, graduate students, can help other graduate students ‘hack’ grad school. For example: what kinds of online social media are most important? How can we use digital learning management systems to innovate classes we teach? What new programs and platforms can help us with our dissertations, or comprehensive exams, or our stressful lives in general? This would be an open discussion about potential future bootcamps, as well as how to spread the GradHacker word.


  1. Wayne Johnston says:

    I would be interested in participating in this conversation particularly from the perspective of electronic theses and dissertations and the potential they have to enhance traditional textual theses with supplementary content such as data sets, multimedia, interactive applications, etc.

  2. rbaier says:

    W00t! Really need this to coordinate with new graduate research through our library — or any library as they support new and continuing grad students. This is analogous to something like “Research Process 2.0,” or whatever you wanna call it — absolutely necessary to understand the publication cycle, research ecology and information discovery process of today. Not your grand dad’s Oldsmobile, which has been defunct for years anyway (To exploit a Michigan metaphor)! ETD media *and* permissions critical to developing new critical research.

  3. LynneG says:

    I would note that another topic of equal and related importance is how to convince your dissertation committee that you are doing something important and not wasting your time.

    This is related to the other session on To Tech or Not To Tech: Exposing Digital Humanities to Academic Luddites.

    Maybe the results of these two sessions can be linked/collaborated.

  4. LMaruca says:

    I come at this from another direction: as a faculty member and mentor to students, how can I help them realize that they need to start hacking grad school? Many of my students shun the construction of online identities, for example, for fear that they cannot properly manage their reputations. I know they are worried that an under-theorized blog post will ruin their careers. Some even report receiving advice from faculty to stay -off-line.

    Since this links to my topic on helping technophobic students develop DH projects (I just posted it today w/ the headline “DH Lite?”), I’m hoping we can talk more this weekend.

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