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However, Kristof is not only critiquing academic report writing, but he continues that "Professors today have a growing number of tools available to educate the public, from online courses to blogs to social media. Yet academics have been slow to cast pearls through Twitter and Facebook." This is not surprising to me, as many academics don't receive "credit" for non-official writing such as social media or local opinion pieces. If the process of tenure rewarded public engagement, then I'm sure more professors would involve themselves in this. An organization that has been trying to influence this policy is Imagining America Organization and it recognizes that public scholarship needs to be supported.
Allen Berger, in his article "Writing about Reading for the Public" (The Reading Teacher, Sep. 1997), suggests that as literacy professionals, we need to learn how to write for publications that the public reads - which means understanding the style, format, length and audience for various publications. In addition, according to Berger, we need to be reading the publications that influence public opinion and, rather than just responding to criticism, we need to be opening the doors to dialogue on issues and topics that we want to debate publicly.
As an early career scholar, I've grown up academically with digital spaces supplementing my traditional training. I read blogs from graduate students, international teachers, writers and professors to gain insight on the intellectual work they are doing and sharing through their "slice of life" blog entries. I actively participate in Twitter chats as a teacher, teacher-educator, adjunct faculty, and writer. These conversations, with other engaged and excited people continue to inspire me to question further, read more, and consider other viewpoints. One of the best things that I've learned on the web is to follow people with opinions very different from my own and not only "like" those who share my opinions.