Our books

Become a Fan

« Alt-ac: how our profession can do better? | Main | Changing the 'academia or bust' mindset »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This is so cool! I wonder if you worried at all about whether they all had the technology to take photos? I know some of my students don't have smartphones (though it's not very many of them, but I also teach at a school with a relatively wealthy student population), and it's usually the students who are supporting themselves/financially struggling, so I assume most of them don't have a camera either. I always worry about assignments that require technology that my students don't all have, but this assignment is great and I just wonder if you've thought about fixes to make it accessible to people who might not be able to take photos. (I thought: maybe give them the option to draw the thing? But that puts an undue burden on someone for whom drawing is difficult/unpleasant who lacks access to a camera...)


I'm usually pretty traditional in teaching methods, but I actually like this idea. As for the concern about whether everyone has a camera--hard to imagine they don't in this day and age--they still make disposable cameras, if you can find a place to develop the film.


Postdocs, yes, but my worry is that this is precisely the kind of thing (that is everywhere: not having laundry in ones building, living somewhere with poor public transport and having to take buses instead of trains or cars, etc., that places an extra burden (both financial and time-wise) on the poorest people. It is a small thing, I know, but I try to make sure not to assign things that end up being extra work, time, or money for my poorest students (who are both the least likely to have smartphones and the least likely to have time and money to buy a disposable camera, get film developed, etc.).

I recognize that not everyone will share this worry, was just wondering if the OP (or anyone else) has thoughts about alternative choices for students.


Also just to note that it might be hard to imagine but it is true! Look up the percentages of adult smart phone owners in the us—it’s still under 80 percent. And I am sure only a fraction of those 20 somethings percent own cameras.

assistant prof

Great idea, thanks for sharing.


According to this group of stats 100% of Americans 18-29 own a cellphone:


Of course, nothing is 100%, but it is close enough that we can say so statistically. 6% own cellphone but not a smartphone. Most of those non-smart phones probably don't take photos. 6% is pretty small, but it seems there still out to be an alternative (by the way, I have taught in many low-income schools and it is an extremely rare occurrence for a student not to have a smart phone.) Given how rare it is, it seems professors might purchase some cameras to let students use who don't have one. The students, can, of course, email anonymous to ask for a camera. And I don't think there would be a lot of social pressure anyway, since not having a smart phone is often considered a hipster style thing.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Job ads crowdsourcing thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory