Logging On

Cheryl Ball, Editor

I've been putting off writing this editor's column for quite some time, in an attempt to summarize some of the rapidly developing events and updates in digital rhetoric, pedagogy, publishing, and related scholarly work since the start of 2020. The longer I procrastinated, the more our world seemed to be upending itself and the more pressure I felt to write something even smarter than I might typically write (isn't that how it always goes?). Meanwhile, Senior Editor Douglas Eyman is teaching in South Korea this semester, and amidst the COVID-19 quarantines and shutdowns happening around the world, Kairos seemed the least of our worries. (To be totally transparent, Doug is healthy and safe and has been completely on top of the journal game all semester. He has been encouraging and supporting me through some unexpected challenges, even as he's been forced to teach from his temporary home since early February in a country he was meant to explore and enjoy!)

Yet, the digital environments that we have been studying and teaching for decades positions this community as one of the most prepared to handle the changing pedagogical situations on the ground. Let us do our work, but do it simply—as this column will ultimately be done—and support those around us who can benefit from our expertise. I'll remind folks of Cindy Selfe's famous saying: People first, pedagogy second, technology third. If you have family to attend to, do so first. If you have students to attend to, do so as well, but stick-footin' it is totally appropriate when it comes to your pedagogy. And then only use the technologies you absolutely need to complete your work. And stay in touch with your friends virtually, which we are all pretty good at anyways.

A pencil drawing of a horse that starts with the hindquarters drawn very detailed with the inscription "Semester Begins" and then tapers off in detail to the horse's head, which is drawn in childlike cartoon style, with the inscription "Making Remote Teaching Plan" and concludes with a stick-figure leg and hoof, with the inscription "Actual Teaching."
A pencil drawing called "Teaching in 2020" made by Renea Frey, posted to the Pandemic Pedagogy Facebook group (March 13, 2020) with the caption, "I made a thing. We're all stick-footin' it now, people."

Quaratine yourself (as I am, thanks to a recent trip to Norway) and work from home, if you are able. Give sick time away to others who need it in the academy, if you have it and can spare it. We are in unusual and unprecedented times, and I don't need to tell you that. My advice is limited and not of much use in the scheme of things. I just want to relay my own priorities for these days, which is to hunker down, slow down even more, send as much good energy into the world as I can, take care of myself and those closest to me, and prepare for the fact that whatever this world looks like on the other side of this pandemic, it will be different, and that may be OK.

With that, I am skipping the formalities of writing up an overview of the whole issue in this column, because, well, you can read it yourself in our abstracted Table of Contents on the index page. There's a LOT of excellent scholarship, as always, on digital pedagogy and digital rhetoric, so we know you will find useful research to read and pass on to your students in this always-free, open-access journal.

I am also skipping our usually longer News and Comings and Goings section of the Logging On column just to say that Kairos IS hiring for the following positions: Reviews Co-Editors, Interviews Co-Editor, and Assistant Editors. If you applied for the Interviews or Reviews positions back in Fall 2019, you do not need to re-apply and your application will be reviewed with the new pool; we just needed some more time to get our house in order. New applications, and also nominations and queries, are welcome.

I had also hoped to announce that we'd be hosting another KairosCamp at Wayne State University this summer, but I'm not sure that's going to happen with the COVID quarantines slowing everyone down a fair bit (which, again, I think is a good thing for the collective). But stay tuned to Kairos's Facebook page and Twitter, where we will announce that information if we decide to proceed. (We were tentatively looking at the week after July 4, if you want to save the dates.)

Take care and wash yer hands and devices often. Enjoy the issue!