Thursday, 27 March 2008
Monday, 24 March 2008
In particular I was taken by:
- Mitch Benn's use of podcasts to release "extra" material to his fans, that wasn't used on the BBC's Now Show. [They only used 2 of the 3 songs he wrote each week, so why not release the B-side?] It strikes me that academics could do the same with extra bits of information/comment - some students might listen some might not, in the same way that I might listen to Mitch Benn's extras whilst 'er indoors just listens to The Now Show. We're both still fans...
- The use of podcasts to refresh a relationship with an existing audience, or to extend a personal relationship to a new following. In this, the role of "value added" content is critical - it made me realise the importance of the material that we have to say to our listeners/students.
- The personal, unscripted, one-to-one relationship that a podcast can portray to listeners is often very powerful.
Friday, 21 March 2008
A simple search of student groups for Ryerson University reveals 269 groups - are their owners/admin all to be punished? Staff as well?
I like the following quote from news.yahoo from a Uni of Toronto Media Studies professor:
In an interview, philosophy and media studies professor Megan Boler said that all universities encourage collegiality and discussion and that meeting online is actually very transparent because there are traces and records of everything discussed.
"Of course we want to ensure academic integrity, but I think academic freedom andMaybe the real issue is progressive pedagogy and rethinking assessment to chime with post- are equally important, unless we expect students to study in total isolation," she said.Fordist working practices.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Malcolm, Jon and I all headed off to Manchester Met on Monday for our lovely CAMEL meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and storyboard our media briefing paper on building collaborative, co-operative networks to support e-learning. So, what did we learn?
- Don't go to MMU and expect lunch or afternoon tea. [:>0]
- Brainstorming can be problematic when there is no chairperson.
- The Lass O'Gowrie is a lovely pub with very forgiving clientele.
- Terry Mayes is an excellent, hands-off, yet focused critical friend.
- We think there are the following barriers to the development of a collaborative co-operative culture: poor internal communication; individual staff, technical fears; the lack of local champions, or champions, who aimed to high; a poor vision or strategy or a lack of leadership; the intractability of middle management; silo-working (not invented here); a lack of inspiration; appropriate support and institutional structures, in terms of timetabling, workloads, available finance etc.
- These are complex barriers, but we thought that there were several enablers, which emerged: more flexible models of staff development; more flexible models of communication; the development of cross-institutional teams and new human networks; institutional leadership at a variety of levels, including the huge importance of inspirational champions.
The following evidence has been taken from our draft flyer...
Over the past year, the e-Learning Co-ordinators have been working with key people across the university on the Higher Education Academy/JISC Pathfinder Project. This nationwide project involved 28 institutions with completion by May 2008. We have been exploring the potential for using Web 2.0 technologies in the curriculum. The programme for the day includes a keynote speech from Lawrie Phipps of JISC on “Learner-expectations, technology and formal/informal learning”, together with the following choice of workshops, that have been borne out of our own and others work in the field of Web 2.0 and education.
9.30 – 10.00 Registration and refreshments
10.00 - 10.30 Welcome: Professor Steve Baskerville, Richard Hall, where next for DMU?
10.30 – 11.15 Keynote 1: Lawrie Phillips [JISC]: learner expectations of technology
11.15 – 11.45 Thinking time and refreshments
11.45 – 12.45 Morning Workshops 1 [details below]
12.45 – 13.45 Lunch
13.45 – 14.45 Afternoon Workshops 2 [details below]
14.45 – 15.15 Thinking time and refreshments
15.15 – 16.00 Keynote 2: Dr Nicky Whitton [MMU]: Games, Technology and learning
1. Introducing podcasts into the curriculum and their reception by students
Malcolm Andrew (HLS) will be showcasing how he developed and integrated video podcasts within Blackboard to support Year 2 Pharmacy students and will show student feedback from this exercise. He will give an overview of the technology and will provide recommendations for other practitioners who are thinking of using it.
2. Social networking and educational bookmarking
Heather Conboy (Humanities) and Steve Mackenzie (HLS) will demonstrate and discuss models for extending student engagement through social networking and educational bookmarking tools, like del.icio.us, Ning.com and Facebook
3. Using wikis to enhance group tasks
Mike Leigh and Lucy Mathers(CSE) will highlight the impact of using wikis in Blackboard on student group work, whilst Jon Philpott (Registry) will offer insights into how wikis can be used by staff teams to build shared knowledge bases
4. Building and engaging with personal learning environments
Derek Harding (Teeside University) will lead a discussion about the use of tools like iGoogle to build Personal Learning Environments with students and to enhance personalisation of their learning.
5. Embedding mobile technologies in the classroom
Tim Linsey (Kingston University) has been involved with the Rapid Reaction project at Kingston University. He will lead a session on developing your use of mobile and handheld technologies to support student learning.
6. Multi-media in the curriculum
Jon Tyler and Richard Chipps (AAD) will demonstrate the development and embedding of streaming video and make recommendations for other practitioners
7. Student engagement and motivation with Web 2.0 tools
Harish Ravat (BAL) will lead a discussion about the need for a change in our e-learning practice in HE, in light of student expectations and the rise of web-based tools like Facebook, del.ici.us and YouTube.
8. How would a weblog blog on a weblog blog if a weblog could blog blogs?
What do you mean that the title doesn’t make sense! Mohammed Kassam (HR), and Alan Brine and Phil Adams (Library) will give tips on common-sense blogging for readers and writers in order to enhance the student experience.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
What is it about a Web site that might make it literally irresistible?
While there is a certain grand mystery to some aspects of human behavior, others can be easily explained. Just find yourself a garden-variety house cat, along with a $10 laser pointer.
Many cat owners know that the lasers are the easiest way to keep the pet amused. The cats will ceaselessly, maniacally chase it as it's beamed about the room, literally climbing the walls to capture what they surely regard as some form of ultimate prey.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
It's always good when you find someone respected in the field (Steve Hargadon) who tells it how it is (will be)!!
The beauty of Web 2.0 tools is that they are simple for staff and students. All it means for Staff is a tiny little bit of up front effort in thinking about how web 2.0 tools can be applied effectively to their teaching situation. Miracle results will not happen overnight, but immediate benefits can be seen.
Web 2.0 tools do not replace current methods of teaching, they enhance existing teaching and learning methods. Variety can be added to learning tasks increasing the enjoyment for both students and Staff.
The best way to learn about web 2.o tools is to use them as a student, as a lifelong learner. Institutions can help teachers to speed up the process of integrating web 2.0 tools effectively into there armoury of teaching and learning tools by offering short courses firstly on technicalities and secondly on good pedagogic practices.
Vote for Web 2.0 and be on the winning side!! (and you'll enjoy it). If you are not sure of web 2.0 - I'd say you need to give it a chance, look out for workshops run by Richard Hall and your e-learning faculty co-ordinators. Check out the DMU blackboard e-learning staff support site for other good background information.
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
'I came across this on "Social:Learn"'. The author notes that "higher education in general) needs to find ways of embracing the whole web 2.0, social networking world, and that the only way to understand this stuff is to do it."
So what were the lessons learned from last week's ELESIG event?
- Upskilling staff to be both reactive and proactive in their use of technologies is central to connecting students' uses of technologies to the development of their critical literacies.
- Higher education needs to stop chasing "cool". There are core academic values that we want to develop, and it may be that some institutions build a digital reputation that connects into those core academic values and provides a framework within which students can define themselves and succeed. However, institutions are unlikely to stay ahead of the technological game, given that students are so fleet of foot and universities are so unwieldy.
- Helen Beetham made the point that evidence from learners defined some clear challenges for institutional values and cultures. She posited that a crunch point may be coming, where academic issues, for instance, around the centrality of subject knowledge or plagiarism clashed with 21st century learning that is predicated upon building social capital, by way of mashing, reusing and re-presenting the work of others.
- There is a growing theme around the creation of on demand, personal learning environments, in which the individual learners experiences (rather than institutional e-Learning drivers) enable the aggregation of relevant tools. Connected to this, Oxford Brookes University, highlighted that they are embedding the notion of the digitally literate learner in their new institutional e-Learning Strategy and also within validations. Through our e-Learning Champions and programme development checklists at validation and periodic review, we engage with these issues. However, I wonder whether DMU needs to have a more overtly didactic, Brookesian approach that forces the issue of engaging with digitally literate learners, rather than expecting that staff will engage with the issue.
- As ever, there was only tentative engagement with the learner's role in society and the institutional contribution to that. The central theme seemed to be what the learner values in higher education, and whether we can help learners achieve some resilience in managing their learning. However, Mel from South Bank argued against the "destructive effect of transmission learning" and highlighted that we still see so much of that through the use of our institutional VLEs. It was also interesting to pick up the throwaway remark from one of the presenters about adding value to "the technologies that are provided for them (students)". For me, there are several untapped areas.
- I am with those who argue that higher education is a democratic project, and that (it into the work of Ronald Barnett) it can be made socially empowering through a learner's coming to understand their subject area, themselves and their world, and coming to act in it. This social empowerment, and the cultural and social capital which follows, needs more understanding.
- I am less interested in community, and more in participation and association. How do individuals associate or disassociate, become enfranchised or disenfranchised, participate or step away, and why? What therefore is the impact of PLEs on learner engagement, motivation and achievement, both in higher education and society?
- In terms of transition, progression and retention, how do technologies and the ways in which academics engaged with them, connect into student's emotional development? What is the impact upon digital natives, digital immigrants, employer engagement, mature students, etc?
Friday, 7 March 2008
Despite being into the latest gadgets and gizmos, young people aren't as savvy as their elders when it comes to looking after themselves online, according to research published today.