Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Learning virtually hands on can be a life saver


Kingston University & the University of London are using Second Life to train paramedic students.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Schools & FE - Open Source Software


On the e-pulse - informative site. It quotes Moodle is used in 56% of schools and FE.

Attention Economy: The Game

Attention Economy is a game developed by Ulises Mejias and designed to let students explore the dynamics of building a reputation on-line and to understand how roles impact hubs and newbies in social networks.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Man being sued for libel over comments on eBay

Here's another! Two in one day.  To be honest in my previous posting, a thought deep inside me was that this can only happen in places like Japan.  What'd you know someone is sueing another person for using eBay's feedback feature claiming libel.  I mean that's what a feedback facility is there for isn't it?!

Woman in jail over virtual murder

As virtual worlds and real world merge in our everyday life, so is transgression.  The BBC reports that a woman was arrested in Japan after she allegedly became furious and  killed her virtual husband on an online game after he divorced her.


Thursday, 23 October 2008

Blogs ...cont'd

Seen this? http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=403827&c=2... its no surprise academics tread carefully in blogging where they are known in their profession and on institutional systems as with any profession their is a code of conduct; your audience of your blogging entries affects how and what you may write. Uncertainly can arise from both corners (students/tutors) using the blog in a learning context and on institutional platforms if objectives, expectations and guidance is unclear and feedback is irregular. ..the good news is a lot of studies have shown the benefits of blogging for students when these concerns are addressed...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

EDMODO? - another microblogging tool


Will need to have play...

Blogs are alive and kicking!

Interesting points raised in the Wired magazine article that the previous blog posting links to. Yes I know blogs are reaching saturation perhaps, and 90% of users never go beyond the first page of search results in search engines. So if your blog or website is not on Google's first page then is it really not worth existing?! Well I personally think not.

Blogs can be used for a variety of things - for example personal reflection is one where ever you have an internet connection (most modern mobiles support mobile blogging). Project logs, niche areas where audiences will be small.

I suppose those who are in for the vanity writing will need thousands of visits a day to motivate them to write. But many of us upload to blogs for a niche i.e. this blog, With a marginally small audience compared
to the big boys. Even if there weren't any readers, I'd still use a blog for a place to bookmark important pages and stories for myself, if others want to benefit then they are most welcome. But for me this blog
is a conveinient virtual area to store my findings and ideas to assist recall in the future.

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel in their book remind us that blogging is about having conversations - even at the least, with yourself; apparently Mad scientists got their name because they wanted to talk to rationalise there theories, but couldn't tell anyone because of the fear of imitation, so they talked to themselves.

Comparing blogs to modern methods of communication - some of us have conversations with the entire world (media moguls and news editors), some of us to organisations (newsletters), some to groups (lectures and seminars), and some to ourselves (diaries). In the same way that it would be difficult for me to create a media empire and converse with the world, blogging has somewhat shifted phases now and to reach a wide audience may have become somewhat difficult. But that doesn't mean blogging is dead, blogging is reaching maturity where the serious are being separated from the frivolous, the committed from the uncommitted. Blogging is here to stay plain and simple, whilst twitter and facebook will perhaps suit others.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

blogs are dead?

Kill your blog, apparently, unless you happen to be a pro-blogger with hundreds of readers. In order to get through to people and be heard you might as well Twitter and comment on the big blogs, which have taken all the bandwidth anyway. If having an audience is what you want then forget it or join the big boys. Or maybe you just want a diary and a few trusted commentators...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Web content 'disturbing children'

The charity wants websites to direct children to help and advice

Three out of four children have seen images on the internet that disturbed them, an NSPCC.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Institutional Use of Web 2.0 Tools

Some interesting points made on the Epic blog about introducing Web 2.0 tools. Sensible, but I wonder whether we are better off ignoring 1 [Engage your policy makers from the very start] and just doing it anyway. Let custom and usage hold sway - a truly democratic approach, as befits the extension of civil society that is the read/write web. As for 4 [Pilot the use of social media tools initially on a small scale using cheap, readily available tools] why introduce your own tools rather than letting people aggregate and congregate their own spaces on the web? I know, I know, IPR, data protection, SPAM, but doesn't creating your own spaces negate the power of 8 [These tools (and their use) are always evolving so see the entire process of adoption as an ongoing pilot ] and 10 [The value of social media tools can far outweigh the risks ]?

Saturday, 18 October 2008


This is Howard Rheingold's new development designed, according to the site, to:
  • "to create more free value" through "an integrated set of social media that each course can use for its own purposes";
  • "to grow a public resource of knowledge and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media in learning"; and
  • accommodate those with "a common interest in using social media to afford a more student-centric, constructivist, collaborative, inquiry-oriented learning".
It has a classroom and collaboratory containing integrated read/write web [they use Web2.0] tools. I am intrigued by: "the conviction that an integrated set of tools would make it far easier to integrated multiple new communication modes into the learning process, and to the discovery that the use of these tools and collaborative inquiry hold the potential for engaging students more actively and passionately in learning, by making them responsible for formulating and pursuing questions, rather than for memorizing a body of knowledge". Intuitively this seems right, but I'd like to see the research evidence.

This is just the kind of thing Blackboard would say, huh? But they are for-profit, whereas socialmediaclassroom is open source and not-for-profit and Web2.0 and community-oriented and student-centred...

...and states that "Knowing how to use social media productively is becoming more and more important to business enterprises and civil society. " I'm disappointed that it's business first, civil society second. Elsewhere it talks of "the emergence of a market for intelligent information-filtering and knowledge-dissemination". Not sure what form the transactions in that market will take. The site is quiet on that one and I'm concerned about that to be honest, as more stuff gets uploaded and more transactions take place. In part this is because I just can't find the IPR/copyright/creative commons statement on the site. But then I couldn't find the tomato ketchup for my eggs this morning either...

I'm also not sure what I think about the risks of this community-Web2.0-extended-VLE approach rather than tool/RSS aggregation, facilitated by a tutor, that lets student aggregate their resources in their own places having made their own decisions. Or maybe we do want some more free ranging in a controlled environment rather than lone ranging on the web by students - the risks are maybe higher in an unlimited, de-regulated web.

Anyway, I look forward to the robust, pedagogic evaluation of the SMC. Moreover, I look forward to the modelling that might appear around a centred, one-stop-Web 2.0-shop, as opposed to an aggregated approach. But for the moment I'll carry on with Netvibes, Twitter, Facebook, grou.ps and the rest...

Friday, 17 October 2008

mash-ups and sample - what does noise-thievery tell us about digital plagiarism?

An excellent discussion of music-sampling and mash-ups, alongside approaches to creative expression and re-editing, with some thoughts on lazy approaches to music generation, on this week's "In New Music We Trust", hosted by Pete Tong last night. I found the notion that where a producer/artist does not, for instance, have the skill to create their own bass line, or where the one they want already exists, they might borrow/sample/re-edit it in a new format. Digital technologies make this easier and more accessible. Which makes copyright-management, citation, acknowledgement important.

The "cutting and pasting of styles" in forging a new style is really creative, apparently, although it can also encourage a lack of creativity and laziness. So do we need new rules or approaches to producing and assessing creative, digitally-manufactured content, given the portable, user-friendly, fleet-of-foot technologies that we have?

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Cotil project start up HEA

Yesterday saw a trip to York for the start up project meeting for our Cotil ( Web 2 - Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning) project - we are one of seven funded in the current round by HEA e-Learning Research Observatory. We’ve actually started well into the Cotill project with what appear to be two good case studies in the Faculty of Humanities.. one in Education Studies with student mentors (along with the DMU Transitions team) and another with Chris Goldsmith’s Politics students .

The startup was all about consolidating plans, sharing ‘issues’ and identifying commonalities with representatives from the other projects - ( Sheffield Hallam, Exeter, Anglia Ruskin, Leicester, UCLAN and Writtle College), as well as tips and updates on completed projects. We had much in common with UCLAN and Writtle on transitions-related research, but other themes were of interest to work going on across the faculties, such as on feedback, feed foreward and colleagues at Leicester are building on previous Impala4T project on podcasts, which will have synergies with an upcoming project here at DMU. Exchanges were lively and informative and in general quite a laid-back day (except for Richard, whose train journey was a little too laid-back for his liking).

Monday, 13 October 2008

Fifty Ways to save money online

OK so I know this blog is dedicated to e-learning at DMU.  But I supposed that there would be a connection.  First of all many of us do work or study in an Educational establishment, we tend to be always the suckers for good bargains, and if your reading this blog then you probably tend to do lots online, and you probably read The Guardian too (ok I may be wrong here).

But I came across this and figured that many of you would find this article useful in finding bargains online, especially in these financially testing times we're in. I particularly liked pricecutreview.com/uk as it helps finding bargains at Amazon, with Eid, Diwali, and Christmas coming up I think with a bit of pre-planning you be able to save a few bob. 

Enjoy and use the comments feature here to let us know any special bargains you got online.


Google - Things to do

"Just Google it!" - How many times do you here that nowadays.  Google has become more or less synonymous to searching on the internet!  But what else can you do using Google!  Here is a page I found on the Internet with some video clips of all the weird and wonderful things you can do with Google.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Blogs and online diaries should be part of school curriculum, says thinktank

The rise and rise of the YouTube generation, and how adults can help
"Schools, universities and businesses should prepare young people for an era where CVs may well be obsolete, enabling them to manage their online reputation," says the report.

Social networking sites to link recession redundancy victims

Social Networking sites are set to become the virtual solace zones for swathes of people becoming redundant in the current recession.  LinkedIn a site dedicted for those who fear they're to be made redundant, was until recently an underdog in the SN market, has recently claimed that it's had 28 million sign-ups lately especially from people from the finance industry.

Obama uses iPhone to win support

The US presidential candidate Barack Obama team have devloped an free to use application for the the iPhone as a political recruiting tool.  I wonder if the same can be done for students attending lectures or receiving alerts for updates from their tutors etc.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

iTunes U Education

Has this been blogged about before? Reason I'm saying this is because its apparently been around since 2006 available in the US. The latest news is that the University of Oxford have their own section in this read more at http://www.macworld.co.uk/education/news/index.cfm?newsid=23052.
Education podcast, vodcasts for free (I've not checked it all though!) . Find out more here http://www.apple.com/education/itunesu_mobilelearning/itunesu.html

One thing about having free publicly available podcast's etc is that it gives your institution exposure and publicity and therefore could be used as a marketing tool; oh yes as well as an educational tool!

Mohammed has blogged about this too!

Oxbridge lectures play on iTunes

A growing number of universities are distributing lectures through iTunes

Oxford and Cambridge University are to make lectures by leading academics available through iTunes.