As part of a new series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this third post I talk to Peter Reed, Lecturer (Learning Technology) at the University of Liverpool.
DH – Hi Peter. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life?
PR: Massively. Beyond it being part of the day job, I use a variety of different tools and technologies to make my work more efficient and effective. I use things like Dropbox, Evernote and Mendeley a lot as they synchronise across my devices so I can access things whenever I need to. I see my use of these tools as part of my own little backpack or toolbox to call on. Interestingly the tools I use haven’t really changed much over the past 3 years or so, which I think is because I’m quite critical about new software/technologies when my existing workflows are effective for me personally. Ultimately, I think that’s a big part of being a Learning Technologist – rather than using tools/technologies for the sake of it, there’s some thought and critique to apply the right tools for the job. Continue reading →
Whether you use the term digital footprint or digital image social identity or online profile or some variant, there is much discussion on and around how we portray ourselves online, and how those who access that see us.
It is even more important (to me: I have two young boys who will one day want to be active online) to make sure we inform and guide anyone new to this kind of activity and to putting themselves online (not just children or students, but anyone of any age) – what, how, where, why, etc. It is as important to demonstrate how to do it as much as how not to do it, and why we do something and why we don’t.
There are plenty of examples of online behaviour causing a great deal of personal tragedy or loss – I presented about it a few years ago. What I have learned since then is there are so many people doing some great work in this to help people of all ages find their place and voice online, safely. Lisa Nielson posted this week on some great work by the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) who worked with students, parents, and teachers to formulate their guidelines for social media use. Continue reading →
“Contemporary approaches to the digital transformation of practice in university research and teaching sometimes assume a convergence between the digital and openness. This assumption has led to the idea of ‘digital open scholarship,’ which aims to open up scholarship to participants from outside academic scholarly communities. But scholarship, digitality and openness exist in tension with each other – we can see the individual features of each, but we cannot make sense of the whole picture. It resembles an ‘impossible triangle’. Particularly confounding is the tension between digital scholarship and open knowledge, where the former is focused on the creation by specialist communities of knowledge of a stable and enduring kind, whilst the latter is characterised by encyclopaedic knowledge and participation that is unbounded by affiliation or location. However, we need not be permanently thwarted by the apparent impossibility of this triangle. It is a stimulus to look critically at the contexts of practice in which a relationship between scholarship, digitality and openness is sought. Constructive examples of such critique can be found in the emerging research field of literacy and knowledge practice in the digital university.”
Thanks to Jay Cross for this short and sweet 2 minute video on ‘Network Fluency’. With the Internet and the connections we make through it we have enabled ourselves and our learning to take a new level.
“Connections begat connections. Soon everything was connected to everything else. A parallel universe sprang up alongside society, the Internet became an integral part of business and leisure: those who weren’t fluent and using the ‘net were marginalised. Not only that but everything happened faster and faster and you were required to proclaim your ‘network identity’ and figure out what you were going to do. And what you’re going to do is become fluent in the way networks work.”
Jay goes on to highlight three main areas where we need to be to become ‘fluent': making sense of stuff, giving back, collaboration, and connection.
Tagged as a report “exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers” the Innovating Pedagogy 2013 from the Open University is intended for teachers, policy makers, academics and anyone interested in how education may change over the next ten years.
The 2013 report highlights, for the coming 10 years according to timescale and impact:
Last night I read the excellent post by Simon Finch – “Privacy is gone, live with it” – (@simfin) in which he considers the “complex and changing nature of identity, perception and consequences of naive digital citizenship” and outlines three possible groupings:
“I’ve not got time for Twitter and Facebook, I’m too busy doing real work and besides the internet is full of liars, thieves and weirdos.”
Harder to define but it’s more about the “spectrum on which we travel, rather than somewhere we are firmly placed.”
“Not the Top Group. Not the Best group. This isn’t a competition”
What strikes me about Simon’s post is the well articulated way in which he highlights and describes his online presence and that it’s not only what we post and share is what defines us, but what we’re associated to (whether we know it or not).
“… if you post nothing anywhere then your identity will simply be references by others about the places you’ve been and the things you’ve said and done – ‘This is the worst conference ever (with Simon Finch)’. If I make no contribution, then it appears we are like minded and negative individuals.”
As with Simon I am known as much for my (prolific?) tweeting and blogging as for sharing photos of family, friends, days-out, home/work life, etc. Continue reading →
Following on from my own work on the impact of employability and (y)our online reputation (and the collaboration with Sue Beckingham in 2012) the following video will not come as a surprise. Sidneyeve Matrix, from Queens University Canada, is an Associate Professor and researches the digital environment(s) and their impact on us professionally and personally, as well as how we allow them impact our lives.
This is Sidneyeve’s keynote from the 2013 AACE Educational Media and Technology (EdMedia) conference back in June. What is good here is the flip side of the work I’ve done before – this is about how we as the worker, employee, and employer, view ourselves online, and what we can do to enhance our personal brand and encourage collaboration.
What is at the core of an online course or a MOOC? You could argue it’s the academic integrity of the materials or learning. It could be the level of student engagement in required activities. I would argue that (even if not at the core, but very close to it) should be the expectations placed on the students both academically and technically!
There’s no point having a good (large, massive?) number of students enrolled on the course if you already know that a proportion of them are not technically or academically capable of engaging or completing the course. Is this one of the criticisms of MOOCs?
If you’ve been away (for a long long time) you may not have heard about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). If you’ve been away for only a short time you’ll know of these things, but you may not have heard of Futurelearn.
In short, Futurelearn is the first UK-led “multi-institutional platform for free, open, online courses” whose aim is to “increase access to higher education for students in the UK and around the world by offering a diverse range of high quality courses through a single website.”
All good stuff so far. With the experience and weight of The Open University behind it, and partners including the British Library, the British Council and other leading UK Universities (Leicester, Bath, Warwick, Cardiff, etc.) it poses a significant investment of time and energy to ‘do it right’. Futurelearn
“believe there is great potential to change the way people access high quality higher education. With our partners, we are seizing the opportunity to create amazing new learning experiences, twinned with a clear pathway to qualifications for those that want them.”
In this article on the Times Higher Education website today – “Futurelearn’s boss on breaking into MOOCs” – Simon Nelson (Futurelearn CEO) claims the course platform “has the potential to become a social networking site for the student community as popular as Facebook”.
I’m a Learning Technologist. Regular readers will know I have an interest in using, and understanding how we can use, Social Media and Social Networks with students and learning. It’s not just about helping students understand their ‘digital footprint’, or improving their digital literacy, or how their actions online can affect their employability. It is also about using the different tools and techniques for learning and Social Media and Social Networks are a valuable source of learning materials from many different cultures and backgrounds.
Which is why this book is of interest to me – ‘Using Social Media in the Classroom‘ by Megan Poore. Billed as a book that provides “an overview of different types of digital technologies” it is more important to me and how I work that it also covers more contextual and “constructive guidance on how to safely and intelligently use them as tools for learning”. All good stuff I hope you’ll agree.
This quote from Megan is key to the understanding of the benefits for communication, collaboration, participation and socialisation of, and in, education:
“One of the most exciting features of social media for education is precisely their socialness. They allow us to break out of the paradigm of the monolithic learner into the more intricate and complex world of constructivist, active, and situated pedagogies.” (p. 8)