• web 2.0

    The Connected Academic quiz!

    In the course I run we developed the concept of the connected learner. I think the connected academic is now also a distinct category. It is more than just engagement with technology, it is to do with attitudes towards value, pedagogy, openness, etc. Anyway, in a fit of boredom I created the Connected Academic quiz (courtesy of Gotoquiz.com). It’s a tongue in cheek affair. Go ahead and try it, it’ll only take a minute or so and it might raise a smile. Let me know if you think there are other questions I should have asked.

  • Weblogs

    What value is blogging to your organisation

    Today I received an email with an offer to become a paid blogger for Wide Open Education (I’m sure they approached a few people simultaneously).  They, very wisely, want to raise their profile in the blogosphere and were happy to pay someone a reasonable sum to do this. It would be impolite to say how much, not a full salary certainly, but a reasonable amount for someone who could do it as a by-product of their day job. I said no, because although I post on open content and open source, it isn’t my main field of interest and so to keep up the volume of posts required I felt…

  • e-learning

    OpenLearn Netvibes Universe

    Stuart Brown has developed a Netvibes Universe for openlearn which pulls in all the openlearn material and mixes it with some widgets and tools.  It’s neat and reinforces the feeling I’ve had for a while that Pageflakes and Netvibes are not far off being a learning environment, at least an individual one. The question I ask whenever I see this stuff (usually via Stuart or Tony Hirst) is why are universities, including my own, still persisting in developing their own portals? Anyway, have a look and a play.

  • e-learning,  web 2.0

    Battleground future

    A few people have been blogging about the battle for the future (coming to a cinema near you), particularly as it relates to how people feel about technological change. Stowe Boyd has been getting in to some good discussions. After Virginia Postrel he calls web 2.0 detractors enemies of the future. He says that Postrel “argues that these conflicting views of progress, rather than the traditional left and right, increasingly define our political and cultural debate.” I think there might be something in this. Left and right, as others have argued, are in some ways definitions from the last century. Other polar opposites have been suggested such as fundamentalism and…

  • Web/Tech

    Email’s sick bed

    In 1997 John Naughton explained to me that he needed a kind of online journal to keep track of all his thoughts around stuff he found online. He created one himself in HTML. He was describing what we would come to know as a blog. It took me ten years to then become a blogger. So, last week when John said he thought email was unusable now, even though I didn’t have the same sense of it myself, I thought I wouldn’t wait ten years to come to the same conclusion. I was away for 4 days recently, when I came back I had 159 emails (actually quite a low…

  • web 2.0

    Class divide in Facebook and MySpace

    Danah Boyd has an interesting essay about class divide in Facebook and MySpace (in short Facebook = middle class, MySpace = working class). I think there is something in this, I’ve always felt happy promoting Facebook as an educational platform, but I’m a bit snobbish about MySpace. It may be an aesthetic thing, a content thing or even a Murdoch thing, but I, and increasingly more of my colleagues, have a Facebook profile, but we don’t have a MySpace site. It reminds me of when I was young – you were either an ITV or a BBC household, particularly with regards to kids TV. We were BBC – Swap shop…

  • VLE

    Democrats and Revolutionaries (in a technological sense)

    Due to popular demand (okay, Scott Leslie asked me to expand on it in a comment), I thought I’d say some more about the notion of democrats and revolutionaries with regards to VLEs. It’s set out in chapter 2 of my VLE book, but here’s a summary.  I borrowed the idea of technology following a normal distribution curve as it moves in to the mainstream from Wolfgang Greller, (although it all comes from Rogers), particularly the idea that at a certain point institutional responses kick in, such as staff development. Either side of this institutional tipping point are two distinct groups of academics – the democrats and the revolutionaries. These…

  • Asides

    In defence of Cicero

    I watched the first part of the second series of Rome on BBC last night. As I’ve mentioned before, my favourite Roman (there’s a question they never ask pop stars or footballers – favourite meal ‘Spaghetti bolognaise’, ‘Favourite Roman’ ‘errrm’) is Cicero. I think the series does him a disservice and portrays him as rather slimy, and driven only by ambition (Paul Levinson agrees). Now, admittedly he was ambitious and rather ambiguous too in some of his actions, but I’ve always interpreted him as having the Republic as a concept as his main driving belief. This sometimes forced him in to some uncomfortable alliances, but he was willing to compromise…

  • VLE

    The centralisation/decentralisation dilemma

    In my previous post I talked about future learning environments. One of the things about the ‘future’ scenario (apart from it never turning out quite how you expect it) is that it’s very decentralised. It is likely that there won’t be one VLE, but rather different flavours of one, depending on the subject area and the individual student. This begins to sound rather familiar – in fact it’s rather like the situation many universities are currently shifting away from with their VLE provision. They had a confusing array of VLEs dotted around different faculties, with each area or individual having their pet favourite and now want to consolidate on one…

  • e-learning,  VLE,  web 2.0

    Future learning environments (the talk I never gave)

    I was supposed to give a keynote at University of London this week, but I was laid up with a really bad chest infection (I blog heroically today). If anyone from there is reading this, my apologies. Below is the talk I was going to give. It was about future learning environments. The first half is familiar stuff – looking at the current state of play and setting out the succession model. The main slide is the penultimate one. Here I wanted to demonstrate all the different dimensions to a future learning environment. So I have the following elements and examples: Open content – examples are iTunesU, Openlearn and Slideshare.…