digital scholarship

  • conference,  digital scholarship,  twitter

    Social media as festive metaphors

    I gave the keynote at the Social Media in Higher Education conference on Tuesday. As it was the in the week before the Christmas break, I chose to adapt my social media choices as 70s disco track idea and use festive metaphors. First of all I emphasised the problems with using metaphors, and how festive metaphors can highlight this – not everyone celebrates Christmas, and not everyone celebrates it in the same way. The metaphor can therefore be excluding or get in the way of the point you are trying to make. I hope there was enough social recognition of the metaphors however for them to be meaningful. I wanted…

  • 25yearsedtech,  digital scholarship

    The never-ending story

    When I used to talk and write about digital/open scholarship a lot back around 2012, my go-to example related to the work Katy Jordan had done around MOOC completion rates. It was a good example of unintended, positive consequences of operating in the open, the benefits of sharing and the relationship between traditional and digital practice. A new, more self-centred version would relate to 25 Years of Ed Tech. It started as a blog series, became an openly licensed book, then a community audiobook which begat a podcast series, and has since returned to an ongoing blog series of 30 years of Ed Tech. All of this relied on the…

  • digital scholarship,  higher ed

    Don’t be excellent

    There is an understandable focus on quality and excellence in higher education – we have centres of excellence, the Research Excellence Framework, the Teaching Excellence Framework. Excellence or death is the unwritten motto. And I get it, a Centre for Mediocrity might not make the same splash in a prospectus. As an aside, can we _all_ be excellent, it implies to me something above the ordinary, and if excellence becomes the norm, then that is then ordinary, and therefore not excellent? But philosophical semantics is not the point of this post, rather the continued pressure to always be excellent or striving for excellence can be counter productive. The message that…

  • digital implications,  digital scholarship,  higher ed

    Wanted – Frontier psychiatrists

    Back when the internet (or at least the web) was still relatively new, it caused a lot of reaction. People dismissed it (it’s the new CB fad), pointed out it’s limitations (it’s so slow), or decried it as the portent of doom (the end of universities). Treading between these predictions and prophecies was a tricky business. It seems obvious now that it would go on to impact almost every aspect of society, but that really wasn’t the case back in the late 90s. Any, none, or a mixture of the futures so confidently outlined by detractors and evangelists seemed possible on any given day. This is fairly normal for any…

  • 25YearsOU,  digital scholarship

    25 Years of OU: 2010 – podstars

    I became interested in the implications of new technology on academic practice towards the end of the 00s. This would later come under the digital scholarship term, and I’d write a book about it in 2012. At the OU I was promoting the idea of using free, low-entry tools to disseminate research, or add pieces into learning content. I ran a small project at this time called ‘Podstars‘ which sought to progress this approach. In this I got a number of volunteers from across the university. At the time smart phones weren’t a thing, so we loaned them all Flip video cameras (I loved a Flip). I got them together…

  • Books,  digital scholarship,  Weblogs

    Want to be a paperback writer

    I’d been pondering recently that when I was young, my sole ambition was to be a writer. My fifth book is about to be published, I blog, I write course material, produce reports and publish papers. Writing is pretty much all I do, and yet I would never describe myself as a ‘writer’ if someone asked what I did. Partly it’s because when I had in mind being a writer I dreamt of fiction, not ed tech books no-one reads. And also making my living from those books. But ambition is a peculiar beast, you get what you desire but don’t recognise it sometimes. I’ve managed to carve out a…

  • digital scholarship,  twitter

    Your house is a very fine house

    Generally I’m adverse to Twitter Quit Lit pieces (“How I turned off social media and learned to love life again”). I find them a) patronising (I’ve seen the truth and you poor suckers are caught in the trap), b) insulting and shallow (like when people live on minimum wage for a month and then make judgements about it) and c) egotistical (“I need to let my fans know I’m going offline, look everyone, I’m going offline!”). But with all that said, I have been thinking about social media usage, and taking more control over it recently. As the world turns ever more into a bad parody of a satire written…

  • Books,  conference,  digital scholarship,  higher ed

    Liminal spaces, folklore and networks

    At OER19 Kate Bowles’s keynote set me thinking, as she always does. She made the point that if we value things we should recognise them, so for example valuing ethical behaviour by institutions is encouraged by tables such as the Times Higher’s recent one linked to sustainable development goals. This chimed with recent thoughts on the invisibility of certain forms of academic labour. We don’t value much of the work that is done in social media, ephemeral spaces, networks, etc because we don’t recognise it in the same way as, say, books and articles. Straight after Kate’s talk was a session by David White in which he was encouraging us…

  • digital scholarship,  higher ed,  open education,  Presentation

    It’s all about me

    (This is a picture of a fish. I don’t know why it’s here either) Like many of you, I get asked to do bits of ‘scholarship on the side” – webinars, interviews, podcasts etc. These seem to have come in a burst recently, after not much in the preceding six months. Some of them are parts of interesting series, so partly because you may find these interesting, and also as a means of collecting them for my own purposes, here is a list of recent ‘other stuff’: Open Education: What Now? – This was a webinar for part of European Distance Learning Week, along with Catherine Cronin. Although we didn’t…

  • digital scholarship,  OU

    Social media, the academic & the university

    If you follow me on Twitter you may be aware that it’s been an eventful weekend. The Vice Chancellor of the Open University made some injudicious remarks dismissing what OU academics did as “not teaching”. He has since apologised, and suggests he was trying to make a different point (that OU academics used to have direct contact with students through summer schools but now don’t, and a more online focus could reinstate that contact. This I agree with and have been promoting the benefits of online events since making the annual OU conference open and online in 2010). The point of this post is not to discuss the statement, but…

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