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    Doomed, entombed and marooned

    In my book launch yesterday (I'll blog that later), I used a Dad's Army clip to summarise some of the feelinsg of angst and criticism around digital scholarship:   I think this is a pretty good summary of some of the anxieties: Doomed – a kind of technological dystopian view, such as Nicholas Carr's The Shallows. It doesn't matter what we do, we're all destined to become stupid, dysfunctional and somehow, lessened by the technology. Entombed – the 'we are slaves' to technology type view, for example Lanier's You are not a Gadget. We are placing technology in too powerful a position and dehumanising ourselves in the process. Some of…

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    Open writing and the integrity of the book

    This is the last of my reflections on the book writing process, for now anyway, so you can all stand down now. In this post I want to explore a bit of the tension between being generally open and the book as artifact. I have blogged small sections of the book as I have gone along, and also parts of the book are based on existing posts. I have wondered whether this open pre-publication approach will undermine the book itself. In an earlier post I mentioned how the book could be seen as being one element in a wider set of resources, and how my online network had been so valuable in the writing process. So…

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    About

    I’m a Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK. I’m into exploring the impact of new technologies for learners and academics. Recently this has coalesced under the broad, inadequate heading of ‘digital scholarship. I chaired the first major elearning course at the Open University, with around 15,000 students annually. I was the director for the VLE project and the SocialLearn project at the OU. I live in Cardiff, run quite slowly but regularly, support Spurs, have a VW camper van and read literary fiction sporadically.  Other places you can find me around and about are: Twitter: mweller Slideshare YouTube Flickr Tumblr scrapbook blog

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    Consultancy

    Although I work for the OU, I also do some consultancy on a part-time basis. I have acted as a consultancy on a number of projects including developing elearning content, advising on VLE adoption, and elearning advice. Current areas which I can offer expertise and advice on are: Use of new media by academic staff Digital scholarship policy Recognition of new outputs in tenure and promotion Open access policy and guidelines If you are interested in any of these or similar areas, and think I may be able to help, then contact me on edtechie [at] gmail.com

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    Three stages of a relationship breakup expressed in the lyrics of popular music: Part 3 Enlightenment

    In My Life – The Beatles These lyrics are so profound that they are less a meditation on love, but on life (if they can be so divided). They almost speak for themselves. Here’s the first two verses: There are places I remember All my life though some have changed Some forever not for better Some have gone and some remain All these places had their moments With lovers and friends I still can recall Some are dead and some are living In my life I've loved them all
 When we are able to say ‘I’ve loved them all’ and not seek revenge, not flinch from the embarassment, pain and…

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    Three stages of a relationship breakup expressed in the lyrics of popular music: Part 2 The hinterland

    Hi, Phil Greaney here. Martin is away on holiday, so I'm taking the reins here at Ed-Techie again. Today's guestblog is in three parts and it's on songs of love, songs of hate. Time Passes – Paul Weller The movement from anger and resentment to sadness, uncertainty and curiosity is often subtle and imperceptible. As time passes, feelings change and we find acceptance. Paul Weller summarises this beautifully in his song ‘Time Passes’. Here’s the opening verse: I saw you today, or at least I think it was It's hard to say, we've both changed so much Compelled to look, but I hid my face It's hard to trace –…

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    Three stages of a relationship breakup expressed in the lyrics of popular music: Part 1 Anger and revenge

    Hi, Phil Greaney here. Martin is away on holiday, so I'm taking the reins here at Ed-Techie again. Today's guestblog is in three parts and it's on songs of love, songs of hate. You can find my blog here. Living Well is the Best Revenge – REM Imagine the scene: a former couple meet, only weeks after their break up. Unable to avoid one another, they embark upon a barely amicable ‘update’. One says to the other through gritted teeth: ‘Me? What am I doing now? Oh – I’ve become a children’s doctor. I got the job after chatting to Ben Goldacre during a holiday in the Carribean. Of course,…

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    Foxed by the blog

    Foxed by the blog Martin is on holiday, so he has kindly asked me to write for his blog. An honour, no doubt and one I’m happy to oblige. But it’s also a duty for which I cannot help feeling ambivalent. Why? Because I feel an enormous weight on my shoulders: I had better write something good. And I’d better write it now – it’s late and dark; and beside the words you read now, the screen is emphatically empty. I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:* Something else is alive Beside the clock’s loneliness And this blank page where my fingers move. In his email, Martin told me I could…

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    Remote conference participation – results

    Last week I set up a discussion around the changing nature of conferences and particularly how remote, vicarious participation was impacting upon them and our practice. There has been some excellent discussion over in Cloudworks, so please check that out if the subject interests you. I also set up a quick 5 question survey on how people found remote participation. I had 53 responses (quite good I thought), so here are the results. The first three questions asked about how remote participation compared with face to face attendance on some of the main functions of conferences, namely networking, content and socialising. Here are the results: So for networking most people…

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    The REF – a digital scholarship perspective

    Having given an overview of the REF in my last post, in this one I will provide a commentary on it from a digital scholarship perspective. As readers will probably know, I’m not a fan of such exercises in general – the inevitable experimenter’s effect phenomena comes into play, particularly when there is considerable money involved, with the result that we don’t encourage new, exploratory types of behaviour. But let’s put aside these more general reservations, and look at the REF proposal itself. My particular take on this is to what extent does it reward, recognise, encourage activities which we might broadly term digital scholarship? From this perspective the REF…

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