Yesterday I gave a talk at the Learning on Screen conference, which was hosted at the OU, with the title of 'Academic output as collateral damage.' The talk arose from two recent events: the first was the public engagement day at the OU, which I felt was a bit old media and didn't really address the idea of academics producing digital outputs as part of their everyday practice. Jonathan Sanderson commented on 'public engagement as collateral damage', which was too good a phrase not to pinch. The second was the slidecast I produced for George Siemens and Dave Cormier's course, which both explored these issues a bit more and was also an example of the type of output I had in mind.
The (poor audio quality) slidecast is below:
My main points were that you can view higher education as a long tail content production system. And if you are producing this stuff as a by-product of what you do anyway then a host of new possibilities open up. You can embrace unpredictability – which if you are spending £1000s on a TV series you don't want, but online unpredictability is a good thing, it's where all the innovation comes from. But most importantly I think it means we can do things we couldn't do before – George and Dave's open course is an example of this and we've only just begun to explore the possibilities that this new relationship with content affords.