Metaphors podcast round-up

Because I figure I spam my socials enough with blog posts, I haven’t been announcing each podcast episode release. I’m opting for the mid-spam option then of rounding up some recent episodes in one post, as a reminder that it exists mainly. You can find all the episodes and links to your preferred podcast platform here. In chronological order here are the episodes and some thoughts on them:

Why metaphors and ed tech – the intro to the book really, setting out why metaphors are of interest themselves, and why I think they’re useful as a means of framing educational technology. This was before I pilfered the good mic from Maren, so the audio quality isn’t as good. I’m finding my way a bit in this one.

The Internet Trinity – a short episode, drawing on this chapter. I like this idea of revisiting early metaphors we applied to the web (eg “we are all broadcasters now”) and re-examining them in light of what we now know. I did this again in a recent blog post with metaphors of the internet (eg the Super Information Highway) and how these shaped our thinking.

Castell Coch and Rewilding – I’m beginning to get the hang of it now, and this structure of two metaphors per episode is what follows. These are two of my favourites. First, how the castle near my house (I can see it from my home office window) acts as a metaphor for silicon valley investment in education, and the desire for credibility. Second, the application of the concept of rewilding to our use of educational technology in institutions and a move away from the VLE monoculture.

VAR and VLEs – speaking of VLEs… This episode riffs off the paper by Farrelly, Costello and Donlon to think about different metaphors we apply to the VLE and how we might all be sitting in a room arguing about it, but have completely different mental models as to the role it performs. The application of VAR (Video assisted refereeing) to football is a powerful metaphor I think for the application of technologies such as Learning Analytics (or ChatGPT) to education. I’m not sure I quite bottom it out though. I was watching football at the weekend and the question occurred to me that VAR was inevitable in many ways, but would many in football say it has improved the game or made it more enjoyable? The application of such technology forces us to question, what is the fundamental point of the endeavour in the first place?

Digital Natives and Uber for Education – rant time!

The Rebecca Riots and Hunter Gatherers – two rather involved metaphors. The Rebecca Riots were a series of uprising in West Wales during the 19th century against greedy toll-owners. They provide, in my view, the perfect metaphor for the deteriorating relationship between educators and academic publishers. The exclusion or diminishing of women’s contributions to hunter gatherer societies in early anthropology provides a useful perspective for much of labour in open practice. This is an example where my broad reach for metaphors leaves me a bit uncomfortable as I dabble in areas that deserve a much deeper dive and expertise beyond mine. I hope I have given the feminist perspectives in anthropology a decent and fair outing for the purposes of the metaphor.

Lectures and Haunted Houses – I’m not sure it counts as a metaphor, but I wanted to explore the manner in which the default model of the face to face lecture limits our thinking when it comes to online learning. I banged on a lot about this during and after the online pivot. I coupled this with a metaphor which isn’t in the book, that I blogged a few weeks back, regarding the empty lecture halls and the way this matches the haunted house narrative in horror fiction.

Music metaphors – I couple the Edupunk and Educator as DJ metaphors here, but also explore why music is perhaps an overpowering metaphor.

There are a few more in the production pipeline (if me mumbling into a microphone inbetween meetings can be labelled as such), but I’m up for more ideas. Have a favourite or indeed much hated metaphor relating to ed tech? Give me a shout and we can arrange a podcast chat.

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