Archive for July, 2008

LAMS keynote

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Slides from my LAMS keynote are now on slideshare. Marion provides a useful reflection on the event and I agree with her that we seem to be moving towards some form of consensus, the jigsaw pieces are starting to come together - maybe…. I’m giving a summary of our OU LD work this afternoon at Edmedia.

Beauty and precision in design

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

I really like the work of Michael Derntl and colleagues at the University of Vienna. Michael gave an excellent paper earlier today at Edmedia on the work they are doing in terms of visual representations for design. Will try and blog more about this later but for now here is a link to his slides.

Animoto Edmedia!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Plush surroundings for the opening

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Just returned from the opening event for Edmedia. Pretty grand surroundings as Martin Erbin has captured in a short video log.  


hegemony as enemy

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Alan Amory opened the Edmedia conference this morning with a provocative and thought provoking keynote entitled ‘Playing games: hegemony as enemy’, although I have to admit it was a little too fast for my tiny brain to take in and compute. There was some “deep” stuff in there man ;-) Innovating education provides a much better summary of the keypoints from the talk and the areas Alan covered.  Jan Harrington did an introductory blogged  about this in the run up to the conference, providing a useful summary of Alan’s interesting work and a link to some follow up reading.

I may have this wrong, but one of the things I took from Alan’s talk was that we can’t take things at face value anymore; the digital world, blurring of real/digital identities raises a whole set of new issues but also that cultural baggage is not left at the digital doorstep, it’s carried forward into this new environment, albeit transmogrified in some respects – the heritage of gender/culture/language/history etc still remain. He used an interesting approach peppering his presentation with a number of video clips – in order to provoke/to shock/to make his points. There were just too many concepts in there for me to do justice to in this blog but here are some notes:

  • The way in which some modern cinematic genres are playing with narrative, interspersing different stories, fragmenting them; making the viewer work harder to develop their own meaning or interpretation of what’s happening.
  • Hegemonic masculinity and the futility of revenge; Alan talked of phallogocentrism in this respect referring back to Plato and concepts of memory.
  • The role of gaming in education – he quoted from some of his research where games were being used to address misconceptions, they found that students playing in pairs faired  better in terms of overcoming misconceptions, indicating the importance of social interaction and use of  tools to help overcome misconceptions.
  • One of the films he referenced was ‘Eyes wide shut’ (Kubrick) film which focuses on the confusion between real and fantasy experiences, and men being unable to understand female desire [I refuse to comment on this one! ;-)]

There were lots more and some good references to further reading – plea to Alan to put up the powerpoint slides so we can make a note of the references. 

Edmedia 2.0? maybe Edmedia 1.45…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008


I’m at the Edmedia conference in Vienna. It’s abit of a contrast to the LAMS conference last week which was small and focussed around a particular topic  - although it was one of my favourite topics it has to be said! Edmedia is of course one of the giants of the e-learning circuit – with over 1000 delegates and an impressive range of topics on e-learning research and development activities. I’m on the programme committee and we are trying this year to introduce more web 2.0 activities alongside the face to face event (not before time it’s fair to say).


George Siemens has been our ringleader but sadly can’t be at the conference - we know you are with us in spirit virtually George! We have set up a twitter stream and also if people use #edmedia08 in their tweets they will be aggregated at We’ve got a blog set up, although it’s not very active so far, and are looking into setting up a blog aggregator feed. Not rocket science you might say, all standard stuff for those of you who live and breath this sort of thing as standard [Martin you know it’s true - just admit it], but there are still a lot of people out there not yet into this stuff – so getting them on board at a conference like Edmedia is good. As many others have said before you really have to experience these tools first hand in order 


to ‘get them’. It will be interesting to see how well this works and what the two camps of existing web 2.0′ers and newbies make of it. What do people new to blogs, twitter etc think? Do they find these additions useful or not? What about ‘web 2.0-lags’, those who live and breath this sort of stuff, will they find this all a bit basic and simplistic? I did contemplate suggesting a ning site – but perhaps that’s a step to far for now. All of this again makes me reflect on the purpose of a conference. I didn’t manage to get to any sessions, apart from the keynote today – which was a shame, but on the otherhand I had lots of good chats with people, catching up with old friends, meeting some new people, discussing the finalising of the symposium the Cluster C HE Academy pathfinder projects are giving on Thursday. The Reading lot have already blogged a little about it. Even got invited to submit a paper for a journal which is great! So overall actually a productive day. Note to self ‘I must go to some sessions tomorrow and not get distracting chit chatting’. PS the quest to convert all to twitterdom continues! J



Statue of Gutenberg which seems rather appropriate