Archive for April, 2011

The power of social media

Monday, April 11th, 2011

I’ve been reflecting a bit about how social media have changed the way I do things, partly in response to this post !  by @pepsmccrea

I have now worked at four institutions. When I first moved from London to Bristol University it was a real wrench… I missed friends and had small kids. But the next move to Southampton was much easier and I realised it was because my network of friends and colleagues was virtual - not geographically defined. This feeling has expanded exponentially in recent years with my use of social media. I now feel truly globally connected and have many new friends/colleagues who I first met/got to know through Twitter/fb/blogging etc. Thanks in particular for Martin Weller for getting me into all this.  I think the implications of this are potentially profound. It has changed the way in which I do and communicate research. I love the mix of banter and professional exchange, the shared sense of passion for our field. I use social media in a range of ways: to keep up with new things, to pass on good ideas and references to others, to post new ideas and research work, to disseminate the work of others, to exchange ideas and to ask and respond to key questions of the moment. I genuinely feel part of a global community - quite something… What are other peoples experiences, positive and negative?

Musing on ‘the book’….

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Got some fresh ideas for more chapters/content for my learning design book, perhaps inspired by recent meetings and conferences. I think I need to put more in about the different ways in which people are using social media to support their practice - such as Twitter, facebook, ning, Elgg etc. Was impressed by the presentation recently about a social network for teachers in Finland. Also think I need to include a chapter on metaphors for describing new digital landscapes and practices, going back to Morgan’s work on metaphors such as the brain, ecology system, political system etc., as well as more recent notions of trying to describe both real and virtual interactions. Another idea for a chapter centres around approaches for transferring innovation and here I would like to draw on the experiences we have gained in particular from our OULDI and Design-Practice projects. I wonder also if I should expand the theoretical chapter - and perhaps suggest theoretical perspectives we should be considering but aren’t drawing on much….

Tallin side..

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

tallinn9.jpgI’ve been at the Estionian E-learning conference in Tartu this week. Thanks to Ene Koitla and colleagues for hosting a very well organised event. The conference included some excellent papers by local researchers as well as a number of international speakers (Terry Anderson and Rory McGreal from Athabasca University, Gerry Ignasi Labastida from Barcelona University, and Gerry Hanley from California State University, and Murilo Matos Mendonca from Santa Catarina Virtual University - who is currently visit the OU as an Olnet fellow). The second day included a live video link with a parallel conference happening in Finland. Ville Venäläinen and Tarmo Toikkanen talked about SOMEKU, a ning-based social networking platform they have created for Finnish teachers. I was struck by the parallels with Cloudworks and would like to explore with them more the relationship between the two sites and the insights they have gained from developing and evaluating the use of SOMEKU. I’ve live blogged many of the session here in Cloudworks. I did a talk on social and participatory media and explored the ways in which these technologies are changing learning, teaching and research. I also ran a learning design workshop. It’s been a good few days, lots to reflect on; good to catch up with old friends and meet new ones!