Archive for September, 2013

Emergent technologies videos

Monday, September 30th, 2013


I am doing a keynote later this week at the 63rd ICEM conference in Singapore and wanted some new videos on emergent technologies. Here are a couple of classics….

·      Social Media Revolution 2013


·      Micheal Wesch the machine is us/ing us


·      Micheal Wesch – a vision of students today



  • Google Glass project 

I asked for some suggestions on fb and there are the replies I got… thanks everyone!

·      Drew Wentworth - The Sinclair ZX spectrum


·      Alastair Creelman – The Clangers


·      Rebecca Ferguson – Minecraft



·      Fiona Chatteur – Augmented reality


·      Erik Duval -  16 films that got the future right




·      Tony Ratcliffe – Gray’s Anatomy in Twitter


·      Penny Bentley


·      Katherine Dalton – multi-media text and use of iPads



·      Alice Godwin-Davey - A day made of glass


·      Joyce Seitzinger – entrepreneurial learning


·      Emma Duke-Williams – Changing educational paradigms


·      Andy Heath EPII


·      Alice Goodwin-Davey future of learning


·      Mark Smith – Monty Python sketch


·      Alice Goodwin-Davey I have a problem with my blackberry


Epigeum interview

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013


Today I was interviewed by people from Epigeum. Interesting set of questions, thought I’d provide a summary of my answers here.


1.     Why is it important for an online teacher to establish a social presence with his/her online class?

Establishing an online social presence is essential. In face to face situations you can gauge the situation by visual clues – eye contact, body movements, whereas these are absent online. You can to some extent mimic them through the use of emoticons etc. but it is not the same online. If students are going to engage in meaningful discussion online they need to feel at ease and feel that they can trust others, only then will a community of practice start to develop.

2.     What strategies would you recommend for a teacher seeking to establish a social presence? How do they differ from what you do in a face-to-face environment?

Firstly, it is important to make it clear what the role of the online space is; how it will be used and what the benefits of participation will be. Secondly, you need to clarify the ground rules for how the students should interact, what is in scope and out. So for example, encouraging mutual reciprocity, supportive discourse and group engagement. Thirdly, you need to establish the level of digital literacy skills the students have; i.e. whether or not they have participated in online forums before and if not providing guidance and support for them to develop these skills. Fourthly, topics should be clear and interesting, topics that open themselves up for discussion, not simple yes or no answers. Fifthly, the moderator should introduce the topic and suggest possible lines of enquiry for discussion. They should then steer (not dominate) the conversation – providing both individual answers, as well as group replies. They should bring the conversation to a clear conclusion at the relevant point, to avoid the conversation fizzling out. This topping and tailing is one of the key success strategies in facilitating meaningful online discussions. Finally, it is advisable to have a clear start and end point to the discussion.  

3.     Can you give an example of a situation where social presence has ‘broken down’? What were the consequences?

In a sense the answer to this is the opposite of success strategies. So a discussion forum where it is not clear to the students as to what the purpose is or a forum with badly formulated questions. Sometimes the group dynamics doesn’t work and in this case the moderator needs to try and steer the discussion to redress the balance.

4.     What is the top advice you would give to a new/reluctant online teacher?

Have a go! I think things like participatory workshops showing teachers good examples of effective moderation can be very helpful and opportunities for them to explore the online space and experiment. We do this as part of our 7Cs of Learning Design workshops and encourage participants to work in teams of 4 or 5, so that they can learn from each other.


  1. What are the key concepts of the learning design model?

Our 7 Cs of Learning Design framework is based around: Conceptualise, Capture, Communicate, Collaborate, Combine and Consolidate. See for more details. The framework provides teachers with guidance and support to make more effective design decisions that are pedagogically informed and make appropriate use of technologies.

  1. How do you use learning design in your practices?

In two ways. In the design of my own courses such as our MSc in Learning Innovation and reflectively looking at the evaluation of workshops we run to iteratively improve them


  1. Could you describe the work that you have done with the OU on the Learning Design Initiative? What are the aims of the project and what insights are you gaining into the design process?

The OULDI was the starting point in many ways for my learning design work, although it built on the DialogPlus toolkit we developed at Southampton. The 7Cs work builds on it incorporating the work at Leicester and in particular their Carpe Diem work.

  1. What are the fundamental benefits of using the learning design model?

I think designing for learning is the key challenge facing education today. Despite the enormous potential of technologies to facilitate different pedagogical approaches and support rich interaction, communication and collaboration, technologies are not being used extensively. Learning design provides a mechanism to increase uptake and use of technologies.

The hazards of online dating

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Social media is great – right? I have made more connections through fb and Twitter than I can count, rx and have then met people face – to  - face and they have become friends. Cristina Costa, Ricardo Torres and many more. And online dating is a great way to meet people – right? You can find profiles of people you share things in common with, start a communication and get to know each other.

But there is a darker, more sinister side to online interactions and unfortunately I have just experienced it…. Here is my story…

I tried a few years ago, but didn’t really have any luck, although I did meet someone who has since become a friend. I decided to give it another go and registered three weeks ago. On the Tuesday I saw someone’s profile who looked lovely and we seemed to share a lot in common. I sent him an email saying I liked his profile and if he liked mine to get in touch… He said his name was James Bishop, American, based in the UK for 4 years, divorced with a son in the States.

We started having mega email correspondence on the site and then moved to our personal emails. Then we connected on a messaging App called Touch and exchanged literally hundreds and hundreds of texts a day…. We arrange to meet in London two Saturdays ago. Then on the Thursday before he told me he had to go to Tokyo because of a work crisis…

Slowly but surely lots of things started to not add up… He sent me a friendship request on fb, I was his only friend. He said he didn’t like fb and only reactivated his account to connect with me… Plausible I thought but a little odd…. I suggested skyping, he said skype wasn’t working, something to do with upgrading his machine. We tried connecting via Google Hangouts, but it didn’t work, he said it was something to do with the hotel security network… We did have two brief phone calls. He sent me lots of pictures of him in Tokyo and his flight bookings, all looked genuine.

We rearranged to meet today – in the evening. He was due to fly back on Wednesday. Then he said he had had a car crash and lost his wallet. He rebooked the flight for today and again sent the flight details. But then this morning he said he was at the Western Union bank when he should have been at the airport… So by now I was very very suspicious and just waiting for him to ask for money. Which he did in an email…

Hey .. I hope you arrive safely .. Anyway some money came up and like I said I still need 3k pounds and is there anything you can do about it ??.. 

So that is that. I have de-friended and reported him on fb and will report him on 

I am embarrassed to admit that I fell for this… particularly given the nature of my work. But I feel it is important to blog about this to warn others… Yes Mr or Ms right may well be waiting for you on some internet dating site, but just be careful there are some real sickos out there. This is supposedly a picture of him, wonder who’s digital identity he has stolen. So I am a little shaken and bruised… but will put it down to an experience….