The meaning of presence
http://www.flickr.com/photos/redplastic/3749387903/  I’ve been meaning to write about presence for some time, but Mark Childs beat me to it. I agree with a lot of his points, but disagree that immersion and presence are the same thing. Presence is only realised in relation to others, whereas immersion is a personal state/construct. I like Mark’s analogy in terms of […]
The value of online chatting
http://openclipart.org/detail/105295/brain-in-a-jar-by-feraliminal  Was chatting with someone today about why we like text chatting, what it offers over face-to-face interaction or a phone call. I chat a lot both on fb and Skype, with a select set of people (about a dozen). It’s a mixture of personal and professional stuff and there is usually a lot of […]
Seminar annoucement
Institute of Learning Innovation Seminar 5th April 2013, The Learning Innovation Studio, 103 – 105 Princess Road East, 2 – 3 pm Virtual worlds in practice and theory A presentation of three examples of the use of virtual worlds in education and performance Disaster Management Communication Studies Digital Cultures Extract / Insert mixed reality installation […]
POERUP country reports
One of the main deliverables to date for our POERUP project  is a set of country reports on OER initiatives. The table above shows the countries included. This blog post provides a summary of some of the key findings: Kuwait General: substantial e-learning and not only from Arab Open University. Schools: none found. HE: e-learning active, no […]
Virtual schools and colleges
This blog post summarises some of the key findings from the VISCED project  on virtual schools and colleges. The report states that these provide important alternative for learners who are not able to participate in face-to-face education. The report defines virtual schools and colleges as Institutions that teach courses entirely or primarily online. 70 have been identified across […]
POERUP: current activities
I’m in a POERUP project meeting in Nottingham. We have a packed agenda of things to talk about. I’ll provide a summary of some of the key points in this blog post. Firstly, we began by discussing channels of communication; EDEN, Online Educa and the Media and Learning conferences were all suggested as potential avenues. Ming Nie […]
All about MOOCs
  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment. Following on from Coursera https://www.coursera.org/ the Open University UK recently announced the launch of Futurelearn http://futurelearn.com/ (Leicester recently signed up) and the most recent addition is a new Australian MOOC platform from the Open University Australia http://theconversation.com/the-aussie-coursera-a-new-homegrown-mooc-platform-arrives-12949  The […]
Into the wild
An interesting new e-book has just been announced, providing a summary of the JISC/HEA funded Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It provides an overview of the three phases of the programme and discusses the key issues and lessons learnt, which were: open content and open practices, OER re-use and repurposing, open is multidimensional, is use good enough?, […]
The METIS evaluation
The METIS project has three main objectives: To develop an Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE). The ILDE will integrate existing free and open source solutions that include: co-design support for communities of practitioners; learning design authoring tools following different pedagogical approaches and authoring experiences; interface for deployment of learning designs on mainstream Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). To […]
MATEL study on emergent technologies
The annual Horizon reports list the key technologies that are likely to have a significant impact in Education in one, three and five years’ time.  The MATEL (Mapping and Analysing Perspective Technologies for Learning) study provides a good evidence-based survey of key technologies. The study undertook a survey across schools, tertiary education, the adult learning […]
iTunes launch!
Finally, finally…. It has taken a long time but we are now live on iTunesU, all thanks to Terese Bird – the phrase dog with a bone comes to mind 😉 Terese did some research to find out what other institutions’ experiences were of going on iTunesU. The OU, not surprisingly, adopted a very centrally […]
2013 so far…
I have just collated a list of my recent activities for my line manager and thought it might be interesting to share. It’s a real eclectic mix of activities – on the research side: from writing, to bids, to presentations, in terms of teaching working on our new MSc and doing PhD supervisions! March Final […]
Who are today’s Vygotskys?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/remediatethis/2677276377/ As a follow up to my post on creativity I’ve had a couple of other thoughts. Firstly, that the research assessment exercise in the UK is killing creativity. It is driven by outdated notions of what constitutes ‘good’ research. It is dominated by an over emphasis on high impact journals and takes little or […]
The creative academic
Creativity is a key facet of being an academic. Research is about investigating a problem or a real-life phenomenon; interpreting the data to make new meaning. Sometimes it involves relating this to a theoretical framework, like Activity Theory, other times it is simply about making sense of what the data is telling you. Jenkin’s (2009) […]
Flow and academic writing
Some days you are on a roll, others you can’t concentrate. Today I have definitely been ‘in the flow’. So far I have added comments to a paper on our X-Delia project, corrected proofs for a paper and a chapter, addressed reviewers’ comment on a chapter in a forthcoming National Teaching Fellowship book and blogged […]
ECEL conference
The second call for papers for the ECEL 2013 conference to be held on  30-31 October in Sophia Antipolis, France is now out. In addition to the main conference topics, the advisory group invite submissions to the following mini tracks: Life Long Learning Institutional change and e-learning innovation Tools for eLearning design and evaluation E-learning and knowledge […]
An avalanche is coming
Simon Walker from Greenwich University mentioned this interesting report in the OLDS Google Hangout today. Entitled ‘An avalanche is coming’ the report critiques the current and future impact of more open practices and in particular MOOCs on traditional educational offerings. These are a few of the highlights from the exec summary. Just as we’ve seen the forces […]
The Open Education course
So I have just signed up for Martin Weller’s Open Education course. The main reason I wanted to join was to experience being part of this kind of ‘open course’ from a learner’s perspective. I have been involved in a number of MOOCs, but on the delivery side of things. Also ‘openness’ is a topic […]
ELearning papers special issue on mobile learning
Mobile learning has become increasingly important in recent years with the emergence of smart phones and tablets. It means that learning anywhere, any time is now a real possibility. Mobile devices enable learners to interact with materials in engaging ways and to communicate with peers through a variety of channels. Therefore the most recent elearning papers special […]
Teacher networks
It was good to catch up with Riina Vuorikari earlier this week in Brussels. She gave me a copy of an interesting booklet called ‘Teacher Networks’.  It focuses on the ways in which teachers are now harnessing the power of social media. The booklet starts with a quote from Derrick de Kerckhove: ‘It’s all about […]
e-Skills and digital jobs conference
Jim Devine and Deborah Arnold  On the 4th-5th March I attended the Grand Challenge for Digital Jobs conference in Brussels. There were an interesting mix of attendees from both education and the IT industry. The focus was on how to address the issue of increasing e-skills and filling the gaps in IT jobs across Europe. […]