RSC SW Summer Conference

June 23, 2009

Despite earlier problems with embedding a Flickr slideshow into a WordPress.com blog, Vodpod appears to have resolved the issue.

Here is a slideshow of photographs I took at the RSC SW Summer Conference.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “RSC SW Conference“, posted with vodpod

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Amplified Twittering and Social Reporting

April 22, 2009

Today I was at the JISC Teaching and Learning Experts Group Meeting in Birmingham.

jiscexperts0409

I always enjoy these meetings as you get a huge wealth of expertise, knowledge and examples to take away with you back to your own institution.

We used Twitter quite a bit today, so much so that the tag #jiscexperts09 became a trending tag on Twitter.

Lots of comments, discussions and conversations. Some went off tag and continued outside the event.

A really useful and interesting back channel to what was happening in front of us.

By the afternoon the stream of Twitter had declined considerably, in the main as we were in smaller groups with a lot more face to face interaction and conversations. We’re not talking about a small drop off, but a considerable drop, about 95%, in use of Twitter.

It’s not as though we weren’t finding Twitter useful, one delegate said to me that he saw me using Twitter as a way of asking a question without needing to put my hand up.

It did make me start thinking about how we use Twitter and the reasons for using Twitter.

In the morning session with presentations from the front, while we were a “passive” audience some of us were using Twitter to communicate what we were seeing to the Twitter community, discussing between ourselves and initiating conversations with other people not at the event.

Now were we doing this because we found the presenters boring? No because they weren’t, their presentations were very interesting. Much more as we were an audience we found the time to engage with Twitter and the Twitter community. Listening means that we can often add commentary and 140 characters means that it doesn’t take long or captures our attention away from the formal presentation at the front.

In the afternoon we split into smaller groups and discussed the three key areas, e-assessment, learning spaces and social software. As we discussed there was very little or no interaction on Twitter. We were “too busy” interacting and discussing.

Now this didn’t mean we didn’t want to share with Twitter, much more we were so busy we didn’t have the time.

What does this mean though when using Twitter at an event?

You do need to consider why you are using Twitter at an event. If using it as a record of the event, then it is a very poor tool for that, need to record an event then use a different tool.

If you are using Twitter to allow the delegates to converse about the event in a kind of back channel then the fact they are not using it, is probably not a bad thing, as they are probably interacting face to face. However the lack of Tweets in the afternoon in our session meant that I had very little idea what happened in the other parallel sessions. As for people outside the event, they had even less idea!

There may be an opportunity here to have (what I am going to call) social reporters in breakout sessions to record thoughts and discussions on Twitter. Downside for this is that Twitter is very much about the here and now and not really suited for looking back over or for engaging and interacting with even 15 minutes after an event. However will be useful for those outside the event.

One of the downsides of Twitter (which is also a plus point) is that it is just text and only 140 characters of just text. If you did use social reporters then they could also use other tools to help capture the event for both the delegates and others. They could be uploading presentations to Slideshare, posting photographs to Flickr, pushing videos to YouTube, broadcasting live using Qik, blogging, recording to Audioboo, etc…

You can often rely on the delegates to amplify a conference or an event through the use of Web 2.0 tools, should you be supporting the process with social reporting?


The usefulness of Flickr

April 20, 2009

At Gloucestershire College we as part of a Leadership and Management programme a small group of managers have been undertaking research into the workspaces used by staff and learners; to ascertain if there were ways in which we could use the space smarter and more productively.

As part of this research James Clay, the ILT & Learning Resources Manager put together a small presentation on learning and office spaces from across the UK. Within this presentation he used a range of images from the JISC Infonet Flickr photostream.

jiscinfonetflickr

This presentation was placed on the college VLE so that other managers could access the work of the research group.

The Director of Estates in discussion with another director showed the presentation and one image caught her attention.

durhamjiscinfonet

It was of pods used by Durham University, the image was one of a series placed on Flickr by JISC Infonet.

Coincidentally the Director of Estates’ daughter is at Durham and a quick phone call later and he had confirmation of how they were used and how they enhanced learning.

As a result a capital bid has gone to the college SMT to build some pods in the college. This would not have happened without access to the JISC Infonet photographs in Flickr.


Image is Nothing

March 3, 2009

On Friday the 27th February I gave a few online presentations (conferences) for the MoLeNET programme.

One was on images and photography in relation to mobile learning.

Presentation on images, creating images, editing images and using images on mobile devices. The use of images for teaching and learning with an emphasis on cameraphones.


Where am I?

March 2, 2009

On Friday the 27th February I gave a few online presentations (conferences) for the MoLeNET programme.

One was on GPS and location based learning.

Presentation on on GPS and location based learning using mobile devices, it covered some of the GPS devices out there and how location based learning can be used.


I am having a coffee…

February 28, 2009

Yesterday I gave a few online presentations (conferences) for the MoLeNET programme.

One was on microblogging, entitled I am having a coffee…

The presentation covered blogging, RSS, Twitter, Jaiku, Moblog and even Flickr.


It’s mobile and it’s glossy

February 5, 2009

The 5th February sees the launch of the LSIS eCPD event in London. Not sure how many people will turn up due to the snow. I am thought about not going, though it was aright when I left, it has got heavier back home and even now it looks quite thick out of the train window as I write this.

I am running a workshop at the event which is looking at mobile learning. Unlike the MoD event, this time I have forty-five minutes which is longer, but is still not really enough time!

In the session I hope to get the delegates to discuss and talk about how mobile technologies can be used to support, enhance and enrich the learning experience of learners. I am also hoping (as I have done at previous workshops) the delegates use the same mobile technologies to post their reflections and views online.

The workshop blog can be found here.

The podcast channel (we’re using Gabcast) can be found here.

Some people will be posting to Jaiku and Twitter and I am also hoping to send images to Flickr, as well as video to Seesmic. There may even be some Qik video as well.

Even if you are not at the event, I hope you can still join in with the workshop by contributing to the stuff posted online adding comments, or joining in with the Twitter and Jaiku discussions.

The first session (as is the rest of the day) is being broadcast online using Elluminate and you can find out how to access the online stuff on the ALT website.

If people turn up it should be fun.