Thursday, 1 May 2014

Connecting on Twitter

So, as the dust settles after Monday's first, slightly manic, Tweetchat...

Q1: What mobile device(s) do you use to connect with others?
Q2: What mobile device(s), tools and apps do you use to communicate with others?
Q3: What BYOD4L forums have you used to connect today?
Q4: How do your connections help you with your learning?
Q5: Do you have any tips for connecting with others?

What did you get out of it? Here are some thoughts...

 - It's a bit like walking into a room where everyone's talking, quite loudly, about the same thing, but not to each other.

 - for touch-typers it's a huge advantage to participate on a laptop as opposed to a tablet or phone as it allows much faster interaction

 - blink and you missed it

 - even just making one connection - following and being followed, commenting, sharing a link, tool or project - makes it worthwhile

 - shame it's not possible to create Twitter groups and throw a fence round this type of chat - yes, openness is good, but potentially annoying for followers not involved in BYOD (although it's up to them to curate and manage - and ignore - their twitter stream I guess)

 - Learning by doing is the best way

 - Would it be useful to have questions in advance? (or does that defeat the object?)


Here are a few questions relating to the 2 scenarios on the Connecting page:

  • What tools can we use and processes can we engage in to help keep us up to date with developments, research, changes etc. in our subject area?
  • As a (lifelong) learner, what are the benefits of developing a Personal Learning Environment and Network?
  • How does the increasing use of mobile devices and social media in every aspect of our lives relate to what we do in our learning and teaching?
  • Do teaching staff have a responsibility to use certain devices or technologies or is it all a matter or individual choice?
  • With multiple responsibilities and very little time, why should teaching staff engage with new devices and apps?

Hope to hear some thoughts and (time permitting) will be adding some of my own...

The slide above is from a Prezi I did a while ago for a workshop

Blog your own device...

CC-BY-SA: Flickr/

Bring your Own Device for Learning (BYOD4L) starts on July 14th - 18th. I'll be attempting to blog about the experience from a Facilitator perspective. At the same time, I'll be creating a new article for London Met's very own eLearning Matrix, all about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept - what does it mean? How's it relevant to staff and students? What if I don't have an ipad? etc. 

I've had the sneaky idea of using the combined expertise of our facilitators (and participants) to try crowdsourcing the article.. I'll be drafting the article on a Google Site and would welcome input in the form of suggestions, useful links or resources, criticism, proofreading and anything else you wish to contribute. The final article will then be published on the eMatrix as an open resource under a Creative Commons license with all contributors gratefully acknowledged.

For London Met staff and students, if you're taking the BYOD4L course and learning more about mobile devices, apps and social media, check out the eLearning Matrix. Under Tutorials, you'll find some articles and resources all about technology and pedagogy for teaching and learning. For example, this article on Developing your own Personal Learning Network.

* Don't forget London Met BYOD4L-ers... if you need some face to face support and TLC, come along to our sessions:    
Friday July 11th 12 - 1   and / or  Monday July 14th 1 - 2  (LCM-18 in the Learning Centre, North)

What's in a name?

I'm slightly struggling with the BYOD4L acronym - the temptation is to try to pronounce it as one word, but it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue... BeeYoDforL? Beeyoodiful? Neither sounds quite right.... how about 'Bring n Learn' (like the old bring n buy sales)? Or maybe it'll just have to be Bring your Own Device..... Any suggestions welcome... ;-)

What is curation?

CC-BY-2.0: Sally Wilson/Flickr

Curation is more than just collecting links

Here's a quote from an article in the Journal of Interactive Media in Education by Paul Mihailidis and James Cohen (2013):

"Curation is an act of problem solving. Curating information to tell a story creates a sense of responsibility for the curator. Storytelling advances the core media literacy principles of analysis, evaluation and creation. By curating, students can compose a story using content acquired on their search with heightened awareness of purpose and audience (Hobbs 2010). All media online is searchable by any user of the web, but the task of the curator is to organize the information into a story in order to share with others in a coherent, nuanced and clear manner. Guided by the teacher, students can access content, analyze and evaluate the messages, create presentations, reflect on findings, and work together in collaborative environments (Hobbs 2010)." [my italics]

In my view, when we talk about curation, there's a danger of getting too bogged down in discussion of specific tools - Storify, Flickr, Pinterest, Evernote, Feedly etc. ad infinitum.... I think it's important, when curating resources, websites, articles, pictures, videos, blogs, tweets, people (?) etc., to ask yourself:

  • Who am I curating for?
  • What is the purpose of curating these resources?
  • What I want the audience to do with them (or are they just for my personal use)?
  • Do I need to check and refresh the resources regularly or is it just for one learning event or period of time?
  • Can the task of curation be 'outsourced' to students/colleagues? In other words, can it be more meaningful as a collaborative exercise.
The above quote resonates with me because it reminds us that curation has a purpose - problem-solving, storytelling etc. Too often, a collection of links will be thrown into an online space with no direction or commentary...

Creating Collaboratively

At London Met we're working on an open learning resource for teaching staff. We want to spread ideas, share new technologies and provoke discussion about learning and teaching in a digital soup.

I'm writing a short article about Bring Your Own Device (the concept, not BYOD4L, the course). The aim is to introduce UKHE teaching and academic staff to BYOD, some of the issues surrounding it and how it might affect them, what the benefits and drawbacks are... I need to write a short introduction and description, link to useful resources, find some scenarios, include some video/audio/image and so on..

Can you help? 

One of the great things about this week has been the combined expertise, knowledge and different views that have been so abundant - I would love to harness some of that abundance to help create something better. If you have any ideas, tips, suggestions, resources to add to the Google doc below that would be fantastic.

What will you gain by collaborating? 

A warm glow? Well... the resource will be entirely open to use or link to for anybody who finds it useful. I think it could be really innovative and exciting to try this kind of collaboration and perhaps think about how it might be developed further in future. For example, the University of Sussex created a blog post about Tweetdeck this week which I've added a link to on our site. On the same page is a Slideshare by Sue. I really believe there could be more of this kind of collaboration and creativity and I'd like to explore ways we could develop this.... Anyone interested in exploring this with me?

How can we collaborate?

Google Docs seems to be a popular tool, judging by some of the comments and posts coming out of this week. I'm sharing a link to a very basic Google Doc (below) and depending on how this goes, may use a Google Site later to start creating something including multimedia and formatting which will be closer to what the article could look like on the eMatrix. For the finished article I will include a short paragraph describing the collaboration and including the name and institution of any contributors who participated (with permission of course).

Google Doc for collaboration: