Thursday, 1 May 2014


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


  1. Hi Jim - great blog! A couple of further questions:
    * Given AWAM and the fact that most staff have 1492 of their hours scheduled by their line managers - how do we develop our pedagogy overall?
    * Given that most of us have to locate and play with a technology before we can harness its potential - and given that we cannot upload programs to our work PC - how do we utilise relevant Web 2.0 technologies in our practice?
    I love the digital and the hope that it presages a new age of more subtle multimodal LTA practice - but the big stick approach is probably the very worse way to get people to engage!

  2. thanks for the comment!

    I could not agree more that the big stick approach often elicits the response it deserves, and it's depressing to see it still being employed so frequently. In my view, there's a lot to be said for small 'guerrilla' development clusters, who may come together informally, but who share a common interest. As someone who tries to help teaching staff develop a more 'multimodal approach to their LTA practice', I really just want to work with staff who are already interested and enthusiastic, who have seen that devices/internet/social media/connectivism etc. ARE impacting on their own subject area and what they and their students do, and who want to explore it in terms of their practice.

    If someone's not interested, for whatever reason (time/lack of motivation, interest or whatever), I don't want to tell them they should be. They may well do what they do brilliantly and who am I to say they should change?? I would hope that some teaching staff might figure out that they're no longer in swimming in a small pool but are actually in a vast interconnected ocean of knowledge, but that's up to them..

    Working with small groups who have a certain level of digital bravery, and the enthusiasm and love of teaching to share what they know with their colleagues, peers etc. is the best way forward in my view. Sadly, it's not necessarily easy to measure and convert this type of development into a statistical document saying this many staff were trained in that particular application. That's not what it should be about though, is it? And as for the issue of IT infrastructure, Bring Your Own Device may partly be a recognition of the inability of many UKHE IT departments to provide a good enough infrastructure in this age of 'perpetual beta'. But, what if students don't have their own device? I would have thought if they're paying £9000 a year then providing a reasonably cheap tablet shouldn't be that difficult! (hopelessly idealistic and unrealistic I know, but it shouldn't be).

    I think what we should strive to do is .........

    - Situate development of digital practices in the disciplines, involving students, teaching staff, learning developers in meaningful dialogue
    - not be too prescriptive about digital tools while at the same time recognising the very real issues of data protection, security and learner diversity (love it or hate it, a VLE is still an important virtual space, albeit often one that is used very badly..)
    - integrate staff development with real, tangible CPD qualifications and give them time to develop and nurture their own interests and professional goals.....

    end of rant....for now ;-)