Testing for H817

February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Just a test post for the feed aggregator.


Another test for H817

January 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Just a test

Çirali 2011

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment


Çirali 2011, a set on Flickr.

Just testingVia Flickr:Holiday in Çirali, with the last two days spent in Antalya

No digital facelifts? Try making cakes instead

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Over the last week I have watched the video of the  talk given by Gardner Campbell and Jim Groom at OpenEd 2009.

I have watched it in fragments, 20 or 30 minutes here,  10 or so there. Betwixt  these watching sessions I have thought about and pondered the points made in the  presentation and discussion. It was thought provoking and entertaining and this combination has meant  I  have returned to it several times, watching overlapping  fragments: I thoroughly enjoyed the 48 minutes of presentation and discussion. I returned to it because it was fun: Gardner is a great presenter, the timing of his jokes was excellent {‘but is that scalable?’ 🙂 }, the metaphors and similes  apposite.

The main theme that I took from it is that of the meta-tool. The example Gardner used was the alphabet, a set of characters that can be applied in other tools to effective purpose (e.g. via pencils in handwriting, or via the printing press in publishing). The point is that whilst particular tools may be very useful, and selecting the best ones for a particular task is crucial, knowing how to select and apply meta-tools for a particular application is where the real gains can be made.

I agree with the notion that knowledge and application of  cyberinfrastructure meta-tools will enhance and support scholarly  practices i.e. those described by Gardner:

  1. narrating e.g.  describing  through blogging
  2. curating (taking care of stuff, managing)
  3. Sharing

and I wholeheartedly agree that any attempt to introduce the personal cyberinfrastructure to students will NOT work unless it is ‘baked into the curriculum’ as Gardner suggested. So for me, as an educational technologist,  the key question is:

how to present the personal cyberinfrastructure as a set of ingredients that each faculty can bake into their own curriculum cake?

Wedding Cake Tasting #2

Originally uploaded by Thom Watson

I think that each faculty must make its own cake, formed from a similar set of ingredients, but produce something that is just right for its application, for its domain.

This cake making approach is essential because no faculty or course will have the study hours free to embed cyberinfrastructure knowledge on its own, for its own sake. It will have to be cooked up with a topic that is a core part of the course.  For example, the topic of understanding, analysing, describing and discussing the rhythm in poetry for a 2nd year  literature course, or discussing, sharing and experimenting with data analysis methods for a level one statistics  course. The advantages of the personal cyberinfrastructure approach need to be clear to both faculty and students in both cases, and the cakes will have to taste just right to both faculty staff and students for the baking to be judged a success.

It will need domain experts (i.e. facult staff) and educational technologists to come up with the right recipes initially, but once the cooking starts I’d hope that the domain experts (be it poetry or statistics or whatever) could finish the job and make their own choice of recipe the next time round!

Breaking the foundations into pieces

January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

A ~30 second story about something that hapened to me today for DS106

I work in the Jennie Lee builiding, at the Open University’s Milton Keynes campus. Around 11 a.m I was analysing some data from questionnaires, a series of 5 questionnaires showing how the respndents views of something varied with time. The ‘something’ isn’t important to this story, it’s not the theme of this story. What is important is that it was a lot of complex data and I’m trying to fiqure out how to make sure I extract all the data from an individual participant efficiently and display it in a coherent way. Anyway, I’m really concentrating hard, and I’m not particularly interested in the mechanics of the the task, I just want it finished now (or sooner), so I can get onto the interesting bits (i.e. analysing it), when just as I feel I’m making some progress this massive pneumatic pile driver starts breaking up the foundations of the Crowther building, just oustide my office window.

The Crowther building’s where I used to work, but it’s now being demolished as this view from my office window shows (warning this, video is 1 minute and 30 seconds long, but you’ll get the gist in the first 10 seconds)   . I was only in there for a couple of years but some of my colleagues spent decades working there. I’m not sad to see the building go.

Digital story telling

January 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

After devoting minimal effort to blogging on ‘Music and stuff’ during 2008 and 2009, and posting absolutely nothing at all during 2010, 2011 is to be a year of big change. Yes, I’m setting my sights low: even one post would be a big change compared to 2010.  However, I’m going to participate in Jim Groom‘s Digital story telling course which I’m hoping will inspire me to publish more, instead of just leaving the bytes (kilo and mega) of various alpha versions of things lying around on my hard drive, as I am prone to do.

I’m aiming to move from being a perpetual alpha kinda guy to a perpetual beta kinda guy.

Looking forward to getting started on  #ds106.


Originally uploaded by Sol-Essence

Alpha and Beta

New video

November 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

Just created a video for our tune ‘Scurry’