Curating and Communicating (part 2) The network in action

Introduction

In the first of these 2 blog posts I outlined my practice in in terms of ‘e-routes to disseminating and sharing good practice among teaching staff’. I also mapped out 4 ‘zones’, each dominated by a particular group or type of activity (as shown on the poster I presented at the SEDA conference in November 2012). In this second post I will give an example of the ‘network’ in action, and consider how the ‘traffic’ is moving between the zones in practice. I will also discuss issues of engagement and evaluation.

Disseminating information and resources …

Imagine that I attend a workshop at a SEDA conference that refers to some online resources. During the session I useHootsuite to post toTwitter and ourFacebook page, including a link to the resources I have just learned about. Later I blog about the workshop forRUSTLE and add the link to the collection on Pinboard.

Who will see any of this? The initial tweet will have used the conference hashtag, so it will probably be seen by other Twitter users at the conference, as well as by those following the hashtag, and by my Twitter followers. The post on the Facebook page will reach the few faculty and student reps who have ‘liked’ the page.RSS feeds bring Twitter messages and the latest bookmarks into the VLE for PGCertHE participants. When a new link is added to Pinboard it automatically produces a Facebook post. It does this using the IFTTT service. The post joins the collection which can be accessed via thetag cloud on the website. The RUSTLE blog post will go to everyone who has signed up for an email alert or subscribed by RSS. The post will also be promoted via Twitter, Facebook,Googleplus andPinterest. Once a term, the blog posts are edited into a paper version that is distributed around campus.

… but who is listening?

So far so good. I have pushed a message, and links to resources, out there, through a variety of means. But how do I know if anyone read it, was interested, found it useful or used it? And how can I start to evaluate any impact on the teaching of those who read it, or more importantly on their students’ learning? Twitter followers, who are mostly external colleagues, might retweet the link, but I will not see any response from people reading the RSS feed. Members of my circles in Googleplus might +1, reshare and/or comment on the link to the blog post, but local colleagues rarely comment on the blog. The Pinboard bookmarks are a valuable ongoing resource, but don’t facilitate dynamic engagement.

Generally, traffic / information is moving smoothly between my Personal / Professional Learning Network (PLN) of academics, education developers, education technologists, institutions, organisations etc. (zone 1) and the online spaces that I curate, create and contribute to (zone 2). This much is under my direct control. But there are more blocks between the resulting online resources and face-to-face encounters with teaching staff (zone 3). Little social networking is being undertaken by teaching colleagues, so the impetus to move information falls on members of the TLDU. What of all this is translating into impact on student learning (zone 4) remains something of a mystery.

Is more engagement the answer?

Our aim is to improve student learning within the institution, through developing teaching practice, so it is important to engage faculty and staff locally. But what is meaningful engagement in this context? Are more website hits, blog or Twitter followers evidence of greater engagement with ideas or resources that could improve student learning? Should we be trying to move colleagues from reliance on interactions in the ‘face-to-face’ zone towards a network model that encourages them to use social media to develop their own PLN?

The current network of resources offers a continuum of engagement options, from the fully networked Twitter/Facebook follower and blog subscriber, via the reader of the online or paper version of RUSTLE, through to the ad-hoc user of the website or personal contact asking for advice on a particular topic. That seems to me to be a reasonable, even desirable situation. Almost anyone can make use of the material available at the point that they need it. Those who do may well be drawn into deeper engagement with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and development of digital literacy skills over time. But all of these require that they hear or read about the the material, and are moved to use it. This in turn requires that the material is in a form which they can, and want to, use.

How can we begin to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach?

The same challenges that present themselves when trying to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher development programmes (seeJulie Hall’s recent SEDA co-chair blog post) make it very difficult to postulate a clear causal link between online networks and resources aimed at teaching staff and enhancement of student learning. I continue to look for ways to uncover the impacts that these interventions might be having. Conversations in zone 3, face-to-face, may be the best that is currently possible. In the meantime I believe that some clear benefits are coming out of my practice in this area:

  •  Personal / professional learning from others in my field.
  • Development of digital skills which I can pass on.
  • Creation of opportunities for colleagues to engage in social media networks.
  • Creation and collection of accessible online resources.
  • Sharing good practice within the institution and across the sector.
  • Modelling use of a PLN for professional development.

Anne Hole, Education Developer, Teaching and Learning Development Unit, University of Sussex

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Alternative Communication Channels for Educators: The TweetChat

It is now 40 years ago since the first email was sent. How thrilled many of us were when we were first able to send and receive emails. Friends, family and colleagues at the time wondered what the fuss was about, preferring to communicate by letter or memo. A further 20 years on and the first SMS text was sent in 1992. We now send in excess of 8 trillion text messages a year. Today our communication channels provide ever increasing choices. The growth of social media and digital technology have enabled people from all over the world to communicate and collaborate; many from the mobile devices they carry in their pockets. This year Twitter turned 6 years old and 340 million tweets are now shared per day.

A Conversation

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/khalidalbaih/5653817859/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Twitter

Our own SEDA community regularly share information using Twitter. SEDA’s Twitter name is @seda_uk_ and now has over one and a half thousand followers. Educators from all over world are connecting through Twitter and use this communication channel to share resources and provide a forum for questions and answers. Despite the restriction of 140 characters it is possible to send succinct but very useful messages that anyone can read which contain links to websites, papers, book reviews, news articles as well video, audio or images.

Over the last couple of years a growing number have engaged in online conversations using a #hashtag to collate tweets at a specific event – For example the recent SEDA Conference used #SEDA12.  By typing the hashtag into the Twtter search bar, it will filter all tweets containing this. (See the post Using Twitter to extend the conference: before, during and after for more information about tweeting at conferences).

You can join the 1553 followers of SEDA on Twitter by following @seda_uk_ 

TweetChats

Twitter users are also using hashtags as a means of filtering  a planned discussion. These are often referred to as  a TweetChat. Many take place at regular intervals; others as one offs. The infographic further down this post from Faculty Ecommons has collated examples of the many hashtags used by Educators. A new #hashtag to add to the list is #EmpDevChat. This new TweetChat will be taking place for the first time on December 12th and will provide an opportunity for Educators to try out this new communication channel, either as a participant or an observer.

#EmpDevChat

Employability Twitter ‘chat’ – Wednesday December 12th, 4-5pm

As ‘employability developers’, one of the most important questions for us (and for the people we are working with) concerns the very practical matter of what makes curricular initiatives to increase student employability successful.

We are interested in practical approaches to this, and plan to hold a Twitter chat on “Strategies for Embedding Employability in the HE Curriculum”. Within this general theme, we will present several specific questions and let the conversation develop.  A record of the session will be collated and made available through Storify after the event.

This is an experiment, and we’ve no idea how many people will take part, or if it will be successful, but if so, it may well be the first of a series of such events!

Ruth Lawton (@RuthLawton), Birmingham City University

Jeff Waldock (@jeffwaldock) and Sue Beckingham FSEDA (@suebecks), Sheffield Hallam University

Further information:

What is a TweetChat?
A TweetChat is a virtual meeting or gathering on Twitter to discuss a common topic. The chat usually lasts one hour and will include some questions to stimulate discussion. Questions will be preceded with Q1, Q2, Q3 etc.
For example: Q1 How do we make students recognise employability skills as important and relevant to their course of study? #EmpDevchat

Where will I find the TweetChat?
Create an account on Twitter and then use the search facility to find #EmpDevchat. Depending on your Twitter tool you may be able to save this.

How do I take part?
If you wish to respond to a question include the hashtag #EmpDevchat within your tweet and precede your tweet with A1, A2, A3 etc.

For example: A1 By including work related activities that help the students develop relevant skills #EmpDevchat.

Do I have to tweet to take part?
No you don’t though your contributions will be valued! By following the hashtag #EmpDevchat you can simply read the questions raised and answers by those who respond.

If I can’t make the timeslot can I follow the TweetChat later?
Yes you can view the discussion by searching for #EmpDevchat

Will a summary of the session made available afterwards?
Yes – we will use Storify to summarise the conversations that each question gives rise to, and post the results back to #EmpDevChat.

 Hashtags

Twitter Hashtags Infographic

Image source: http://facultyecommons.com/infographic-popular-educational-twitter-hashtags/

Posted by Sue Beckingham FSEDA

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Curating and Communicating (part 1)

Mapping practice

This is the first of two blog posts based on a poster I presented at the SEDA conference in November 2012. This poster in turn originated from a request on the SEDA JISCmail list for colleagues to share what they were doing in terms of ‘e-routes to disseminating and sharing good practice among teaching staff’. I replied with a summary of what I was doing in the Teaching and Learning Development Unit (TLDU) at Sussex, and agreed to meet up to talk it through. Trying to explain the interconnected elements of our resources and communications began to make it a bit clearer to me how the different parts worked together (or not). But it still felt a bit like spaghetti. The conference poster and these blog posts are attempts to unravel it further.

When developing the poster, I began to think about which models / concepts might best explain this aspect of my practice. Obvious candidates were connectivism  and communities of practice. But as I began to sketch out the network that I felt should represent my efforts in ‘curating and connecting’, it looked more like a series of connected zones. This in turn raised questions about the traffic moving between these zones. There are many ways in which notions of connectivism and communities of practice relate to and explain the e-routes to enhancing teaching practice that I am involved with. But I also need to think about challenges and evaluation – this is where images of zones and traffic can be helpful.

The imagery of ‘zones’ and ‘traffic’ is often one of restriction, barriers and gridlock (traffic lights, stop signs, bollards and traffic jams) as well as (hopefully) some organised movement. This made me question the openness of the resources that my activities aim to make available to colleagues. The internet has led to the production of a great wealth of resources. Social media have opened up many opportunities for sharing and developing those resources. However, the great variety of platforms, the number of resources, and more broadly the sheer scale of the www, all discourage many from engaging. It is important not to assume that, just because the materials and tools are available, they will be widely used. Monitoring and understanding the traffic across the zones is very difficult, but very important if we are to understand and prioritise what works.

The zones

I identified 4 zones. Each is dominated by a particular group or type of activity.

1. My Personal / Professional Learning Network (PLN)This includes academics, education developers, education technologists, institutions, organisations and educators of all sorts, My PLN is characterised by a dynamic exchange of ideas and resources using Twitter, Googleplus and blogs.

2. The online resources which I curate, create and contribute toTheseinclude the TLDU website, the RUSTLE (Really Useful Stuff on Teaching, Learning Etc.) blog, a tag-cloud of bookmarks and a VLE course site for the PGCertHE as well as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts. The traffic in this zone is rather one-way, with the emphasis on publication of material but little in the way of networked activity. Few internal colleagues follow TLDU on Twitter, subscribe to or comment on the blog. It seems that this is part of a more general reluctance to engage with social media. It has become clear in conversation with colleagues that few use Twitter, follow blogs or engage with other social media as part of their teaching or research practice. Nonetheless we have been able to establish a good local readership for RUSTLE by sending out manual email alerts when blog posts are published and producing a termly paper round-up.

3. Face-to-face encounters with teaching staff. These happen at Teaching and Learning Development Events, in one-to-one advising relationships on the PGCertHE and when interviewing people for RUSTLE. This zone can be networked back to the resources by means including:

  • referring to online material during workshops;
  • drawing on the interests and concerns of PGCertHE participants to develop the collection of bookmarks;
  • using the web pages and bookmarks as starting points for PGCertHE projects; and
  • generally getting to know individuals and their challenges and interests so that specific resources can be developed and news can be forwarded on to them.

Materials produced for workshops also form the basis of Ideas and guidance web pages and some RUSTLE posts.

4. Students come at the end of this chain of interactions and resources, as well of course as providing its ultimate purpose. Faculty teaching and student learning may be largely invisible to education developers. However we do have opportunities to observe the teaching of PGCertHE participants across a wide range of disciplines and levels of experience  as the course attracts large numbers of volunteers from amongst more experienced faculty. Also, we hear reports of teaching activity from RUSTLE interviewees and in teaching award nominations. However, the extent to which the networked resources contribute to, or influence teaching practice or student learning is very difficult to establish.

In the second post I will give an example of the ‘network’ in action; consider how the ‘traffic’ is moving between the zones in practice; and discuss issues of engagement and evaluation.

Anne Hole, Education Developer, Teaching and Learning Development Unit, University of Sussex

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Digital literacies and digital fluency – a process of development?

Definitions and difficulties

“Digital literacy defines those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society.” (JISC / Beetham 2010)

“I am digitally fluent when I confidently, critically, skilfully and appropriately select and use digital technologies to achieve my goals.” (Baume 2011-12)

These are of course both empty-shell definitions, needing to be filled before they can be used.

The wish to use empty shell definitions is understandable – they push the responsibility of populating the definition on to the particular users, and thus increase local ownership.

But such definitions can frustrate users who, in answer to a question about what digital capabilities (whether literacies or fluency) they need to learn or toteach, may be told (or hear) “It’s up to you.”

By analogy: “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” (Presumably the same is also true for a woman). A good principle. Except for the danger of our hungry person starving to death during their fishing lesson.

How to proceed? With a judicious mixture of fish and fishing lesson. Back to our digital concerns. Fish; suggestions about likely elements of digital literacy or fluency, maybe including making rational choices of technology rather than being dazzled in the toyshop; devising a search strategy rather than leaping straight into Google and, yes, how to use Word and email and Twitter. Fishing lessons; structured and responsive help and support on producing a locally, personally and professionally appropriate account of digital literacies or fluency. This mixture may be more helpful and developmental than either element alone.

A process of development?

It may be tempting to see the progression from digital literacies to digital fluency as a developmental sequence. ‘Teach them the skills, and in due course the skills will add up to fluency.’

A more productive approach may be to concentrate on the final outcome. If the final outcome (for now) is something like digital fluency, as described above, then maybe fluency is the place to start. Learners, whether students or staff, could audit their current state of digital fluency. They could unpack the extent and nature of their confidence, their critical approach & etc. in their use of digital technologies to achieve their goals. And then they could seek and obtain the necessary support. (Fluency, as described here, has an important affective component as well as describing capabilities.)

At the same time, they will know what specific digital capabilities, what specific digital literacies, they are likely to need – because some at least of the demands and expectations of the subject, the course, the institution are known. So we can provide enough fish to ensure survival in the short term.

Where next?

We have to support the development of digital literacies or fluency.

Blue Morpho

Blue Morpho

Changing metaphor: Let’s photograph the butterfly, not pin it to the board.

Our most valuable digital capability is probably to continue to review and enhance our digital capabilities. (Of course we could ditch the word ‘digital’.)

There, above all, may be where we should focus our development efforts.

David Baume

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Open Educational Resource Project

This is a HEA/JISC OMAC 3 Open Educational Resources Project which aims to support the provision and sustainable use of shared learning resources and explore the benefits of this for individuals and Higher Education Institutions.

Project Overview

The project has three main strands:

 Strand 1 – 20 Rough and Quick Guides to Learning & Teaching

 These previously internal publications are being released as OERs via open access repositories.  All of the guides are being released under creative commons licences to enable easy access and use by the wider academic community.  Both series address a range of key L&T issues or specific L&T methods.

Quick Guides are very short and provide ‘top tips’ and practical examples from L&T practice with access to further resources.  Titles include:

  • Programme Leadership
  • Action Learning
  • Engaging Students

Rough Guides are more substantive texts that provide more in-depth guidance and case studies.  Titles include:

  • Work-based Learning
  • Employability
  • Progress Files

Strand 2 – Open Learning Units

Open learning units are being developed which draw on and extend the ideas and tips in the Rough & Quick Guides.  These are stand-alone units that will be mapped to the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (UKPSF) (2011).  Titles include:

  • Achieving HEA Individual Recognition
  • Employability
  • Digital Literacies
  • Distance Learning

Piloting of one of the open learning units is underway; this provides the opportunity to evaluate its appropriateness for the audience, inform further development and better understand how to enhance the shared approach to learning.  The pilot unit, and the learning gained from it, will provide a model for the production of further units.

Strand 3 – Collaboration with Others/Raising Awareness 

To ensure a sustainable approach to the development and use of open resources, the project team is liaising with other OMAC 3/Open Education Practice project teams and members of Our Friends in the North (a network of PG Cert leaders and other staff who are engaged in developing learning and teaching) to collaborate on the development of units and UKPSF (2011) mapping.

By working collaboratively with others, we aim to raise awareness of the open educational resource agenda and enable more widespread and sustainable use of the resources.  As the various aspects of the project have been developed and delivered, opportunities for dissemination and sharing the learning from the project have been pursued, i.e. through conference workshops, papers and seminars.

In addition, a project blog has been created to provide up to date project information, access to project resources, project evaluation, and team reflection on the process and progress of the project.

The project blog can be found at: http://eat.scm.tees.ac.uk/blog/tag/jisc-oer-project/

For further information, or to participate in piloting the units please contact Gill Janes at g.janes@tees.ac.uk

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Writing for PLN

Building on the excellent post by Sue Beckingham (@suebecks) on the value of using Twitter to extend the ‘conference conversation’, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the potential of Twitter and associated social media tools to support academic writing – particularly for early-career academics. In a recent presentation at a writing retreat organised by Edinburgh Napier University, I made the case that engaging with new and emerging forms of social media and investing in our personal learning network (PLN) can afford significant benefits when writing for publication. I began by sharing the views of Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth) from the University of Plymouth (http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/) on the characteristics of the ‘Connected Educator’, and used the analogy of circle time to illustrate our ability to use social media to observe and learn from others with similar professional interests, move within and between different personal and professional circles and develop a sense of community. Emphasis was placed on the ‘personal’ and distinctive nature of each individual’s use of social media – the tools/channels favoured, different contextual uses and need to be conscious of your digital profile and footprint.

In the context of academic writing, blogging was discussed as a useful means to improve writing discipline and to develop your ‘academic voice’. I highlighted the growing number of specialist networks available on Twitter to support those engaged in academic writing (#acwri), doctoral studies (#phdchat) or wishing to participate in more general conversations around UK education (#ukedchat). These channels provide access to rich seams of ideas, resources and like-minded individuals to connect with. More than that, they can become a powerful source of support – both moral and practical. In my talk I also touched on the dramatic changes social media are driving in relation to the traditional model of academic publishing and the developing culture of openness. Appropriately used, social media can dramatically increase the potential readership of published work (particularly work submitted to open source journals) but challenges remain to the early career academic with regards to the professional credibility associated with publishing in ‘closed’ journals. Watch this space.

So to summarise, there are many tools that could form part of your personal learning network but it’s about choosing the right tools for you. It’s personal. Whether you wish to be passive or actively contribute to the networks you connect with is your decision. It’s individual and collaborative. It’s also about sharing and without doubt the more you nurture your network the greater it will grow and the more you will receive.

David Walker (@drdjwalker)

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Lessons From FASTECH

The JISC-funded FASTECH project investigates the educational and practical effects of using digital technological tools in assessment and feedback processes. The research team is collecting data about staff digital literacy, students’ learning and experiences, and practical implications. Over our first year, we’ve learned some valuable lessons about introducing technology into educational practices. Most of this won’t be news to you, but if, like us, you can do with a little reminding now and then, the following points might help you save some time and energy.
1. Staff comfort levels and opinions about technology vary wildly
If you’re reading this blog, it’s likely that you are at least interested in the implications of technology on educational practices. Residents of the blogosphere/Twitterverse can quickly become ethnocentric and forget that not everyone is reading the latest copy of Wired on their iPad while they take a break from developing an online learning space. Some colleagues are not interested in digital technology, are intimidated by it, ignorant about its applications, and/or fed up with pressure to adopt quickly-changing practices, tools, and theories. Educational developers should try not to make assumptions about their colleagues’ familiarity or capabilities with any particular tool or anyone’s basic ‘digital literacy’.2. Some staff concerns are valid (but these usually have a solution)
It’s not always fear, laziness, or ignorance that prevents academics from using digital tools in their practice; sometimes teachers have tried new pieces of technology and been disappointed, frustrated, or thwarted by any number of challenges. Health and safety concerns, especially, need to be taken seriously and potential issues and adjustments identified. Educational developers should work carefully to fully understand any reasons behind resistance and act with sensitivity to help break down barriers and provide workable solutions.

3. ‘It’s better for the students’ isn’t a convincing argument for staff
Like us, our colleagues are under tremendous pressure in their myriad professional roles. While evidence may show that a digital tool improves student learning and/or experience, we must also consider the implications on staff time, workload, and health and safety. If some subject teachers already find pedagogical research a drag, then the introduction of an extra layer of tech know-how certainly won’t appeal. Educational developers need to be sensitive to the pressures our colleagues are under and find ways to present digital tools as solutions to problems, not another symptom of micro-management and the  dehumanising, corporate educational context.

4. Training and support – on a personal level- is key to success
Providing ongoing training and 1:1 support is one of the best ways to overcome resistance to the adoption of potentially useful tools. Working with HR, IT, and other relevant departments,  educational developers should expect to offer friendly, helpful advice about any new technological innovations.

5. Students need help too
Educational developers can also work with learning development teams to provide support for students who may not be ‘digital natives/residents’. Just as staff have a variety of reasons for resisting technological innovations, students can find the adoption of new digital tools and systems overwhelming.

6. Engage students to help develop and implement your project
Don’t stop at simply offering help; get students involved in a substantial part of your development activity – not just as tokenistic questionnaire-fillers, but as researchers, trainers, and consultants. On FASTECH, the Student Fellows are key members of the team and the most successful change agents.

7. Institutional regulations can be a barrier to good practice – or a starting point for change
Using some emotional intelligence and political savvy, educational developers can use quality assurance and other regulations to work for (or at least in tandem), rather than against, positive educational change with technology. Again, students might be able to help effect some ‘top-down’ changes.

8. Students aren’t always keen for technology
We sometimes assume that students want us to use the latest technology in our teaching and assessment, but check first. Have a look at the relevant literature, run pilot interventions, and examine student feedback. Students sometimes prefer the status quo to ill-conceived or hasty implementation of technological interventions.

The FASTECH team is working hard to embed technology that improves staff and students’ experience of technology, but we’re learning the need to proceed slowly and gently with staff and students alike.If you have any questions about the project, please visit our website at www.fastech.ac.uk or email p.hyland@bathspa.ac.uk.

Joelle Adams and The FASTECH Team

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Using the UKPSF in the Digital University

SEDA is a partner alongside other professional associations in a JISC-funded study on the UKPSF in the Digital University. The study is collating guidance and examples to inform a JISC & Professional Associations Guide to Implementing the UKPSF in the Digital University.

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Using Twitter to extend the conference conversation: before, during and after

Background

It was about this time last year that SEDA held the Spring 2011 Conference in Edinburgh. I was unable to attend, but delighted to find a handful of people at the event were tweeting, one of whom was David Walker (@drdjwalker). His tweets and others gave me a flavour of some of the highlights and key messages they were getting from the keynotes and workshops. I found this very useful, however as I mentioned there were just a few tweeting. The Twitter ‘backchannel’ as it has become known has been growing at other events and as I reflected upon the  value I have got from using Twitter, it struck me that as an educational developer I should be sharing this with those colleagues who were perhaps unfamiliar or not confident in using Twitter or indeed other social media. The use of social media is an excellent way to extend your personal learning network and opens new ways to communicate and collaborate online. The forthcoming annual SEDA conference in November had recently put a call out for papers and the theme was technology enhanced learning. I contacted David Walker to see if he would like to co-facilitate a workshop that would introduce people to Twitter and the value of social media as tools to develop personal learning networks. He very enthusiastically said yes. It was an ideal opportunity to share what we had learnt and what the benefits could be for others.

Fast forward to November 2011…

The proposal was accepted and our session titled Using Social Media to Develop a Personal Learning Network was very well attended with standing room only. Delegates thanked us afterwards for giving them the encouragement and motivation to jump in and join the conversations taking place on Twitter. People were tweeting messages and including links to related websites, papers and blogs; adding photos taken in sessions to capture hand drawn mind maps, the flurry of activity as well photos of the speakers. Within each tweet they added the pre-agreed conference hashtag #sedacon16. By inserting #sedaconf16 to each tweet, it makes it possible for others to run a search in Twitter for the hashtag and then view all these tweets in one stream.

People following this stream or backchannel picked out tweets and retweeted them, thus cascading messages to those following their tweets. It is this ripple effect that is so powerful. Not only did people who were aware of the conference but not attending join in the dialogue, others who followed these people happened upon the tweets and also engaged in the conversations. Some had never come across SEDA as a community.

Virtual attendee

This brings me to this year’s Spring 2012 Conference, which I followed through Twitter. Whilst there were not as many tweeting, the dialogue was very rich and useful. Tweets using the hashtag  #sedaconf12 commenced before the conference had started. This was a great way to signal who was going to be there, enabling people to make arrangements to meet up on arrival. They alerted followers of @Seda_UK what this year’s conference hashtag was going to be. The tweets and retweets engaged both attendees and those from afar. Post conference the tweets were reflective and it was clear that many of the attendees had left the event with much to think about. Even as a virtual attendee of the conference I was able to pick up useful links people were sharing.

Visualising the conversations

Using Storify I was able to capture a snapshot of the conference tweets . This is a lovely way to visually collate useful links and photos and to add some context of the event in the form of a ‘story’.  I also used Archivist to archive the tweets. This simple to use tool also analyzes the tweets and produces brightly coloured graphs capturing the top tweeters, comparison of tweets and retweets, most frequently used words and urls shared.

archive of tweets

Sue Beckingham FSEDA
@suebecks

 

Useful links

Twitter: http://twitter.com/

Storify: http://storify.com/

Archivist: http://archivist.visitmix.com/

SEDA’s Twitter handle: @seda_uk_

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The SEDA Special Interest Group on technology-enhanced practice (working title)

SIG Membership of SEDA Committees

  • Sue Beckingham from Sheffield Hallam and Joelle Adams from Bath Spa , both members of the SEDA SIG, have been elected to SEDA Executive. They were elected at the  Annual General Meeting on May 17th at the SEDA Conference in Chester. Congratulation to them both!

Additionally:

These SIG members serve as full members of their committee. They also support the committee in further developing  the technology-enhanced practice dimension of SEDA’s work. This is likely to include both content  and SEDA’s working practices.

SEDA SIG Q&A

Got a question about academic development and technology-enhanced practice? Put it hereAnswer it here.

Join the SIG

Read about SIG members, and sign up.

First SEDA SIG meeting

Five of us – Helen Boulton, Joelle Adams, Peter Hartley, Marios Hadjianastasis and David Baume – had a lively and productive informal meeting at the SEDA Conference on May 17th. We developed some ideas about what the SIG might be for, what it might be like, what it might do and how it might work.

Perhaps the most important idea was that the SIG will do and be whatever its members from time to time want it to do and be, within the broad remit described on the “About the SEDA SIG” tab of the blog.

So: Tell us what you think!

More of our ideas:

  • There was enthusiasm for ‘technology-enhanced practice’ in the SIG name, to emphasize that we are concerned with the use of technology across all of work and life, not limited to education.
  • We want to share questions and answers, practices and technologies. Hence the SEDA SIG Q&A googledoc linked from the blog. With its first question. A googledoc table may or may not be the best way to do this. We’ll see.
  • We’d like the SIG to be a place for play and exploration and demonstration of new and potentially useful technologies. A sandpit. We haven’t worked out how to implement this yet. Suggestions welcome.
  • We want the SIG to be a site for co-operation.
  • We’d like the SIG to research job roles and organisational structures around academic development and learning technology and teaching, to understand how these parts of organisations work together, and maybe see ways to shape and do things better.
  • Maybe every SIG member should offer one example or case study of, or story about, good and / or interesting practice. Maybe that should be the price of admission to the SIG!
  • Maybe SEDA could work with other organisations to support work-based and professional association PhDs.
  • The SIG could be a test bed for new ideas in developing digital literacies.
  • We could co-define and undertake and write up research studies and papers, sometimes for publication in conventional journals and sometimes not.
  • The SIG will work across SEDA. We already have someone on each of the main SEDA Committees – Sue Beckingham on Executive and Papers, Joelle Adams on Executive, Peter Hartley on Services and Enterprise, David Walker on Conferences and Keith Smyth on Professional Development Framework.
  • We want to go forth and work together and do good stuff, aimed at good student learning. This will require work and play.
  • The SIG’s policy and practice will evolve.
  •  As a personal note, I wonder how soon this SIG will fade away, our work done?

David Baume

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