Welcome to the Digital Transformation blog

Featured

Digital is the convergence of a variety of technologies and social changes that have led to a new way of living our lives. Our students are the epitome of this new digital reality – they create and consume content in a very different way to previous generations.

But what exactly is a digital transformation? The Enterprisers Project define it as:

“The integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.

Beyond that, it’s a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure.

Digital transformation is not solely about technology. In fact technology is only one part of the puzzle. Digital transformation is about meeting the needs of the new digital consumer – be they staff or student. It involves new understanding and cultural change. For more on this see Paul Boag’s Digital Transformation: The six questions you need to answer.

At the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) we are at the beginning of this transformation process. There is a commitment to develop and a will to act, but so far efforts have not been as co-ordinated as they could be.

However this is about change. We are working on a new digital-focused strategic approach to be integrated in our IT strategy and Learning and Teaching strategy.  It will form the backbone of our digital activity and allow progress to be made in a comprehensive and integrated manner.

We want to share our transformation with you and intend to blog about the journey, bumps and all.

Twine Peaks. (Digital) Fire Walk With Me & Techno-Auto-Ethnography

I have no idea where this will lead us. But I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange”

(Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks).

The Association for Learning Technologists (ALT) organises the Open Education OER conference every year. In 2021, the event took place in an online capacity. In 2022, the event took place in a hybrid way in London and online with the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) contributing to the chairing of the event. The aim of the conference is to explore “Open Education research, practice and policy” (Association for Learning Technology, 2022). The conference explored five core themes including pedagogy in a time of crisis, open textbooks, open in action, open research and wildcard proposals (Association for Learning Technologists, n.d.).

(Eclipse Digital Imaging, 2022)

Responding to the theme of pedagogy of crisis, one of the critical questions is “what does an ‘open’ response look like?” (Association for Learning Technologists, n.d.). For me, an open response is to explore what we can do with what we have. Necessity is the mother of (digital) invention.

Autoethnography is “a method that allows us to reconsider how we think, how we do research and maintain relationships, and how we live”

(Adams, Holman Jones & Ellis 2015: p8).

Creating a story/game in Twine can be visualised as map on a grid. It is possible to test to game.

Twine is a both free and open-source storytelling tool that enables users to create text-based interactive games and non-linear storytelling (Twinery, n.d.)

(Eclipse Digital Imaging, 2022)

Twine can be argued to bea new tool has emerged that empowers just about anyone to create a game” (Petit, 2013)

(Eclipse Digital Imaging, 2022)

Twin Peaks (1990-1991) explores “…. idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks” (IMDb, 2022). For online presentations, presenters were invited to use Discord to respond to ideas and answer questions which enhanced the conference experience.

(Eclipse Digital Imaging, 2022)

Drawing on the well known television programme Twin Peaks (1990-1991) the presentation draws on Twine to create a techno-auto-ethnographic “identity performance” game/story to explore the idiosyncratic identity story of a Learning Technologist working in higher education (Clark, 2020). Techno-auto- ethnography has been novel, innovative and open methodological thread running throughout research and practice (see blog posts exploring this topic here).

Bibliography

Adams, T, E, Holman, Jones, S & Ellis, C (2015) Autoethnography Understanding Qualitative Research (USA: OUP). 

Association for Learning Technology (2022) Open Education (OER) Conference (Online) Available at: https://www.alt.ac.uk/events/open-education-conference [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Association for Learning Technology (n.d.) Open Education Conference #OER22 (Online) Available at: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/oer22/ [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Clark D. (2020). Tech and me: an autoethnographic account of digital literacy as an identity performance. Research in Learning Technology28. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v28.2389

Discord (2022) Discord (Online) Available at: https://discord.com/ [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Eclipse Digital Imaging (2022) Smart Phone with Transparent Screen (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com/powerpoint-clipart/smart-phone-transparent-screen-pid-15851 [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Eclipse Digital Imaging (2022) Computer Monitor Blank White Screen (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com/powerpoint-clipart/computer-monitor-plain-white-screen-pid-2081 [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Eclipse Digital Imaging (2022) 8-bit Message Text (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com/video-background/8bit-message-text-pid-12118 [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Eclipse Digital Imaging (2022) 80s Retro Text Custom (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com/video-background/80s-retro-text-custom-pid-19907 [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Eclipse Digital Imaging (2022) Store Front (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com/powerpoint-clipart/store-front-pid-19128 [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) (n.d.) Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) (Online) Available at: https://go-gn.net/ [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Petit, C (2013) Power to the People: The Text Adventures of Twine. Gamespot, [online] (Last updated 2:11AM PST on 21 January). Available at: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/power-to-the-people-the-text-adventures-of-twine/1100-6402665/ [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Twinery (n.d) Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories (Online) Available at: https://twinery.org/ [Accessed 3 May 2022].

Joseph & the Techno-Empathic Dreamcoat. Exploring Dimensions of Techno-Empathy. Any (Empathy) Dream Will Do.

Bibliography

On the 21st April 2022, Dr. Lee Campbell from University of the Arts London (UAL) curated an online discussion with a range of invited speakers including both staff and students exploring empathy funded by a Learning & Teaching Fund Award. The online event took place on Blackboard Collaborate and was part of a series of online events with a synoptic event taking place in June. My presentation explored the responses to online questionnaire about empathy and a series of reflections and a final provocation. At the end of the event, participants contributed to a group discussion.

So long and thanks for all the empathy.


A mini investigation was carried out to explore how empathy is understood and framed higher education uisng an online questionnaire using Microsoft Form How can emapthy be translated? How do cultural understandings of empathy differ? The presentation explored the idea of empathy in the third space, the possibilities of critical empathy literacy, the opposite of empathy, the extent to which empathy is interdisciplinary, post digital, how it concerns both self and other, how it can be inclusive, authentic, promotes agency, responsibility and choice, space, place, a pedagogy of care, transgression and progression.

Questions from the Mini Investigation

Can we show empathy across different cultural settings? How do we know when empathy has happened? Do we need to conern ourselves with “empathic accuracy?” (Ta & Ickes, in Maibom, 2017: p353). Perhaps the “Brave New Digital Classroom” requires us to explore ‘brave new empathies’? (Blake, 2008).

Fashioning Critical Empathies? ‘Any (Empathy) Dream Will Do

Perhaps the future of the university also needs to include compassion in addition to empathy. In future, univeristies could create a Charter for Compassion (Charter for Compassion, 2022). What is the relationship between empathy and compassion? Are these the “goldern threads” all univeristies need to weave? (Waddrington, 2017).

There is already a growing critical mass of universities that have a compassionate action plan in place…”

(Waddrington, 2021: p3)

Bibliography

Blake, R, J, (2008) Brave New Digital Classroom Technology and Foreign Language Learning (Georgetown University Press: Washington D.C.)

Charter for Compassion (2022) CHarter for Compassion (Online) Available at: https://charterforcompassion.org/ [Accessed 1 May 2022].

Denney, F (2022) Building bridges and connections: The Language used to connect and define communities in the third space in McIntosh, E & Nutt, D. ed. 2022. The Impact of the Integrated Practitioner in Higher Education Studies in Third Space Professionalism. London & New York: Routledge. Ch. 4.

Jandrić, P. Alone-Time and Loneliness in the Academia. Postdigit Sci Educ (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00294-4

O’Meara, K., Nyunt, G., Templeton, L. and Kuvaeva, A. (2019), “Meeting to transgress: The role of faculty learning communities in shaping more inclusive organizational cultures”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 286-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-09-2017-0184

Maibom, H, L (ed) (2017) The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy (London & New York: Routledge).

Waddrington. K (ed) (2021) Towards the Compassionate University from Goldern thread to Global Impact (London & New York: Routledge)

No rest for the Wicked. Exploring Wicked Problems & Digital Elephant in the (Zoom) Room

The British Association for International & Comparative Education (BAICE) Early Career conference took place in an online capacity on Zoom in April 2022 over two days. The theme of the conference was explored potential and challenges in education in today’s world (BAICE, 2022). The organisation is affiliated to the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) (BAICE, 2022).

“(BAICE) is an association which promotes research, teaching, policy and development in all aspects of international and comparative education. BAICE is the British affiliate of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES)”

The British Association for International & Comparative Education (BAICE) (2022)

What is a wicked problem?

“A wicked problem can be defined “…as a complex issue that defies complete definition, for which there is no final solution, since any resolution generates further issues, and where solutions are not true or false or good or bad, but the best that can be done at the time”

(Rittel & Webber, 1973 in Brown, Harris & Russell, 2010: p4).
Wicked Problems & Solutions

It could be argued that the transnational online pivot is an example of a wicked problem. It has been acknowledged that the pivot “…exposed international students to many new study options. These include:

  • flexible online access to classes and learning materials from anywhere
  • multi-modality in creating diverse content and in student assignments
  • multiple platforms and communication channels for diversified feedback and dialogue
  • captions for recorded videos through tech platforms such as Zoom” (Adachi & Tran, 2022).

Furthermore, another example of a wicked problem could be student engagement. As educators, we are always trying to create a range of ways to ensure all students are engagement during learning sessions. However, every solution has a series of challenges to overcome. One solution can lead to further problems and questions. Theoretically, the wicked problem idea provides a way to think about complexity in a simple way.

What wicked problems did we encounter in the technology -enhanced transnational learning (TETL) context?

A recent blog post in the Association for Learning Technologists OER Guest Post explored how international postgraduate students’ make connections using “Zoom University” (Lei, 2022). It is useful to ask what wicked problems are other institutions facing for example working across time zones (Lei, 2022). With regard to the technology enhanced transnational learning (TETL) From this, we are in a position to ask how are other institutions solving wicked problems?

“In addition, although universities were making a huge effort of making online communities through Teams, Moodle and other platforms, it is hard to make a real in-depth and ongoing conversation, the groups were always very quiet”

(lei, 2022)

What next? Wicked futures?

Let’s consider the future, who decides what the problems are and who decides on the solutions? Problems and solutions don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Are students part of this process? 

A helpful bog post was in the Post Pandemic University blog by Mittelmeier, Lomer, Lim, Cockayne, & Ploner in 2022 that asks “How can practices with International Students be made more ethical?”. Perhaps we need to recognise that “All international students need more help to adjust to university” (Moores, 2022).Prioritising an ethical approach is critical for example to overcome the tendency towards deficit narratives of international students (Mittelmeier, Lomer, Lim, Cockayne, & Ploner, 2022). The future publication entitled Research with International Students: Critical Conceptual and Methodological Considerations will be important in virtue of the fact that there is “…limited conceptual and methodological guidance specifically for researchers (rather than teachers) who conduct their work with and about international students” (Castiello, 2022). The Critical Internationalization Studies Network could play a fundamental role in this inquiry. Does higher education have a “Language Problem?”.

“To better understand the Language Problem, we must first understand how today’s university activity is increasingly tied to a worldwide knowledge economy in a global marketplace which is dependent, in large part, on proficiency in English”

(Bhatt, Badwan & Madiba, 2022: p425)

Empathy can form a big part of this ethical picture. In future, I hope to explore possible articulations of what empathy looks like in technology-enhanced contexts as part if a project led by by Dr. Lee Campbell from the University of the Arts London (UAL) in April 2022. Furthermore, an open source tool called Twine will be used to explore a techno-auto-ethnographic story which will be presented at the Open Education Resources (OER) Conference 2022, Association for Learning Technology (ALT) in April 2022. Making online tools as open as possible is a radical example and a wicked solution. “International students are back on campus, but does that spell the end of digital learning?…” (Adachi & Tran, 2022)

Perhaps the key to engaing learners is to enocurage to develop an “online learner identity” (Garip, 2020).

“A sense of identity allows you to establish yourself as an online learner when approaching prioritisation of tasks and managing time with work and family commitments”

(garip, 2020)

Perhaps a wicked solution could be to explore transnational research, for example by exploring the new book Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for International Educators (Whatley, 2022). Do staff and student prefer face-to-face teaching and learning? Is this a wicked question?

“Students Often Prefer In-Person Classes . . . Until They Don’t”

(Samson, 2022).

Wicked problems can be a useful way to understand and make sense of the complexity what is happening to us and to frame the range of uncertainties and changes to learning identities and relationships. It is useful method to avoid over-problematising. It requires us to be radically vulnerable, open and collaborative in novel and creative and interdisciplinary ways. Here’s to a wicked and interesting future! 

Bibliography

Adachi, C & Tran, L (2022) International students are back on campus, but does that spell the end of digital learning? Here’s why it shouldn’t. The Conversation, [online] Last updated 6.09am on 04th March 2022 6.09am). Available at: https://theconversation-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/theconversation.com/amp/international-students-are-back-on-campus-but-does-that-spell-the-end-of-digital-learning-heres-why-it-shouldnt-177545 [Accessed 8 April 2022]

Association for Learning Technology (ALT) (n.d.) Open Education (OER) Conference (Online) Available at: https://www.alt.ac.uk/events/open-education-conference [Accessed 6 April 2022]

Bhatt, Badwan & Madiba (2022) Critical perspectives on teaching in the multilingual university, Teaching in Higher Education, 27:4, 425-436, DOI:
10.1080/13562517.2022.2058295

British Association for International & Comparative Education (BAICE) (2022) BAICE 2022 Early Career Conference – Call For Papers (Online) Available at: https://baice.ac.uk/baice-2022-early-career-conference-call-for-papers/ [Accessed: 6 April 2022]

British Association for International & Comparative Education (BAICE) (2022) BAICE News (Online) Available at: https://baice.ac.uk/ [Accessed: 6 April 2022]

Brown, V, A, Deane, P, M, Harris, J, A & Russell, J, Y. 2010. Towards a Just and Sustainable Future. In: Brown, V, A, Harris, J, A, & Russell, J, Y. eds. Tackling Wicked Problems: Through the Transdisciplinary Imagination. Oxon: Routledge 2010. Ch. 1.​

Castiello, S (2022) Research with international students: Reflecting on critical and conceptual methodological considerations. https://criticalinternationalization.net/. International Education blog [blog] 19 April. Available at: https://criticalinternationalization.net/2022/04/19/research-with-international-students-reflecting-on-critical-and-conceptual-methodological-considerations/ [Accessed 3 May 2022]

Garip, G (2020) How to encourage self-regulated online learning. https://www.derby.ac.uk. Education Blog [blog]. (Online) Available at: https://www.derby.ac.uk/blog/students-educators-online-learning/ [Accessed 19th April 2022]

Lei, Y (2022) OER Guest Post: How did international postgraduate students’ make connections with others when they were attending Zoom University in their own country. https://altc.alt.ac.uk/. Learning Technology Blog [blog] 21 March. Available at: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2022/03/guest-post-makingconnectionsviazoom/ [Accessed 29 March 2022]

Mittelmeier, J, Lomer, S, Lim, M, Cockayne, H & Ploner, J (2022) How can practices with International Students be made more ethical? https://postpandemicuniversity.net Post Pandemic University blog [blog] 10 Jan Available at: https://postpandemicuniversity.net/2022/01/10/how-can-practices-with-international-students-be-made-more-ethical/ [Accessed: 6 April 2022]

McDonald, P (2022) Joseph & the Techno-Empathic Dreamcoat. Exploring Dimensions of Techno-Empathy. Any (Empathy) Dream Will Do. Digitalrau.wordpress.com. Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 25 April. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2022/04/25/joseph-the-techno-empathic-dreamcoat-exploring-dimensions-of-techno-empathy-any-empathy-dream-will-do/ [Accessed: 24 April 2022] 

Moores, P (2022) All international students need more help to adjust to university [online] (Last updated 14 May March 2022) Available at: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/all-international-students-need-more-help-adjust-university [Accessed 19th April 2022]

Samson, P (2022) Students Often Prefer In-Person Classes . . . Until They Don’t. Educause, [online] (Last updated 01 March 2022) Available at: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2022/3/students-often-prefer-in-person-classes-until-they-dont [Accessed 19th April 2022]

The Critical Internationalization Studies Network (n.d.) The Critical Internationalization Studies Network (Online) Available at: https://criticalinternationalization.net/ [Accessed 3 May 2022]

Twinery (n.d.) (Online) Available at: https://twinery.org/ [Accessed 6 April 2022]

Whatley, M (2022) Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for International Educators (Switzerland: Springer)

From Pecha Kucha to Poetic Kucha. Exploring the Possibilities of Techno-Poetics.

The Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN) is:

“An international, intersectional , safe space for women academics of all stages. Sharing, empowering, changing the system”

(Women in Academia Support Network WIASN, 2022)

In March 2022,, the Virtually Undisciplined: Diversifying Higher Education and Research bi-annual conference took place on Zoom over two days. Drawing on the pandemic and subsequent online pivot as the context for the conference, a pecha kucha inspired presentation was delivered exploring a techno-auto-ethnographic creative approach.

(@wiasnofficial, 2022)

“WIASN assert that global issues can only be properly addressed by a diverse and interconnected research culture.  So how can a more interconnected (globally, digitally, interdisciplinary) research and academic community foster ways in which we value, embrace and leverage diversity (which includes the unconventional)? This conference asks what are the potential and pitfalls to achieving this”

(WIASN , 2022)
‘I, Learning Technologist’

A wide range of topics were discussed from online fanfiction, creative research methods and the autoethnography of failure and success.

The #creativeHE open mic event was shared with the group. WIASN are also thinking about creating an open mic opportunity too. It is possible to sign up here. The idea of a comedy evening was also discussed.

(@wiasnofficial, 2022)

The idea of celebrating the telling non-linear stories was discussed and how the techno-auto-ethnographic approach can be a platform to cope with ‘messy’ stories. A short presentation can be a challenge to convey the main points in a short period of time, so the popular structure of ‘how is started, how it is going‘ was used as a way to structure the presentation to engage the audience. What next? Petcha-gogy? From “The Poetics of Space” to the ‘Techno-Poetics of Space‘ (Bachelard, 1958).

Bibliography

Bachelard, G (1958) The Poetics of Space (New York: Penguin).

#creativeHE (2022) Getting Our Creative Act Together. The #creative HE Open Mic. https://creativehecommunity.wordpress.com. Creative Higher Education blog [blog]. Feb 14. Available at: https://creativehecommunity.wordpress.com/2022/02/14/getting-our-creative-act-together-the-creative-he-open-mic/

McDonald, P (2022) #CreativeHE Open Mic Sign Up (Online) Available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FOjyRCXXyrOFohedn2bzAvusdchHIu5kgWQpZ_T5HEg/ [Accessed 1 April 2022]

Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN) (2022) Women in Academia Support Network (Online) Available at: https://www.wiasn.com/ [Accessed 1 April 2022]

Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN) (2022) Virtually Undisciplined: Diversifying Higher Education and Research through interconnectivity (Online) Available at: https://www.wiasn.com/conference-call/ [Accessed 1 April 2022]

Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN) [@wiasnoffical] (2022, 1st April) PIP MCDONALD PERFORMED AN AWESOME TECHNO POEM IN THE PREVIOUS CONFEENCE SESSION & HAS SHARED THIS LINK TO A CREATIVE HE OPEN IC. IF WE DON’T DO A WIASN ONE I WILL BE BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED. CREATIVE HIGHER EDCUATION OPEN MIC SUGN UP – BIT.LY/3LVT5HW #WIASN2022 [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/wiasnofficial/status/1509914245315637256?cxt=HHwWkMC5lbPApfQpAAAA

Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN) [@wiasnoffical] (2022, 1st April) THE POSSIBILITIES OF TECHNO-POETICS WITH PIP MCDONALD, FROM @ROYALAGUNI TALKING ON HOW YOU CAN UNDERSTAND YOURSELF AND OTHERS MORE THROUGH THE TECHNO-AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC APPROACH AND NON-LINEARITY. ALLOWS TO TELL THE MESS STORIES OF TE SELF [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/wiasnofficial/status/1509911484960280590?cxt=HHwWnMC49dyfpPQpAAAA

“One small BETT for Learning Technology Kind”.

BETT UK took place between 23th-25th March 2022 at ExCeL arena London. I participated in an invited roundtable event in the Collaboration space entitled ‘Riding the wave: Proving high quality education across borders’ with Universities UK. Participants were invited to read through a report before we took part in the discussion:

This report content is a summary of the key ideas from the work of the Task & Finish Group on Transnational Online Higher Education from the Universities UK International’s (UUKi) TNE Advisory Group (Universities UK, 2021: p3).

BETT can be understood as “The global community for education technology. Our events in the UK, Brasil and Asia are where we bring our community together to spark ideas, create connections and accelerate trade”

(HYve, 2021)

Technology enhanced transnational learning (TETL) can be understood as a unique area of specialism. Participants were divided into three tables with a specific theme to discuss. The theme on our table was ‘access’. We discussed access to and perceptions of student experience, access and accessibility, barriers to support across time zones, and reimagining an experience as opposed to just replicating an established model. It was a privilege to take part in the roundtable discussion exploring this topic. It feels important to prioritise an ethical practice for international students (Mittelmeier, Lomer, Cockayne & Ploner, 2022)

At the Zoom stand, there was an opportunity to explore how the new Zoom Rooms could work in a learning context and the opportunity to own a pair of Zoom socks! Highlights of the BETT can be viewed in this YouTube video.

Bibliography

Ahead by BETT (2022) Ahead by Bett 2022 Highlights. Available at: https://youtu.be/-DufUye5kG8 [Accessed 19 April 2022]

Defra, 2007. Sustainable development: the bigger picture. Available at: <http://youtu.be/keZmg56ahdM&gt; [Accessed 23 June 2012].

BETT (n.d.) Welcome to BETT (Online) Available at: https://www.bettshow.com/ [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

Mittelmeier, J, Lomer, S, Lim, M, Cockayne, H & Ploner, J (2022) How can practices with International Students be made more ethical? https://postpandemicuniversity.net Post Pandemic University blog [blog] 10 Jan Available at: https://postpandemicuniversity.net/2022/01/10/how-can-practices-with-international-students-be-made-more-ethical/ [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

Universities UK (2021) Building the global reputation and delivery of UK transnational online higher education. [pdf] Universities UK. Available at: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/UUKi%20reports/TNE-task-and-finish-report.pdf [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

“Staying with the Blog Trouble”. Diffractive Blogging & Wicked Problems

The PressEd conference is an annual online event that takes place on Twitter exploring  education, pedagogy and research using WordPress (PressEd, n.d.). Contributors have 15 minutes, up to 15 tweets to share their ideas and use the #PressEDConf22 hashtag. Why is PressEd relevant? The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) Digital Transformation blog was created using WordPress. For the past four years, contributions have been made to this conference.

YearPressEd Conference ContributionTweet Archive/Twitter Moment Link/Blog Post
2019Me, Myself and Multimodality: Exploring Multimodal Opportunities (MLOs) on WordPresshttps://twitter.com/i/events/1118963497638006785
2020Close Encounters of the Accessible Kind: Exploring digital accessibility on WordPresshttps://twitter.com/i/events/1246036275905339392
2021Now That’s What I Call WordPress. Exploring WordPress for Radio – Enhanced Learning Opportunities (RELO)https://2021.pressedconf.org/?easyconfpr=now-thats-what-i-call-wordpress-exploring-wordpress-for-radio-enhanced-learning-opportunities-relo  

https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/unpacking-the-pressed-twitter-conference-experience-a-digital-assemblage/
2022The Possibilities of Diffractive Blogging. Exploring Wicked Problems with WordPresshttps://2022.pressedconf.org/?easyconfpr=the-possibilities-of-diffractive-blogging-exploring-wicked-problems-with-wordpress
Table of PressEd contributions

I discovered the idea of diffractive reading from Barad (2007). What can physics tell us about ourselves and our meaning-making practices?

“Diffraction is a physical phenomenon that lies at the center of some key discussions in physics and the philosophy of physics… Diffraction is also an apt metaphor for describing the methodological approach that I use of reading insights through one another in attending to and responding to the details and specificities of relations of difference and how they matter”

(Barad, 2007: p1)

What could diffractive blogging be? What do we do when we blog? Do we make ‘waves’ or ‘worlds’ or both? Blogging IS an act of “… World(ing)…” (Thiele & Kaiser, 2018: p2). Perhaps it could be argued that the opportunity to blog is an opportunity to ‘stay with the trouble’ and to make sense of the trouble in a collaborative capacity. Trouble can be an opportunity.

“Trouble is an interesting word. It derives from thirteenth-century French verb meaning “to stir up,” “to disturb”. We -all of us on Terra-live in disturbing times, mixed-up times, troubling and turbid times. The task is to become capable…The task is to make kin in lines of inventive connection as a practice of learning…”

(HARAWAY, 2016)

A wicked problem can be defined:

“…as a complex issue that defies complete definition, for which there is no final solution, since any resolution generates further issues, and where solutions are not true or false or good or bad, but the best that can be done at the time”

(Rittel & Webber, 1973 in Brown, Harris & Russell, 2010: p4).

From a pedagogical perspective, perhaps engagement could be considered as a ‘wicked problem’ in virtue of the fact that not all students in a class can engage in the same way at any one time. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect lesson’. The persistence of imperfection needs to be acknowledged. In January 2021, polling was explored as a way to improve student engagement and the outcomes were presented at the EdTech Winter conference and in a blog post here. Perhaps digital literacy for both staff and students can also be regarded as a wicked problem. Zoom literacy for students was explored using an escape room presented at the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) CARNival Raised Voices 2021 Conference and a blog post here.

Tweetchats and conferences that take place on Twitter can be argued to be inclusive, accessible, and fun. A blog post was created exploring #ukfechat (@ukfechat) which is weekly tweetchat.

A visual summary of the tweets can be accessed below:

Bibliography

Barad, (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham & London: Duke University Press)

Brown, V, A, Harris, J & Brown & Russell, J, Y (eds) (2010) Tackling Wicked Problems: Through the Transdisciplinary Imagination Kindle Edition (London & New York: Earthscan)

Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) (n.d.) CARNival – Raised Voices: Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) Online Conference, 2021 (Online) Available at: https://www.conventiondundeeandangus.co.uk/attending/conferences/carnival–raised-voices-collaborative-action-research-network-carn-online-conference-2021 [Accessed: 27 March 2021]

Kaiser, B, M & Thiele, K (eds) (2017) Diffracted Worlds – Diffractive Readings: Onto-Epistemologies and the Critical Humanities (London & New York: Routledge)

Haraway, D (2016) Staying with the Trouble (Experimental Futures): Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Durham & London: Duke University Press)

Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) EdTech Winter Online Conference 2021 (Online) Available at: https://ilta.ie/project/edtechwinter2021/ [Accessed: 27 March 2021]

McDonald, P (2021) Unpacking the PressEd Twitter Conference Experience. A Digital Assemblage? Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 25 March. Available at:  https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/unpacking-the-pressed-twitter-conference-experience-a-digital-assemblage/ [Accessed: 24 January 2022] 

McDonald, P (2021) EduTwitter as Rhizome. An Online Athenaeum? Tweeting on the Shoulders of (Digital) Giants. Digitalrau.wordpress.com. Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 29 April. Available at:  https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/edutwitter-as-rhizome-an-online-athenaeum-tweeting-on-the-shoulders-of-digital-giants/ [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2021) Technology to Transgress. Spinoza, Energy & Expeditions of Joy. Exploring Critical Zoom Literacies with #ukfechat Digitalrau.wordpress.com. Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 5 October. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/10/05/technology-to-transgress-spinoza-energy-expeditions-of-joy-exploring-critical-zoom-literacies-with-ukfechat/ [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2021) Indiana Jones & the Breakout Tombs. Exploring Student Zoom Literacy. Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 9 October. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/10/09/indiana-jones-the-breakout-tombs-exploring-student-zoom-literacy [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2021) Digital Winter is Coming. Exploring the Brave New Digital Worlds at the EdTech Winter Conference 2021. A Reflective Audio Comic. Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 14th January.  Available at:  https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/01/14/the-digital-winter-is-coming-exploring-the-brave-new-digital-worlds-at-the-edtech-winter-conference-2021-a-reflective-audio-comic/ [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

PressEd (n.d.) The Possibilities of Diffractive Blogging. Exploring Wicked Problems with WordPress. https://2022.pressedconf.org/. WordPress Education Conference Blog [blog] n.d. Available at: https://2022.pressedconf.org/?easyconfpr=the-possibilities-of-diffractive-blogging-exploring-wicked-problems-with-wordpress [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

PressEd (n.d.) The 2022 PressEd conference. https://2022.pressedconf.org/. WordPress Education blog [blog] n.d. Available at: https://2022.pressedconf.org/ [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

PressEd (n.d.) Now That’s What I Call WordPress! Exploring WordPress for Radio enhanced learning Opportunities (RELO). https://2022.pressedconf.org/. WordPress Education Conference Blog [blog] n.d. Available at: ps://2021.pressedconf.org/?easyconfpr=now-thats-what-i-call-wordpress-exploring-wordpress-for-radio-enhanced-learning-opportunities-relo [Accessed: 27 March 2022]

Pip McDonald [@PhilippaMcDona3]. (2020, April 3). PressEdConf20-@PhilippaMcDona3 Close Encounter of the Accessible Kind [Twitter moment]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/i/events/1246036275905339392

Pip McDonald [@PipMac6]. (2021, April 18). PressEdConf20- #PressEdConf19 Me, Myself and Multimodality [Twitter moment]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/i/events/1118963497638006785

What the Techno-Auto-Ethnographer Did Next. The #EdTechOutlaws Adventures

The #EdTechOutlaws is a group for educators with an interest in working in the arts. It was founded by Puiyin Wong (@Puiyin) Learning Technologist at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 2021. Online meetings take place every month or so and one participant is invited to set a theme for the discussion for example reflecting on hybrid and hyflex approaches. I was invited to create a theme for the meeting in March. I decided to introduce the techno-auto-ethnographic approach to the group. This involved sharing how the approach was created outlined in earlier blog posts (here, here and research poster here), providing an example of a techno-auto-ethnographic response, a template with some prompts, a brief discussion of the benefits and drawbacks and finally a space to experiment with the approach to to tell their own stories of how they became Learning Technologists.

The structure of the techno-auto-ethnographic themed meeting

It is always fascinating to find out how people became Learning Technologists, the varied routes into this unique profession and the different ways that institutions frame the role. An example was provided in the form of a ‘techno-auto-ethnographic’ tweet whereby a participant had reflected on being a teacher before a Learning Technologist. On reflection, having been a teacher before helped me understand how to support teachers as much as possible. Perhaps techno-auto-ethnographic moments are more common than we think.

A Techno-auto-ethnographic Tweet? (@johnbrindletel, 2022)

An example was provided of a poem I had created as a techno-auto-ethnographic response which was published in the #creativeHE annual exploring being creative in the face of adversity called ‘I’m a Learning Technologist. Get Me Out of Here’. A techno-autoethnographic poem’. Participants shared their techno-auto-ethnographic stories then nominated the next participant to go next.

Throughout the storytelling, I wrote a live techno-poetic response to amalgamate key words and phrases form the stories of participants to create a poem performed at the end of the meeting.

‘How it started & How it is Going’ – Exploring a techno-auto-ethnographic template

It was a privilege to hear the stories of participants and acknowledge the range of pathways into learning technology. There are so many types of Learning Technologist and job role names from Academic Developer to Learning Designer. Perhaps there are a wide range “identity tensions” with the learning technology field and the collaborative techno-auto-ethnographic approach is a constructive way to explore them (Yazan, Herrera & Rashed, 2022). The collaborative techno-auto-ethnographic experiment made me reflect on the future of learning technology profession.

(@puiyin, 2022)

Participants were also encouraged to take part in the #creativeHE Open Mic event on Thursday 21st April 6pm-7pm which is also World Creativity Day. It is possible to sign up here. I hope this will be an inclusive event to celebrate original work. The event will also form part of an Action Learning Project (ALP) for the Collaborative Inquiry by Lifewide based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and will contribute to drawing on UNESCO Futures of Education initiative. The first meeting took place in March 2022.

Each Action Learning Project (ALP) is shared to a LinkedIn group and is an opportunity to explore how projects can:

1. “contribute[s] to a healthier, more sustainable, regenerative future, culture and/or environment in respect of any of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

2. utilise[s] individuals’ imaginations and draw on their creativity

3. contribute[s] to individuals’ health and wellbeing” (Lifewide Learning, n.d.).

It feel important to keep asking ourselves critical questions about pedagogy and technology. Part of this could be to move “…Beyond the Pedagogy—Technology Dichotomy” and celebrate the messy “entangled pedagogy” (Fawns, 2022). In future, the techno-auto-ethnographic approach will be discussed in the Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN) Virtually Undisciplined: Diversifying Higher Education and Research Conference exploring The Possibilities of Techno-Poetics in March 2022. It will also be explored at the Open Education Resources (OER) Conference 2022 organised by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) where the open source tool Twine will be used to explore performing a techno-auto-ethnographic storytelling experiment in April 2022. Finally, the approach will be explored in the context of a project exploring empathy curated by led by Dr. Lee Campbell (@leejjcampbell) from the University of the Arts London (UAL) in April 2022.

Bibliography

Brindle, J [@johnbrindletel] (2022, 17th March) CURIOUS, HAVE ANY OF MY TWITTER PALS TRANSITIONED FROM BEING A SCHOOL TEACHER TO LEARNING TECHNOLOGIST/EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPER IN HE? I KMOW HOW I DID IT BUT CURIOUS ABOUT OTHERS, ARE THERE RESOURCES ON CAREER PATHWAYS? @A_L_T #altc [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/johnbrindletel/status/1504544903551934469

Fawns, T (2022) An Entangled Pedagogy: Looking Beyond the Pedagogy—Technology Dichotomy. Postdigit Sci Educ [e-journal]. (Online) Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00302-7 [Accessed: 8 April 2022]

Lifewide Learning (n.d.) Action Learning Collaborative Inquiry Spring 2022 (Online) Available at: https://www.lifewideeducation.uk/healthy-futures.html [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

Leschallas, W & McDonald, P (2021) Exploring the impact of Techno-biography on the development of Digital Literacy in UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab Education and Digital Skills: A Conversation Event in December 2021 [Online Poster]. [Date accessed: 19 March 2022] Available at: https://ordo.open.ac.uk/articles/poster/Exploring_the_impact_of_Techno-biography_on_the_development_of_Digital_Literacy/17212457?backTo=/collections/UNESCO_Inclusive_Policy_Lab_Education_and_Digital_Skills_A_Conversation_Event_8_December_2021_Collection/5752247 %5BAccessed: 24 March 2022]

Leschallas, W & McDonald, P (2021) Techno-autobiography & the Transnational Online Pivot: Exploring a Lecturer’s Experience of Teaching Online. Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 12 January. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/techno-autobiography-the-transnational-online-pivot-exploring-a-lecturers-experience-of-teaching-online/ [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2022) The #creativeHE Open Mic Event – Action Learning Project (ALP)(Online) Available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n3A6vuwdiBkmZZ2oDAYqxerd5p_zTQL-ZaI3kTPsdM4/edit [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2022) #creativeHE Open Mic Sign Up Sheet (Online) Available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FOjyRCXXyrOFohedn2bzAvusdchHIu5kgWQpZ_T5HEg/edit [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2021) ‘I’m a Learning Technologist. Get Me Out of Here’. A techno-autoethnographic poem’ in Tasler, N., O’Brien, R, E. & Spiers, A. (eds.) (2021) Being creative in the face of adversity. The #creativeHE Annual 2021. Creativity for Learning in Higher Education Community, #creativeHE, pp37-44, DOI: https://doi.org/10.25416/NTR.17709860.v1 [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

McDonald, P (2021) A Little More (Digital) Conversation and (Inclusive) Action Please’. New E-Learning Ecologies? From Techno-autobiography to Techno-autoethnography. Digitalrau.wordpress.com. Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 8 December. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/12/08/a-little-more-digital-conversation-and-inclusive-action-please-new-e-learning-ecologies-from-techno-autobiography-to-techno-autoethnography/ %5BAccessed: 24 March 2022]

Presenter Media (n.d) Idea Think Tank (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com/powerpoint-template/think-tank-idea-pid-17181 [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

Wong, P [@puiyin] (2022, 21st March) JUST REALISED IT’S #WORLDPOETRYDAY2022, WHAT A HAPPY COINCIDENCE @PIPMAC6 WROTE A BEAUTIFUL POEM FOR THE #EDTECHOUTLAWS TODAY! @THISAESHAW @JOHNBRINDLETEL @TEACHNOLOGYJULI @WARWICKLANGUAGE @DEBJARNOLD @SOPH_HOL @2STANDANDSTARE @LEARNARDHOUX#@ELEARNINGTECHIE [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at: https://twitter.com/Puiyin/status/1506027877669736458

UNESCO (2019) Futures of Education A New Social Contract (Online) Available at: https://en.unesco.org/futuresofeducation/ [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

Yazan, B, Herrera, L, J, P & Rashed, D (2022) Transnational TESOL Practitioners’ Identity Tensions: A Collaborative Autoethnography [pdf] TESOL Quarterly. Available at: https://luisjpenton.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/yazan-et-al.-2022.pdf [Accessed: 18 March 2022]

Learning Punks. Rebels with a Digital Cause. Performing Punk Partnerships, New Inspirations & Reinvigorating the Curriculum

The Barbican TeachMeet event took place on Wednesday 17th March in a hybrid capacity on Zoom and in the Pit Theatre in the Barbican in London.

“We’re inviting teachers and educators to join us in a discussion about unique partnerships – from artists to employers, to new ways of integrating the arts across the curriculum”

(Barbican centre, 2022)

What is a TeachMeet?

“Participants gather to hear short presentations and network with educators from a variety of schools. This is the perfect opportunity to share, network and learn with your peers in an informal setting”

(21st Century Learning International, 2021)

A TeachMeet event usually has a core theme for presenters to respond to. The theme of this TeachMeet was unique partnerships inspiring the curriculum. The event included longer keynote style presentation followed by series of nano (3 mins) and micro (7 minutes) presentations. Virtual presenters had the opportunity login earlier to carry out a technical check such as sharing screen and using the microphone.

In a previous blog post, the idea of edupunk was explored as being a relevant approach to using what we have to create learning. The idea of techno-auto-ethnographies was explored in the presentation previously explored in a blog post here and a research poster here with blog post here and how this approach led to a creative outcome of poetry here.

Topics included the following:

• Exploring the Teacher Lab: Teaching Primary Science through creativity, how identity and collaboration inspired our creative careers programme

• Local architectural practice inspires

• Digital Primaries – working creatively and physically, Expressive Arts Provision

• Cross curriculum learning through creative projects; linking with partnerships, widening the classroom to the real world

• Belarus Free Theatre

• Music as a Social Campaign tool

One of the presentations shared some core points on creating collaborative opportunities.

“Share your ‘wormholes’ “

FERGUSON & Gill, 2022
(Ferguson & Gill, 2022)

At the end of the presentation, the #creativeHE open mic event taking place on World Creativity Day on Thursday 21st April was shared which has been blogged about here. Perhaps the TeachMeet and open mic models are interdisciplinary, inclusive, accessible approaches. The arts can be drawn on to create engaging, interactive, participatory and creative opportunities to create new learning partnerships, inspire learners and enhance to curriculum. Carrying out and sharing “rebellious research” might be a constructive way to move forward (Barnard, Mackinlay, Rousell, & Dragovic, 2022). Perhaps “Rebel Ideas” are critical (Syed, 2021). What would performing ‘punk pivot?’ be like?

Bibliography

Barbican Centre (2022) Unique partnerships inspiring the curriculum Teach Meet Wed 16 Mar 2022, 16:30 (Online) Available at: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2022/event/teach-meet-unique-partnerships-inspiring-the-curriculum [Accessed: 18 March 2022]

Barnard, P Mackinlay, E, Rousell, D & Dragovic, T (2022) Doing Rebellious Research: In and Beyond the Academy (Critical Issues in the Future of Learning and Teaching) (s.l: Brill)

Ferguson, K & Gill (2022) Teaching Primary Science through Creativity [PowerPoint presentation] at Barbican TeachMeet unique partnerships inspiring the curriculum. London & Online.

Leschallas, W & McDonald, P (2021) Research Poster, ‘Exploring the impact of Techno-biography on the development of Digital Literacy’ in UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab Education and Digital Skills: A Conversation Event. December 2021. Available at: https://ordo.open.ac.uk/articles/poster/Exploring_the_impact_of_Techno-biography_on_the_development_of_Digital_Literacy/17212457?backTo=/collections/UNESCO_Inclusive_Policy_Lab_Education_and_Digital_Skills_A_Conversation_Event_8_December_2021_Collection/5752247 [Accessed: 18 March 2022] 

Leschallas, W & McDonald, P (2021) Techno-autobiography & the Transnational Online Pivot: Exploring a Lecturer’s Experience of Teaching Online. Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 12 January. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/techno-autobiography-the-transnational-online-pivot-exploring-a-lecturers-experience-of-teaching-online/ [Accessed: 18 March 2022] 

McDonald, P (2022) Getting Our Creative Act Together. The #Creative HE Open Mic. creativehecommunity.wordpress.com.Creative Education Blog [blog] Available at: https://creativehecommunity.wordpress.com/2022/02/14/getting-our-creative-act-together-the-creative-he-open-mic/ [Accessed: 14 February 2022]. Reblogged in the RAU Digital Transformation Blog – https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2022/02/15/getting-our-creative-act-together-the-creative-he-open-mic/ [Accessed: 18 March 2022] 

McDonald, P (2021) ‘I’m a Learning Technologist. Get Me Out of Here’. A techno-autoethnographic poem’ in Tasler, N., O’Brien, R, E. & Spiers, A. (eds.) (2021) Being creative in the face of adversity. The #creativeHE Annual 2021. Creativity for Learning in Higher Education Community, #creativeHE, pp37-44, DOI: https://doi.org/10.25416/NTR.17709860.v1  [Accessed: 18 March 2022] 

McDonald, P (2021) A Little More (Digital) Conversation and (Inclusive) Action Please’. New E-Learning Ecologies? From Techno-autobiography to Techno-autoethnography. Digitalrau.wordpress.com. Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 8 December. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/12/08/a-little-more-digital-conversation-and-inclusive-action-please-new-e-learning-ecologies-from-techno-autobiography-to-techno-autoethnography/ [Accessed: 18 March 2022] 

McDonald, P (2021) Nevermind the Buzztech. Why Edupunk is Still Relevant for Learning technologists. Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 22 February. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/02/22/never-mind-the-buzztech-why-edupunk-is-still-relevant-for-learning-technologists/ [Accessed: 18 March 2022]

Syed, M (2021) Rebel Ideas The Power Of Thinking Differently (London: John Murray)

21st Century Learning International (2021) TeachMeets (Online) Available at: https://www.21c-learning.com/teachmeets/ [Accessed: 18 March 2022]

Getting Our Creative Act Together. The #creative HE Open Mic.

Created using Presenter Media

As a result of the global pandemic, open mic events were held in an online capacity but they provided an accessible and inclusive way to share work and listen to the creative contributions of others from around the globe.

Having successfully published a poem in the #CreativeHE Annual 2021, an idea to create an open mic for the community arose.

Artwork by Sheila McDonald (2022)

The #creativeHE Open Mic event will be held on Thursday 21st April 6pm-7pm. The event is aimed at a celebration of creative self-expression during World Creativity and Innovation Week. It is also an opportunity to share and perform original work in both a relaxed and friendly online environment. Original work can be poetry, storytelling, music, songwriting, monologue, comedy, spoken word or something unique. This event is an ideal opportunity for people who have not performed before or have some work-in-progress ideas to share.

We will also have some asynchronous contributions streamed in the #creativeHE Facebook group during the World Creativity and Innovation Week. Find out more here.

DIRECT SIGN UP TO THE EVENT >>> HERE

The event has been organised by Norman Jackson, Tom Burns and Pip McDonald.

Whilst working on building sites, Tom was active creating Adventure Playgrounds and running Community Festivals in East London. He organised the first ever International Dario Fo-Franca Rame Festival whilst a student at Essex: a weeklong event for staff, students and locals – and that included conference, workshops and performances. Tom has taken the play Bouncers on a tour of Cretan music venues and made a feature film, Eight Days from Yesterday. His educational videos have won the International Visual Communications Association gold award for education

tom burns

Pip McDonald works in learning technology in higher education. She also writes and performs original poetry. She was a Guest Poet at the British Bilingual Poetry Collective (BBPC) Layers of Language event in London in January 2022. She has recently published in the Cooch Behar Poetry Anthology available on Amazon. She will be performing in the Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival in London with the Lost Souls Poetry Group in London. She is a DJ on theThe Thursday Night Show. You can follow Pip on Twitter: @PipMac6.

pip mcdonald

Picture
Join us on Thursday 21st April 2022 6-7pm

Perhaps the open mic event can be understood through the ideas of Debord and the notion of the “spectacle” (Debord, 1967).

“The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images…The concept of spectacle unifies and explains a great diversity of apparent phenomena…affirmation of all human life…”

(Debord, 1967: pp1-6)
Created using Presenter Media

In order to ensure the event goes well and we can support out perfomers, it is important to avoid hate speech, swearing, please mute yourself when someone else is speaking. We have 5 minute slots per person/group. We hope to record the event and livestream it on #creativeHE Facebook group. It is no problem if you would not like to be recorded . Please let us know. The recording will be on the creativeHE website. We would really like the event to be as inclusive as possible so you do not have to turn your video camera on and you do not have to perform from memory. If you have not performed before, try recording your contribution and listen back. How does it sound? Is it how you wanted it to sound? Check out the guide exploring how to make the most of open mic nights by the Institute of Contemporary Performance (ICMP).

The event will also form part of an Action Learning Project (ALP) for the Collaborative Inquiry by Lifewide based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and will contribute to drawing on UNESCO Futures of Education initiative. The first meeting will take place took place in March 2022.

Each Action Learning Project (ALP) is shared to a LinkedIn group and is an opportunity to explore how projects can:

1. “contribute[s] to a healthier, more sustainable, regenerative future, culture and/or environment in respect of any of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

2. utilise[s] individuals’ imaginations and draw on their creativity

3. contribute[s] to individuals’ health and wellbeing” (Lifewide Learning, n.d.)

We plan to have a test run for any new performers and any participant who would like to experiment with performing online on Zoom on Thursday 14th April 6pm-7pm. This can be an opportunity to test out the technical aspects of Zoom for example microhome, share screen, and virtual background and experience performing on Zoom.

Created using Presenter Media

We have announced our headline act for the #creativeHE Open Mic, Dr. Lee Campbell, performance poet, filmmaker, curator. and Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts London. (UAL) (@leejjcampbell).

Headline Act – Dr. Lee Campbell

Bibliography

Creative Academic (n.d.) Open Mic (Online) Available at: https://www.creativeacademic.uk/open-mic.html [Accessed: 12 February 2022]

Debord, G (1967) The Society of the Spectacle (Paris: Critical Editions)

Institute of Contemporary Performance (ICMP) (2019) How to make the best impression at open mic nights. http://www.icmp.ac.uk. Contemporary Performance Blog [blog]. 30 September. Available at: https://www.icmp.ac.uk/blog/how-make-best-impression-at-open-mic-nights [Accessed: 12 February 2022]

Lifewide Learning (n.d.) Action Learning Collaborative Inquiry Spring 2022 (Online) Available at: https://www.lifewideeducation.uk/healthy-futures.html [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

Presenter Media (2022) Presenter Media (Online) Available at: https://www.presentermedia.com [Accessed: 12 February 2022]

Tasler, N, O’Brien, R, Spires, A, Nerantzi, C, Gillaspy, E (2021): Being creative in the face of adversity – Annual creativeHE collection 2021. National Teaching Repository. Educational resource. https://doi.org/10.25416/NTR.17709860.v1 [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

UNESCO (2019) Futures of Education A New Social Contract (Online) Available at: https://en.unesco.org/futuresofeducation/ [Accessed: 24 March 2022]

World Creativity & Innovation Week (n.d.) World Creativity & Innovation Week (Online) Available at: https://wciw.org/ [Accessed: 12 February 2022]

‘My Research is like Digital Potato’. Exploring Technology-enhanced Transnational Learning (TETL) through the Plateau.

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Rhizomatic Research

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) hosts a series of online research seminars. Each seminar is an opportunity for two volunteers who can either be a staff member or a student to talk for approximately 15 minutes each about their research projects with 10 minutes for questions. Sessions are recorded, edited using Panopto and are made available on Gateway.

On Wednesday 26th January 2022, I presented on the topic of technology- enhanced Transnational Learning (TETL). The overarching theme of the seminar explored technology. David Mian and Lisa van Dijk presented first epxloring the use of online collaboration tools inlcuding Miro, Mural, Klaxoon, Wonder and Mentimeter. Professor Louise Manning shared a link to an article she had contributed to exploring the ethical implications of collaboration within the food sector in a digital capacity (Jacobs, Brewer, Craigon, Frey, Gutierrez, Kanza, Manning, Munday, Pearson & Sacks, 2021).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1.png
Exploring online collaboration tools

The structure of the presentation I delivered used the idea of chapters or ‘plateau’ (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). Brent Adkins in his book and critical introduction to Deleuze and Guattari asks “ How is it possible to create something new?” (Adkins, 2015: p22). When we carry out research, perhaps it is imperative to be commitment to creating new and original contributions to knowledge. In the presentation, I suggested that it is important to acknowledge that online learning has never been new. Distance learning has never been new. Transnational learning has never been new. So what’s new then?

the first chapter or plateau, Deleuze and Guatarri introduce the idea of rhizome:

“Rhizomes do not propagate by way of clearly delineated hierarchies but by underground stems in which any part may send additional shoots upward, downward, or laterally. There is no hierarchy…beginning or end”.

(Adkins, 2015: p23)

Perhaps, the technology-enhanced transnational learning (TETL) research journey emulated the rhizomatic trajectory, particularly as each episode, chapter or component could be understood in itself or in relation to another part:

“each plateau can be read starting anywhere and can be related to any other plateau”

(Deleuze & guattari: p22 in adkins 2015: p23)

An example of a rhizome is a potato.

“All that is required to grow potatoes is burying the discarded skin of a potato. They simply begin again wherever they are”

(adkins, p15: p23)

Brent Adkins asks “ How is it possible to create something new?” (Adkins, 2015: p22). This is a critical question. My perception of research is that there is an imperative that there is a component of originality. But, truthfully, it is important to acknowledge that online learning has never been new. Distance learning has never been new. Transnational learning has never been new. So what’s new then?

Deleuze and Guatarri explore the notion of the assemblage. Assemblage can be understood asa group things. As opposed to fiiting “…into pre-existing forms” the assemblage provides us with the oportunity to create new ideas (Adkins, 2015: p22). Could Zoom be understood as an digital assemblage?

y”As an assemblage, a book has only itself, in connection with other assemblages and in relation to other bodies without organs”

(deleuze & guattari, 1987: p4)
(Not yet) A Thousand Research (Plateau) Projects

Being part of this technology-enhanced transnational learning (TETL) research journey was an oppertunity to reflect on what “digital scholarship” might mean in the future (Weller, 2011). Perhaps technology-enhanced transnational futures are part of what the “…promise of the University” might be (Mahon, 2022).

In the presentation, I briefly made reference to the idea of technology to transgress drawing on bell hook’s famous book Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (hooks, 1994)

“The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy”

(Hooks, 1994)

The recording of the presentations can be accessed here (for RAU staff, login to Panopto via Gateway).

Exploring TNE

For more information about the research seminars, please contact the RAU Knowledge Exchange Team:

NameJob RoleEmail Address
Rebecca Atterbury-ThomasKnowledge Exchange Events Coordinatorrebecca.atterbury-thomas@rau.ac.uk
Lisa van DijkHead of Knowledge Exchange and Research Supportlisa.williamsvandijk@rau.ac.uk

A recent online event hosted by HudCRES (Huddersfield Centre for Research in Education & Society) explored international students & UK universities: research and practice. Dr. Sylvie Lomer (@SE_Lomer) from Manchester Institute of Education presented on International students in the UK: Deficit narratives and research approaches. Professor Bee Bond (@BeeBond1) from the University of Leeds presented on language as a barrier and an enabler. Prof. Bond wrote an interesting paper exploring the “performance of identity” (Bond, 2019). Language and visibility are important (Bond, 2020). Dr. Manuel Madriaga (@mannymadgriaga) presented at the event. One slide explored benefits of the use of composite characters (Patton & Catching, 2009 in Madriaga, 2022). Rachel Brooks (@_rachel_brooks) is both Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean at the Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey. A number of relevant resources were shared including the Advance HE blog exploring pedagogies of internationalisation and an article mapping pedagogic practices here.

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