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.

EduTwitter as Rhizome. An Online Athenaeum? Tweeting on the Shoulders of (Digital) Giants

Exploring the #ukfechat experience.

There are a variety of online conferences that take place on Twitter using hashtags. For example, the annual PressEd conference exploring Education, Pedagogy and Research using WordPress #pressEDconf21. Another popular weekly Twitter event is #LTHEChat run by @LTHEchat which has been running since 2014 every Wednesday evening from 7pm with new guest curator(s).

On Thursday 29th April, I had the opportunity to curate an hour’s worth of tweets for #ukfechat organised by @theukfechat and @MrsSarahSimons. Drawing on the popular television series Line of Duty, the title of the session was Line of (Digital) Duty. Interrogating Drone-Enhanced Learning. Division, Disruption, or Digital Learning? The tweets are structured with a question and those who respond start their tweet with ‘A’ plus the question number.

@PipMac6, Promoting the #ukfechat event on Thursday 29th April 2021 on Twitter

The benefit of online events on Twitter organised in this capacity is that it is possible to reach audiences that perhaps events organised in physical space would not be able to. There is an online pool of knowledge, practice and ideas from which to draw on. The Twitterverse and #edutwitter can be argued to be valuable online learning resources. A hastag could be understood as a rhizome, a bit like a root from which other ideas stem.

Some of the questions I asked explored ‘drone literacy’, surveillance, privacy and the extent to which drone-enhanced learning (DEL) can be used for project-based learning, to embed Functional Skills, and to provide opportunities for STEM learning. How could a drone be used in agri-business as a technology-enhanced agriculture (TEA) approach?

For each tweet with an image of gif, alternative text or alt-text was provided by clicking on ‘Add Description’, typing a description inot the box then clicking ‘Save’.


Adding alt-text to a gif in Twitter

If you would like to contribute to a #ukfechat event, sign up here.

Bibilography

McDonald, P [@PipMac6] (2021, April 23) ‘NEXT THURSDAY 29TH APRIL FROM 9PM-10PM #UKFECHAT ‘LINE OF (DIGITAL) DUTY. INTERROGATING DRONE-ENHANCED LEARNING. DIVISION, DISRUPTION OR DIGITAL LEARNING?’. [Tweet]. Twitter. (Online) Available at: https://twitter.com/PipMac6/status/1385617727403008006

PressED (no date) A WordPress and Education, Pedagogy and Research Conference on Twitter (Online) Available at: https://pressedconf.org/ [Accessed: 25 April 2021]

Techopedia (2021) ‘Twitterverse’, Techopedia Dictionary. (Online) Available at: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/29186/twitterverse [Accessed: 25 April 2021]

The Chicago School of Media Theory (2021) Rhizome. Media Theory Blog. https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs. [blog] No Date. Available at: https://lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/mediatheory/keywords/rhizome/ [Accessed: 25 April 2021]

Work in Progress. Digital (De)construction & (Re)construction. Developing a Technology Enhanced Transnational Toolkit (TETL)

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is part of the UK-China Joint Institutes. The organisation has set up an online symposium series exploring student experience.

“This series of workshops seeks to bring together members of the UK-China Joint Institutes to share best practices in assessing student learning and experiences. As Joint Institutes we have a range of issues unique to our situation: portability of content from one campus to another, quality and consistency of content, high staff turnover, teaching students whose native language is not English, and cultural differences between Western and Eastern thought. How are our students doing? How are they learning, and what is their experience? And how do we know?”

UK China Joint Institute (2021)

Attending the sessions every Monday to explore how other institutions were navigating their technology-enhanced transnational learning (TETL) journeys was very helpful.

Joao Ponciano (University of Glasgow) – Using Digital Badges in Monitoring and Student Engagement presentation delivered on Monday 13th April, 2021

On Monday 15th April, I presented a short 10-minute presentation exploring the development of a technology-enhanced transnational learning (TETL) toolkit. The recording can be accessed here.

UK-China Joint Institutes – A Supporting Community to Share Ideas

The emergent toolkit included a range of dimensions including research-informed practice, testing, demo sites, digital accessibility, capturing the range of pedagogic actors and their voice, and this blog particularly the China series. The presentation also explored the Transnational Education Toolkit created by AdvanceHE here.

Exploring the (De)construction & (Re)construction of a technology-enhanced transnational learning Toolkit (TETL)

Perhaps it is the case that the use of toolkit, is “…few and far between” in Education (Reinking, 2019: p2). Transnational education is not just an activity exclusively for teachers; other roles are involved too (Smith & Jarvis, 2020: p2). Roles can experience a different “Transnational reality” (Roldán Vera & Fuchs, in Roldán Vera & Fuchs, 2019: p4). An online questionnaire was used to capture the perspective of the different ‘actors’ involved with RAU’s transnational activity. As transnational education evolves, our toolkits will change too.

The schedule can be accessed here.

It is possible to register as a participant here.

Bibliography

AdvanceHE (2017) Transnational education toolkit (Online) Available at: https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/transnational-education-toolkit [Accessed: 24 March 2021]

Jonciano, J (2021) Using Digital Badges in Monitoring and Student Engagement. UK-China Joint Institute Symposium. 13 April, Online.

Reinking, A (2019) Difficult Conversations: A Toolkit for Educators in Handling Real-Life Situations (Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield)

Roldán, V, E & Fuchs, E (eds) (2019) ‘Introduction: The Transnational in the History of Education’ in The Transnational in the History of Education Concepts and Perspectives (Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan) pp1-49

Smith, K & Jarvis, J (2020) Engaging in Transnational Education (Critical Practice in Higher Education) (St. Albans: Critical Publishing)

UK-China Joint Institutes (2021) Evaluating the student experience at the UK-China Joint Institute (Online) Available at: https://evaluatingthestudentexperience.org/about/ [Accessed 15th April 2021]

Strictly Come (Digital) Dancing

Exploring ‘Open Education & Pivot Choreography’ through Speculative Virtual Dance at the OER Conference 2021.

The Open Education Resources (OER) Conference is an annual event organised by the Association of Learning Technology (ALT). Responding directly to theme 4: Shifts in agency and creativity as empowerment of learners and educators, I presented an alt-format, 7 Minute GASTA presentation which was pre-recorded using StreamYard. A big thanks to Maren Deepwell (@MarenDeepwell) and Tom Farrelly (@TomFarrelly) for their support with this.

Strictly Come Dancing is a popular television show on BBC 1 where participants work with professional dancers in a weekly dance performance competition. A panel of judges
score the dancers. Can we score a ten? We see a range of dance genres are performed including jive, tango, waltz, and paso doble.

Strictly Come Digital Dancing

Drawing on dance as a way to explore open pedagogy issues, the presentation explored the Open Covid Pledge and the OER Commons. How can open education be compared to the Cha Cha Cha? Dance has been used in education before, for example Further Education and the Twelve Dancing Princesses (Daley, Orr & Petrie, 2015).

Getting involved with the OER Committee by attending regular meetings using the Blackboard Collaborate platform to find out how the event is organised was a helpful experience and to reflect on the issues arising from open pedagogy. Part of this involved writing a guest blog for the OER conference website here.

OER Guest Blog Post

Often the conference experience can involve a range of formal and academic presentations. This presentation was a conscious effort to provide a fun and alternative event. Dance can be argued to be an interdisciplinary and joyful shared act. How do you dance to the online pivot? How could we dance to open education?

Part of the preparation for the event was to watch episodes of the television programme and purchasing the offical board game. Research was also carried out on the different types of dance.

Power BI and Strictly Come Dancing

Perhaps the pivot is a type of ‘digital dancing’ or a series of Pivots, Pirouettes, and Piqués (Jhangian, 2020). delivered the closing keynote presentations exploring ‘Curious Contradictions and Open-ended Questions’ at the conference. If doctors can dance, then perhaps Learning Technologists can too. Let’s dance!

The recording of the presentation can be accessed on YouTube here or it is possible to play the YouTube video below.

Digital Dancing? Cha Cha Cha, Paso Doble, Tango, Jive, Ballroom?

One of the presentations explored co-creating a ‘zine’ entitled Collective Hope by Sarah Honeychurch and Wendy Taleo. Contributors were invited to respond to a range of prompt for example ‘What was your favorite conference presentation and why?‘. One of the highlights of the conference was the session by Eamon Costello and Prajakta Girme entitled ‘University V is alive! Now open to the closed, the cruel and the Dead’. What was really interesting was the idea aof the ‘pedagoganym’ and Eamon’s speculative performance.The zine can be accessed here.

All of the conference presentations are available in an open capacity here.

Bibliography

Association of Learning Technology (ALT) (n.d.) Open Education Conference (OER) Conference (Online) Available at: https://www.alt.ac.uk/events/open-education-conference [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) ‘Strictly Come Digital Dancing Exploring ‘Open Education & Pivot Choreography’ through Speculative Virtual Dance’ OERxDomains2021 Conference. Online. 21-22 April. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8aag5JF9ec&feature=youtu.be [Accessed: 21 April 2021]

Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) OERxDomains21 Guide (Online) Available at: https://oerxdomains21.org/ [Accessed: 21 April 2021]

BBC (2021) Strictly Come Dancing (Online) Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m8dq [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Costello, E & Girme, R (2021) University V is alive! Now open to be closed, the cruel and the Dead. https://youtu.be/ywfx9F_2YtU [Accessed: 29th April 2021]

Daley, M, Orr, K & Petrie, J (2015) Further Education and the Twelve Dancing Princesses (London: Institute of Education Press)

Honeychurch, H & Taleo, W (2021) OERxDomains Conference Collections from conference participants [pdf] s.l:s.n (Online) Available at: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/806214651448262716/836098278285246464/Peoples_Choice_Zine_-_final.pdf [Accessed: 29 April 2021]

Jhangian, R (2020) Pivots, Pirouettes, and Piqués: Gracefully Managing the Anxieties of Remote Teaching and Learning, [blog] 25 March. Available at: https://thatpsychprof.com/pivots-pirouettes-and-piques-gracefully-managing-the-anxieties-of-remote-teaching-and-learning/ [Accessed 27 April 2021]

Jhangian, R (2021) ‘Curious Contradictions and Open-ended Questions’. OERxDomains2021 Conference. Online. 21-22 April. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8aag5JF9ec&feature=youtu.be [Accessed: 21 April 2021]

GASTA (n.d.) Gasta.me (Online) Available at: http://gasta.me/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

OER Commons (2021) (Online) Available at: https://www.oercommons.org/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Open Covid Pledge (n.d.) Open Covid Pledge (Online) Available at: https://opencovidpledge.org/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Newell, A & Kleiman, P (2012) Doctors Can Dance.July 2012 London Review of Education 10(2):133-144 (Online) Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254316638_Doctors_can_dance [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

McDonald, P (2021) Open Education: A Game of Digital Thrones. https://oer21.oerconf.org Open Education Blog, [blog] 25 March. Available at: https://oer21.oerconf.org/news/guest-post-open-education-a-game-of-digital-thrones-by-pip-mcdonald/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Unpacking the PressEd Twitter Conference Experience. A Digital Assemblage?

(@pressedconf, 2021)

The term assemblage in art refers to “…art that is made by assembling disparate elements – often everyday objects – scavenged by the artist or bought specially” (Tate Modern, n.d.) The PressEd conference could be argued to be a ‘digital assemblage’ of a range of tweets from different contributors.

PressEd is an annual conference on Twitter that explores “teaching, pedagogy and research pedagogy” on WordPress (PressEd, n.d.). It draws inpsiration from the Public Archaeology Twitter Conference. At the RAU, we use WordPress as a platform for both our Digital Transformation and Library blogs. The conference itself is organised by Natalie Lafferty from the Centre for Technology and Innovation in Learning at the University of Dundee (@nlafferty) and Pat Lockey (@pgogy) previously at University of Nottingham and Oxford with a WordPress dot Org profile.

Presenters are assigned 10-15 tweets within a 15 minutes time period to share ideas on Twitter. This can include text, images, videos, and gifs. Helpful guidance is provided to presenters for example exploring digital accessibility in Twitter by adding image descriptions and VoiceOver. Each year, the conference has a hashtag, so it is possible explore the conference content such as  #pressedconf18  #pressedconf19 and #pressEdConf20. This year’s hashtag is #pressedconf21.

I presented at the PressEd conference in 2019 on the topic of Me, Myself and Multimodality: Exploring Multimodal Opportunities (MLOs) on WordPress with the Twitter moment is available here. I also presented at again in 2020 on the topic of Close Encounters of the Accessible Kind: Exploring digital accessibility on WordPress. Tweets are available here. This year, I presented on the topic of Now That’s What I Call WordPress! Exploring WordPress for Radio enhanced learning Opportunities (RELO).

Example Tweet from Presentation (@PipMac6, 2021)

It is possible to follow the PressEd Conference on Twitter here – @pressedconf and explore the schedule here. You can access the tweets from the presenters for the 2021 conference in the PressEdConf21 Presenters list here. A Twitter moment with the tweets form my presentation is available here. Calls for contributions are advertised annually and it is also possible to submit your WordPress projects to the gallery here. Email hey@pressedconf.org for more info.

Bibliography

McDonald, P [@PipMac6] (2021, March 25) 3.SO EXCITING. BLOG-TO-PODCAST! YOU CAN TURN A #WORDPRESS BLOG POST INTO A PODCAST WITH @ANCHOR WATCH THE VIDEO HERE – https://YOUTU.BE/SJCVRQQQROW#PRESSEDCONF21 [Tweet]. Twitter. (Online) Available at: https://twitter.com/PipMac6/status/1375108302024159235

Pgogy (n.d.) pgogy (Online) Available at: https://profiles.wordpress.org/pgogy/ [Accessed 24th March 2021]

PressEd (n.d.) PressEd (Online) Available at: https://pressedconf.org/ [Accessed 24 March 2021]

Public Archaeology Twitter Conference (n.d.) Public Archaeology Twitter Conference (Online) Available at: https://publicarchaeologyconference.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 24 March 2021]

Royal Agricultural University (RAU) (n.d.) Digital Transfromation Blog (Online) Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 24 March 2021]

Royal Agricultural University (RAU) (n.d.) Latest News @ the RAU Library (Online) Available at: https://raulibrary.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 24 March 2021]

Tate Modern (n.d.) Assemblage (Online) Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/assemblage [Accessed 24 March 2021]

Twitter (2021) How to make images accessible for people (Online) Available at: https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/picture-descriptions [Accessed 24 March 2021]

Indiana Jones & the Temple of Zoom. Learning Technologists as ‘Digital Archaeologists’ & Online Classrooms as ‘Digital Temples’.

The University of Kent host monthly Digitally Enhanced Learning Webinars organised by Dr. Phil Anthony. The purpose of the webinars is to provide “…an opportunity to share examples amongst our colleagues when using digital technologies for teaching” (University of Kent, 2020).

The theme for March 2021 was pedagogy and practice when teaching online. For the SDAU project, we used Zoom to deliver the interactive sessions. I submitted a talk entitled ‘Indiana Jones & the Temple of Zoom. A Transnational Online Pivot Adventure‘. The talk explored Technology Enhanced Transnational Learning (TETL). Using metaphors as way to understand what we do as Learning Technologists seemed to be a creative approach. Can an online classrooom be understood as a digital temple? Could a Learning technologist be a Digital Archaeologist? If this is the case, perhaps we would take digital field notes such as those discussed by Rapport (1991) or Remsen (1977). In the temple of doom itself in the film, the main character Indiana Jones faced a range of different challenges including spiders, bugs and traps. As Learning Technologists we also face a range of challenges that we must overcome. This seems like a universal metaphor.

Zoom, Doom & Gloom to Zoom, Boom & Bloom!

The fundamental question is the extent to which using metapors canhelp us? It is possible to observe that metaphors in learning technology were becoming widely used, for example the EdTech Metaphor Generator. One of the most compelling examples of using metaphors in learning technology was the article entitled VLEs: A Metaphorical History from Sharks to Limpets by Tom Farrelly, Eamon Costello and Enda Donlon. If the VLE was “dead“, then perhaps using metaphors can bring it back to life (The Ed Techie, 2007). Thinking about the VLE as a “digital car park” challenges us the use our imagination in different ways (Farrelly, Costello & Donlon, 2020).It is important to acknowledge that “Metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980: p3).

The Microsoft Teams Live Experience

What was interesting about the webinars was that Microsoft Teams Live was used due to the high numbers of attendees. There are some key differences between a normal Microsoft Teams meeting and a webinar for example uisng the Q&A feature and automatic muting. Lots of the presenters, including me, had not used Microsoft Teams Live before, so it was very helpful to participate in the test session before the live event.

Could ‘Zoom Capital’ be a thing?

One of the points I was keen to make is the importance of capturing the voices of Learning Technologists particularly in research contexts. This formed the basis of a techno-autobiographic or techno-autoethnographic approach in order to capture the reflections of a Learning Technologist. In a previous collaborative blog post, I had explored this approach with an academic here. Can we improve the future by exploring the past? Back to the future?

(Wheeler, 2021)

Imagination is crucial in Education. Metaphors can be part of the imaginative process.

Attending a webinar exploring the use of Zoom delivered by Autumn Caines, an Instructional Designer from University of Michigan (@Autumm) was really compelling and informed many of the ideas I shared during the talk. She talked about the importance of exploring power and digital hierarchies in Zoom, for example being a host ir a co-host and how it is possible to view different versions of meeting participants. Her article exploring the “Zoom Gaze” can be found here (Caines, 2020).

Perhaps the role of both the imagination and metaphor can be a platform to think and re-think what we do as Learning Technologists, particularly in transnational distance learning and online pivot contexts. It can be argued that there are two critical points about imagination. Firstly, that imagination is “…a powerful, meaningful prize of a capacity” and secondly that imagination can be lost (Morris, 2021). Finding creative opportunities as Learning Technologists becomes important. Check out the #CreativeHE group and the blog post about the February 2021 meetup.

Check out the hashtag #DigiEduWebinars to find out what people are saying about the webinars on Twitter. It is possible to submit an idea for a talk here. A video recording of the presentation is available here.

Bibliography

Caines, A (2020) The Zoom Gaze Video conferencing offers an illusory sense of unilateral control over conversations (Online) Available at: https://reallifemag.com/t [Accessed 3 March 2021]

Caines, A (2021) The Zoom Gaze w/Autumn Caines [Zoom] (Online)

#CreativeHE (n.d.) Creative HE Community (Online) Available at: https://creativehecommunity.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Fhaidy (2018) Animation – Indiana Jones Cartoon Clip Art PNG in FAVPNG (Online) Available at: https://favpng.com/png_view/animation-indiana-jones-cartoon-clip-art-png/287wNsWu [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984. [film] Directed by Steven Spielberg. Available through Amazon Prime [Accessed 16 December 2020]

Indy in the classroom (2021) Indiana Jones Fonts (Online) Available at: http://www.indyintheclassroom.com/projects/fonts.asp [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Leschallas, W & McDonald, P (2020) Techno-autobiography & the Transnational Online Pivot: Exploring a Lecturer’s Experience of Teaching Online.Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] 12th Dec. Available at: https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/techno-autobiography-the-transnational-online-pivot-exploring-a-lecturers-experience-of-teaching-online/ [Accessed 3 March 2021]

Morris, S (2021) humanizing Digital Pedagogy: the Role of Imagination in Distance Teaching. https://www.seanmichaelmorris.com/. Digital Pedagogy Blog [blog] Available at:  https://www.seanmichaelmorris.com/humanizing-digital-pedagogy-the-role-of-imagination-in-distance-teaching/amp/ [Accessed 3 March 2021]

McDonald, P (2021) The Creative Empire Strikes Back. Exploring Creative Approaches to Building and Fostering Community with #CreativeHE. Digitalrau.wordpress.com Digital Transformation Blog [blog] Available at:  https://digitalrau.wordpress.com/2021/03/05/the-creative-empire-strikes-back-exploring-creative-approaches-to-building-and-fostering-community-with-creativehe/ [Accessed 3 March 2021]

McDonald, P (2021) Indiana Jones & the Temple of Zoom. A Transational Online Pivot Adventure, University of Kent Digitally Enhanced Webinars. Online. 5 March 2021.

Rapport, N. (1991). Writing Fieldnotes: The Conventionalities of Note-Taking and Taking Note in the Field. Anthropology Today, 7(1), (Online) Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3032670?seq=1 [Accessed: 2 February 2021] 

Remsen, J, V. Jr (1977) On taking field notes [pdf] (Online) Available at: https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/nab/v031n05/p00946-p00953.pdf [Accessed: 2 February 2021]

The Ed Techie (2007) The VLE/LMS is Dead. https://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk. Educational Technology Blog. [blog] Available at: https://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2007/11/the-vlelms-is-d.html [Accessed 3 March 2021]

Wheeler, P [@Pennyjw]. (2021, 2 March) ONE OF MY PROBLEMS WITH THE PROLIFERATION OF INSTITUTIONS “RE-IMAGINING” THINGS IS THAT I’M NOT CONVINCED ANY IMAGINATION WENT INTO THE FIRST VERSION [Tweet]. Twitter. Available at:  https://twitter.com/pennyjw/status/1366864197611524103

The Creative Empire Strikes Back. Exploring Creative Approaches to Building and Fostering Community with #CreativeHE.

The #CreativeHE community “…supports pedagogical rebels and free-thinking innovators in experimenting with, developing, sharing and getting support for novel learning and teaching ideas. Together we aim to transform the student and staff experience within and beyond institutional boundaries” (#CreativeHE, n.d.).

Having successfully achieved Adobe Creative Educator Level 1 and 2 in 2020 and having attended a bootcamp, I was really keen to embed creativity in my approach to being a Learning Technologist.

I had attended one of the #CreativeHE events before and was struck by how innovative, inclusive and supportive the community was. This felt like something I really wanted to be part of. When the call for contributions was announced for the meet up in February 2021, I did not hesitate. We were invited to contribute one slide to a Google slide deck with a series of prompts to respond to for a 5 minute presentation. The theme for the event was exploring Creative approaches to building and fostering community with CreativeHE. I shared my experience of preparing to be an AI Wellness space facilitator at Mozfest 2021. The event started with an opportunity to contribute to a collaborative Jamboard which was an effective way to engage our community in a multimodal capacity.

As part of the campfire stories part of the meetup, I shared how we build up a toolkit of approaches and tools to create and nurture a community even if it is a temporary community as part of an online event. I was inspired by the idea that it is possible to “arrive with an idea, leave with a community” (Mozfest 2021). My submission to Mozfest 2021 is called The Post Digital Audio Quilt. The idea of the quilt was inspired by the FemEdTech Quilt which is a physical quilt which was co-created.

I wanted to draw on metaphor of ‘quilting’ in an audio context. The idea is that we would tell a story together. Having experiment with this approach on DS106radio, I was keen to explore the post digital ideas in terms of exploring the human component of using technology particularly in a speculative AI world. I shared a number of tools for example Soundtrap by Spotify, PhilospherAI and Rory’s Story Cubes to engage the community with the topic.

The Post Digital Audio Quilt Slide presented at the #CreativeHE Meetup February 2021

The #CreativeHE community provided useful feedback on our presentations. Beth Cross shared her ideas and work on quilting here with an interesting article about walking and weaving here.

One of the most moving and meaningful presentations was from Dr. Paul Kleiman (@PaulKleiman) exploring bereavement and creativity. One of the fun highlights of the #CreativeHE meetup was the opportunity to dress up facilitated by Neil Carey from Manchester Metropolitan University (@NeilC). The fun can be seen in the screenshots form Microsoft Teams in ‘Together Mode’.

Having fun dressing up

#CreativeHE is a community that that is a privilege to be part of. Perhaps we should all intend to create little (creative) fires, everywhere!

Bibliography

Adobe Education Exchange (2021) https://edex.adobe.com/adobe-creative-educator (Online) Available at: https://edex.adobe.com/adobe-creative-educator [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Ayfer, M (n.d.) PhilopsherAI (Online) Available at: https://philosopherai.com/ [Accessed 5 March 2021]

#CreativeHE (n.d.) Creative HE Community (Online) Available at: https://creativehecommunity.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 5 March 2021]

FemEdTech (n.d.) The Femedtech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open Education (Online) Available at: https://quilt.femedtech.net/ [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Gold, T (2020) Lines, Threads & Traces (Online) Available at: https://www.toa.st/magazine/lines-threads-traces-tim-ingold.htm [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Google (n.d.) Jamboard (Online) Available at: jamboard.google.com [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Cross, B (2021) Chalklines. Creativity Blog. Bethatportychalkstorm.wordpress,com. [blog] 2 April Available at: https://bethatportychalkstorm.wordpress.com/ [March 5 2021]

Mozilla Festival (n.d.) Mozilla Festival (Online) Available at: https://www.mozillafestival.org/en/ [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Rory’s Story Cubes (2021) Rory’s Story Cubes (Online) Available at:  https://www.storycubes.com/en/ [5 March 2021]

Spotify (2020) Soundtrap (Online) Available at: https://www.soundtrap.com/ [5 March 2021]

New Learning Technologist Opportunity at RAU

We have now advertised for a Learning Technologist to help us develop a wide range of new digital learning experiences drawing on a both online and blended approaches in our friendly team. The Learning Technologist will support the development of innovative digital resources to transform pedagogy for both students and staff.

You can find out more about the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) here.

Informal enquiries can be directed by email to Alun Dawes, Head of ITS, at Alun.Dawes@rau.ac.uk

Closing date for applications is 28th March 2021 with interviews on 8th / 9th April 2021.

A full person specification and details on how to apply are linked to from the RAU jobs page on our website.

If you would like to know more about what the RAU IT department looks like and gets up to you can see our recent video.

What exactly does the RAU IT Department do?

Never Mind the Buzztech. Why Edupunk is Still Relevant for Learning Technologists.

Let’s explore Edupunk

What is Edupunk? Edupunk could be argued to be an approach to pedagogy that involves a do-it-yourself philosophy whilst embracing a rebellion towards tools used in a wider capacity and a rejection of commercial approaches. It has been referred to as an “…ideology referring to educators and education strategies with a do it yourself (DIY) spirit” (Lam in Wheeler, 2008). The New York Times defined Edupunk as …”an approach to teaching that avoids mainstream tools like PowerPoint and Blackboard, and instead aims to bring the rebellious attitude and D.I.Y. ethos of “70s bands like the Clash to the classroom” (The New York Times, 2008). Perhaps it is the case that “…true Edupunks deride definitions as tools of oppression used by defenders of order and conformity” (Downes, 2008). It is possible to access a series of five YouTube videos entitled EDUPUNK Battle Royale where you can hear Jim explore Edupunk. In ‘EDUPUNK Battle Royale – Part 1’, Jim explored Edupunk as a “metaphor” (Groom in educoz, 2009). Whilst “Metaphors are not just a matter of language…” we could ask what Edupunk really is (Johnson & Lakoff, 1980: p6). Perhaps Edupunk is more, a “meme”, “ideology”, “‘stylistic approach” and a “Zeitgeist moment” (Groom in educoz, 2009). However, we choose to define Edupunk, the term Edupunk has been “…widely discussed in educational-technology circles-with some people excited about it, and others arguing that professors should use tools provided…” (Young, 2009)

What links music and learning technology?

The critical question is: what did punk got to do with learning technology?

Wheeler (2013) created a YouTube video to explore Edupunk. He explained that punk has a number of characteristics: loud, subversive and energy, about doing things for yourself. It could be argued that in the same way that the music in the 1970s was in need of revitalisation and was re-energised by punk music, our “tired education system” was brought to life by Edupunk too (Wheeler, 2013). He asks the critical question show is punk relevant to education? He identifies that Edupunk is about being a “self-starter”, and rejecting centralised controlled systems (Wheeler, 2013). It is about embracing the ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ approach in terms of making the most of what you have to create learning experiences. Wheeler draws on  Levi-Strauss’ (1962) notion of bricolage as being a way to making the most of what is available to enable the creation of something else from The Savage Mind (1962) Perhaps this is what good educators do without realising (Levi-Strauss, 1962 in Wheeler, 2013). According to Mambrol (2016) the bricoleur is concerned with “mythological narratives” and the conversely the engineer with the “scientific mind” (Mambrol, 2016). To some extent, perhaps Learning Technologists are bricoleurs and digital engineers. We have to work with the tools we have to enhance teaching and learning with technology.

The next critical question is: what does Edupunk still got to do with learning technology now?

Wheeler (2013) also identifies Edupunk as being about rhizomatic learning, personalised education, taking ownership of your own learning and traditional learning identities and relationships can change (Wheeler, 2013). All of these things are still important to Learning Technologists now. It could be argued that Edupunk is fundamentally against techno-capitalism. This is still a challenge. In a blog post in 2008, Wheeler also discusses how Edupunk “stalks” the institution due to social network tools and free platforms (Wheeler, 2008). To some extent, Edupunk is still challenging institutions. “Anarchists take into account that knowledge is produced through situated processes” (Haworth, 2012: p6). How do we want to produce knowledge?. It can be argued that anarchism can divide opinion. It can be perceived as “…a sign of intellectual bankruptcy; by others as a sort of treason, a desertion of the democratic front…by still others as merely poetic nonsense” (Read, 1974: p56 in Suissa, 2006: p1).

(Lim in Wheeler, 2008) Image available here.

Jim Groom (@jimgroom) who is organising the OER Open Education Conference this year is pictured in the image and is credited for creating the notion of Edupunk (Ebner, 2009). He argues that Edupunk has “hit a nerve” and provides us with a critical space to think about “how we think about our learning in terms of our culture” and “brings the logic of culture back into teaching and learning” (Groom in educoz, 2009).

The final critical question is: what does edupunk still got to do with learning technology?

Drawing on Edupunk as an approach to open education can be a constructive foundation on which to base best practice in terms of both working with what we have and sharing what we can. Edupunk is still unequivocally still relevant. Perhaps this could the age of Neo-EduPunk or Post Digital EduPunk? For me, being a Learning Technologist is about being equally critical as enthusiastic about educational technology. Cole (2005) describes the power struggle between the cyberpunk and the megacorporations where “power is imposed by a system of social domination” (Cole, 2005: p259 in Eli, 2017). Edupunk can give us a space to think about open education. It can be exciting to be one of the “…rebellious professors who were interested in deconstructing education from the inside” (Kamenetz, 2011). Is it possible to be a polite techno-anarchist? Jim, if you are reading this, “The fluorescent lighted space of the LMS” could be the title next punk album and I would love to be a part of it (Groom in educoz, 2009).

A Quotation from Jim Groom in the YouTube video by educoz (2009) EDUPUNK Battle Royale – Part 1. Hear him discuss Edupunk here.

Find out more about Edupunk. Check out The Edupunks’ Guide by Anya Kamenetz (2011) here and her blog DIY-U here. Kamenetz also has a book with a helpful resource guide for Do-It-Yourself Education (Kamenetz, 2010: p136).

Bibliography

Association of Learning Technology (ALT) (n.d.) OERxDomains Conference (Online) Available at: https://oer21.oerconf.org/ [Accessed 22 February 2021]

Downes, S (2008) Introducing Edupunk https://www.downes.ca Knowledge Learning Community blog [blog] (Online) available at: https://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=44760 [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Ebner, M (2009) Edupunk possible in Higher Education environments? Presentation for the Online Round Table on 6th April 2009  (Online) available at: https://www.slideshare.net/mebner/edupunk/12-creativity_individuality_collaborationhttpwwwflickrcomphotosthetoad012677459596 [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Educoz (2009) EDUPUNK Battle Royale – Part 1 (Online) Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7MxVqe_uRI&feature=emb_logo [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Eli’s EDC Blog (2017)Taking Cyberpunks out of the Dystopia. http://edc17.education.ed.ac.uk. Digital Education Blog. [blog] 17 April (Online) Available at: http://edc17.education.ed.ac.uk/eappleby-donald/tag/community/ [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Haworth, R, H (ed) (2012) Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education (Oakland: CA Press)

Johnson, M, Lakoff, G (1980) Metaphors We Live By (Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press)

Kamenetz, A (2010) DIY U. http://diyubook.com/. Education Blog. [blog] (Online) Available at:http://diyubook.com/2010/02/welcome-to-diy-u/ [Accessed 22 February 2021]

Kamenetz, A (2010) Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing Company)

Kamenetz, A (2011) Edupunks Revisited in elearn Magazine (Online) Available at: https://elearnmag.acm.org/archive.cfm?aid=2076443 [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Smashwords (2021) The Edupunks’ Guide to a DIY Credential (Online) Available at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/77938 [Accessed 22 February 2021]

Mambrol, N (2016) Claude Levi Strauss’ Concept of Bricolage. https://literariness.org Literary blog. [blog] 21 March (Online) Available at: https://literariness.org/2016/03/21/claude-levi-strauss-concept-of-bricolage/ [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Levi-Strauss, C (1962) The Savage Mind [pdf] (Online) Available at: https://monoskop.org/images/9/91/Levi-Strauss_Claude_The_Savage_Mind.pdf [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Kultz, T (2008) The Buzz for ‘Edupunk’ https://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com Ideas Blog [blog] Oct 17 (Online) Available at: https://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/the-buzz-for-edupunk/ [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Steve Wheeler (2013) 3 things you should know about Edupunk. (Online) Available at: https://youtu.be/_9aTjYOTfdY  [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Suissa, J (2006) Anarchism and Education A philosophical Perspective (London & New York: Routledge)

Wheeler, S (2013) 3 things you should know about edupunk.http://www.steve-wheeler.co.uk Learning Technology blog [blog] 8 Aug (Online) Available at: http://www.steve-wheeler.co.uk/2013/08/3-things-you-should-know-about-edupunk.html [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Wheeler, S (2008) Edupunk stalks the institution… http://www.steve-wheeler.co.uk Learning Technology blog [blog] 11 Dec (Online) Available at http://www.steve-wheeler.co.uk/2008/12/edupunk-stalks-institution.html  [Accessed 18 February 2021]

Young (2009) Technologist who coined ‘Edupunk’ defends the Term in a Video Debate. https://www.chronicle.com Higher Education Blog [blog] Mar 3 (Online) Available at: https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/technologist-who-coined-edupunk-defends-the-term-in-a-video-debate[Accessed 18 February 2021]

Best of Both Worlds – Making the Most of the Library Remotely Using Learning Technology. A Graphic Guide.

Don’t let Learning Technology get in the way of your education

Susan Baker, Library Operations Manager and Pip McDonald Learning Technologist, explore how to make the most of the library in a remote capacity using learning technology. This is a collaborative blog post to bring together the Library and Learning Technology at RAU. The Library plays an important role in your student journey and the digital studuent experience. Due to the impact of the global pandemic, accessing the Library off campus has become important. The Library itself is always changing and evolving to embrace digital tools and has been argued to be a “virtual destination” (Campbell, 2006). At RAU, Learning Technology can help to engage with the Library when you are not on campus. It is important to acknowledge that “The role of…libraries in our digital age is one of the most pressing concerns of humanities, scholars and citizens worldwide” (Mizruchi, 2020: p2). In this blog post, we explore four key ways to do this.

4 Key Ways to Make the Most of the Library in a Remote Capacity Using Learning Technology

RAU Resource Lists

RAU Resource Lists enable students to access a list of resources for each module, many of which are available online. As the RAU Library say, RAU Resource Lists “…are full of ideas of what to read, where to start and have links to relevant online books and articles” (RAU Library, n.d.).

RAU Resource Lists

Login to Gatewayhttps://gateway.rau.ac.uk/ and scroll to the bottom of the page. RAU Resource Lists are located on the menu on the bottom left-hand side of the page. Click on ‘RAU Resource Lists’. Login to the RAU Resource Lists by using the same login as you use for Gateway.

Go to Gateway

Type in a module title or topic or key work into the search box. A list of modules will be shown below. Click on the module to view the list of resources.

Using RAU Resource Lists to find modules

Click on a module to load the online resources.

Using RAU Resource Lists to find online resources

It is possible to view the online module resources on each individual module page. You can also download the resources list by clicking on ‘View & Export’.

Using the ‘View & Export’ function in RAU Resource Lists

Find IT @ RAU

Find it @RAU is a dynamic way to search for a wide range of resources including e-books, journals, databases and the library catalogue.

Go to Gateway

Go to Gatewayhttps://gateway.rau.ac.uk/. If required, login using your username and password.

It is possible to view Find it @ RAU at the top of the ‘Access and Search the E-Library’ tab of the Gateway pages for the Library.

Find it @ RAU

Access Find It @ RAU directly here or copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser:

http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?authtype=ip,shib&profile=eds&group=main&custid=ns010817

Find It @ RAU is also available on the Library Catalogue Search page here or copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser:

http://catalogue.rac.ac.uk/

Sign in to Find It @ RAU

In order to create a successful search, type your search into the box. You can then narrow down your search results. Access the results of your search. Ensure that you sign in, in order to customise your results.  Enter your search terms. It is possible to also use the Advanced Search feature.

Library Catalogue – Heritage

The Library Catalogue Search or copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser:

http://catalogue.rac.ac.uk/

Click on ‘Enter Library’.

Type text into the search box such as a key word, title or author. Use the right hand drop down menu to narrow down the research for example example to ‘book, ‘e-book’ or ‘dissertation.

Using the Library Catalogue – Heritage
Example of Search Results in the Library Catalogue

Library Pages on Gateway

Go to Gateway

There six main tabs on the Library Pages on Gateway including About the Library, Access and Search the E-Library, How to Guides, Suggestions and Requests, Library Policies and Copyright Guidance.

Library Pages on Gateway

It is possible to find information on library opening hours, Click & Collect service and contact details for the library on the About the Library tab.

You can find the Library Pages on Gateway here or copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser:

https://gateway.rau.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1373&tab=0&section=0

Login with your RAU username and password.

You can access the ‘How to Guides’ here or copy and paste the following URL into an internet browser:

https://gateway.rau.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1373&tab=2&section=2

Library Pages on Gateway

Change the dispolay of the search results

Reflection

A White Paper was published that identified the existence of “digital estates” in higher education (Manifesto, 2021). Is the Library part of the “digital estate?” (Manifesto, 2021). Using both the RAU’s Library and its learning technology are fundamental to making the most of your studies and to ensure you have a positive student experience. It is possible to acknowledge a “worst-case scenario” where students suffer “the worst of both worlds” – those enjoying the online component being forced to participate in web-based communication, and those happier communicating online having to attend classes” (Sharma & Barrett, 2007: p8). As a student during challenging times, it is critical to make the best of both worlds. We encourage you to make the most of the Library remotely using Learning Technology.

From 8th March the Library is open Mon – Fri 9am-5pm by appointment only. Appointments are needed to collect a reservation or to book a limited number of study spaces via library@rau.ac.uk Online support is available from 10am to 5pm Sat – Sun via library@rau.ac.uk

Please check the Library Gateway pages and the Library blog for changes.

Make an appointment in order to collect reservations ordered via the Click & Collect service.

Online support is available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 5pm Saturday to Sunday.

Please contact library@rau.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Check out the Library blog here.

A related blog post exploring accessing the Library remotely can be found here.

This blog post has also been cross posted on the Library blog here.

Contacting the Library

Bibliography

Campbell, J, D (2006) Changing a Cultural Icon: The Academic Library as a Virtual Destination. EDUCAUSE Review, 41(1), 16-18.(Online) Available at: https://www.learntechlib.org/p/99195/ [Accessed: 18 February 2021]

Manifesto (2021) Digital Estates within Higher Education. [pdf] (Online) Available at: https://pages.manifesto.co.uk/higher-education-guide [Accessed: 18 February 2021]

Mizruchi, S, L (ed) (2020) Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age [e-book] (Switzerland: Springer Natre)

Sharma, P & Barrett, B (2007) Blended Learning Using technology in and beyond the Language Classroom (Oxford: Macmillan Education)

Royal Agricultural University (n.d.) Latest News at the RAU Library. https://raulibrary.wordpress.com Library Blog. [blog] Available at: https://raulibrary.wordpress.com/ [Accessed: 20 February 2021]

Royal Agricultural University (n.d.)Top tips for students using the library remotely. https://raulibrary.wordpress.com Library Blog. [blog] Available at: https://raulibrary.wordpress.com/2020/11/24/top-tips-for-students-using-the-library-remotely/ [Accessed: 20 February 2021]

Stranger Things? Exploring AI Wellness at Mozilla Festival

Mozilla Festival took place in a virtual capacity in March 2021. MozFest is “…a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world” (MozFest, n.d.). The notion of of the possibility to “arrive with an idea, leave with a community” is very compelling (MozFest, n.d.). The festival is structured into different spaces and themes including neurodiversity, decentralisation and shifting power in tech.

Spaces & Themes at MozFest 2021

Mozilla offered a range of support sessions on Zoom and Slack to support Facilitators with their sessions in addition to Wranglers to support us through the MozFest journey. Facilitating a live 60 minute discussion session called The Post Digital Audio Quilt: A Pop Up, Speculative & Inclusive Audio Fiction Experiment exploring AI Wellness at MozFest was both an exciting and unique opportunity. The project was inpsired by FemEdTech Quilt. The Post Digital Audio Quilt involved collaborative storytelling using a range of prompts, frames and provocations for example Rory’s Story Cubes and a live session with an AI tool called Philospher AI that uses GPT – 3 hosted by Open AI created by Murat Ayfer (@Mayfer) on Zoom. We also explored the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace by John Barlow from 1996. How is this relevant today and in the future? In order to prepare for the session, I shared my journey at the #CreativeHE meetup in February 2021 and wrote a blog post about this experience here.

The Post Digital Audio Quilt

I am very grateful to the Wrangler for the session, Ahnjili, and to the participants whose contributions were thoughtful. It is It was also possible to reflect on the session and contirbute to the MozFest Studio for Tuesday 9th March here with another Facilitator, which involved answering questions in a live broadcast from Amsterdam using Zoom. The host asked the Facilitators about the extent to which AI can be creative. How can we define creativity?

MozFest used Spatial Chat which was an exciting new platform. Miro Board, the online whiteboard, was also used.

Spatial Chat

Both tools were useful. Positive feedback from a participant was recieved:

(@HebrewSimeon, 2021)

Simon Alexander also wrote about the session in a blog post on the Libraries Connected Blog post entitled ‘MozFest 2021: Using technology as a storytelling tool‘ here.

MozFest 21 was an exciting, cutting edge and interdisciplinary event to be part of.

The quotation from Bob Alotta below consolidated this:

“Whether playfully or audaciously – it is only by imagining what does not yet exist: new pathways, new solutions, new possibilities – that we can break our silos and strengthen our commitment to operate interdependently. The joy of playfulness and invention that is at the core of MozFest is critical to fueling our movements”

(J. Bob Alotta – VP, Global Programs – Mozilla In Mozilla Festival, n.d.).

Follow MozFest on Twitter here and follow the hashtag #Mozfest.

Bibliography

#CreativeHE (n.d.) Creative HE Community (Online) Available at: https://creativehecommunity.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 5 March 2021]

Alexander, S (2021) ‘MozFest 2021: Using technology as a storytelling tool’. librariesconnected.org.uk. Libraries blog, [blog] n.d.Available at: https://www.librariesconnected.org.uk/page/mozfest-2021-using-technology-storytelling-tool [Accessed 23 June 2009]

Whitton, F., 2009. Conservationists are not making themselves heard. Guardian.co.uk Science blog, [blog] 18 June. Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/jun/18/conservation-extinction-open-ground&gt; [Accessed 23 June 2009].

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) (n.d.) A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (Online) Available at: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

FemEdTech Quilt (n.d.) The Femedtech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open (Online) Available at:Educationhttps://quilt.femedtech.net/ [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

Glogster (2021) Glogster (Online) Available at: https://edu.glogster.com/ [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

Miro (2021) Miro (Online) Available at: https:miro.com [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

Mozilla Festival (n.d.) Mozilla Festival (Online) Available at: https://www.mozillafestival.org [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

Mozilla (2021) Mozfest Studio March 9, 2021. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIjTMKH0TvY [Accessed 10 March 2021]

Mozilla (n.d.) How to MozFest Arrive With A Idea An Open Book for the Internet Health Movement [e-book] (Online) Available at: https://book.mozillafestival.org/ [Accessed 15March 2021]

Philosopher AI (n.d.) Philosophr AI (Online) Available at: https://philosopherai.com/ [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

Rory’s Story Cubes (2021) Rory’s Story Cubes (Online) Available at: https://www.storycubes.com/en/ [Accessed: 10 March 2021]

Simeon, H [@HebrewSimeon] (2021, March 21) THANKS @PIPMAC6 FOR GOOD CONVERSATIONS SURROUNDING AI WELLNESS TODAY. #MOZFEST [Tweet]. Twitter. (Online) Available at: https://twitter.com/HebrewSimeon/status/1369316486716743680

Spatial Chat (n.d.) Spatial Chat (Online) Available at: https://spatial.chat/ [Accessed: 10 March 2021]