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Teaching with Technology

Youth, Media, and Education in the United States

The second day at ATOM2006 has started, and we're beginning with a keynote by Kathleen Tyner from the University of Texas at Austin. She begins by noting the relationship between form, content, and context in studies of the media - and that the relationship between skills and knowledge in media studies and production is very difficult to reconcile. She also notes 'the tyranny of the narrative' - creating a conflict between how things are done, from a practical perspective, and what the storyline of any one media artefact is.

In youth media, there is now a transition to a digital literacy culture, with better access to lower-cost tools; this has also led to a remix culture supported by greater availability of content archives and new distribution networks. Further, there is also now the beginning of more supportive academic standards and practices.,, Livingroomcandidate, and the Library of Congress's American Memory project are all useful archives which can provide raw materials for such remix culture projects.

Social Software in Higher Education

I was lucky enough to be a team member in two education research projects proposed to the Carrick Institute in the last application round. One, with my friend and colleague Donna Lee Brien and a host of other colleagues, will work on developing a network of creative writing postgraduates, and I'll post more about it here soon as the project develops. The other, led by Robert Fitzgerald from the University of Canberra, has now been officially announced - here is our press release:

Social Software in Higher Education

Canberra - 24 August 2006

Examining Online Pedagogies for e-Learning

Mpine Qakisa Makoe is the first presenter of the post-lunch session. She presents on the ecology of South African distance learners. Usually e-learning studies focus on how it affects learners, but this offers only a limited perspective. Distance learning is especially important in South Africa as this enables universities to deal with a significant backlog of learners especially also in remote locations, who previously did not have access to formal education - and therefore it is also a priority area for government policy. Universities now have to deal with a three- or fourfold increase in students, and many white educators in universities are still coming from the apartheid era, so there are considerable pressures on the sector.

Blogs and Wikis in Teaching at QUT - Update

A little while ago Trebor Scholz suggested that I should respond to a post of his on the Institute for Distributed Creativity mailing-list, about using wikis and blogs in teaching. I finally got around to this yesterday, and thought I might post it up here as well. This also refers back to the interview Trebor did with me last year, and to the Large Teaching & Learning Grant project which I co-direct at QUT (see Blogs and Wikis in Teaching at QUT for some more information). Any comments welcome!

Blogs and Blogging

Key Publications:

  • Book: Uses of Blogs (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), eds. Axel Bruns & Joanne Jacobs

Research Projects:

  • Mapping the Australian political blogosphere
  • Participatory Journalism and Citizen Engagement

Related Topics:

Developing Communities of Practice in Adopting New Technologies

One of the reasons I link to Suw Charman's blog is for posts like this: "An Adoption Strategy for Social Software in Enterprise" - a clear and useful outline of the process and pitfalls of adopting social software tools like blogs and wikis in enterprise environments. In my case, recently this adoption process has taken place, more or less successfully, in the QUT Large Teaching & Learning Grant which I co-direct, and in which we are introducing blogs and wikis into the teaching environment of several undergraduate and postgraduate units across two faculties.

Towards New Modes for ICT-Supported Education

The first of the afternoon sessions this Saturday at the 2005 AoIR conference is on 'New Research and Learning Models'. The first paper is by Trena Paulus from the University of Tennessee and Vanessa Dennen from Florida State University.

Trena Paulus and Vanessa Dennen: New Approaches to Analysing Asynchronous Interaction

Their main interest is in asynchronous discussion environments in higher education. There still is a lack of definition of what learning actually means - there is a need to look at the group processes involved, which are very dynamic, rich, and almost mysterious in an online context. Learning is a collaborative knowledge building activity, and it is about becoming a member of a discourse community. Current studies show limited attention to context, as well as to the ebb and flow of the dialogue, however; current measures of participation give points for posts, which rewards presence but emphasises quantity over quality and the individual over the group.

Online Teaching with Blogs and Wikis

Yesterday my colleagues Peter Duffy, Sal Humphreys and I put in a paper proposal for the Online Teaching conference here at QUT in September. This builds on the work Sal and I have been doing for the International Wiki Symposium in San Diego, but with a focus more on teaching and pedagogy aspects rather than the underlying teaching technologies. Here's the abstract:

Delivery in the Beyond - Possibilities for the Use of Blogs and Wikis in Education

In a knowledge economy it is no longer sufficient to use online learning and teaching technologies simply for the delivery of content to students. In the new environment, graduate capabilities increasingly and crucially identify the ability to effectively use new media technologies for collaborative and (co)creative purposes as well as for the critical assessment and evaluation of existing information. Higher education therefore must refocus its efforts, from a mere interest in developing information literacies to an emphasis on developing advanced creative, collaborative, and critical ICT literacies in students.

Homework, Hitchhikers, Homework

Spending yesterday and today at home, working. This week and the next are strangely teaching-free weeks for me as the two Monday public holidays mean that my Creative Industries unit doesn't run again until Monday week. So, instead I'm getting some other important work done. Yesterday I made further inroads into two papers - the one co-authored with Sal Humphreys about our wiki efforts in KCB336 New Media Technologies (which will go out to the International Wiki Symposium organisers later today), and one with Danny Butt on digital rights management in the music industry, for a special issue of Media and Arts Law Review (which Sal also has a hand in).

Media, Traditional and Alternative

Spent most of the ANZAC day public holiday on Monday working on a paper for the 2005 Wiki Symposium in San Diego. My colleague, the soon-to-be Dr Sal Humphreys has done much of the legwork for this paper which we'll be submitting before Friday; it details the use of wikis in my New Media Technologies unit at QUT and discusses the overall frameworks for using wikis in teaching. I'll post it here once it's done.


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