I was asked to write some thoughts about YouTube, which is eight years old this week. Other than it reaching another milestone, I’ve not got much of an angle to work with, so I just thought I’d write a brief note detailing some of the things I think of when I think of YouTube. This is pretty much off the top of my head, but here are five things that came to my mind: Continue reading
During the 2011-12 academic year we undertook a piece of experimental teaching and learning that we called Stories & Streams:
‘Stories & Streams’ is a case study in delivering student-led, problem-based and peer-to-peer media education. The case study focuses on an experimental teaching and learning programme in which two groups of students, working towards different learning outcomes, negotiate their learning in a common problem space.
This structure was proposed as a way of addressing issues of motivation and engagement with learning and as a response to the instrumental consumption of media education framed by the employability agenda; in action the structure actually enabled deeper learning of soft skills which are known to contribute to employability of graduates.
(from HEA Networks magazine)
Over the year we spoke about the project at a number of conferences, and Paul has produced a teaching resource that you can download for free from LeanPub. We received a lot of interest in the ideas that we were unpicking and so this summer we are hosting an event on 6th June where will discuss “collaborative learning, collaborative journalism”.
The event takes place at BCU’s City North Campus, Perry Barr. If you’d like to discuss our project or share ideas for collaborative learning and collaborative journalism please book a place via the HEA website.
This afternoon I gave my research seminar presentation. It was good to come off the back of Dave & Jerome last time as we are working in a similar area, but from different directions. Picking up on a theme from that presentation last time about the problem of defining hyperlocal media, I spent some time working through the ways in which hyperlocal has been defined. From this position I could suggest three key repertoires that are being used to describe and define hyperlocal media. These are:
- New media / technology
- Community & alternative media
- Professional / commercial media
Each repertoire provides us with ways of making sense of hyperlocal media, and those who talk about hyperlocal may appropriate each to varying degrees. Whilst we continue to negotiate hyperlocal through these repertoires, the definition remains unfixed and this can create tensions and issues within hyperlocal communities of practice. A great example of this today, this pre-event discussion about Birmingham City University’s Rethinking Media conference shows how the project of hyperlocal media is not set and exposes one key fault-line: the question of sustainability.
You can follow my thinking on this topic as it unfolds in some sporadic PhD blog posts on my website.
Thanks to colleagues and students who attended for their valuable input. The paper will now be redrafted ahead of presentation at MeCCSA 2013.
Deadline for applications: 8th June 2012
Please note this scheme is for students who are graduating from Birmingham School of Media in 2012.
Have you got an idea for a media enterprise? Would you like support in developing your ideas?
The School of Media incubation scheme can help you to develop your ideas, and can help you to access other support within BCU.
Successful applicants will receive a package of support and development that will include:
- up to 12 months business accommodation (at Perry Barr)
- access to other incubation activity within BCU (including opportunities to apply for funding for your ideas)
- support for further study
- opportunities to work with academic staff as mentors
- opportunities to work with current students
- opportunities for paid work within the School of Media and the University (teaching and media production)
Placement is subject to a competitive and transparent process. Individuals and groups are invited to apply via an application form. Staff from the School of Media will then invite a shortlisted group of proposals to a pitching event before a final decision is made on providing support for the 2012-13 academic year.
Terms of Incubation
- Support is available to individuals or groups from successful completion of BA or MA programmes in 2012.
- Support will be subject to a brief review panel at 3 and 6 months to ensure that applicants are engaging with the opportunity appropriately.
- Supported projects will be expected to support learning and teaching and promotional activities within the School of Media during their incubation period.
- There are opportunities for support for international students, subject to additional processes – please email [email protected] for further information.
Paul Bradshaw and I have spent the day at Exploring Collaborative Learning In Media Studies Programmes, a one day seminar hosted by Winchester University, funded by the HEA.
This one day seminar will allow for academic staff from different higher education institutions across the UK to convene and to discuss the benefits and problems in collaborative learning, how social media – and other technologies and practices – can be used and to share good practice in facilitating collaborative teaching and learning in undergraduate media studies programmes
We attended to present a paper on ‘Stories & Streams’, a teaching and learning research project we have been running this year, with financial support from BCU’s Centre for Enhancement of Learning & Teaching. Stories & Streams is a response to observations we have made about instrumental ways in which students consume learning based on their expectations of job roles. We have developed a response that is problem-based, peer-to-peer and student-led; the initial findings suggest that students have engaged with learning at a deeper level and produced work of a higher standard (although there are also new problems still to address).
The teaching and learning activity has been delivered by Caroline Beavon, Paul Bradshaw, and Jennifer Jones. The evaluation of the project and the research outputs are being prepared by Jennifer, Paul and me. The article which accompanies today’s presentation will be available in a collection to be published on the HEA website.
Digital Transformations is “a research network exploring digital transformations in the creative relationships between cultural and media organisations and their users”.
I attended their first workshop last week, alongside BCMCR colleague Paul Long. Paul was there hoping to discuss notions of expertise with other researchers and scholars, and also to engage in some ideas to inform the Culture Cloud project. I was there primarily because I’ve taken up a brief in BCMCR to develop knowledge transfer work, and “exploring digital transformations in the creative relationships between cultural and media organisations and their users” speaks quite clearly to that.
The day was structured around some presentations in plenary – some case studies, some think pieces – followed by break out discussions that followed an unconference like format (reflecting the overarching theme of the day about organising activities from the user upwards).
In the end the day for me was actually more interesting in terms of research work, rather than knowledge transfer, and I spoke more about some of the activity happening within hyperlocal media than I did about KT. Not what I expected, but not unwelcome.
Following on from the last breakout session, where I was note taking for the group, I’ve contributed a guest post on lurking as participation to the network – read the post here.
The network has a number of events over the coming months which may be of interest:
20 April 2012: Business models, rights and ownership workshop, at British Library, London
15 May 2012: Design workshop, at Tate Britain, London
21 June 2012: Learning workshop, at UCL, London
To book head to www.digitaltransformations.org.uk
In her post yesterday, Elizabeth described her trip to SxSWi as part of an official (funded) Birmingham delegation to the annual technology festival. She describes something of the process of getting to Austin and her experience as part of the community that made up that trade delegation. That’s a theme at the heart of a recent article I co-authored with Jennifer Jones, a visiting lecturer here at Birmingham School of Media and a researcher in UWS’s Creative Futures centre.
The article, The imaginary SxSWi, seeks to interrogate the way in which sponsoring trips to SxSWi can be justified; often attendance is positioned as proxy attendance for others but, with so much content from the festival being available online, what knowledge can be transferred only through proxy attendance?
The article is very much intended as, in the words of the hosting journal’s editors, “a ‘think’ piece, designed to spur discussion amongst scholars and audiences”. If you have any thoughts on this please do head over to FlowTV and leave a comment.
This is a cross post of something I’ve put up on my personal blog – but which some people can’t see as the DNS changes for my migration from Posterous are already in train.
We’ve been fans of Posterous for while at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research. It’s been a good tool for teaching, as we can create shared blogs for classes with ease. It’s also been handy for project partners, allowing us to build quick and dirty solutions for them so that they can see our ideas play out quickly.
We were strong advocates for the software, and experimental users of it (way back when, I pointed out to Posterous that they’d actually accidentally built a great podcasting tool and Simon worked with them as a private beta user of themes, amongst other bits of play we did with the platform).
As I say, I’ve been meaning to move for a while because I was starting to lose faith in the software (it had stopped being simple, had started to bloat) and because I was becoming worried that it locked users in too much. By this I mean that when Posterous went hard on a drive to recruit bloggers from other platforms it produced a suite of blog importation tools, but never provided a way out. There’s no back up in Posterous and no easy way to leave. When you’re working with a company that is funded through VC investment and has no clear business plan, these things should always be a worry – that’s why during the revalidation of the BA (Hons) Media & Communication programme at BCU I’ve introduced the idea that students across our degree specialisms (journalism, PR, new media, photography, TV, radio, music industries and events) should build their personal web presence using web 2.0 tools, but that they should take a considered approach to this, interrogating the institutions in which they are trusting their professional presences.
So I’ve had my escape route planned for some time. Funnily enough one of today’s tasks is “work on blog” – I’ve promised my PhD supervisors that I’ll start writing publicly about my PhD, and as I’ve a PhD tutorial tomorrow I thought I’d better get things in hand (ever the student, eh?).
I’ve just done a dry run transfer of Posterous to self-hosted wordpress. Back last year I’d planned to use the Posterous to WordPress importer plugin, but it hasn’t been updated yet (I bet that’s in progress after yesterday) and doesn’t work with the latest version of WordPress.
This blog post is useful in outlining one way to get content migrated quickly, using wordpress.com as a bridge to a self hosted wordpress site. The import took less than five minutes to clear into wordpress.com, and same again on the transfer to self hosted.
Some things to look out for:
- The first transfer to wordpress.com keeps private posts private, but you’ll lose them altogether when you move to self hosted.
- If a Posterous user has marked your post as a “favourite” this shows up as an empty comment, attributed to them.
- You’ll need to update the permalink structure of your WordPress blog if you want to retain inbound links and search engine relationships. Longer post titles are problematic as Posterous seems to truncate them at 44 chars
- Your RSS feed address will be wrong and so you’ll need to sort that
So I’m now waiting for my domain to switch over to my hosting, and this will be my last posterous post. It’s been a fun ride.
If you’re a regular visitor to this blog you might remember that several years ago we were working with colleagues from BCU’s PGCE programme on a project which used Flip video cameras in teacher training as part of academic practice.
The project ended some time ago, but Dave Kane and I developed the project report further, taking it to an internal and an external conference, and finally we submitted it as a journal article which was published earlier this month by EducationalFutures.
If you’re interested in technology in teaching and learning or just Flip cameras, do give the article a read – it’s free to download here.