Open(ing) and closing

One of me in SL

This is “me”

Wow, it’s March already! That caught me unawares, the last time I looked it was February and still winter – now it’s spring πŸ™‚

Unfortunately Twitter have decided that they are going to kill off TweetDeck. Outrage! I hear you cry – yes indeed. TweetDeck is far better than Twitter’s own interface and, unlike many programmes that offer the same facilities, it is free. However, come the end of May TweetDeck, and all of its apps, will be gone. The best I can suggest in its place is Hootsuite (I used this before I used TweetDeck), I expect it will be the one I will use. This post by Kevin Allen gives you lots of advice about the alternatives available to you. Don’t let your networks disappear – take a look and make up your own minds before May when TweetDeck will start to be shut down.

If you are interested in all sorts of, free, online courses then take a look at this post about 700 of them πŸ™‚ There are some really good lectures, by well-known speakers listed here. Some are old recordings but still very useful. You are bound to find something helpful.

Open Learning Week starts on Sunday March 10th through to March 17th. All you educationalists out there are sure to be interested in one of the webinars. As this is an international thing you might want to check that the webinar is in a language you speak πŸ™‚

Not only is it spring but all sorts of new things are on the horizon. Just look at Leap Motion on the video in this article from Huffington Post. I can’t wait to try one of these πŸ™‚

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Media Enhanced Learning SIG

One of me in SL

This is "me"

I have never attended a MELSIG meeting before so was just a little apprehensive about going. The program looked interesting though and I’m pleased to say the topics at the MELSIG meeting were all relevant to digital literacy. I arrived a few minutes late but didn’t miss too much of the first presentation. The presentation by Lindsay Jordan from the University of the Arts (London) on videoing lecturers doing their PGCE. It raised some interesting questions on copyright, performance rights, etc – you get the picture. I really liked the way though that Lindsay managed to get the learners using the little video cameras. The informality of the filming fitted really well with the activity; a smashing idea getting everyone to ice and decorate cup cakes (or what we in the UK used to call fairy cakes). If you are interested we do have these little flip video cameras for hire from the Helpdesk in Pearson.

There were lots of interesting tips about Voice emails (not to be confused with those dreadful phone messages). Very useful for when you want to provide feedback to students or if you want to explain something which is rather complex and – which is possibly more important – won’t bung up your mail box! I’m trying Waxmail – give it a go and let me know how you get on.

For those of you who have problems remembering the citation for that really useful picture try TinEye Reverse Image Search. We all need help avoiding the pit falls of the UK’s archaic copyright laws, TinEye is one of the most useful I’ve seen. Thanks to Carol Beattie for passing on the url πŸ™‚

There are problems with copyright, mainly because it is an archaic system trying to maintain its reason for existing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating a world without some way of controlling an author’s or producer’s rights to ownership over their own work. We all publish in different ways now that digital media make it possible to do so. The Laws of copyright all need to be re-examined, simplified, reduced and made more flexible in order to make them functional in today’s world.

There really was a lot at this meeting so I might come back to it at sometime.

One of me in SL

I’ve just written a piece on my other blog Digital Literacy: your future world about a post on the “Twitter Revolution”. And it got me thinking about how we use social media here in UW. Do we make the best use of it? I’d like to see the whole University using social media more. ILS use Facebook very successfully but where else do we really see this sort of activity in UW? Not many places as far as I can tell at the moment. The Annual Survey is indicating that as a whole the University does not use social media very much at all. These media, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Academia.edu, Second Life, etc, can improve communication, save time, and ensure the University’s resources and accommodation are used efficiently and effectively. Social media like these don’t necessarily need to cost us anything and we have no maintenance responsibilities for them.

I know there are some people using these technologies in their work. Why not share what you do, inspire others and encourage more people to use social media.

To tweet or not to tweet

How do you feel about Twitter? I used to hate it ‘cos I couldn’t follow the discussions! It was just a big jumble of words. A friend suggested Tweetdeck as an interface – now I love Twitter. I can create columns for each of the groups/conferences/discussions/classes/etc. No need to tax my poor little brain with trying to work out who is talking to whom!

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