sue watling

A bad back has been useful. I wouldn’t recommend it but enforced rest has been an opportunity for a phd catch up. I can see how doctoral pauses are beneficial. Without realising it’s happening, your brain continues the research process, which includes reflection as much as reading, noting and data collection. Reflection itself is a […]

I was in a Blackboard session this week. The plan to show case good practice, to be inspiring, supportive, but the plan failed. Examples of innovation were overshadowed by negative comments about the technology. At great speed the focus turned from positive enhancement to lets knock Blackboard.  It spread like a virus. The potential affordances […]

The MOOC bubble is bursting. See Online Revolution Drifts Off Course or Completion data for MOOC For some time there’s been evidence of a shift in MOOC attitudes eg MOOC Star Professor defects and Professors Won’t Use a Harvard Professor’s MOOC  It will be interesting to watch FutureLearn; the UK HE MOOC consortium’s 36 free online courses. MOOC have been good […]

As Blackboard faces upgrading and the procurement process grinds on, Getting Started offers its annual overview of the ways the VLE is used across the university. On a scale from good, less good to not at all. Getting Started has always had differential levels of participation.  I believe the disparity has less to do with […]

There’s a new thread running through my PhD reading and reflection; how little has changed with ‘e-learning’. In the digital education world, innovators and technologists have raced ahead – buoyed with project funding – reinventing multiple wheels and embracing the new affordances of social media, demonstrating their connectivism from tweeting cliques – while many more staff remain […]

I get protective about Blackboard. As a system administrator and advocate of the potential for VLE to cross boundaries of time and distance, I’m easily irritated with comments like ‘VLEs are being used as a tool for social control by post industrial capitalism’. I was given this blog post  Zombies, Technology and Capitalism http://digitalscholar.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/zombies-technology-capitalism/ in […]

A recent Edudemic post addresses the non-use of teaching technology.   The reference to teachers who are ‘not comfortable with technology’ resonated. They may be more of them than is often realised. Change is always a challenge and adoption of technology for teaching requires major shifts in practice. Support for the process is essential, either through […]

The Student Rep’s Conference (2nd March) provided space for students and staff to talk to each other. I hope there’ll be lots of dissemination in online/offline student/staff publications because it was worth it. It’s not that students and staff don’t talk to each other – they do – in lots of different ways – but […]

VLE v web 2.0

September 12, 2009 | 1 Comment

The debate over digital learning platforms in HE often focuses on the choice of technology. It misses issues around supporting engagement with digital learning and the production of quality assured, inclusive content. Those involved in the VLE v Web 2.0 discussions should look backwards as well as forwards. A decade ago, in the wake of […]

vote for the VLE

August 27, 2009 | 1 Comment

Last weeks THES ran an article on the demise of virtual worlds in HE. I have mixed feelings about this. Earlier in the year I attended a conference in Second Life (http://tiny.cc/kmEkQ and http://tiny.cc/PSYaw) and concluded it had the potential to provide a powerful learning experience but this had to be offset by problems with access. […]

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