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New Zealand Tertiary Education Symposium, Wellington, July 22-23 2016

July 25, 2016

The New Zealand Productivity Commission is currently engaged in a study of the tertiary sector in New Zealand. To initiate a discussion and prompt submissions, the Commission released an issues paper called New Models of Tertiary Education. The Tertiary Education Union (TEU) organised a symposium, Voices from Tertiary Education: A conversation about productivity and innovation in tertiary education in New Zealand, which took place on July 22-23 2016 in Wellington.

I gave a 15-minute presentation on ‘Open, Connected Education’, although most of the talk dealt with innovation and organisational change. You can see the slides in SlideShare, and listen to the audio on SoundCloud. I have embedded both files below. If you start the audio playing and advance the slides, it’s almost like being there! I also created a Storify archive of about 360 Twitter posts that were published during the event (the hashtag was #TEUvoices16).

#LTHEchat No 53: Connecting Classes

May 4, 2016

I will be hosting the #LTHEchat (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) Twitter Chat at 8:00-9:00 pm Wednesday 4 May 2016 UK time (7:00 am on Thursday 5 May in New Zealand). For more information about this weekly Twitter chat, see their website. Here is the outline that I provided as an introduction to the chat session.

#LTHEchat No 53 with Dr Mark McGuire @mark_mcguire

We might summarise the changing use of digital networks in education as follows:

Changing Paradigms in Teaching and Learning
Locus, Mode, Temporality, Structure, Objective

PUSH
Institutional, broadcast, synchronous, hierarchical, impart knowledge

PULL
Personal, download, asynchronous, nodal, individual learning

SHARE
Everywhere, co-create, continuous, networked, knowledge network

 

The structure and practice of teaching and learning is becoming more like an ongoing conversation between diverse individuals in different locations around shared interests. As Joichi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, says, we are moving “from a container to a network”. Educators around the world are working out how to use digital tools to open up and connect their classes to external networks in real time. Well known examples include #DS106 (Digital Storytelling, University of Mary Washington,) and #phonar (Photography and Narrative, Coventry University). Jonathan Worth (@Jonathan_Worth), a Research Associate at Newcastle University, is currently coordinating Connecting Classes (#CClasses), a global, collaborative teaching and research project to investigate the use of Twitter in opening up and connecting classes. As well as connecting to others with shared interests over open networks, #CClasses also aims to facilitate learning that is interest-driven, production-centred, peer-supported and academically oriented, in keeping with the principles advocated by the Connected Learning Alliance. This project sparked the idea for using Connecting Classes as a topic, and a prompt, for this week’s #LTHEchat. In preparation for the chat, you might wish to check out the #CClasses hashtag and the Connecting Classes website

Dr Mark McGuire has taught Design at the University of Otago since 1994. Before moving to New Zealand, he ran Mediatrix inc, a Design consultancy in Toronto that helped publishers make the transition from analogue to digital print production from the mid 1980s. Dr McGuire holds a BA, a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Pre-Professional Architecture), a Masters in Information Science and a PhD in Media Studies. He teaches Communication design, Design for Innovation, Experience Design, and Social Media. His research interests include open education, online communities, and digital media theory and practice.

Twitter: @mark_mcguire

Imagining and Enabling the Collaborative Commons

October 23, 2015

This is a twenty minute presentation that I delivered at the Internet Research 16 Conference (#IR16) in Phoenix Arizona, Oct. 21-24 2015 (I presented on Thursday 22 Oct.). I discussed open practices in education and design, including collaboration, cooperation, crowdsourcing and dissemination. I uploaded the slides to SlideShare and embedded the file below (you can view and download the PDF file from SlideShare if you wish by clicking the “in” button). The slides include clickable Web addresses to the source of the examples that I used in the presentation.

As with the presentation in my previous post, I recorded this talk using an audio recording app on my iPhone 5, which I held as I was speaking. I then uploaded the recording to Soundcloud and embedded the file below. If you start playing the audio and then click the double arrow button beside the “in” button above, you can hear the talk while viewing the slides full screen. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you find the talk and examples interesting.

Smartphones and Open, Collaborative Image Making

October 18, 2015

This is a presentation that I gave at the Art + Design Symposium, which was held at the Dunedin School of Art (New Zealand), 16-17 Oct. 2015. I uploaded the slides to SlideShare and embedded the file below (you can view and download the PDF file from SlideShare if you wish by clicking the “in” button). The slides include clickable Web addresses to the source of the examples that I used in the presentation.

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Of course, like the PDFs of lectures we upload for students to review, the slides provide the illustrations, but not what was said. So, I recorded my talk using a simple audio recording app on my iPhone 5, which I held as I was speaking. I then uploaded the recording to Soundcloud and embedded the file below. If you start playing the audio and then click the double arrow button beside the “in” button above, you can hear the talk while viewing the slides full screen. It’s almost as good as being there.

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I included links in the descriptions of the Soundcloud and SlideShare files pointing to one another and to this blog post. This way, people who find the audio recording or slides will also be able to find this post, which puts the two together and includes this discussion. I will also share the link to this post via my Twitter and Instagram accounts. My aim here is to demonstrate, in keeping with the main message of the presentation, that it is easy to get more value from our work by sharing it openly with others using social networks at no cost (aside from a bit of our time). This allows us to extend the reach of our work and to connect with other people with shared interests. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you find the talk and examples interesting.

Finding and Sharing Educational Resources using Twitter, Hashtags and Storify

November 24, 2014

This is the season for conferences. Immediately after MINA 2014 — 4th Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium in Auckland (where I discussed Phonar Nation), I attended an ascilite (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) conference at my home campus, the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. At ascilite 2014: Rhetoric and Reality, I delivered a presentation about Finding and Sharing Educational Resources using Twitter, Hashtags and Storify. Again, I recorded the audio using my iPhone, uploaded the file to Soundcloud and embedded it below, along with the slides, which I uploaded to SlideShare. You can play the audio while advancing through the slides without leaving this post. The paper has been published online as part of the conference proceedings.

Abstract

This paper reports on the use of Twitter, hashtags and Storify to connect with individuals inside and outside the university who have a shared interest in the future of libraries. The objective was to discover and share educational resources that were applicable to a class project, by engaging with experts through social media, rather than by searching for the resources directly. A related aim was to discover how even limited social contact with others could result in a more collaborative, networked approach to problem solving, in keeping with contemporary design practice. Over the 13-week course, 250 Twitter messages were collected, narrated and archived by the course Lecturer (and author), using Storify. During class discussions, students reported that the resources were useful, and they commented on the effectiveness of reaching out beyond the classroom in this way. This trial also provided insights into how such collaborations could be taken further.

Phonar Nation and Mobile, Connected Learning

November 23, 2014

Here is a presentation I delivered at MINA 2014 — 4th Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium, which took place November 20-21 at AUT (Auckland University of Technology) in Auckland, New Zealand. The sessions were recorded through Google+ and archived. My session (27:30) can be viewed on YouTube. I also recorded the audio using my iPhone, which I held as I talked. I omitted the discussion that followed the talk because the questions and comments were not picked up in the recording. The 23 minute talk, which I uploaded to Soundcloud, is embedded below along with the slides, which I uploaded to SlideShare. If you play the audio while clicking through the slides, it’s almost like being there. I also created a Storify archive of about 180 tweets that were published during the symposium.

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss Phonar Nation, a free, open, five-week photography course that was offered twice during the North American summer in 2014 as part of the Cities of Learning initiative. Photographer and open education pioneer Jonathan Worth created and taught the non-credit course to individuals from 12-18 years of age through a website designed to work on mobile devices (http://phonarnation.org/). The author followed the course as his twelve-year-old son completed it from New Zealand. The community-based Phonar Nation initiative extends the work that Worth and his colleagues have done with Phonar (Photography and Narrative), an open, for-credit undergraduate course at Coventry University.

I argue that Phonar Nation highlights several related developments in education that are leading to innovative approaches at different levels and in different contexts. Firstly, Phonar Nation is not only open access but it also uses and produces material that is open to be shared through the use of Creative Commons Licenses. Secondly, it is collaborative, both in the way that it is produced and taught, and in the way that participants are encouraged to engage with one another in community settings and through social media sites. Thirdly, Phonar Nation exemplifies an approach to learning that advocates call Connected Learning, which is accessible, interest-driven, socially situated and geared to extending educational and economic opportunities.

The writing on the wall

June 27, 2014

Yesterday, a friend sent me a link to a piece in the Guardian about the Last days of Kodak town: the decline and fall of the city photography built. I lived in Rochester, New York during my Wonder Bread Years.

My family (me, two brothers, two sisters and mom and dad) moved from Ontario, Canada to Rochester in the fall of 1963. I remember we all watched JFK’s funeral in the Maple Leaf Hotel near the border, on the Canadian side, just before crossing into New York State.

JFK's family leaves Capitol after his funeral, 1963 (Abbie Rowe White House Photographs, Public Domain)

JFK’s family leaves Capitol after funeral, 1963 (Abbie Rowe White House Photos, Public Domain)

I followed the link in the article to The death of Kodak town – in pictures, (about a book of photographs by Alex Webb Rebecca Norris Webb, which looks worth chasing up) and I wondered — what does the neighbourhood where I lived as a child look like now? I searched for our old house at 409 Harvest Drive, on Google Maps (click on the images below and you can explore the neighbourhood, too).

409 Harvest Drive, Rochester, NY (Google Maps)

409 Harvest Drive, Rochester, NY (Google Maps)

409 Harvest Drive Rochester, NY (Google Maps Street View)

409 Harvest Drive Rochester, NY (Google Maps Street View)

409 Harvest Drive Rochester, NY (Google Maps Street View 2007  and  2012)

409 Harvest Drive Rochester, NY (Google Maps Street View 2007 and 2012 in inset)

Well, like the rest of the city of Rochester, 409 Harvest Drive has seen better days. Google Maps Street view shows that the family that was living at 409 Harvest Drive in July 2012 (the latest Google Street View Photo) has been there since at least September 2007 (the earliest Street View Image). They were still driving the same pick-up truck, so they’re not helping Detroit much. Or Flint, Michigan. The front lawn and garden are in sad shape, and the big tree is gone. I ‘walked’ up Harvest Drive to Ridgemont Plaza, which looks old and tired. The whole area looks a bit neglected.

My memories of living on that street, in that house, include painting the picture window with poster paints every Christmas, finding a turtle on the road and biking back to the house to get a box to put it in (it was gone when I returned, of course), and digging a tunnel out from the front door during the blizzard of 1966.

Kodak Plant, Rochester, New YORK

Kodak Plant, Rochester, New York (Google image search)

I also remember photos of us all in front of that house, no doubt taken with Kodak film. I think those photos are around somewhere, continuing to fade. I remember visiting the sprawling and impressive Kodak plant, which is about 15 minutes drive from where I lived, on a school trip. It was like looking behind the curtain of a massive, magnificent magic show, and I was mesmerised. Between  exhibitions of historic photographs, scientific explanations and product demonstrations, the tour guide led us through an endless maze of dark corridors punctuated with red safe lights. Those lights are well and truly out now. In 2012 the Eastman Kodak Company, the great photography pioneer, filed for bankruptcy. Like so many other companies and industries, they failed to read the writing on the wall.

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