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Are you a digital scholar? Would you like to be thought of as one?

DIGITAL SCHOLAR

Martin Weller (2011)

Weller, M (2011) The Digital Scholar. How technology is transforming scholarly practice. Bloomsbury

This OU profs new book ‘The Digital Scholar’ deliberately had a Creative Commons licence allowing all kinds of things to be done to it.

All I’ve done is read it cover to cover, type up notes and my thoughts along e way and then posted up ALL of this. See Below or use the ‘search this blog facility.’

I’ve picked this out of Martin Weller’s new book ‘The Digital Scholar’. (2011)

This book is published under a Creative Commons licence that throws away the old concept of copyright and ownership, inviting people to do as they please with the content so long as he is attributed (indeed any of the other authors/academics he quotes himself).

He is either on a mission, or playing at the edge of digital scholarship by inviting others in, expecting more than peer review for his thinking followed by publication years hence in an academic journal.

The stance I take, is that the outside, the novice, someone from a different discipline or culture, can, act in many ways to ameliorate knowledge, either as a catalyst for seeing things differently, or by seeing things differently themselves and in time being able to articulate this in a convincing manner.

They don’t have to wait for permission or acceptance, they just do it.

So long as we can see (as you can online, say with a wiki) the trail of changes (editing, additions) others coming to this fluid material may draw their own conclusions (if a conclusion is now ever possibly given that a work offered online in this way is never complete).

INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the power of blogging by John Naughton

(Worth following in the Guardian. Surely a demonstration of how academics blur the line between academic and journalistic writing styles successfully, just as Weller intimates that students will have to learn to differentiate between social networking writing styles and the academic style of an assignment, paper or thesis?)

• Explain things in depth

• Give all sides to the argument

• Why academics can’t do the elevator pitch

The Digital Scholar was written through a blog to explore the advent of new technologies.

Wrote his last book on VLEs in 2004.

(By coincidence I am using it to prop up the iPad)

  • Online databases
  • Searching
  • Bookmarks from Delicious
  • Google Reader
  • cited posts from blogs, but not only text, also video.

Blogging for around five years

Also keeps a scrapbook like blog in Tumblr.

(I’ve used Flickr, and Tumblr, even Kodak Gallery in its time. Now I put everything into Picasa Web. The 250 grabs, charts and images are open to share. Dion Hinchcliffe offers his social media diagrams free as separate assets in Flickr River).

  • A way to offer drafts to ask for feedback
  • Sharing resources
  • Working in an intellectually vibrant environment
  • Google alerts providing updates on key words
  • Keeping abreast of the field
  • Declining attendance of conferences

‘With special thanks to’

By sharing content online I believe I may finally find my own way to publication.

Many of these services did not exist or were in their infancy in 2004.

Blogs in particular

A book

There significant changes:

1) The quantity of information available – all digital compared

2) 3000 on Twitter, 2000 subscribe to his blog

Appeals

Distributed, global resource to contemporary issues, puss of new technologies,

contributions by video and audio

3) The richness and range of contributions to include blogs, comments and

debate, video and conferences.

A shift I attitude to the legitimacy of these contributions.

Both a physical object and complementary material.

Grainne Conole using cloudworks.

Another posting a weekly video to encourage debate.

Concept of scholarship

Sufficiently broad term, not only teaching and research,

not just engaged in research and employed by universities.

In a digital

Someone who employs digital and open technologies in a particular field.

Bloggers link to each other, democratic and easy to set up.

Epitomy of the kind

of technology that results in innovation.

Read or unread, daily or months,

specialist or generalist.

How do we recognise talent?


Should people separate out that academic and informal lives?


• Quantity

• Role of social networks

• Range of resources

Transformation of practice


All scholars are digital if they use a word processor and PowerPoint. But this

is ‘business as usual’.

1) Digital

All digital files and shared by the same method.

2) Networked, nor longer isolated.

Easy distribution VS restriction of

scholarship to libraries, conferences, lectures and seminars. Once digitised the

barriers come down.

Dunbar. Friends 150. Reinforce with interaction. Online with a wide group of

peers.

3) Openness

Tim O’Reilly 2004 the architecture of participation.

Finely worked material of the journal, compared to seeing where things will lead

by sharing.

Digital, Networked, Open.


E.g collaboration between two people (Frank & Sally)

The value of a person’s individual network for distribution.

The collaboration of two academics sharing their outputs they go along … Just

a shift?

Collective impact changes everything.

Fast, cheap and out of control.


Brian Lamb. 1970 documentary. intersection of

all three is significant to education.

Fast to write and set up, no need for central services.

Cheap tools that have a premium, no need to turn to a budget holder.

Out of control. Outside normal institutional controls.

Money/payment and the need to persist with a certain system.

Student record systems need to be robust.

The good enough revolution. Wired (2009)


E.g. Flip video … Cheap, fast and everywhere.

Dinky, lower power technology that is just good enough.

VS. Dystopian and Utopian points of view.

VS. Technological determination – humans controlled by the kit, rather than the

kit controlling the people.

Unpredictable

Taking something and using it in a way never imagined

E.g. Flickr started as a game that used photo sharing.

Social construction of technology

Complex process of co-construction

Adoption of new technology is changing scholarship. Boyer 1990

1) Context

2) Evidence

3) Other industry changes in music and newspapers

4) Boyer 1990 scholarship discovery, integration, practice, application,

teaching

*

*

*

*

9) How digital scholarship may change teaching

10) Analogy of networked weather – you can’t help but be touched by it.

Digital

Networked

Open

New publishing and conferencing

13) adoption

14) anxieties

Education

1

2

3) Irrelevant

Not peripheral, or an issue to resolve, but rather changes to society … As

John Seely Brown.


VS. Suggestions that our students have changed and cites Marc Prensky.

Separating myths from the hype.

What are the solid foundations.

A truism regarding exposure to computers. Prensky 5,000 books, 10,000 digital,

20,000 TV US

75% of 9-19 have access to a computer at home UK

72% South Africa

To get information

To research say on personal health

Oblinger and oblinger

Livingstone

Net Gen disappointed


Gen X against pointless interaction in class and kind of connection online.

Cannot correlate truancy to educational irrelevance.

net Gens more likely to be disappointed by how tech is used.

Net gens differentiate between writing to socialise compared to writing for

school.

Those who like writing and have an aptitude are more likely to blog so no point

in getting those with poor writing skills to blog.

A good deal of variance.

Brown 2009.

Teens poor performance, low patience, poor

reading and poor research skills.

• Express themselves in personal language

• Just print off

• Visiting a narrow range of sites

• Don’t question its reliability

• 21% blogs

The net Gen literature sees difference where none exists.

  • Older gens did homework in front of TV
  • Did a previous gen have an ambiguous view.
  • Similar angst amongst students in 1908, 1960s and now. Unable to show causality.
  • Differences between net gen students and general public. Differences are not
  • significant.
  • General decline in literature reading.

Bennett et al (2008) not net Gen difference.

18-22 students outnumbered by mature students in the US.

Google, Dec 2009.

87 billion of 131 billion searches.

55.6 million in 2007 to Wikipedia

Facebook, 500m, 130 friends, once a day

YouTube, in June 2008, content 91 viewers in 2008

Significant activity online across a range of society.

Future liberation of topics.

Griffiths (2008) graffiti artists share and behave in a way that educationalists

would design into a programme of learning, and so it is with many other topics,

on or off the curriculum, formal or informal, from knitting to physics.

Learn as the key motivational desire.

Physics 100,000

FLOSS communities

Demonstrates many of the characteristics:

Mentoring

Communities of practice

Learning by doing

Self-directed learning

Communities can form that would have previously been unable to do so due to

geographical and other barriers.

Openness in education – shift driven by technology.

Make academic papers open.

Broader trend and philosophy of the Internet.

Web 2.0

Top 10

Public or semi-public sharing of personal information

MIT Open 2002

1 million visitors

132 million tertiary students worldwide in 2004

OU 3 million within 2 years and helped recruit students to courses 7,000.

Slideshare

More traffic than MIT

Several hundred years to create the lecture Based models

Using third party content in their lectures.

How do universities remain relevant to society?


Apple to iTunes

Guardian to Podcasts

Stephen Downes 10,000 hits per day (video)

Boundaries between sectors less clear-cut

Some perfect storm … Convenient for some to see. The Net Gen literature is

exaggerated, overblown, HE is not about to face a tectonic shift.

Firm evidence of benefits and that it is necessary.

Critical mass

Ubiquity

Invisibility

Brown

2007 those using social networks in the minority, now in the majority.

Give students relevant skills.

Asses which of these technologies will be significant.

Why do Students choose a university?


Not because of the technology used.

Core suitability

Academic reputation

Jobs

Teaching qualities

Non-academic reasons:


Proximity to homes

Scholarships

Non-academic services

Cost of living in the uni area

Job prospects (while studying)

The Digital Scholar Martin Weller

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