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12 Reasons why academics should blog


  1. To disseminate research. Towards journalism. Towards a book. Even a thesis or paper.
  2. Thought leadership. Reputational. A career move for others to know what you have to say, for media and academia. To express a personal opinion rather than that of your subject expertise or institution.
  3. Social media marketing – to promote your work, as a lecturer, educator and professional academic writer. To support students: a place for lecture notes and reflection on lectures and tutorials. For followers and fans.
  4. PR for the faculty – though corporate blogging is directed, needs to be on brief, and is ideally undertaken through the communications department.
  5. Recruitment to the faculty, course and module.
  6. As part of a learning community. As a like mind. To take part, to be a player and participant. Tenure.
  7. To develop digital literacy skills. Find and connect to likeminds.
  8. In different formats: not just text and images, but video and audio too of lectures and seminars, or simply talking to camera.
  9. To develop and try out writing styles and ideas.
  10. Engage. Recipricosity.
  11. To create and develop creative and productionskills.
  12. For the pleasure of it.



The skills you need as an e-learning practitioner

The skills you need as an e-learning practitioner

Training as a TV producer I picked up some skills editing, writing and directing. A project was never too small that a person fulfilling each of these tasks wasn’t required. Indeed, the ‘one man band’ was frowned upon. Some TV crews were still unionised so you had a cameraman, assistant and sound engineer, minimum. Today in TV production a producer may not only direct and write, but operate the camera and edit the piece. To be a TV professional in 2010 you need this variety of skills. I do. I did the courses. Camera, editing … even six months as a sound engineer.

To be an e-learning professional it strikes me that as well as research, design and planning skills, with a healthy foundation from an appropriate course that takes in learning history, theory and practice, that you will also need more that just a modicum of IT skills. IT literacy is a given, but further familiarity, even a confident working knowledge of a variety of 21st century e-learning tools and platforms will be necessary, as well as that 20th century skilling of touch typing.
I have that.
With this in mind I am tackling some software that I have to date resisted. I managed without Outlook, now I’m using it through-out the day. I hadn’t moved away from my original blogging platform of 1999, so have in the last two months started three new blogs in three different places, as well as continuing with the OU blog. I wanted to feel confident I know what these are doing. I signed into Facebook a few years ago but have let it pass me by.
It may feel like the exclusive domain of my children, nephews and nieces, but I am now determined to master it, instead of it having control of me.
And finally, though I have grown familiar with MyStuff and have mine well stuffed … I must decide on a second e-portfolio system to embrace. I want to try one, two at most. I’d like to run with Filemaker Pro as I’m familiar with it, but there is a cost and it won’t be of any use to others who don’t have it installed.
Time to look at the Tutor Group Wiki.


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