[BOOK REVIEW] Wikipedia and the Politics of Openness

Now, here’s an interesting looking book, and this first couple of paragraphs sums up a lot: The relationship between academics and Wikipedia is a complex one. At one level we love it: however much some of us may deny it, we all use it, at the very least as a route to other information, and often as a way to start to get an idea about something new. At another level we hate it, knowing Continue Reading →

GoogleGlass in the Classroom

We’ve had a GoogleGlass in CODEC since the summer, but it’s not been used to much acclaim by the team, but this is an interesting experiment where it seems to be contributing to university teaching: Academics exploring uses of the device’s in-built camera unexpectedly found that wearing the head-mounted display broke down barriers between staff and students. “There was a coolness factor that I really appreciated and, in a way, I felt it brought me Continue Reading →

[Book Review] The Marketplace of Attention: How Audiences Take Shape in a Digital Age, by James G. Webster

Also looks interesting: Now that digitisation has revolutionised the media, what are we watching – and how? By Sharon Wheeler S o I’m sitting on the sofa, surfing rapidly through the Freeview channels on television. I’m checking three email accounts on my laptop, keeping a beady eye on Facebook, maintaining two Twitter accounts, watching a YouTube video that my nephew has made and waiting impatiently for The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice to Continue Reading →

[Book Review] Speed Limits: Where Time Went and Why We Have So Little Left, by Mark Taylor

This looks interesting: Howard P. Segal on an examination of the accelerating pace of life whose scope extends beyond fast food and computers In our high-tech culture, speed is all the rage – not necessarily drugs (God forbid) but so much else: communications and transportation in endless forms. We are constantly reminded that our pace of change is unprecedented; that no prior society has ever approached ours in the ability to share instantaneously experiences, feelings, Continue Reading →

[BOOK REVIEW] Sharing our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media, by David R. Brake

Another book to add to the wishlist, particularly related to my interests on identity (online): In Sharing our Lives Online, journalism scholar David Brake explores many of the potential harms from self-disclosure on social media. Through a combination of his empirical research on personal bloggers and a theoretical framing of the micro and macro influences on our everyday use of social media platforms, he provides a compelling account of the risks of online communication conducted in Continue Reading →

Overwork = Less Creativity? Milking the academic cow dry?

A fascinating piece on the culture of overwork within academia, finishes: We need coalitions of the sane to lead discussions about what can reasonably be expected of academics, to recruit and promote accordingly and to mentor younger academics into a way of thinking that says: “Enough is enough. If you want to do extra, we won’t reward you for it.” You might assume that institutions run by coalitions of the sane would automatically fall behind Continue Reading →

MOOCS need more interaction? (@timeshighered)

Currently undertaking three variants of online courses or MOOCs, and largely listening, taking notes, sharing some notes, with the occasional bit of conversation. Ironically the one with most conversation is the one that I’m not sharing via blogging as it’s personal development! “Recent Moocs have taken an instructivist approach, with course materials created by a university and delivered by video and text…it can be a lonely experience,” it says. “There is more that can be Continue Reading →

What is ‘Intellectual Cowardice’?

Always interesting to read from those who are public about their ‘fears’ – once fears have been named, they can be faced, right? Anxiety about being a fraud does seem to be an occupational hazard in academia. Ruth Barcan has written in these pages about the reasons for its prevalence – the increasing demands and complexities of the job, the stratification of the university, the insecurities of teachers and of the institutions they work for, and indeed Continue Reading →