TECH1002 Social Media & Technology Planning

 TECH1002  Comments Off on TECH1002 Social Media & Technology Planning
Sep 162014

I’ve been busy the last couple of days putting together my exam and module packs for TECH1002 Social Media & Technology. This will be the second year that I’ve delivered this module and I’m looking forward to delivering it again this year to the new batch of first year BSc Media Production students.

Last year was something of an introduction for me after years of teaching radio production, so over the summer I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about the content of the module and ways that we can think about how we makes sense of social media and the networks that we interact through.

I’m planning to look at some good examples, and to get some ideas from my students of things that we can look at as we go. Let me know if you have any suggestions for interesting examples of social media and ways that people use social media to collaborate.

Each week I’m going to start with a track of the day for the lecture. Something related to the theme and ideas we’ll be thinking about. I also want to collect as many photographs as I can of the work that we are doing, and share them on our social media platforms .

If you want to read what the students will be writing about then in a couple of weeks their blogs will be set up and running a feed through It’s well worth reading some of the reviews and the comments that have been made by students for this and other modules.

So, time to get back to work, I think my desk needs tidying.

Future Media Blogging

 DMU, Social Media  Comments Off on Future Media Blogging
Nov 202013

How easy is it to start blogging? What’s it like to make the move from being a personal consumer of media to a personal producer of media? I’ve just sent feedback to my first year social media production students covering their first steps in the world of blogging.

There’s been a good mix of work, with some excellent examples of blogs beginning to filter into the Future Media blog site. There are a good number of bloggers studying on the module, who are making interesting comments about the media that they are passionate about.

The point it to try to develop the skills for this from the ground up, rather than imposing a rigid hierarchy of expectations from the top down. It’s about trying to find the small ideas that will give these budding bloggers a sense of validation about their posts, and to encourage them to keep blogging, and include lots of different types of media.

I’m hoping to see and share some useful experiments in media production, with self-produced videos, podcasts and photographs being shared on the blogs. We each have our own unique point of view on the world and what is happening in it. Blogs are a great way of sharing that view and encouraging other people to have empathy and sensitivity to those points of view.

I’m also keen to explore how this content becomes spreadable and generates a sense of social impact. Does a blog have to have impact? Not really. It might just be written as an amusement of the writer and for the amusement of the reader? Though if it gets to the heart of a more contentious and wider-reaching issue then it stands a greater chance of being spread and picked-up by other people.

At the heart of this style of blogging is the active sense of participation and community that bloggers develop, even if they are separated by thousands of miles and by some pretty steep cultural distances. We all aspire to have fun and to capture a sense of play through which creativity is born. This isn’t about getting things right or wrong, or meeting other people’s expectations. It’s about doing something valuable that we as individuals find meaning in, and which other people might also find valuable and useful, even if only for a moment.

Blogging on the DMU Commons

 DMU, Social Media  Comments Off on Blogging on the DMU Commons
Sep 272012

There are three strands that support learning on my modules this year. The first is experiential-based learning that is founded on the belief that learning can be accelerated if it takes place in an environment that is as true-to-life and critical as possible. This involves a lot of problem solving, reflective analysis and producing media that goes out to an actual audience. This is combined with a detailed analysis of the production issues that students are engaging with using Project Management systems and techniques to promote collaboration, team-building and a systematic approach to the development of radio and media content for DemonFM. The third strand is the use of blogging for reflexive assessment. This is based on the DMU Commons blogging system which I trailed in my classes last year, but which I now want to step-up and really promote as a tool for effective learning.


Radio Blogging

The great thing about the DMU Commons system is that it is Open Source, and is therefore supported by a community of like-minded developers who see it as their priority to enhance a wide range of skills and capabilities, rather than locking things into a narrow and expensive proprietory system. The DMU Commons system uses WordPress, and enables students and staff from across DMU to set-up and manage their own blog site. This can be customised and stylised in many different ways. Users get to choose from a number of different themes so that the can include personalised pictures, backgrounds and formatting to. Iā€™m trying to encourage learners to take ownership of their blogs and to make them as personal to themselves as possible, and even to use them as a way to present themselves as industry professionals.

If each blog is set with a category RSS feed for Radio, then the blogs that the learners produce and tag with this category will be aggregated into the Radio Production blog site. This then gives us a central point for learners to read about what other team members are doing, and for the module team to be able to promote this work with the wider world. Blogging is a very useful way of developing reflexive skills and to present oneself as a professional and capable producer. This, so the theory goes, is a way of accelerating the learning process so that graduates are able to exhibit a level of skill and capability that gets them started straight away in the radio or media industries.

DMU Commons is an inspired approach to de-centered learning. It encourages collaboration, participation, reflection and – most importantly – action in a real environment.