Apr 032011

My favourite quote from Twitter this week is “Don’t teach the way you learned. Teach the way students learn”, which came from @dmlcentral. http://dmlcentral.net/ is a site that aggregates some of the best blogs, sites and networks about learning in a digital environment. With lots of contributions about developing a digital curriculum and making learning relevant to the networked environment. The other statement about learning I really liked this week was about ‘geeking out’ and how the mode of self awareness we often enter into, where we lose ourselves in our ideas, research and enquiry, should be encouraged. There is a lot to be said for ‘geeking out’, but it needs a degree of self-awareness and confidence for a simple thing to be taken seriously by the learner and that it can be purposefully used as a learning mode that will make a difference to us.

Talking of geeking out, on Wednesday DemonFM broadcast live from the rugby varsity at Welford Road between Leicester University and De Montfort University. The matches where great, with some really strong commentary from the DemonFM Sportszone team. I was genuinely excited listening online from home. I even managed to arrange a couple of interviews by the power of Twitter. The DMU VC, Dominic Shellard was attending, so I Tweeted that he might want to chat live on-air at half-time. Then I noticed that Aaron Porter, the NUS President an Leicester University alumni was in the crowd, so we got him to come over to the commentary box and speak just after the match. A win for real-time show management, and finding good people to interview by the power of Twitter alone.

We have an ongoing discussion at DemonFM about how we can best use our social networking profile and get more impact for our Facebook and Tweet usage. We seem to have evolved a whole range of pages, groups, sites and accounts outside of our main sites. Each of which can range from a handful of small followers to some which have a wide range of followers. It’s difficult to know what get’s one group going and another stuck in the doldrums. So it’s probably high time that I did some research and sat and talked with our volunteers to find out what makes these pages and groups successful or not. There is a clear divide between those people who see the chance to ‘own’ their pages and feeds and those who are weary of a more corporate approach. It’s time to start getting in to this because DemonFM really needs to work out a way forward.

At the same time as starting a debate with DemonFM’s social media I’m beginning to move forward with another project that I help to run, Audiotheque. Some of my students have been producing a series of audio dramas based around the idea of reflecting their lives, or the situations that they experience. Not a Lot Going On is made by Becky an Harriet, and they’ve been using a whole range of different social media techniques to bring a team of performers together, to develop their scripts and to produce and record the dramas in the DMU recording studios. They will be posting the product of their work to the Audiotheque website soon, so I’m really excited. Likewise @mrdavidjwatts has come onboard as a web developer for the site. David’s got a good eye for developing interactive content. I’ve taken the site as far as I can with my limited knowledge, now it needs someone to lift up the bonnet and to start work on the engine, and David’s a good guy to help shift the site into something that is more attractive and more interactive. I’m really looking forward to pushing the boat out and coming up with some ideas that will get the site noticed more.

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