15 June, 2006

blog.ac.uk 2006

I took part in the blog.ac.uk educational conference on the 2nd June. The aim of this get together was to "provide a central point to help focus and drive forward the existence of the UK and web 2.0 educational blogging community"

There are several perspectives on the day out there from Josie Fraser, Stephen Downes, Stephen Powell, Barbara Ganley, Ewan McIntosh, Miles Berry, and various photographers!

Before the conference, my perspective was that I wanted us to get academic staff using blogs themselves, before they will really be able to consider using them in their own teaching. Being at the conference inspired me to think through some further related issues.

Step One: We also need to communicate and demonstrate why and how blogs can improve students learning, to academic members of staff. I think that a list of technologies including blogs with potential uses, and the comparative benefits of each would be a good first step in helping us communicate. This could include links to some more screencasts to demonstrate their use in different situations.

Step Two: I'm not sure that many academic members of staff would be happy to be using externally hosted blogs. I've mentioned using things like Bloglines or Flickr to host blogs and images externally, and got replies connected to issues with control. I guess that means we would have to install blogging software at Edge Hill.

I think there is an obvious use for blogs in professional development courses, currently when the course closes (and our licence requires this) the community closes. A blog could live on after the course for as long as the community wanted it to, and with the professional development courses there would be a reason for it to live on.

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