Imagining the future of Digital Education: event on 23.02.2018

February 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

Mobile Campus posterMichael Gallagher and I wish to invite you to participate in an event we are delivering as part of the University’s Festival of Creative Learning. Across the course of an hour, we will bring together students, tutors, researchers and other colleagues to explore the nature and future of digital education. There is no fixed venue for this activity and we hope that our group will be made up of participants in a range of different geographical locations and settings (classroom, cafe, office, at home, in transit, and so on).

We will be using the (free) Telegram app for this activity, which will take place at 1pm (Edinburgh time) on Friday 23 February and will last for a maximum of one hour. Through the event we will be asking questions about how we should conceptualise ‘the campus’, whilst exploring the possibilities and challenges of synchronous mobile learning (topics that you are perfectly placed to comment on as a Digital Education student).

Further details about the activity, including how to register and download Telegram, can be found on Michael’s blog at:

As a side note, Michael and I are both graduates of the Digital Education programme and we’ve been having conversations about the nature of online education – as well as attempting to define ‘the campus’ – since 2009, so we’re really glad to have the opportunity to share this activity with you. We hope you can join us.

James Lamb, ESRC-funded Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Research in Digital Education


Workshop: designing Internet of Things technologies for the future ‘smart’ campus

January 26, 2018 in events

6We’ve rescheduled a previously advertised workshop, and are once again looking for some ‘distance’ students to participate (via video link) in an upcoming workshop on the design of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for education at the University of Edinburgh.

The event takes place on the 5th of February 2018 at 14:00-16:00 GMT

What is the university ‘campus’ where students watch video lectures from the local cafe, communicate over social networks, and study and a distance?

What if we could use real ‘things’– buildings, classrooms, chairs, everyday objects – to connect people in new ways across educational distances?

Join us to design the future ‘smart’ university, for a world where more people and ‘things’ are connected. In this workshop, you will get the chance to learn about IoT technologies, and let rip with some creative designs. No practical work with technologies is involved, and no previous experience with coding or making is required – just bring along some imagination.

You will be joining a group of campus-based students, who will be tasked with designing ways of connecting with ‘distance’ students. You, as a ‘distance’ student, will be tasked with designing ways of connecting with ‘campus’ activity.

Let your creative genius loose as we imagine technologies that can turn data-streams into real ‘things’ in our educational environments: design a soundscape that gives you a ‘sense’ of the Edinburgh campus; invent some lighting that shows you how busy the campus is at lunchtime; dream up a library space that broadcasts what your fellow students are reading!

This workshop is about pushing the boundaries about what is possible with technology, but it is also about asking what data should be collected and broadcast. Come and share your views on issues of privacy and surveillance: what kinds of student data should remain private? How can we protect students in a future of increased data collection?

The best ideas and designs will get prizes!

For more information, email: or

Programme MOOC launches next week: Introduction to Social Research Methods

January 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

The second instance of the Introduction to Social Research Methods (or SOCRMx) MOOC launches on the edX platform next week.

The course begins on Monday the 29th of January, and you can sign up here.

SOCRMx is currently part of the MScDE programme, and those students taking the Introduction to Social Research Methods course this semester will be participating the MOOC as part of their study. You can follow the course on Twitter with the hashtag #SOCRMx

As the course is open access, you can sign up and take a look at any time – indeed, if you come across any research terms or ideas that you are unfamiliar with during your time on the programme, SOCRMx would be a good place to find out more about research methods.

If you’ve signed up recently, you can find the first welcome email here.

Your courses are open

January 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

Hello, and happy new year.2721654446_2baea3ef82_z

You can access your Spring semester course from the list in the left hand column.  The semester starts on Monday 15 January, but your course leaders will have already been in touch with you.

We’re delighted to welcome a new intake of students from all over the world.  We hope you enjoy IDEL; there will be plenty of encouragement from people who have done it already. Some of them are still tweeting about it – #mscidel – and you’ll see some people popping up in this Digital Education Hub too.  This is your space; if you want to share any news or ideas, feel free to use it.

As always, drop me a line if you have any questions or worries.


Image: Flickr bryan birdwell  (CC BY N-C 2.0)

Happy holidays and see you in January 2018

December 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

512px-'Windows_Open_Simultaneously_(First_Part,_Third_Motif)'_by_Robert_DelaunayA warm welcome to new and existing students exploring the Digital Education Hub and other spaces before semester starts on 15 January 2018.  Remember, this is a space you can post to as well, if you have any news or ideas to share.

For those who are just finishing a course, we hope you’re looking forward to a well-deserved break at the end of a busy semester (though we know there is still work going on with assignments and dissertations).

The handbooks for next semester’s courses are now available from the link to the left of this page.  There will be an updated Programme Handbook for January too; I am just waiting for the final pieces of information for this.

teaching_awardsFinally, if you have enjoyed one of this semester’s courses, you might want to nominate it or a teacher for a teaching award.  You can also nominate a personal tutor or dissertation supervisor. The Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) organise this scheme and nominations need to be in by 18 February. For further information, see:

 Image: Windows Open Simultaneously – By Robert Delaunay (Tate Modern, London) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons