Inaugural Lecture, Professor Siân Bayne – livestreaming 4 March

Update: Sian’s inaugural lecture is now available to watch on Youtube: Professor Sian Bayne, The Trouble with Digital Education

An invitation to tune in to Professor Siân Bayne’s inaugural lecture, being livestreamed on Wednesday at 5:15pm UK time. The lecture will be available to watch later, too, but if you’re available at that time and would like to join us, Sian would be delighted to have you there virtually (or in person if you happen to be in the Edinburgh area!).

Tune in here:

http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/humanities-soc-sci/news-events/lectures/inaugural-lectures/sian-bayne

We’ll use the hashtag #troublediged to discuss the lecture as it unfolds.

The trouble with digital education

Digital technologies in education are often considered in terms of the promises they seem to offer: for enhanced efficiency, for ‘more relevant’ teaching methods, for higher levels of engagement in the classroom, for ways of reaching new groups of students or revolutionising universities. Almost equally often they are viewed as a threat: they do not take into account the value of embodied, co-present teaching, they replace scholarly community with isolation and automation, they are complicit with cultures of surveillance, homogenisation and teacher de-professionalisation.

This lecture will navigate a pathway through the promises and the threats, to consider the interface between education and the digital in terms of ‘troubling’. Looking at some of the trends and trajectories of the last decade of digital education, it will show how it has worked to challenge some of the core ties-that-bind within the academy: the links between author and text, between university and campus, between human and non-human. It will argue that we need the digital to keep educational practice fresh, critical and challenging.

Tell us what you think! Our new Student-Staff Liaison Committee

group-413973_1280The newly-formed Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) for the MSc in Digital Education will have its first meeting on 16 March. Broadly speaking, the aim of this committee is to ensure that the student voice is heard on issues that affect their educational experience.  Ours will be one of many SSLCs across the University, but we can ensure that it meets our own needs as a fully online programme.  In the University’s guidelines, there is a useful set of principles highlighting governance, decision making, quality enhancement and assurance. We shall be formulating our own terms of reference, but they will be in keeping with these principles.

For the MSc in Digital Education, our SSLC membership consists of 8 student reps, 3 academic staff, and our administrator.  To see who we are – and to raise any issues you want us to consider – go to our section in the MSc in Digital Education Moodle space. This space will be changing over the next few weeks as we add further information about ourselves and our aims. But you can contribute to the discussion forum now.

A Wikipedia Editathon: Women, Science and Scottish history – February 16-19

How does information get into Wikipedia?  Who puts it there?  Who edits it?  (And why aren’t there more women?)

When women firswikieditt matriculated to study medicine in the UK, it was at the University of Edinburgh.  It didn’t go down too well – in fact, it caused a riot.  Wikipedia tells us about Edinburgh Seven, but there is much more to say.  And the University of Edinburgh has the evidence.

As part of the University’s Innovative Learning Week, the Moray House School of Education is joining forces with the Information Services team, the School of Literature, Languages and Cultures, EDINA and the National Library of Scotland to help people learn to edit Wikipedia, using content from the University archives.

This will be happening on campus over four afternoons, but it’s open to distance learning students, alumni, staff, and members of the public as well as campus-based students. You can sign up for as many sessions as you want while places are available.

For more information, see https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Women,_Science_and_Scottish_History_editathon_series

Follow on Twitter at #ILWeditathon

Marshall Dozier and Christine Sinclair

Whose Knowledge Counts? Rethinking Justice in Knowledge Production

For Innovative Learning Week 2015, the Global Justice Academy, the MSc Social Justice and Community Action and the MSc Digital Education have organised a student competition to imagine and represent the politics of knowledge production and the struggle of who gets recognised as a knowledgeable and knowing agent.

logo‘Knowledge’ is a key site for debates about social justice. The processes by which a given society decides which knowledges are valuable, how some individuals and groups are constructed as ‘scientific agents’ and how particular ways of knowing are legitimated are deeply political questions. Indeed, the power of many of liberation struggles is not only in their transformations of the material conditions of marginalised groups but by challenging the social order through radical new ways of seeing and understanding the world.

For this competition, we invite undergraduate and postgraduate students to create an image related to the theme of ‘Whose Knowledge Counts’. A selection of images will be debated at a roundtable event from 1pm-3pm on Thursday 19th February at the Chrystal MacMillan Building, Seminar Room 5, where we will also announce the competition winners. This event will be livestreamed and recorded for distance education students.

Upload your image to the competition’s Padlet wall by Friday 13th February 2015.

Further details and signupcan be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whose-knowledge-counts-rethinking-justice-in-knowledge-production-tickets-15270327962

a note from Graduation, 28 November

Our 2014 graduation ceremony was held on 28 November, with graduates and team members celebrating in McEwen Hall in Edinburgh, and virtually in Second Life. It was a wonderful event, with many friends and family members joining in.

Those attending in McEwen Hall got to see the virtual graduation up on the big screen:

Virtual Graduation on the big screen. Photo by Douglas Robertson
Virtual Graduation on the big screen. Photo by Douglas Robertson

And graduates in the Hall and in Second Life heard their names called out by our Head of School (and fellow Digital Education participant!) Rowena Arshad:

(video courtesy of fabulous alumnus and colleague Austin Tate – full blog post)

Some fireworks:

Fireworks over virtual graduation

Here are tweets from some of our newest graduates:

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hugh_tweet
kelly_tweet
nicola_tweet

One especially lovely new feature was the dissertation trees, designed by Marshall Dozier. Each of the baubles contains the abstract for one of our 2014 graduate’s dissertations. You can visit yourself any time to enjoy these. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Vue/209/39/28

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Dissertation tree, Digital Education 2014

Thanks to everyone who was involved in making the event such a wonderful success. Too many to list! But special thanks to Fiona Hale, Marshall Dozier, Andy Pryde, Stuart Nicol, and the University’s registry for making virtual graduation and live graduation work together so seamlessly.

Above all, thank you to our FANTASTIC 2014 graduates for their many invaluable contributions to the Digital Education programme over the years – don’t be strangers!