12 Apps of Christmas

Ho, Ho, Hum!

A #MOOC for #Mlearning from Regents College.  I’ve been playing with Socrative in my first year criminal law class this current session, so I was inspired and then self-cajoled into joining this short-life MOOC by the following email:

“Overwhelmed by the range of apps for teaching and learning to be found online? This year, the helpful elves of Regent’s University London are coming to your rescue, with 12 Apps of Christmas!

12 Apps of Christmas is a fun, free, and simple online course  and tailored to the needs of staff here at RUL but is open to all.

Running every weekday from Thursday 4th to Friday 19th December, 12 Apps of Christmas is like an advent calendar of learning!

Each day we will present a different educational app, explain how it can benefit you, and show you how to download it. There will be a short and fun task (no more than ten minutes) to get you using each app, with a chance to learn about it in more depth in your own time and at your own pace.”

In sum, 10 minutes for 12 days is only two hours of my life.  I might even get back on the Twitter bandwagon with the hashtag #RUL12AoC if anything catches my interest.  The site doesn’t say what 12 will be showcased – hoping some might be useful.

12 Apps of Christmas is available under a Creative Commons License (CC BY NC SA) so it’s free to take, use and adapt for non-commercial purposes, if you acknowledge the source and share your version under the same licence.

Another #MOOC! Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum

Edinburgh University (@UniofEdinburgh) have a #MOOC on #IndyRef #EdIndyRef which aims to educate and engage voters and observers in the forthcoming referendum.

I’m not engaging here in a political debate, nor supporting sides, but from an educational perspective (indeed legal education in particular) this MOOC might offer something useful in the run-up and aftermath of the referendum.

The six-week course started this week in late August and will run deliberately until w/c 29th September, which is two weeks after the 18th September 2014 referendum day.  Although the sign-up page suggests 2 hours per week, I’ve spent much more time poking around in the 20 separate entries for this week alone, containing text, videos, articles and discussions.  I’ve yet to complete the seminar work too (typical student!!), it’s already 3:30pm on Friday and the seminar was at midday on Wednesday.  Most of it has been easy to watch or follow during coffee breaks during the working week so I’ve not set aside any time especially for this course.

The aims of the course are neatly packaged into six weeks work:

  1. Why is Scotland having a referendum?
  2. What does ‘Yes’ mean?
  3. What does ‘No’ mean?
  4. What do Scots think?
  5. The Day After
  6. What Next?

This week contains lots of materials worthy of including in a Constitutional Law module, but dwells more on public policy.  Educationally, there are some good bite-size chunks with videos of approx. 8 minutes and followed by a discussion point to make watching the video at least worth-while as you can’t engage with the next section without watching it!

Looking at Catalonia and Quebec offered some interesting comparative material, which is always interesting from an education perspective.  Comparative law isn’t taught nearly as much as it perhaps could or should be.  Perhaps there are too many curriculum constraints from the regulators, or perhaps educators aren’t imaginative enough / equipped / supported / incentivised to introduce it.

Next week’s materials aren’t there yet, so I can’t plan ahead to make time for the live seminar as yet.  I’m sure there are many good reasons not to release learning materials too far in advance, but the lecturer inside me does wonder… “Have they written them yet?!”

Creation: Fifth and final topic for the #BYOD4L MOOC

Before starting this week-long MOOC, suggested to me by Sheila MacNeill, a few of us at GCU thought it would be good to meet on the Friday afternoon for a brief debrief, mainly consisting of coffee and biscuits. To try and fit with the topic, would we create something? Nothing concrete came of our meeting, but we most certainly have created a small community of practice which may well have existed before, but the MOOC has brought us together with purpose, following a shared experience, and some curated content we’ve gathered along the way.

20140131-165527.jpg

The video scenarios for the MOOC have consisted on one student voice and one staff voice. We discussed what we have learnt from the MOOC as staff members and what other teachers might learn from doing something similar, or whether we could support a larger community of practice within our institution. Also, I was curious to find out if any students had participated, particularly from an undergraduate programme.

So, most of today’s thoughts relate to creating ideas or opportunities for students to engage and learn from these five topics. My current final year dissertation students are using the Journal function on the VLE to create drafts and upload resources relating to their dissertation. It helps me stay organised as I don’t have draft chapters floating around in my inbox, but the Journal also permits comments and feedback for each entry. Students can change the settings and keep some entries private, so use the Journal as a space to create without anyone seeing it, either until it’s more developed or not at all.

Many of the examples I’ve discussed over the week have involved creating as well as collaborating, curating, communicating and connecting. This shows that none of the topics is discrete and separate from the others, but all overlap to differing degrees dependent on the person or the technology they choose to use.

Collaboration: Day 4 of the #BYOD4L MOOC

Collaboration

I’m going to use this blog post to reflect on some of the approaches I’ve used to promote student collaborative work, and give a couple of examples.

Firstly, I’m simply going to point back to yesterday’s post in which I blogged about curation, which also had a collaborative element, as students built a annotated bibliography together.

Less exciting (technically), but rather exciting as it has real life impact (or potential for impact) is a more recent use of a wiki tool on the institutional VLE. Yeah, yeah; wiki, wiki; seen that, been there, got the t-shirt etc. I hear you say.

Here’s the background: I had ‘some difficulty’ in fully engaging my postgraduate forensic psychology students with my law module. They did engage and I’m not making any criticism, but I found it somewhat hard to get the ‘law making process’ across with an appreciation of the role of their profession could play within this process.

Someone at a law conference inspired me to get students involved in the law making process – namely the consultation exercises undertaken by government, parliament, committees and other bodies setting out the plan or draft form of legislation. This sounded ideal, especially for non-law students to advise the law makers in respect of matters relating to their subject specialism. Cue the latest Scottish Government consultation, right on my doorstep in Scotland, on vulnerable victims of crime. Perfect for Scottish students, and well timed for a Semester-A activity. Future years required a bit of looking further afield to other English-speaking jurisdictions, but the world is quite literally your oyster for relevant live consultations.

In the first week of studying law-for-forensic-psychologists, I agree, it might seem a bit daunting that the class will write to and advise law makers. They, however, see the real life aspect and the purpose or value in professionals submitting their opinion when law makers do consult. They can help to shape the law, which makes for an interesting learning experience on many levels.

The working title of this little project is “Dear Alex…” (Salmond, if it left you wondering) and had run a few times now, always with a wiki – but the current 2013/14 cohort took me by surprise. They unilaterally disengaged with the wiki and, unbeknownst to me, set up a Facebook group/page in which to draft their thoughts and recommendations. I was pleased they had engaged with the task, but felt a little disappointed I didn’t have the data of who did what, when, and what earlier drafts looked like etc, to interrogate! Not exactly the biggest problem I suppose.

Curation: Day 3 of the #BYOD4L MOOC

Curation

Today’s live chat session was missed due to an evening degree class I was teaching from 6-9pm. I did, however use the coffee break (who needs coffee at 7:30pm?) to ask these particular students how they manage and ‘curate’ their learning resources. Being on an evening degree course, they are predominantly time restricted due to daytime commitments and need to mange their resources wisely.

Due to my own ineptitude and inability to find and curate the twitter chat, I’m going to wait until the whole thing is Storify-ed by someone else. I like and have used Storify, but will save that story for Q2.

Q1 What does curating mean to you?

Is this a newfangled term, or has it just become fashionable with new media? I find it’s one of those words like ‘currency’ and ‘residency’ that gets used a lot without much reference as to the definition or meaning of the word. To me, it follows from the museum or archive curator. Curation is the task of gathering, ordering, labelling and looking after stuff to keep it in some form or collection that gives value beyond the individual artefacts when looked at in isolation.

Q2 What mobile device(s)/tool(s) and apps do you use for curating?

Following from my definition, I suppose my email account (stuff I mail to myself amounts to a smallish online archive of things I need to act upon) and notes tool (Evernote etc) have curated content for myself.

On a personal level I also ‘curate’ my running and waking activities using an app so that I have the data on where and when I’ve been out.

Professionally, I dabbled with Delicious to a few years ago to get students to find, evaluate and share academic articles on a particular topic. More about that later.  I’ve more recently used Storify to piece together the tweets relating to events or conference streams I’ve chaired.  Here’s the first Storify of a Legal Education Conference that I tried out in 2012.

Q3 Why do you curate – motivations & purpose?

Storify gets used mainly to piece together what was discussed on twitter to help me then write a report which includes feedback or comments from participants (or online visitors). It also provides a useful resource for those who weren’t involved at the time to look over and quickly catch up. At present, I’ve no desire to rake over the #byod4lchat tweets, but would look over a curated archive for sure.

I curate because I see value in what others curate, which I rely upon or make use of because I trust their skills to select and present the relevant ‘stuff’ that I’d like to access. However, my curated materials for students are perhaps accessed for different reasons: because I’m the teacher and they see that I have that role to supply the right ‘stuff’. There are many other reasons too, but that’s enough for now.

Q4 How do get others to engage with your curated content?

Going back to Delicious, as I said I would, the students were asked to source and review an article. They were amassing and collectively curating articles relevant to their coursework question. Tags were encouraged and they developed organically with a tag cloud reshaping itself periodically. Students engaged because it related to the assessment.

Here’s some detail about an ROI social media project I undertook, which lead me to consider using Delicious and the concept of compiling an annotated bibliography as a learning activity.  We published the Social Media ROI Bibliography to SSRN for others to use.

With the student cohort, their curation of articles was done using our VLE and a blogging tool to allow them to easily compile and share within Blackboard, which they were very much used to using as a platform on a daily basis.  They were tasked with sourcing and reviewing an article each (n=51) on the topic of Discrimination in Employment Law.  The following year, the topic of assessment changed, but the curated archive is a legacy written by students for future students, and which points out, from a learners perspective, the salient parts of an academic paper.

On a wider level, publishing this annotated bibliography (super-curated by academic or research staff) on SSRN made it available to researchers, practitioners and teachers elsewhere holding a interest in the subject matter.

Now, I really do need to wade through the uncurated #byod4lchat tweets to find a tool I’ve not used for adoption and adaption purposes! Searching for tweets with A3 would be a good start!!

Communication: Day 2 of the #BYOD4L MOOC

Communicating

Most of today was spent in court, not as an accused, but I was sitting in court today rather than teaching law or researching law, or doing admin for the university. Whilst the legal profession haw generally embraced new modes of communication, the court itself is still rather traditional and today provided several examples: recorded delivery, police service, executed warrants, oral evidence, productions and labels (documents and items of evidence), lots of face to face discussion and huge piles of papers. That said, communication was efficient and we dealt with a good deal of business today.

The backchannel (the emails, twitter, Facebook and all that), however, was definitely not up and running for me. The building itself seems to be lead-lined and impervious to any 3G, phone reception or newfangled ways of communications. Even the windows are high up and feature blinds so that the outside world is no distraction to the dispensation of justice. Only recently have the court services and the judiciary had to contemplate whether to allow tweeting and live-text-messaging from the court regarding whatever cases were being heard. I gave evidence to The Judicial Office for England and Wales on this topic in 2011, and I have until Friday to respond to the Scottish equivalent body regarding TV cameras, photographers and live communications in our courts (see: Judiciary Scotland for details).

I digress. The aside detailed above is the reason I grabbed a pen, piece of paper and a couple of post-it notes at lunchtime to complete my task for today’s MOOC topic – mind mapping the ways in which I communicate.

20140128-210812.jpg

After a cursory glance, it’s not all techie, online apps and tools; but they do predominate (in quantity, not quality) in most spheres. Taking the student body first, I think I tend to focus on one main channel of communication which is through the VLE. It’s there, they expect it, it can be further disseminated by email, it can be picked up by everyone including colleagues co-teaching on the module and the stray student(s) missing the face to face announcements in class. There are no other apps or tools listed there on my map, so I don’t use twitter for communicating to students (it gets used and mentioned in class, but not as a comms tool), and the blogs, wikis etc are all built into Blackboard with various plugins etc that I’m happy to use, for now.

My departmental colleagues and co-workers in the same academic institution are generally a close-knit bunch and so face to face communication and conversations by email predominate. We are a small group and largely based on the same corridor so that works, but previously I have worked remotely for an organisation with a significant number of disparate based all around the UK. Email wasn’t enough, or things got mixed up, and so Yammer was a great tool that a colleague recommended and the organisation adopted.

Colleagues outwith the university get more of the online, techie and exciting modes of communication – but mainly because I don’t see these people that much! This is the only place where twitter features (I don’t tweet much personal stuff at all), but I do blur the lines with Facebook to a slight degree with colleagues who are also friends. I also find Fb groups such as this one for BYOD4L useful to keep up with developments and as far as I know, those in the group don’t see my friends and family tagged posts unless they are added as friends.

The telephone doesn’t feature either, at work. To be honest, it rarely rings and I rarely dial out! Colleagues might not be working in their offices, or they may be teaching, and mostly I can email or knock on the door as I pass. I do appreciate getting my voicemails from work through the email system, especially when working from home or travelling, but then the problem can be that you’re never off duty or away from your virtual desk.

I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s live #BYOD4Lchat twitter session, but I’m giving it a miss today as my communication skills are a little worn out. I also fancy the evening off!

Connectivity: thoughts from day 1 of the #BYOD4L MOOC

The first day of the Bring Your Own Device for Learning #BYOD4L MOOC looks at connectivity. A good place to start, I think, but as I’ve been marking exam scripts most of the morning, in a meeting for the most of the afternoon, I’ve only been connecting with the MOOC intermittently.

byod4lIndeed, this blog post is even being drafted offline as the train I’m commuting on isn’t wifi enabled (some are, which is great) and my iPad doesn’t have a 3G package. The iPhone is an option, but I don’t need to be online for all of this task: I can connect but don’t need to be connected all of the time.  I also think it’s just as important to know when to sign out and get some down time.


The first ‘student’ scenario is typical, and features a problem which we, as educators, should assist students in giving them some direction in how to connect academically with the world. Sure, they may be digital natives, but some subject specific guidance is surely worthwhile.

The student in the scenario wants to know more about ‘wellbeing’ but I’m going to adapt this learning object and reuse it for my own disciple and offer some response that fits better for legal education. Let’s say Internet law, and that the student instead wants to more about  ‘privacy’ or ‘data protection’. The question remains the same, how do you connect to cutting edge researchers and what’s hot in the field?

My answer would be to provide some of my own recommendations for who is good to follow on twitter, what hashtags are popular or relevant, and when relevant conferences are taking place. Because I engage with colleagues in my discipline area I already know who is worth following and that is a good starting point for the student to branch out from and locate their own sources.

I saw some #BYOD4L mentions of curation today, which is a skill that students could do with learning to help manage their ‘research’ into social media connections. Even simple ideas such as using Storify to recount and expand upon tweets  that arise from a conference are good learning activities in themselves.

I like to use our VLE to connect with current developments by embedding RSS feeds into various modules. It helps to keep the module looking fresh and new content put in (without the need for me to do it!) such as the contents of the latest relevant journal, decided cases from the appeal courts or even the BBC newsfeed on a topic such as healthcare.


So, this brings me to scenario two, the busy teacher, who hasn’t time to connect or use apps on her phone. The key point is the reluctance to take up connective technology and the old adage of ‘I haven’t got time’!

How to solve it? I think I can allude to an anonymous colleague who fits this description but who wanted to engage. The solution is to tap into the plea of the hectic, busy workload and suggest that time-savings or other efficiencies can be gotten from fairly simple or basic apps.

Alerts for new developments in her subject, having some bells and whistles that do some of the research for you and other such time savers are connectivity tools that might bring this educator into the world of apps and mobile technologies.

I’d also be suggesting to her many of the ideas I gave for the student scenario above. One I might not suggest to the reluctant embracer, is an app I only recently discovered which fits very well with the Bring Your Own Device theme: www.nearpod.com. An ideal way to encourage large classroom interactions, real time questions, polls, open ended questions etc, but does require a bit of time to set up and encourage use. Although I’m not exactly rich in free time, piloting, innovating or just doing something new for the first time takes quite a bit of effort and time to get to work. However, my selling point for the academic in the video: it encourages participation and even records the feedback which you can look at later – a great source of evidence should you need it.

Something caught my eye on the twitter feed for today’s MOOC topic was the notion of always learning and doing:

@lifewider1: @lifewider life’s an ‘ing’ we’re always – working, playing, learning, developing, creating, slogging, blogging, tweeting #BYOD4L ing

I immediately thought, yes, always busy but how much is ever completed or converted from the gerund to the past participle?! I’m from the school of thought that learning, developing and creating should never end, but to the busy academic, being connected just adds more to our plates might be the retort from the lady in scenario 2.

I treat twitter as a dip in and out type connectivity tool. It’s not my inbox, but, like a hosepipe I can turn it on and dowse myself for a while with whatever I choose, turn it off and repeat as required. That way I’m connecting, learning, thinking, and making use of dead time (I checked twitter whilst waiting for/walking to/ sitting on buses/trains/meetings/colleagues (okay, not sitting on colleagues!) so far today).

So, to come full circle, I’m still marking (not finished) but have participated in my meeting, connected with the #BYOD4L community, and learned a lot today (lots of past tense you see!). None of the connectivity activities would have happened today without my iPhone or iPad – marking and meeting would have been the gist of my day. I can now add tweeting, creating, learning and MOOCing to my day!

Last thing on my list is the live twitter chat this evening, which is a bit out-of-hours for me, but it’s when I’ll finally upload this blog post written on a wifi-less train, which at least connects home with work so I’m thankful for that level of connectivity!

Update: pleased to have gained a badge for participating in day 1.

byod4l

Live-tweeting at academic conferences: a response to @GdnHigherEd & @ernestopriego

Last week, the Guardian reported on academics and their use of twitter at conferences. Posted by Ernesto Priego, the article presents 10 points to bear in mind when tweeting at conferences, and it starts with:

On Sunday, 30 September, a debate began on Twitter – later dubbed #Twittergate – about the etiquette and ethics of live-tweeting academic conferences. Summarising the crux of the matter, journalist Steve Kolowich later writes: “Scholars often present unpublished work at conferences. But while they may be willing to expose an unpolished set of ideas to a group of peers, academics may be less eager to have those peers turn around and broadcast those ideas to the world”.

Below are the top tips from the freelance researcher (affiliated with the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities) who tweets as @ernestopriego, along with some commentary from my own perspective.

1. If you are an event organiser, decide in advance if you will allow tweeting. I personally believe ‘live-tweeting encouraged’ should be the default mode for most large arts and humanities conferences.

Great, but it seems a bit totalitarian to talk about “allowing” delegates to tweet. I agree with the default suggestion and that conferences where sensitive research may be presented might wish to limit reporting in any format, and not just twitter, but I suspect this would be an atypical academic conference and the onus would rest firmly on the presenter to add the occasional prefix “please don’t report on this yet, as…” with a brief explanation as to the level of sensitivity. My caution here is to the presenter, not to the tweeter.

2. There is no way you will be able to completely stop it from happening, but it’s the organisers’ prerogative to set your own guidelines and standards. The hashtag should be advertised in advance, making sure it’s relevant, easy to type and does not have alternative meanings or uses on Twitter. To help ensure that the key points you want disseminated from the conference get out, appoint some experienced social media users to be your ‘official’ live-tweeterers.

In my experience, hashtags have a life of their own and often new ones spring up organically for parallel streams but a nice short easily identifiable hashtag in advance or at the start of a conference is a great way to pull things together. Good conference organisers have not only official tweeters but might also use Storify or blog posts as a means to collect and curate various tweets into a sensible story for that day, that session or even that keynote. Organisers might disseminate an official hashtag, but just watch out for unofficial ones creeping in.

3. If you are going to take photos, whether you intend to post them online or not, always ask if it’s OK first, even if it’s impractical to do so. If anyone doesn’t want other scholars promoting their papers online, maybe they should reconsider what conferences are for in the first instance. It’s better not to take photos of large groups (i.e. the audience) unless you have permission from all of them to do so. If they ask you to please not tweet, you should try to respect that.

I have a habit of photographing slides – usually for my own note-taking purposes – and occasionally tweet the image as an easy way to get more information across in under 140 characters, or if the visual adds more than the written word. This avoids snapping people, or if delegates are in view, the contrast is usually so high that the outline is unrecognisable or can be cropped accordingly. More often than not, the content could have been written down and reported, but I will ask permission and especially so for visual representations: the only downside is that twitter can be very real-time-oriented and the back channel discussions can take place instantaneously (especially if several tweeters are in the audience) often making permission seeking impossible rather than impractical if the back channel is to work effectively. If in doubt, then the back channel may just have to wait.

4. If you will be in charge of live-tweeting the whole event or individual sessions, take it seriously. It’s a cliche but with great power comes great responsibility.

True. Also, make sure you are disseminating widely. Not everyone will use twitter, but can you embed recent tweets on the conference website, or use them to advertise your event more widely?

5. Attribution is key: Be clear in your tweets about who is saying what. If you don’t attribute and/or use quotation marks when reporting what has been said, people can (and rightly will) assume it’s you saying it. If the speaker is on Twitter, find out what they are called on Twitter in advance, as their ‘handle’ will often be shorter than their name.

Difficult in 140 characters, but my rule of thumb is to question the relevance and weight of the tweet and decide what is worth putting out there. A shortened link (bitly etc) to the online conference abstract can capture the real name, affiliation and summary of speaker’s presentation quite nicely, which is useful whether they tweet or not.

6. If you are quoting directly, use quotation marks. Think direct and indirect reported speech. Never assume anything you read online is from the public demain. Attribute other people’s ideas or anything else you quote. It’s not just good manners, it’s professional ethics.

Attribution again Only applicable for the shortest of quotes – I find most tweets have an element of paraphrasing but then will quote the “odd” word as directly attributable. I think it’s safe to assume everything you read online is in the public domain, but be wary about how long it will stay in the public domain, or who put it there.

7. Even if you completely disagree with what is being said, always be polite and respectful. Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t say to a person or group face-to-face.

My acid test for tweets is to feed them directly into my LinkedIn profile. That way I’m always cautious to avoid saying anything that would reflect badly on me in the eyes of my carefully groomed list of personal and professional contacts. Polite and respectful dissent is an art-form!

8. If you are live-tweeting an event, assume that people outside the conference will be interested and/or will read your tweets. This includes people who don’t follow you directly. Explain frequently what that obscure hashtag means, so the hashtag achieves the purpose of promoting the event and ideas outside the four walls of the event venue.

Good thinking – perhaps introduce your followers and the world at large to new events and set up your market stall early in the day so that they know what you might be tweeting about. The hashtag itself can be followed so it can be useful to give a heads up warning for when your flow of information will recommence the next day, or following a lengthy break.

9. Link liberally. Search for references as speakers present. Share with your followers the resources the presenters are showing in the room – unless you are not meant to and one should expect speakers and/or organisers to indicate this in advance.

I agree wholeheartedly with this suggestion. On personal experience, these links are just as much for my own personal benefit as a set of notes for myself, even more so if I then draw them together with either Storify or in a blog post. Links to the conference website/abstract, university homepages, academia.edu profiles or slideshare content can be useful as well as the resources that are presented in the room.

10. Enjoy it. Live-tweeting should be fun, empowering and inspiring. It should create positive opportunities. It’s all about engagement, community building and widening participation.

If you don’t enjoy it, then why do it? My only sense of labour is when I’m tweeting in an official capacity (perhaps as part of the conference team, or running an organisation’s own twitter feed) and I get the feeling of “I’ve started so I’ll finish”! Followers may be expecting full conference coverage, speakers may be disheartened if you don’t tweet something about their presentation, and fellow tweeters may also need that additional encouragement to keep going into the graveyard slot.

Finally, a thought to the afterlife of all these tweets. I mentioned earlier about curating them into Storify, a blog post or some other asset with a longer lifespan than a tweet. It is often disappointing to see a conference hashtag fizzle out like a low-level radioactive isotope half-life, ending out with pleasantries like “didn’t we have a lovely time” and “weren’t the organisers nice” eaking out the hashtag’s dying hours as we all take the train home.

Society of Legal Scholars Conference 2012

Last week was the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) conference in Bristol.  Some good social media coverage on Twitter with #slsBristol hashtag – see Ann Priestley’s blog post on the #slsbristol backchannel: all about the audience.

The Higher Education Academy sponsored the Round Table Sessions, which were a new addition to the conference.  Also new to SLS for this year, was a poster competition.  I had a poster on Mapping Innovation in Legal Education (http://t.co/IbEAayp4)which needless to say didn’t win, but congratulations go to Rachel Cahill-O’Callaghan (Cardiff) for her poster ‘Do Personal Values Tip the Scales of Justice?’ and David McArdle (Stirling) for his poster ‘Sports Law, Sports Arbitration and the Athlete Biological Passport’.

I also gave a plenary/keynote on the vision of a Law School in 2025 (http://t.co/N7Qd5G3d) which involved some crystal ball gazing but a little humour regarding what the staff, students and the classroom of 2025 might be like in 13 years time.

I have put together a Storify sequence of the Legal Education sessions at the conference (http://storify.com/m_bro/legaled-at-slsbristol) which highlights some of the speaker sessions and gives one or two photos of interesting parts of their presentations.

Next year, the SLS 2013 conference will be somewhat closer to home at Edinburgh Law School.

HEA Secondment

From the start of August 2011, I will be on a secondment to the Higher Education Academy as the Discipline Lead for Law.  This sees the end of the UK Centre for Legal Education (UKCLE), the subject centre based at the University of Warwick, which was supported by HEA funding.

In more than 10 years of innovation in legal education, UKCLE has:

  • provided over 158 events
  • published 33 publications
  • funded over 45 projects
  • kept over 1,100 contacts up to date
  • published more than 1,000 web pages
  • created over 380 web resources
  • received funding worth over £4,800,000
  • attended over 320 events

I was the UKCLE Scotland Consultant until the Centre closed and I will be taking forward many of the initiatives and projects which the Centre started, as well as promoting the HEA priorities across the UK for legal education.

The UKCLE website remains as an archived site, with many of the resources now transferred to the HEA’s bank of law resources, which can be searched in-depth by subject or thematic areas:

  • Assessment and feedback
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Flexibly learning
  • Employability
  • Internationalisation
  • Retention and success
  • Reward and recognition

The twitter account for @hea_ukcle has been renamed and will continue as @hea_law with the regular tweets including the #FollowFriday and #WebWednesday regular entries.  I should also point out the excellent review of the earlier @hea_ukcle account compiled by @annindk at her Danegeld blog.

Anyone wishing to get in touch can do so with the usual GCU  email and phone numbers, or via the HEA as detailed on their website.