Navigating the Marvellous: Openness in Education #altc

10 Sep

@catherinecronin summary of #altc 2014 presentation – a great example of the ethos of #icollab 🙂


For three days last week I participated in #altc (the Association for Learning Technology Conference) at the University of Warwick — attending in person for the first time after participating virtually for several years. It was a joy to meet so many online friends and colleagues for the first time and to take part in such an inspiring programme of events.

I was very grateful to be asked to give one of the keynotes at the conference. It was an honour to keynote along with Audrey Watters, an educator whose work, integrity, and friendship I value greatly. And a privilege also to speak along with Jeff Haywood. The innovative work being done at (and shared openly by) the University of Edinburgh in the area of online and open learning is important for all of us in higher education.

My keynote was titled Navigating the Marvellous: Openness in Education, drawing…

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A module ends, a networked community continues

13 May

Tag team from @ct231 to the #icollab COP to build on, great stuff @catherinecronin for maintaining the #icollab social media stream that we can all dip in and out of and contribute to!


To mark the end of the year of CT231, I’d like to begin by thanking you — all of the students who participated in the module. We’ve covered a lot of ground this year.

CT231 2012-13 image v2Many of the terms above may have seemed unclear or irrelevant last September, but hopefully you feel much more confident now about your research skills, your communication  skills (writing and presenting) and — as many of you wrote in your social media reflections — your digital identity and use of social media, especially for learning.

Working with you all this year has been a pleasure, an adventure, and a great learning experience. Exploring concepts both established (academic writing skills, referencing) and emerging (digital identity, privacy, social networks for learning), your ideas and your questions have helped me to think more deeply about my own practices, about creating learning spaces (physical and virtual), and about the always-fascinating…

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iCollab Google map, geotagging & Wikitude

5 Nov


Over the past few weeks, members of the #iCollab community of practice have been adding points of interest (POIs) to an iCollab Google Map. Initially, we are adding our own profiles, but this will extend over the coming weeks and months to include other geolocated data, e.g. images, video, audio, etc. We are also using the mobile app Wikitude to create mobile augmented reality worlds, providing opportunities for collaboration by linking geotagged content.

CT231 students: following are the instructions for adding yourself to the iCollab CoP map and using the Wikitude app:

Step 1.  Add your profile POI to the iCollab Google map

Step 2.  Create a Wikitude World and interact with other iCollab students

That’s it!

Now, what ideas do you have for sharing geotagged content with the iCollab Community of Practice — and beyond?

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Welcome all to the #iCollab project 2013!

30 Oct

The #iCollab project is an international community of practice of students and lecturers which has been running since 2011. The project connects students and lecturers in 6 countries to explore and evaluate mobile web tools and learning scenarios that support participatory curriculum development.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be using interactive Google Maps for augmenting global collaboration with mobile social media. The project aims to create a collaborative Google Map linking student projects across all 6 #icollab countries with their original context via geolocation and mobile augmented reality.

Who is involved in #iCollab project:

 The partner universities and tutor contacts in the iCollab project are:

·       AUT University (New Zealand) – Thom Cochrane @thomchochrane and Averill Gordon @AverillG

·       Beuth University (Germany) – Ilona Buchem @mediendidaktik

·       Salford University (UK) – Helen Keegan @heloukee

·       Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain) – Mar Camacho @marett

·       National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland) – Catherine Cronin @catherinecronin

·       Limerick Institute of Technology (Ireland) – Bernie Goldbach @topgold

·       University of Wollongong (Australia) – Sarah Howard @spacelyparts

Hashtags used in the #iCollab project:

·       #autpr from AUT University (New Zealand) – BA Public Relations

·       #MW13 Beuth University (Germany) – Mobile Web/Media Sociology

·       #mscret from Salford University (UK) – MSc Audio Production/MSc Audio, Video and Social Technologies: Research in Emerging Technologies module

·       #murv Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Catalonia-Spain) BA students Educational Technology

·       #ct231 from NUI Galway (Ireland) – BSc Computer Science & Information Technology: Professional Skills  module

·      #litet from Limerick Institute of Technology (Ireland)

·       #EDGE900 from University of Wollongong (Australia) – MEd Intro to Educational Technology (starting March 2014)

➨ What we want you to do now:

1) First! You should all have had a chance to add yourselves as Points of Interest (with links to your work) on the Google map. If you haven’t had a chance to do this and need to know how to add yourself as a POI on the #iCollab map, see the instructions here:

For more detailed information, check out Thom Cochrane’s post on the #icollab blog.


2)  From 31st October, we’d like you to begin interacting with one another using the #iCollab hashtag on Twitter, along with your respective course hashtag, e.g a UK student may write something like this:

Example tweet: “I’ve added a POI to the #iCollab collaborative GMap #mscret”

Berlin: Research on mobile Web – students will spot research institutes with big research studies on the map and link to studies (e.g. PDFs online, SlideShare etc.)


3) Between 31st October and 7th November we would like you to comment on one another’s work. To do this, we’d like each of you to select 3 POIs belonging to students in 3 other countries. Follow the links to their work online (this may be a blog, a research proposal, a YouTube video, etc.) and leave some feedback. The feedback must be constructive and substantial, for example:

– Good feedback: “This is a very interesting research proposal. I like your suggested approach to the research. Have you thought about using…?” (Ideally this would then lead to discussion between the two of you), provide a link to a relevant research article or news article etc…

– Bad feedback: “Nice work” (the reason we consider this to be ‘bad’ feedback is that it doesn’t offer anything constructive, or lead to further dialogue)

4) Between 1st November and 19th November we would like you to blog about your contributions and comments received, along with reflections on connecting with others through the #iCollab map.


Augmenting Global Collaboration #icollab

14 Oct

Our latest #icollab project explores the use of interactive Google Maps for augmenting global collaboration with mobile social media. This project aims to create a collaborative Google Map linking student projects hosted on the web with their original context via geolocation and mobile augmented reality via exporting this data as a KML file and creating a Wikitude world from it. With Google Maps, creating a collaborative interactive Map is as easy as coediting a Google Doc. This data can then also be viewed within Google Earth and further edited. As your Google Maps and data is saved to your Google account, any of your maps will automatically be synchronised to Google Earth on any device you login. The second step is then creating a mobile augmented reality world using Wikitude. Wikitude is an augmented reality mobile smartphone browser. With Wikitude anyone can use the Wikitude engine to develop and publish their own content that is searchable via the mobile App. This is a simple process that can be achieved by creating your interactive content as Google Maps Points Of Interest (POIs), and then exporting this data as a KML file (which is editable via any simple text editor if you wish), and then creating a Wikitude world by uploading this KML file to the Wikitude server. See the links below for overviews and links on how to do this.

I recently posted a general outline of this concept to a Facebook discussion initiated by Ilona @mediendidaktik around future learning scenarios (although this is really a present scenario – just under utilised 🙂

“Mobile social media leverages the ubiquity of mobile device ownership and enables the formation of professional networks and serendipitous learning. Mobile learning provides powerful tools for enabling the nurturing of learning communities across varied contexts that previously would have been impossible. Focusing upon student-generated eportfolios created from a mashup of best-in-class mobile social media platforms enables student creativity and collaboration that is in stark contrast to the typical ‘digital myopia’ enforced by the reliance upon institutional learning management systems. Mobile social media is inherently collaborative, but requires a significant rethink of assessment design, utilizing collaborative user-content generation tools such as Vyclone for collaborative video. Lecturers must engage with and model the educational use of mobile social media within the curriculum. This requires reconceptualizing mobile social media from a purely social domain to an academic and professional domain of use. Assessment activities need to leverage the unique affordances of mobile social media. Mobile social media can utilize a variety of collaborative presentation and interaction tools, such as Prezi, and wireless screen-mirroring via an AppleTV connected to a large screen display.
For example: Google Maps or Google Earth can be used as a collaborative platform to collate/curate student projects from around the world, where student teams link their geotagged content within a shared Google Map. This adds the dimension of authentic context to student projects, with the ability for students around the world to share in the experience of learning of others within the original context. Linking geotagged content from a variety of new and emerging mobile Apps makes this a relatively simple yet dynamic and collaborative experience. Example Apps include: Vyclone for collaborative video recording, the online YouTube video editor for collaborative video editing and annotation, Flickr, Instagram, and Picasa for collaborative photo sharing/curation, Junaio for embedding QR tags within augmented reality etc… Academic rigour can be achieved by requiring students to annotate their content using accepted referencing styles, yet turning this into a collaborative curation activity via creating shared Mendeley or Zotero libraries etc… Specific activities will depend upon each students’ context, and should be student negotiable, however the collaborative element of such projects needs to be clearly defined, as student experience of being active members within an authentic professional global community of practice is one of the goals of such projects.”

We hope to explore such a project with #icollab over the next few months.

I have created a Wikitude world layer called “iCollab COP” that contains just POIs of the iCollab lecturers & our research outputs. You can find it in the Wikitude App on Android or iOS or Symbian by searching for the keyword iCollab – but only if you are within around 75 Km of any of the POIs, as Wikitude is a contextual App, using your smartphones GPS. As iCollab participants are located in 7 cities in 6 countries you may be lucky enough to find it 🙂

Twitter for global community building #icollab

14 Oct

During ALTC2013 I came across @mhawksey TAGSExplorer visual Twitter analysis tool. This is a powerful tool for analysing Twitter interaction via a Hashtag. We’ve setup TAGSExplorer to regularly update via the #icollab hashtag, which gives us a nice visual map of the conversations and interaction around the #icollab COP, click the screenshot below to view an interactive live version of the #icollab TAGSExplorer.


It’s interesting to see the community and conversations as a visual representation – @catherincronin is doing some great work with her @ct231 students currently, and the TAGSExplorer also reveals some interested peripheral participants and observers.

#icollab We got Trolled!

14 Oct

During a recent #icollab Google Plus Hangout we got Trolled by 13 year olds when we accidentally posted the G+ link to the wrong username LOL