Anti-social behaviour ?

No petting !!
Anti social activities from the 70s and 80s

Learning technologists (the ones you read the blogs of) are an odd little group.  In some ways many of them provide a valuable service to all of us working with technology and learning but in other ways some of them only really serve as an emetic.

There seem to be two things that learning technologists like writing about.

First of all, obviously, they like to write about themselves.  I’m not being snarky when I say that (plenty of time for snark elsewhere) … that is what they have to write about.  They have built their careers around sharing their thoughts and opinions and informing us about what they have seen and experienced.  That is why we read what they write.

Secondly, and more specifically, they like to write about whatever app / device / widget / social software / gadget that is flavour of the month / week / day.  Again this is what they do and again is why we read them.  We can’t all read and trial everything, so we rely on blogging learning technologists to filter and digest it for us first.

In doing this, these learning technologists can start to be indicators of trends.  They can show what is up and what is down in the world of learning tech and other such stuff.  Some of them have even become slightly influential, in certain respects to some people !

It is not all good though … quite a few of them I have deleted cheerfully from my news reader (see how up to date I am ?) as I cannot bear to have my brain sullied by their inane chatter and endless, nauseating self-aggrandisement any more.

Two who still have my attention however, are:

They both talk sense (mostly) and Alan finds and uses some great images.

They have both written posts recently (co-incidently, or is this a trend forming ?) on social media and how the shine is wearing off a bit for them.

Alan writes rather critically of Facebook (as he is not a fan of walled gardens and feels that Facebook is quick enough to accept goodies from other sources and extremely reluctant to let them out again) but the main thrust of his post is that clicking the like button on something is easy enough, and posting the minutiae of your daily existence is great if that is what floats your boat, but if that is the limit of your on-line self expression and creativity … and you have no space for reflection or producing something less transitory and more substantial … then that is rather sad.

George considers yet another social network being produced (Google+) and how it might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  He equates social media with emotion … and blogging, writing and transparent scholarship with intellect.  He says that Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are secondary media.  He even draws an analogy with reality TV and Fox News.  Fighting talk.  He declares his (at least partial) withdrawal from them.

What do you think ?  Is the shine still there ?  Has the shiny toy matured into a much deeper and more meaningful tool ?  How do you use social media now ?  Do you use it for the flow ?  Do you make a virtue of the transitory nature of it and just accept it ?  To you, is it neither good nor bad … merely a tool ?  Let us know …

Social media: A guide for researchers

“Social media is an important technological trend that has big implications for how researchers (and people in general) communicate and collaborate. Researchers have a huge amount to gain from engaging with social media in various aspects of their work. This guide has been produced by the International Centre for Guidance Studies, and aims to provide the information needed to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available”

Not only is it a very useful guide but it features our very own Chris Jobling, whose Fresh and Crispy blog is listed as an example of academic research blogs in the Links and resources section

Thanks to Katrina Dalziel @dalziel1 for the highlighting the guide

You can find the full guide here –

New e-Learning book with free online chapter


ISBN: 978-1-60566-294-7; 483 pp; July 2010

Published under the imprint Information Science Reference
(formerly Idea Group Reference)

Edited by:
Mark J. W. Lee, Charles Sturt University, Australia
Catherine McLoughlin, Australian Catholic University, Australia


Educational communities today are rapidly increasing their interest in Web 2.0 and e-learning advancements for the enhancement of teaching practices.

Web 2.0-Based E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching provides a useful and valuable reference to the latest advances in the area of educational technology and e-learning. This innovative book offers an excellent resource for any practitioner, researcher, or academician with an interest in the use of the Web for providing meaningful learning experiences.

“this collection of well-thought-out responses should prove an invaluable starting point for the effective application of new social learning technologies to teaching and learning in higher education. … Mark and Catherine have edited a collection that should challenge us to re-examine our pedagogies, our notions of who is in control, our notions of where and how learning occurs, and most importantly, our notions of fun, play, and creativity in the endeavor.”
– Professor John G. Hedberg, Millennium Innovations Chair of ICT & Education and Head, Department of Education, Macquarie University, Australia


– Web 2.0, social software and their implications for e-learning
– Learner-generated contexts
– Students’ perspectives on personal and distributed learning environments
– Personal knowledge management
– University students’ self-motivated blogging
– Wikis in teacher training and foreign language learning
– Mobile 2.0
– Podcasting in distance learning
– Social networking in tertiary education
– Digital natives and the Net Generation
– Web 2.0 and assessment
– Web 2.0 and professional development of academic staff
– Beyond Web 2.0: Web 3.0

For more information about Web 2.0-Based E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching, and to view the Table of Contents, go to . On this site you will also be able to read the full text of the Preface of the book, which provides an introduction and thematic overview of the various chapters. You can also download the first chapter of the publication for free from the site.