Monday, June 18, 2018

Still no news of Futurelearn as in OU plans

Still cannot find any update on what OU intends for Futurelearn funding.

Ass uming Peter Horrocks plans have been rejected, what is the alternative? Seems to be no reporting on this. Guardian very keen to report the objections, but then nothing as far as I can tell.

I have found a story I missed at the time about Leeds and Coursera from March. Confirms the reports from Class Central that degrees have started to feature. I also found a YouTube talk with similar content to the South by SouthWest talk, from last year but same take on MOOC changes and viability. Still shows Futurelearn in the top five and as an option.

So my guess is that the USA based platforms will have a clear offer during this year, something on show at BETT / Learning Technologies for the UK. Futurelearn may still be there but needs some support. Not just OU itself but other sources of degree content. Media still a bit blocked, Guardian may worry about comparison with print.

Meanwhile the advertising budget is out to tender. They could mention MOOCs as a way to interest people in degrees. Check out Stanford MIT for examples.

radio presentation as @will789gb

This topic may return to Management Theory at Work in Radio ( #mtwr ) but this is a more personal blog and I am starting with my own Tweet handle - @will789gb . We got a bit of discussion about how to mix print and social media but it seems Phonic FM is mostly still in print world with not much mindspace for hashtags and soforth.

There is now a printed schedule for Phonic FM and the We Don't Know show is included. However , presenter just shown as Jonathan Mahy, not myself as @will789gb. Previous copy we sent in has included the Twitter handle for the show - @wenotno - and the info that I am one of the presenters, but I think there may be a block around names that start with @ .

So next phase will be to find other radio presenters who are into Tweets etc. Will get back to Phonic and #mtwr when this is a bit more sorted. Meanwhile other topics possible, around OFCOM for example.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

More temp on Futurelearn

This is just a reminder post, bit longer than a tweet.

Cannot find any news on Futurelearn funding as intended by OU. Since Peter Horrocks resigned there has been almost nothing, in Guardian print or by tweet. Assuming the implication is to reverse the cuts and not fund Futurelearn to the same extent as once in the plan, what is going to happen?

I have found a blog post by Tony Bates who seems well informed about the OU. He has insight into the print culture still strong at the OU and the funding cuts from government. He points out that most universities are not designed for lifelong learning, even though updates in digital skills are needed for the economy.

But there is not any comparison with Futurelearn that I can see.

Any link suggestions welcome.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Continued round "Digital Compost" #nlc2018

Papers from Networked Learning conference now available so this is a quick response, probably more later when read properly and as more appears online.

"Digital Compost" seems to be everything that appears around online life. Can be a mix of digital and other relics, memory. The approach helps to link distance learning with a campus or other place. Towards the end Sharon Boyd mentions a "walking interview" as a way to use space for discussion.

I am trying to fit this with a sort of script for video links. At the previous Networked Learning conference in Lancaster I thought that a series of interviews could be linked by the sequence of sites on the Spine walk. Tech Vision at InfoLab 21, possibly surviving critique at the Management School. Becomes public at main square with library, learning zone/ Costa and bookshop. Then further comment as past social science towards art. I had thought of just borrowing online clips from other places but the problem now is the extended work on the Spine. It will be a wonderful location when finished but not this year. ( Summer lighting still a priority, no budget to cope with wind and rain).

Thing is, the dilemma in the discussion may be over by next year. Tech is becoming normal. There is now a big screen in the square so this could project a version of the first part of the walk.


Further on there used to be a Making Time Garden, start for this video that also shows some of the building work.



Making Time Garden now replaced by a new design, part of the Spine. It could be sort of theatre so my current idea is to use green screen as a backdrop somewhere else and add in the new garden when ready. First attempt June 9th in Exeter with the Standup Philosopher. Part of "management theory at work in radio" , so mostly voice, some video and stills mixed in, easy enough to shift in space.


Continued round "Manager" capability - #nlc2018 #Futurelearn

This post is a bit too sweeping but needs more space than a tweet. Intended as comment starting from Networked Learning conference, PDF download now available.

I found out about Networked Learning through Management theory at Work conferences. These had a mix of academics and working managers but there were only two. ( Hoping for another soon ) At Lancaster background was still about Learning Company, one question how this might change with internet tech. I think one of the Network Learning conferences at Lancaster was through the Management School. But my guess is that the "Manager" capability would be as missing as from the sample of more recent papers in Shane McMordie paper . I notice reference for Chris Grey (1996) critique of managerialism. Very influential at close of first Management Theory at Work. 

Also today found a tweet from Management Learning about a future special issue on Targets and Terror the Performative University. I cannot find anything so far that suggests any positive role for management, guess it will be just horror stories.

Meanwhile in the UK I think the news is the end of Peter Horrocks at the OU and what happens next with Futurelearn. That is, actually not much news as in reporting, even on Twitter. Motions of no confidence based on proposed cuts to existing situation. Nothing so far that I have seen on how Futurelearn to be funded otherwise if it will be.

Class Central reports that MOOCS can become big business. Based partly on estimates of income from degrees. Futurelearn has potential to be in top 5 of global platforms. I may have gone off into management speak already.

Some say "viable MOOCs" only relates to "business and tech" , not mainstream university. But where is the overlap?

Missing "Manager" raises many questions, some getting closer in time.

Meanwhile I am working mostly on Management Theory at Work in Radio, #mtwr , June 9th in Exeter. Suggestion that FM is almost over not welcome with all after 10 years of Phonic FM as local channel. Very vague at the moment but something clear may arrive later.

Also I notice Chris Grey has a blog about Brexit. Tweets and retweets can promote without being too performative.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hello Networked Learning Conference , possible links to sound / video

This blog post is a sort of extended tweet, catchup since previous Networked Learning conference in Lancaster. I am still interested in video and also sound, now working mostly on Phonic FM. Daytime music shows with some chat. I will be doing a session on Management Theory at Work in Radio as part of a 10 year celebration of Phonic. My take is that digital disruption is real. FM may soon fade away and local radio continue as social media.

There were two proper conferences - Management Theory at work - in Lancaster a while ago, mixing theory and practice. So I am struck by the paper from Shane McMordie on theorising a "manager" capability, based on something missing from previous conferences. The Management Theory at Work scope included practical management, maybe this is what I would like to get back to. So I will look out for discussion around this one. Also the papers on the MOOC. I have followed reports from Class Central on how Coursera and maybe others are now making significant income from degrees and contact with companies. I realise this is a bit off topic but recent UK talk about Open University and Futurelearn has assumed this is a bottomless pit of losses. Not sure this is so.

Assume that some form of sound / video included in education resources. Radio now often working with video so similar needs for production. We mostly depend on low production standards and a tolerant audience. But this is changing as social media gets a higher proportion of professional content.

One idea I have is to record on the Lancaster campus for linking clips. Once the Spine is finished there will be an excellent backdrop to move between tech, business, library, and theatre. But still a building site at the moment so continues as sound only from remote.

Sharon Boyd on digital compost could help me here. Seems to be about debris from cached trips. Look forward to the full paper, have found a blog version.

Also interested in the "Unbundled University" as this is closer to what radio is. We cut previous shows into clips and then mix with records and a small amount of new chat, some of it worth keeping but maybe not.

Continues as tweets and links, maybe more later.

Actual event is on June 9th at Phoenix in Exeter. Mostly music with some theory on the edge.
See blog

Suggestions welcome for video to link to, show extracts.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Sound Clip on Futurelearn, what is happening, how to relate to Exeter?

I have put a sound clip on YouTube from @wenotno show yesterday. Opinion that Futurelearn should be supported. No info recently on how the assumed change in OU policy will effect support.  I have found that three courses expected in Exeter - Weather ( with Met Office ) British Empire ( repeats one I have done) and clothing. So assume these will still happen.


So I have sort of lost it trying to construct a neutral story about this. So far all I can find on twitter or in newspapers is broad support for reversing the Peter Horrocks policy. I realise there are problems in finding the resources but moving Futurelearn into degrees seems sound both as education and as a business plan. The talk from Class Central at South by SouthWest could be on another planet. Most of the UK seems out of it.

So this topic is definitely part of the Management Theory at Work in Radio discussion. To some extent any campus will be part studio.

Still finding interest in vinyl from Austin. A bit weird but on the music aspect the tech issue will be how to play it. FM studios not equipped in some cases.

Monday, April 16, 2018

My problem situation, YouTube as in mtwr and RGB 2, also voice robots

Not sure who will turn up for Management Theory at Work in Radio, June 9th in Exeter, and sometimes people cannot be that open about problem situations. But I can either fill in the time talking about myself or expand in the is blog if time is limited. ( I think the whole event is turning out to be a sequence with variable timing )

I meant to start a YouTube channel as Rougemont Global Broadcasting. Filled form in wrong so actually just my name, Will Pollard. I mix music performance and tech theory so makes sense to me but not a channel. Very low production standards.

So when I heard about YouTube RED I set up two more defined channels and tried a new production level. "mtwr" for Management Theory at Work in Radio ( could include other conferences ) and RGB2 for general entertainment somewhere near Exeter ( as far and wide as suggests possible viability) . However so far no news of YouTube RED in the UK. Also all the info I get suggests that YouTube offer very little money in return for content. Record companies may see it as promo for other platforms.

So either this will change or maybe other routes. Wild fundraiser scheme with offer of 30 day advance access to unedited clips? Stranger things seem possible.

Meanwhile I will continue with existing channel and radio on Spreaker. I have done edits of clips from the Wild Show and @wenotno but recently low numbers on YouTube. there is more content there with better production if less content and also I have no budget to promote on other platforms. So currently best to promote the complete shows on Spreaker.

#mtwr will have a wide range of sound / video recording , low level edits. Maybe an edit budget much later, not sure how.

Could change scope of RGB2 to be discussion of other video available in Exeter. Just a chat format. But also good to look at voice robots for forms of radio. So far I have not fully convinced my colleagues on Wild Show and @wenotno that there is a future in automated voice. Alexa is taking over in car and kitchen so radio must cope somehow. Adobe has shown a sneak look at voice based on samples. Characters that left Exeter and reported back are possible. we will have to voice the robot ourselves till the tech is ready and we have a budget.

Comment welcome, update before June.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

temp on #Futurelearn

Seems there is a large gap between the people tweeting about Peter Horrocks and the audience at South by SouthWest. As far as I can tell in the UK there is almost no awareness of what was being suggested as a digital shift. Almost no reporting in Guardian or Daily Mail about Futurelearn ( bit more in Mail as a surprise) and no statement I can find by anyone to reassure on Futurelearn funding.

I should say something about learning theory but would rather find something with academic cred that links MOOC with whatever it is the OU is going back to. My problem with most of the research is that it assumes the learners are in a bubble of just the course being studied. And that they intend to learn on the timescale intended. Nobody reads a book in that manner I think. Skip through the contents page and then put it to one side. Come back later as something crops up. Maybe just me. So a MOOC course can be mixed with another one, discussed in some aspect with a group. Or just sampled and forgotten for a while.

Even more dodgy is my take on the finances. My guess is that music is about 5-10 years ahead of academic publishing / courses. Early phase somewhere between piracy and efforts to launch a streaming service that failed because of bad user experience, lack of funds, no support from labels too used to an older model etc.

Thing is, failure is possible. So any of the current MOOC platforms could turn out to be just an early version of something else. If all that is reported about Futurelearn is that it was a vanity project waste of money that has now been cut back, there are many other possibilities.

Another thought is that the Guardian may have reasons not to feature social learning, ways to relate social media to online courses. They did trash Guardian Unlimited Talk. The star journalist upfront is admired by loyal readers. Citizen journalism another wrong direction to move back from. The courses they sell in London are mostly on the star idea, not sharing views. Anyway, something to look out for on a Tuesday.

more later