Saturday, September 23, 2017

Paddy Ashdown and online HE

Paddy Ashdown calls for more investment in online education.

 If we were to convert at least part of our tertiary education syllabus to distance learning we might reduce the cost of degrees without diminishing their quality, give students more flexibility, force lecturers into the modern age, widen access and create a superb platform for adult education all at the same time. Why, beloved Lib Dems, do we allow medieval vested interests to preserve our ivy covered tertiary education system exactly as it is, loading more and more debt on students and preventing us from doing what much of the rest of the world is doing already? 

Since previous post I have not found much more on this "dangerous idea" but he has made a clear statement at a major political conference.  Could get some support so possible lead event for a news article.

A while ago i wrote stories for OhmyNews. I used to have a blog with comments and waffle, then wait for a news item. Usually you get get a lot of your own views in once some clear facts were there at the beginning. Something similar for future versions from this blog. I may do a story for Ournet News. Not sure how it works yet.

Another possibility is the panel discussion at Tech Exeter conference. One speaker cancelled so this was an informal  alternative. Main topic of the day at Exeter Business School was digital disruption. I asked about the MOOC and if universities were also going to be disrupted. I was surprised how solid the answer was, very positive for online certificates, full degree courses using technology similar to MOOC. There was also comment that "real" MBA would continue, competing with "virtual" as seen as more valuable, even though the cost could be x 10 . ( Maybe £3,000 compared to £30,000 ) My guess is that if the cost difference really is that much there will be quite a shift fairly soon even if still small in proportion.

I can only find info on the OU as shifting investment priority online rather than buildings. Most UK sites continue as before. This is another area to look for news.

Timing is a bit vague but it would be good to have a solid article ahead of BETT, early next year.

Previously found an FT story but behind a paywall. this one from Guardian a bit out of date but paints a picture.

Robots, AI, what video is allowed? mp3 also welcome #contentmarketing

Exeter has several visits this autumn around AI so I am looking for video /sound. On Phonic FM we talk on Wild Show and @wenotno about voice interface to AI, obvious challenge for radio. How to adjust the studio? what forms of social media fit with FM? Questions arise about copyright / how content can be mixed. Scope for the robot to choose from?

Not sure what will turn up from the business stream at Tech Exeter. So far the slides are there including IBM and EDF. Video is a timelapse only. Previously Digital Exeter at Tubers appeared as video without sound from speakers. I wonder what is intended. Sometimes the content for a conference is supposed to be exclusive, sometimes made public quite soon. Works as promo for the next one maybe. Also maybe the networking is the main attraction.

Coming up Like Minds and the Lost Weekend. Like Minds includes talk from David Low, Principal Evangelist, Amazon Alexa and also Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Lead, LinkedIn. Lost Weekend includes TEDx Exeter Salon with Raia Hadsell, lead on robot navigation and lifelong learning at Google Deepmind and also Neil Lawrence director of machine learning at Amazon Research Cambridge. Many other speakers but mention these to show the corporate range. (IBM take on show me the money very good intro btw)

How much video will exist how soon? If you do a search what mix of adverts will turn up? When will YouTube RED be in the UK? other questions will emerge.

Local issue is what forms of video are allowed and /or welcome. There can be cheap recordings that preserve content. Or production numbers with several cameras, graphic design, days of editing. How to fund?

Guests welcome if in Exeter Thursday or Tuesday morning or links to mp3 please ( Youtube feeds into studio)

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Guardian today includes a review of Life 3.0 by Yuval Noah Harari -

In the case of the AI revolution, as so often before in human history, we will probably make the most profound decisions on the basis of myopic short-term considerations. The future of life on Earth will be decided by small-time politicians spreading fears about terrorist threats, by shareholders worried about quarterly revenues and by marketing experts trying to maximise customer experience.


Following evening at Exeter City Futures

Last Wednesday I spoke at Exeter City Futures, part of their Autumn Connect event. I was more or less on topic. The main concern is sustainability for energy and transport but the approach seems to be around technology and networks. Communication is part of this so video was accepted for the full five minutes. They are a welcoming group.


Online video , talk at Exeter City futures from Will Pollard

Result seems to be I feel more relaxed about my current situation. There is no YouTube RED in the UK, advertising is still very annoying, my video production standards are very low level, budget tends towards zero. So maybe back to text for something quick to make a point. Still possible to link to something else, much still happening.

I discovered that Exeter City Futures are working on some video, this may appear within a few months. So I hope they will visit Phonic FM for @wenotno or the Wild Show once this is available. Also there is an Accelerator Showcase on Oct 7th as part of the Lost Weekend. I am not sure how to link to this. Phonic FM mostly into the music, relates to sustainability just about. How to get Exeter social media to the point where tickets sell out before the print budget is required?

definitely off topic, where is Zion Train? please add comment, will interest some 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Notes re tags and video around music , Exeter Oct - Nov - Dec

This is to suggest some tags for Phonic benefits, the Lost Weekend and other events.

Looking for comments as I may well be duplicating what already exists and /or  going way off topic.

I now work more with playlists on YouTube than trying to do original content. Works well for performers on tour, often good productions from somewhere else. Also can add a promo clip as one of the sequence.

For example



When will they do one for Exeter? Could someone do one anyway? Similar for other Phonic benefits. The Blockheads are very organised. "Blockheadsofficial" on YouTube. @blockheadspage on Twitter.

Magic Band much harder to find. I suggest #Magic17 as a tag for the entire UK tour. Might be used in other places as well. Problem is that "Magic" finds much else on a search.

Also suggest #LostPhonic to tag anything that links to sound, could be played on a Phonic FM show, including special on Lost Weekend Sunday. There could be lots of content so needs a way to find it. I contribute to the Wild Show on a thursday and @wenotno on a Tuesday so we can start to look into this quite soon.

Meanwhile I heard about a Frank Zappa tour with hologram ( Radio 5 Live nighttime, fell asleep found enough to trace it) No dates for UK yet but if it works why not Captain Beefheart, Ian Dury? may be off topic here but interesting,

The Lost Weekend may get Exeter up to speed on social media / content marketing. By chance we may get a comparison with Austin TX as there is a Devon tour coming up from the Black Tabs. They have a promo clip for a new vinyl release and also several complete tracks on YouTube. #tags and social media looks sorted so much to study with whatever else turns up.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Hello Paddy Ashdown, more please on distance learning and HE costs

Yesterday bought a Sunday Times to follow Brexit news. Adam Boulton mentioned that Paddy Ashdown is promoting distance learning as a "dangerous idea". I have now found it through Twitter and also sent a tweet requesting Paddy Ashdown tweets more often. Twitter could be a space for this sort of thing.

We persist in the medieval practice of taking students to medieval ivy covered buildings, to receive their education in the medieval manner from minds, too many of which, when it comes to delivering education, are stuck in the middle ages.

Thing is, only the top two are actually medieval in buildings but there seems to be an idea that statement buildings are required to move into / stay in the top ten or twenty. FT has info on current building spend but behind a paywall.

The OU is alone I think in explicit policy to close buildings and invest in online platforms - Futurelearn and now full time degree courses with certificates. When will this become a news topic? The Guardian relies on comment from academics such as Peter Scott who mentioned the MOOC once, only to explain why there would be no further comment. Maybe the topic is too close to the end of newsprint.

Whatever, please Paddy Ashdown a few more tweets and do not worry too much if others take up the policy.

Lower costs? not too dangerous surely?



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Shifting time and space ( Exeter on circuit )

Have found several video clips on YouTube that relate to the Tech Exeter conference at Exeter Business School. Looking forward to the official video but meanwhile there is much available. Can also find something for some of the speakers - we are Like Minds includes the we are so you find them on Twitter, also Lost Weekend with TEDx Exeter Salon.

The E is for Entertainment by the way. The Wild Show voice robot prototype spec is included as Thur 10 -12 ( and/or Tue 12-2 @wenotno ) available for guests / chat speculation.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Question about content marketing and high impact video

This post is to show some links and explain a bit more than a tweet. At the Tech Exeter Conference I found out a bit more about video from a previous evening. I missed this as not what I was expecting.





This is fine as a quick hint at the event but I do not see how this is content as such. Maybe there will be a later series with more detail.

Is there a place for a variety of styles? I am still thinking about clips with what was actually said. Sometimes the sound quality is not good but the content is interesting. This one I did at BETT last year.




I mention this now because there is recording from the Tech Exeter conference. I hope this will get to YouTube as longish chunks, maybe 5 minutes or so. But maybe I have lost it as far as how video is now regarded.

Is there any theory about content marketing or has this gone?

Universities and other venues now clearly have the production facility to create any number of shortish tightly edited clips with energy music. But I think something is missing along the way. Comment welcome.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

update on universities and digital disruption

I was reminded about this as there is a Tech conference in Exeter this week. We don't seem to get to how universities could be part of a disruption. Couple of connections through the Guardian.

Peter Scott writes about market pressures but no mention of the MOOC or innovation to reduce costs. Taxation is the only approved option. Since he announced that the MOOC would not be mentioned I think there has been more development on certificates and monetisation, not a word he would choose. Maybe just the tech and vocational end but this includes the full range of business schools.

Sonia Sodha mentions in another article that there is £2 billion of construction spending pending. ( website links to FT but behind a paywall) My guess is that universities still see iconic buildings as a campus attraction. The OU is unusual in closing sites to concentrate on online.

For video I like the locations, Exeter Forum and Lancaster Spine for example. But I think there may be a crunch happening soon when the topic will come up where the priority should be.


chat show / interviews / other time and place

Next few months has a lot of interesting talk. Print is back via IPEX and other events. I am still mostly into radio at this time so will look at Exeter courses through the radio studios at Exeter College and Guild on campus.

On Wild Show / @wenotno for Phonic FM we are extending voice interface to a voice robot. This is a way to chat about such topics during Tech Exeter, We Are Like Minds and the Lost Weekend. Unlikely we can get guests for the shows / video interviews but can report and maintain a sequence. We have guests Black Tabs in October so can look at social media around this.

On blogs and YouTube playlists I will look for related topics in other places / previously. Probably much the same has already happened. #mtw3 theory relates to #mtwr practice, needs some exploration and explanation.