Open Educational Resources at Otago Polytechnic.
A video for Ako Aetearoa, 2009 Southern Regional Hub Best Practices Grant. In this video, staff and students give their statements on what open education means to them, and what they think about developments at Otago Polytechnic. Thanks to Mark Legett and Sunshine Connelly for their patient work in putting this together.
Virtual Classroom Project
Using Second Life to conceive an ideal learning space with Konrad Glogowski and Jo Kay, 2007. Model used Permaculture design principles, combined with the ideas of Ivan Illich, to create a family home (instead of a classroom) that was conducive to becoming a convivial learning space some times.
Surf Live Saving Australia
An example of the interactive media I used to produce from 2001 - 2004. This project was for TAFE and Surf Life Saving Australia. It wasn't published in the end, like so many developments of it's kind. These sorts of productions became known as shelfware, because while they were completed, they generally found their way onto CDs and not websites, because 3meg back then was thought excessive!
Back in 2003, when most of Australia was still on dial up internet connections, I was contracted by the Hunter Institute of TAFE to try and produce a rich media online learning resource for baking apprentices electing to study chocolate. The idea was to develop an introductory resource to prepare them for in the kitchen block training. Some of the links are broken in this file that is a recovery from the now offline site. I think we packed a lot of content into 2.6megs
Once again, back in the days of dial up, the challenge here was to take a 1 and a bit hour lecture and make it interactive, and low bandwidth. The audio quality is terrible, as it was given to me, and the time to work on this was less than a few hours. Hope you can see past the quality and find the work within such limitations.
Dancing to Architecture
I directed Dancing to Architecture - a motion picture about This Is Not Art. It was the first open source documentary of its kind and is to date the only existing motion picture account of the phenomenal This Is Not Art festivals (TINA) - held in Newcastle, Australia every year in October. Filmed in 2002, Dancing to Architecture is essential for anyone who wants to gain an impression of what the TINA festival is like.
A user guide for educational organisations interested in developing open education practices using popular social media. It is based on an analysis of the Otago Polytechnic experience 2006-2009, where a small group of teachers used social media to develop open education practices. Recommendations are made for further work and investigation based on Otago's experiences. Production was funded by Ako Aotearoa's Regional Hub Project Fund. The main author is Leigh Blackall, with co-authoring and editing by Bronwyn Hegarty, Educational Development Centre, Otago Polytechnic.
Sustainable business - a handbook for starting a business.
This wikibook is based around writing a business plan, with a template plan ready for readers to use. Considerations around sustainability have been incorporated through out. A range of supporting Booklets compliment the plan template. These are small informative booklets that give some advice, examples or background thinking for the relevant sections of the business plan. This book is based on 2 books put out by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Starting a Business and Planning for Success. Additions and edits have been made to these books for the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, Sustainable Management Fund. Thanks to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for the copyrights to create this derivative from their books.
The Future of Learning in a Networked World
A compilation of articles, essays, discussion, and photos from the 2006 Unconference of the same name. That Unconference took place in New Zealand with 15 people from around the world converging on Dunedin and travelling north through Christchurch, Auckland, Weikeiki, Northland and finishing in Wellington for eFest2006. They unconferencing all the way, meeting and staying with local hosts, all working to produce this book, and a DVD compiled by Steven Parker. Contributors include Teemu Leinonen, Stephen Downs, Leigh Blackall, Rose Grosdanic, Stanley Frielick, Alex Hayes, Pam Hook and many others. This book is available as a free PDF, or a perfect-bound paperback, in full colour, at 191 pages, and 19x19cm dimensions.
Teach and Learn Online 2005
A collection of articles, essays, instructions, diagrams, presentations and discussions about teaching and learning online. Content is taken from my blog entries written in the early days of social media and Web 2.0 (2004 and 2005), edited and presented for this print format. Much of the content focuses on issues of free and open practice using popular online media, and the challenges that such ideology poses to traditional practice which is generally closed and tightly managed. This book is a perfect bound paper back, with 205 pages printed in full colour, at 15x22cm dimensions. This was my first self published book, and one I am still quite pleased with.
Open education and research at the University of Canberra.
Presentation to Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) annual meeting 2010
Key points are that: 1. Universities have vast amounts of unrealised intellectual capital - most of it has very little commercial viability - but much of it has potentially significant scientific, educational, and social value which, if openly shared, could bring significant local, national and international benefits. 2. That a protectionist stance over IP, for commercial purposes alone, returns not enough to compensate for the losses in non commercial benefits? At any rate, how does a university become aware of projects with commercial potential anyway? Is that process effective? 3. We think our proposed approach to IP policy helps university's find a better balance, and creates a more focused process for managing IP.
Popular Internet in Teaching and Research.
A presentation to the Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, 2010, and a summary of my main arguments for the use of social media in formal education settings. Key points are: 1. that a growing number of Australians are using the Internet on a regular basis. 2. That Google, Youtube, Wikipedia and Blogger are among the 10 most used websites in Australia, and they all have significant relevance to teaching and learning. 3. That there are ways in which teachers, academics and knowledge workers can efficiently and effectively use such popular media in their practice. 4. That the returns are difficult to measure, but tangible none-the-less, such as access to a wider network of practitioners. 5. A description of some of the attempts I have made in measuring returns in adopting such practices.
Models for Free and Open Education.
Presentation to The Open Education Conference, Vancouver 2009 in which I talk about the spectrum of work being done at Otago Polytechnic (2006-2009) toward developing free and open educational practices, while remaining financially viable and effective within the framework for vocational education in New Zealand at the time. Key points include: 4 Stories of OERP; 4 models of OERP; The Policy and support; Questioning and evaluating.
The Disconnect Between Education and Learning.
Skills Tasmania Conference, Business in the 21st Century: Growth through skills and Innovation. 2008
The largest and most successful training providers in Tasmania are not TAFE, the University or the private training organisations, they're Google, Youtube and Wikipedia.. at least they would be if Tasmania had more than 32% of it's population connected to the Internet (2008 stats). In this presentation I make the argument for formal education and training organisations to engage with popular Internet channels, and work out ways to use them to the best educational advantage possible. One way is to stop using platforms that get in the way of that engagement.
Socially constructed media and communications
A keynote for the Desire2Learn and Ascilite round table discussion in Wellington on 18 June 2008. Their question to me was:
The use of easily accessible and, in many cases, free social software tools such as MSN, Skype, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Second Life and a wide range of blogs and wikis, has become almost ubiquitous among the so-called ‘Net Generation’. In the context of a growing emphasis on eLearning, most commonly facilitated by enterprise-scale Learning Management System and a range of institutionally managed and supported communication and collaboration software tools, and in an environment of increasing emphasis on intellectual property rights management and quality assurance, how do universities (and other educational institutions) respond to the use of free, open-access tools in common use by their students? What are the potential educational uses of such tools? What are the current practices of use of these tools within educational institutions? What are the issues, risks and hidden costs? What are the advantages and benefits?
To which I replied by deconstructing the question to challenge the assumptions, and then to illustrate my conception of what social constructivist learning looks like, and argue that it is impossible to design for such learning in the formal education institutional context.
Teaching is Dead, Long Live Learning
A keynote presentation to Global Summit, Education.au 2006 in which I was asked to be provocative. I argued that the teaching profession is challenged by the Internet, and that challenge is akin to other historical cultural challenges brought about by technology, such as photography's challenge to painting. What emerges from these challenges? Is the teaching profession managing its challenge? I think not, and explain why. Learning on the other hand, learning is thriving, even without a relevant profession of teachers. Finally I ask, with the all the opportunities presented to us with socially constructed media, where is the reference to Ivan Ilich in the discourse about teaching and learning?
Continuing on from Knowledge Sharing by Sean FitzGerald and Leigh Blackall, Networked Learning attempts to simplify the concepts and stimulate wider audiences. 2005
Key concepts include an argument that then recent and already vastly popular social media and open source software offered informal learning opportunities that may be stronger and more sustainable than those online learning environments being developed and offered by formal education institutions. Technologies and practices like blogging and wide scale self publishing, social networking platforms, RSS, online bookmarking, Creative Commons, open source software, and accessible and reusable information and communication channels were all things that most formal education institutions did not offer, and in some instances were blocking and censoring.
Open educational resources and practices
A paper and presentation for WIAOC 2007, George Siemens Future of Education, and the Italian e-Learning Association Journal - Je-LKS (n.2 2007). Outlining what open educational resources and practices are, explaining some of the issues around copyright, relating OER frameworks to older eLearning frameworks, considering social media and so called participatory culture, and introducing a conceptual framework for educational development at Otago Polytechnic at the time.
Networked Learning in Action
A keynote presentation for the 2005 AUSTAFE Conference, 2005
Teaching and course materials
Since 2001 I have published enormous amounts of instructions and screen recordings, as well as courses around the topics of teaching and learning online. I use the site Teach and Learn Online to document these publications, and there you will find instructions, videos, interviews, reviews and courses that I work on. The courses being developed tend to be 10 week part time programs around topics such as Facilitating Online, Composing Educational Resources, Developing Open Courses, Networked Learning and others.
Sustainability considerations relating to the use of Second Life for education.
Second Life in Education, New Zealand (SLENZ) project literature review for sustainability. New Zealand Ministry of Education 2009.
Socially constructed media and communications.
Ascilite round table discussion 2009.
Sci-fi learning - The power of POV
Co authored with Simon Brown and Vicki Marchant for the Australian education journal Knowledge Tree, edition 19, 2009
Educational Development at Otago Polytechnic.
Terra Ingognita, PennState University's web journal. 2007
Digital literacy and how it affects teaching and learning
A critique for the Australian education journal Knowledge Tree, Edition 7, 2005. Republished in The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, December 2005.
Using Free and Open Source Software to Create Free and Open Courseware
A resource for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework Community, 2004.
Room for Rent
A solo exhibition of the installation "Room For Rent" including the publishing of the zeen What's in the Brown Paper Bag 5 at Brian's Place Gallery, Taipei. 2001. Exhibition consisted of a bedroom wall papered with traditional Chinese wedding gift wrapping paper, with English and Chinese text of diary entries from my 2 year period lining in Taiwan. The floor was covered in boxing recovered from the street, and shopping receipts. A video monitor played a 3 hour loop of continuous Point of View footage of Taipei streets, and on one wall hung enlarged photographs of a wedding scene from a Taiwanese movie. The exhibition represented my alienation and dislocation as an Australian adjusting to life in Taiwan.
A series of large oil paintings, derived from slide photographs of video copied super8 landscapes exhibited in Watt Space Galleries, Newcastle. 1998. The exhibition attempted to consider what representation is, from photographic technologies through hand painted scenes drawn from photographic records.
Solar Circuit Artist in Residence
I attended an artist in residence program, where about 15 digital artists from Australia, Finland, Norway, Austria.. and a few other places I can't remember, all stayed on Maria Island for a week, composing art pieces to exhibit back in Hobart the following week. The program was called Solar Circuit, and the theme was Wilderness. These clips were for looping in an audio visual performance I put on inside an old wheat silo on the island one night.
From 1996-98 I was politically and socially active on a range of issues, from wilderness conservation to art events and warehouse rave parties and the like. These images are of some of the screen printed posters, zeens and banners I made in that period. A great many were lost however. I used to paint many very large banners for demonstrations, festivals and events, and street parties, and friends and I were into altering billboards and stencil graffiti.