Academics & the Internet: Guardian Higher Education Network Panel

Today I took part in a live chat panel on the Guardian Higher Education Network about how academics could/should/and do use the Internet. The irony was not lost that the ‘live chat’ took place as static comments on the Guardian website.  This highlights exactly why there needs to be more institutional understanding of the tools and technologies available and selecting the one most fit for purpose.  The Guardian are working on getting a new platform for this type of discussion.  Anyway the content of the discussion was very lively and we bounced around several topis including, Wikipedia use, crowdsourcing in general, OER’s, social networks and the challenges of archiving and curating the web.

The conversation moved so quickly, it was really hard to keep up! One of the most interesting questions came from Sarah Porter from JISC

Is higher ed a good environment for innovation?

the overwhelming reply suggested HE is good for creation but not for implementation of innovative digital technology.  Which gives an awful lot of food for thought.  Has academic research shifted from creating new and innovative cutting edge stuff, to doing small scale ‘proof of concept’ development that can be taken forward by industry? John Day seems to think so (read his excellent talk here – via Eric Meyer).  Has academia lost its way? I don’t think so, I quite like undertaking proof of concept research which then can be shared more fully, rather than it being implemented within the university only. But I am new, perhaps I don’t know the ropes yet.

Do check out the discussion there was a lot of interesting topics raised.


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