Sunday, 29 September 2013

How Online Engagement Leads to Collaboration

Its almost 3 years since I opened my first social media account and boy what a learning experience its been.

Today I am involved with, or am in discussion about, some really interesting projects - including

  • Collaborating with OCR, who are one of the largest awarding bodies in the UK, on my latest report based on Technology in FE
  • Will be producing a really cool RSA shifting paradigms style video with OCR (How cool!)
  • Invited to sit on the Expert Advisory Board for the inaugural Horizon Project Europe
  • Guest bloging for a couple of education publications/sites including LinkedIn University
  • An interesting and ambitious development with #ukfechat
It has been 9 months since I became involved with #ukfechat and this weeks session was hosted by University of Hull Lecturer Dr Carol Azumah Dennis @azumahcarol and was on the topic of "Establishing links between research and practice in FE" 

The discussion looked at some of the challenges with conducting research in Further Education and, with input from experienced researchers like Matt O’Leary @drmattoleary, we compared some of the key differences with how research is viewed in HE & FE.

Some of the comments included a lack of time, budgets, experience and how research didn't seem to be as valued in FE.

As part of my contribution to the chat I detailed my experiences with other areas of social media - highlighting aspects of inbound marketing, how producing good content is important to every profession today to avoid what Seth Godin has termed as the "Race to the Bottom."

The merry band of regulars at #ukfechat have encouraged one another to blog, get involved with what we believe to be the first FE dedicated teachmeet, the following comment was made at the end of the chat and the suggestion of taking the groups innovation and collaboration a step further;

"Right #ukfechat has got us into blogging & teachmeets, whose up for research?"

After an hour of discussing the issues - the considerations, time restrictions, the potential and the frustrations - we found that 7 people were interested in exploring the idea - @fossa99 @mrssarahsimons @csf0961 @hilarynunns @shanechowen @azumahcarol and @drmattoleary - who will be exploring some topics that we could research.

The next stage will be to find a topic and a way that we might be able to work together and collaborate given the various considerations - geographic location, difference skill sets, job roles and responsibilities, research experience, no time, no budget and not even having a set topic or hypothesis - but we're willing to explore the idea and see where it takes us.

Not bad for what is a bit of random chat about FE on a Thursday evening at 9pm? What were you doing last Thursday at 9pm? Join in the chat... and the research... you can always watch Educating Yorkshire on Channel 4+1. 

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