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Visual Methods and Ethnography Workshop (12th May 2015 – all day, free)

I was approached by Dr Ivana Rihova to take part in the following free all day workshop that is to take place at Napier University on the 12th of May 2015. I will be collaborating with Sharon Greenwood (PhD researcher at University of Glasgow) on a practical workshop entitled: “Where do you stand? Reflecting on ethical considerations of using social media data within a visual methods context,” and will be drawing on the discussion chapters of my PhD research around working with social media from self-defined citizen journalists operating during the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. More details about the workshop and the full event are available below.

Workshop outline:

Social media data can be considered freely available. However, this opens up questions of the epistemological grounding of the research as well as ethical issues related to the researcher’s position in terms of how they chose to present and work with data. This session will not offer a one size fits all approach, but instead will provoke discussion and debate surrounding the use of social media data within visual methods contexts. Focussing on two cases – the citizen journalists of Vancouver 2010 and identity construction through fashion blogs – we will tell a compelling story of the challenges we faced when using social media as data in our own research. The session features a hands-on group exercise where participants will be given a dataset and asked to articulate their own position with respect to working with the data, and to identify the issues that may stem from this.

Location and Time: 9am – 5pm, Tuesday 12th May. The Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus.
What are the roles and application of visual methods and ethnographies in contemporary research? We warmly invite you to a day-long research workshop, organised by researchers in the School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, where we attempt to answer this question.

Part of the Edinburgh Napier University Researcher Led Initiative, the Visual Methods and Ethnography Workshop is aimed at colleagues from across the Business School, the University and beyond, who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in applying visual methodologies in their research in innovative and critical ways.

The workshop provides a platform on which various research projects and approaches are brought together to communicate the role and potential of ‘the visual’ and the ways in which it can benefit academic research. Over the course of the day, conference-style presentations from leading researchers in (visual) ethnography will be combined with participatory activities and opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and experience. Topics discussed range from the use and analysis of ‘traditional’ visual methods, such as photo-elicitation, academic film-making, semiotics and ethnographies, to research participant co-creation, mash-ups and social media imagery. Guest speakers include Prof Eric Laurier (University of Edinburgh), a world-leading figure in visual methods research; Dr Tijana Rakic (University of Greenwich), an experienced academic and film-maker with interest in ethics in visual research; Dr Diane MacLean (Edinburgh Napier University), a producer and journalist with experience of using commissioned broadcast technologies in academic studies; Ms Anne Burns (University of Sheffield), researcher from Sheffield University’s Visual Social Media Lab; and, Jennifer Jones (University of the West of Scotland) and Sharon Greenwood (University of Glasgow), doctoral researchers interested in the use and ethical implications of using social media images in research.

By attending the workshop, you will:
• Gain appreciation of the importance of visual methods and ethnography in social sciences and tourism in particular
• Extend individual expertise of innovative use of visual research methods and ethnography
• Reflect on ethical issues in using visual material in research
• Apply principles of analysing visual data in an interactive small-group activity
• Connect and exchange ideas with a community of like-minded researchers interested in visual methodologies
Tea/ coffee and refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

​The workshop is free to attend, however we ask that you register by Wednesday 6th May 2015, using the Eventbrite link below:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/visual-methods-and-ethnography-workshop-tickets-16765004580
Free
Contact Details
​Dr Louise Todd (L.Todd@napier.ac.uk), Tel. 0131 455 4409 or Dr Ivana Rihova (I.Rihova@napier.ac.uk), Tel. 0131 455 4613

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New publication: Stories and Streams: A problem-based design for student-Led collaboration and peer-to-peer teaching across media practice modules

It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally had the chapter developed from the Stories and Streams project (that took place at BCU in 2012/2013) published in a new book called “Collaborative Learning in Media Education.” The book is available to buy here but is also available through open access.

Citation: Marcus Leaning (eds), 2015. Collaborative Learning in Media Education. Santa Rosa: Informing Science Press. ISBN: 9781932886931

by Dr. Marcus Leaning (Author, Editor)

Abstract: This collection of papers was developed from an HEA discipline seminar held at the University of Winchester in May 2012. The aim of the seminar was to bring together academics working in the field of Media education in higher education in the UK who have an interest in the use of ‘collaborative learning’. While this might seem a somewhat small area of research, the response to the initial call for papers was stronger than expected. Furthermore there was considerable interest from people who wanted to observe the papers and what started out as a small symposium soon developed into a one-day conference with ten papers and a significant audience. The papers that were delivered presented a very interesting overview of the current state of the field and collected here are a range of these offering a number of different positions and approaches.

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Event report: Keynote for Education Scotland Social Studies Digital Learning Day #digilearnscot

As part of the outputs from the Digital Commonwealth project, David and I were invited to deliver one of the keynote’s for Education Scotland‘s Social Studies Digital Learning Day (#digilearnscot)

The event was broadcast live on Glow Scotland (the virtual learning environment for schools in Scotland) but we were asked to record the talk again so it could be embedded in other places too. The below video gives an overview of the project and key learnings/challenges from the perspective of the schools programme. It also gives wider insights in terms of delivering a similar digital literacy project of this scale.

The schools programme promoted digital media literacy skills through a series of in school training workshops, using readily available technology to help pupils tell their own stories through blogs, video, audio and social media. As part of their participation schools received learning materials (the digital storytelling handbook) enabling schools to built upon for future school projects and creating a legacy.  The materials including topics such as e-safety, copyright, active citizenship and media ethics which help pupils use their imagination and knowledge to produce creative, appropriate and engaging content.

 

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Event report: Be the Change Cambridge (a long-over due write up!)

2 months ago (seems so long ago!) I had the pleasure of being invited to Cambridge to take part in a social-media driven civic engagement gathering called “Be the Change Cambridge” as their lead facilitator for the day. I’ve known Antony Carpen for several years now (both the man and the dragon fairy), first meeting in Cambridge back in April 2011 when I was speaking at an event about networked politics, which resulted in some plotting and scheming over alcoholic slush puppies in a bar near the conference venue instead of y’know, eating dinner and other things you should be doing on a school night.

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I’ve been following the process of #changecamb for a while, originally I was meant to be in Cambridge for the first event prior to the independence referendum to run a workshop on community journalism, but as you can imagine, it was all a bit .. hectic … back then (all of 6 months ago!) – so when the event was rescheduled for March 2015, I was delighted I could attend and without my indyref hangover clouding my brain.

So after a 3.30am alarm call, a 5am taxi and a rather sleepy flight to Stansted, I was greeted outside (a very different) Cambridge train station by Ceri, who took me the scenic route to the venue via a lovely coffee shop to Anglia Ruskin University who had kindly donated space for the event to go ahead.

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The event was designed as an ‘open space’ event where the participants are asked to come prepared with issues that they feel are important to the future of Cambridge, which they are then asked to pitch to the rest of the group. Each pitch lasts only 30 seconds, and then is added to the timetable within 45 and 90 minute slots. The event organisers had pre-prepared several of the workshop titles ahead of the event and invited some local experts to help facilitate the chat, mainly to ensure that some of the previous discussions from past events were addressed on the day. They also had the chance to give a 2-5 min pitch for the their event.

From this the event schedule was constructed and organised by participants around the available time-slots and locations, with each session being allocated a volunteer to minute and report back on the discussions through a final feedback session in the main lecture space.

For me, the open space aspect of the event meant that there could be space to discuss issues and topics that were brought to the event by those taking part, but provided enough structure to ensure that people weren’t left without guidance or momentum around the day. If anything, some wanted to carry on beyond the allotted times – which says a lot for a grassroots event happening on a Saturday afternoon.

You can find out more the Be the Change Cambridge event on their website, twitter account @BetheChangeCam and they have some great videos (like the one below, introducing the open space format) on Antony’s Vimeo channel. The photos from the event (and used in this post) were by Lucinda Price Photography, you can check out the full set here.

Be the change – Cambridge. Introducing our community action event on Sat 14 March from Puffles2010 on Vimeo.

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Digital Commonwealth featured as case study in Creative Citizens’ Variety Pack.

After being included at the first Creative Citizen’s conference on the 18th-19th September at the Royal College of Art in London, we were approached by Dr Dan Lockton to contribute to the Creative Citizens’ Variety Pack that brought together case studies of inspiring digital ideas from community based projects. The pack is now available as hard copy and can be downloaded from here as a .pdf (or click the image below)

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Publication details: McGillivray, D., Jones, J., McCandlish, A. & McPherson,G., Digital Commonwealth (2014), in Lockton, D., Greene, C., Casey, A., Raby, E., & Vickress, A. (Eds.) Creative Citizens’ Variety Pack: Inspiring digital ideas from community projects, London: Royal College of Art. ISBN 978-1-907342-97-4. http://www.rca.ac.uk/documents/419/CC_Variety_Pack_sm.pdf

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So how was your summer?

Sorry, long time no blog. Mainly because my full time over the last 12 months has involved so much blogging in project spaces, blogging in other people’s project spaces and teaching other people to blog in their own spaces that my own blog has taken the hit when it comes to writing down my own thoughts about things and the stuff what I have been doing. It feels like I have been pretty much been blogging every day, just not here.

I’ve got a list of draft posts that need completing from back before the Commonwealth Games last month, some reflections, some from talks that I’ve taken part in, some PhD related – or audio/video recordings from other events. The biggy is that I’m going to be on the Community Channel representing Digital Commonwealth on Freeview 63/Sky 539/iPlayer from the 31st of August as part of the Media Trust’s Brilliant Scotland programme.

I’m honoured to be the chair of the steering group in Scotland – and in May, Peter Murray and I got to go an epic trip in May to Orkney and the North Highlands to delivery 4 rounds of Digital Storytelling workshops for the Digital Commonwealth project – the TV show features that trip, the Community Media Symposium at the Big Lottery Scotland HQ that we organised back in January and the #citizen2014 activity from during games time, where a group of us operated as community reporters from the Beyond the Finish Line shop-space in Trongate.

In my PhD/ ‘spare time’ (ha!) I developed a wee website for my 2nd supervisor Rowena Murray that gives more information about her writing retreats for academic writing that take place in Gartmore, near Aberfoyle. I’ve been a massive advocate of her writing retreats on social media, seeing as it was one of the main factors that aided me restarting my PhD after 16 months off and I’ve had a lot of people ask me about them – but with nothing ‘official’ to point people to. Rowena and I worked together to develop a website that will eventually become a group-curated resource for PhD students and academics to talk about writing – and at the last retreat, I interviewed 10 participants about what writing retreats meant to them – which you can view here. I’ve got three retreats booked up until xmas (that’s about 30k words hopefully!) – and I’ve got plans to return to Canada over the break to conclude my interviews for my PhD research.

I’ve given a few presentations on the run up to the games. The first was at the UWS learning and teaching conference in June with my colleague Alison McCandlish on the “University in the Wild” focusing on impact first, research later at the heart of a engagement project such as Digital Commonwealth (blog post to follow, I’ve to work on it for another session on research innovation in the new semester) – and a paper at the Leisure Studies conference in July with David McGillivray on event-led digital participation and how Glasgow 2014 can be used to empower communities to produce grassroot responses to major events. Both of these papers are now in the stages of being developed further ahead of the SCVO’s Comms Rewired in October and the Creative Citizens conference in London on the 18th-19th September. We were also invited to deliver a social media surgery for the PR and Comms group associated with Youthlink Scotland

Freelance-wise, I’ve delivered social media training for the National Union of Journalists Scotland which was really interesting to develop, especially as I’m normally helping citizens to become journalists, not the other way around. I’m also been actively involved as a board member at GMAC Film, taking part in some development days and beginning to look at helping develop a social media strategy for them – as well as media education element of the organisation. It’s exciting times.

And… I reckon I’ve probably delivered over 100+ workshops in 2014 alone. Now I’m properly back at my desk and the games are but a faded memory, I can get back to writing and researching and all that other stuff that you do at desks. So expect more blog posts!

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