Monthly Archives: February 2014

Vygotsky and Wengraf

So this week have travelled to Bristol, and looking forward to doing some more in depth work on WP 2. In preparation I have been drawing upon my BNIM training in interpreting interviews, (Wengraf 2001 is the book!)  and if you contact he will send you a short guide. Although the actual  interview material was collected more conventionally, I find the focus on coding and looking for narrative, then using the narrative to unpack more meaning is still a really valuable skill. The actual interviews are confidential, so sadly can’t share extracts, but I can comment on how using three interviews rather than two always gives meaningful insights in the drawing out the emergent cross case themes. Pulling together the main strands, and reviewing in light of Vygotsky and ZPD especially role of expert peer. Have bought ‘Mind in Society’ for my Kindle!.

A useful framework for analysis hopefully starting to come together… Enjoying getting back to basics of qualitative research! There is a biographic narrative JISC list well worth joining if you want to keep up-to-date – a recent discussion around informed consent and ethics with interviewing on the list would be excellent reading for anyone with a PHD or masters student wanting to think further about these issues.

Next time! Professor John Cook and his inaugural lecture ‘Social Network Innovation  in the internets global coffee houses’  and I attend my first shared ‘streetArt’ and #taggedlife  a mobile game and social experiment as part of the public engagement program part of the conference ‘mobiLearnfest’

Information on full conference and details of final places:


Category: ALTC

An EU Consortium meeting

A flight from Gatwick to Innsbruck, and my first 3 day EU partner meeting. Preparation included reading the Work Packages (WP) and DOW – the ‘Deliverables’ – this specifies exactly what each partner has agreed to do, and there is an annual report that goes into the EU. Main issue for me – understanding our own WP2 (Networked Scaffolding-Interacting with people), and then also relating work here to the other 7! I found the presentations around regional managed clusters ( and the work with SMEs particularly interesting; listening to an amazing talk about the proposed ‘Social Semantic Server’ that will revolutionise the way in which people link with data – it will link people with other people, data with people and data with data and then found out more about the different types of tools being developed within other packages. Our own package is starting with healthcare, and our tool is a ‘Help Seeking’ development – and I hope to be involved with some of the early workshops introducing the ideas to health professionals.

Communication takes place in a myriad of ways – shared documents for working on are hosted on wiki, googledrive is used for sharing live documents and storing, Skype is common, as well as emails to different ‘groupings’ around the various projects thematic interests. Online Flash meetings take place most days on a variety of topics,

The project ‘website’ is actually a wiki, and so enables the sharing and uploading of documents – many are available to the public ie anyone can read, others, mainly work-in-progress are stored behind the passport. The Learning Layers first year report is available for public scrutiny, and was really upfront and honest. Four reviewers (called experts) commented on the report, and supplied very comprehensive and detailed feedback to each work package as well as making more overarching recommendations for the whole project. Each EU project has a scientific coordinator, who has put together the bid and manages the workstream processes; this time a key focus was to set in place a robust response to the experts comments, including a theory workshop to draw the underpinning approaches used by the partners closer together.

So: the project workpackages:

Workplace learning; networked scaffolding; creating and maturing instructional materials; digital enhanced artefacts; social semantic network; architecture and integration; implementation in Regional Clusters; dissemination exploitation and training



Category: ALTC

Sabbatical – reflections on an EU Project


I was invited to the BRILLE (Bristol Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning and Education) by Professor John Cook to hear mobile technology experts talk about different aspects of their work. I also shadowed the London Mobile Network meeting ( and met interesting people who research in my field. Old friend Yishay Moray (mobile learning), Carl Smith (augmented reality ) and I met Dr Patricia Santos- Rodriguez, the key LearningLayers researcher, and it was great to catch up. I was also invited to be on the international  MOBIFEST 2014 review panel, and this will give me experience of reviewing high quality conference proposals from international experts.

Week 1

Delighted that this semester I have secured a sabbatical to find out about how EU Projects work. I have invited to be a ‘Visiting Research Fellow’ at the University of West of England, based in their Department of Education, and to work with Professor John Cook and Dr Patricia Santos on the EU Learning Layers Project. A really busy first semester  working on our own REF submission at ARU meant very little time to read up prior to the start of the sabbatical, and so this is week 1 and I am reading all kinds of documents. My first partner meeting is next week in Innsbruck, where I will meet the other partners, and find out more about the different WorkPackages (WP). So, blog readers (and hopefully contributors), you will first want to know what Learning Layers is about:

About Learning Layers:

In the Learning Layers Project, we develop technologies that support informal learning in the workplace. Our particularly focus is on Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) within Regional Innovation Clusters. We develop mobile and social technologies that unlock and enable peer production within and across those SMEs. The technologies also act as “scaffolds” for the individuals so that they can learn in the right context and at the right time. Scaling informal learning then means that shared meaning of work practices emerges at the individual (workers and practitioners), the organisational (SMEs) and the interorganizational (Cluster) level of the network. We take a design research perspective and build open technologies so others can build on our results. For this reason, we have created an Open Design Library to involve stakeholders interested in our design ideas, and an Open Developer Library through which we showcase our prototypes and involve developers interested in our work.

Read more about our project objectives and strategies, and check out the latest posts related to our two pilot regions:

The Health Care cluster

Category: ALTC