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Using digital technologies for research

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16 March 2011

Workshops 4B and 5B, led by Dr Shailey Minocha and Dr Dorothy Faulkner.

Blue Group and Green Group, Michael Young Building rooms 1-4, 10am

Red Group and Purple Group, Michael Young Building rooms 1-4, 11am

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Liveblog of session

Presenting a toolbox of technologies that can be useful for research.

These technologies can be used for engaging in doctoral dialogues, for documenting research, for reflecting on the research, for engaging with the community and for individual learning. These are categories that have been identified through research with postgraduates.

Providing flipcharts based on these headings, students in room add post-it notes to reflect the technologies they are currently using. If you are interested in joining the research let the presenters know.

Keeping informed and document authoring are the areas that attract the most post-it notes.

Shailey introduces some of the main digital tools used by research students at The Open University.

Using Twitter to keep up to date with funding bodies. For example, follow @ESRC or @postgradtoolbox @research_uk @nesta_uk @research_inform @ResFortnight

10:47 on 23 March 2011

Crikey, another technological seminar. Interesting that a lot of technology made by the OU is free to use and/or open source. I'm sure that the politics of software should be/will become an issue of increasingly wide interest, but I don't know how to start this debate.


We are being told that software is not just for analysis, ict has made communictaions with supervisors, peers and publics far easier, especially where face to face would be difficult. And this makes finishing the PhD much faster.


To a certain extent yes, but I'm also wondering to what extent the current emphasis on self promotion and doing your own media work comes about from everyone thinking that “it's just twitter”, “it's just youtube”, “just one more conference call” and suddenly all your time's gone. But I'm moaning again.


Ah, yes, we are being told to keep all the opportunities of technology in perspective, and to ration your time. Probably best to mention that the OU press office can help you publicise your findings, as and when you have any.


5 broad means of using technology as an academic

Informal interactions

document authoring, exchange and storage,

space for reflection and working throgugh ideas,

engage with community at large

keeping abreast of academic community


So many programs- probably best to just read the powerpoints.


CLOSING WARNING- don't keep your data entirely or openly online. Companies will go bankrupt, servers will explode, emails will be hacked. You have the final responsibility to ensure that you comply with data protection laws, and keep a backup.

Peter Wood
21:13 on 23 March 2011

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Virtual Worlds and The Open University

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