Martin Weller's talk on Change11 defined the four areas of digital scholarship that he considers in his book:
He concentrates on one ( Discovery/Research ) in this Change11 presentation, very much geared to university level, of course. Nevertheless there is much that applies to all learning/teaching and to schools as well. In his book (The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Changing Academic Practice) he covers all four areas.
He makes a very strong case for digital scholarship as opposed to the traditional ways (peer reviewed research papers) and goes into the main tensions/obstacles (some of these related to university tenure and status issues).
Weller lists how to recognise and develop digital scholarship:
- Finding digital equivalents
- Generating guidelines that include digital scholarship
- Using metrics (say, hits on Youtube)
- Developing alternative methods
Metaphor of network weather (from Adam Greenfield) - keep an eye on it because "it may toss you this way and that by the gusts and squalls". So not the digital native non-issue but the immediacy of what is happening in the digital world.
He jumped to learning in giving an example of the lecture that you might be giving, with a student at the back preferring to watch the definitive video instead, perhaps involving the world leader in that area, and the student then choosing to ask you a very difficult question.
Weller describes how technology is changing conferences with backchannels and audience opinion developing and perhaps hardening (have been there). Technology enables a much richer archive of the conference. However, there is a strong resistance to changing the normal conference structure and pricing.
- A failure of ownership (university presses sold off, but need to own the digital scholarship produced)
- Technology engagement is the key (do not dismiss it, embrace it, do not let commercial interests take this over)
- Potential to radically change practice (possibilities for collaboration enormous)
- These are exciting times! (we should determine what goes, what stays and what comes)