EXponEntial Ebooks and thE End of Print

Just to prove you’re never too old to study, I am doing a management prof. development training course at the University of Leicester, and its been an interesting experience because the paper book is dead, or at least not very well.


Generating an assignment, an eBook is so much easier to use; searching and little touches like automatic reference generation when you cut and paste is a particular time saver. Publisher interfaces for reading are poor though; 1990’s Kitch, but not in a good way.

As a computing postgrad – my last study experience before this, even 15 years ago because we were doing cutting edge study so we had gone mostly “Ebooks” for the study part of the degree (not typical at the time) so it’s not a new experience for me – but it has galvanised a view I’ve held for sometime; that the physical book is almost over; its really just a mindset change in our students and once they get into the habit the change to ebooks will be one-way and exponential.
Never a good idea to make predictions though! 10 years. There I said it. History judge me kindly.

February 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm Leave a comment

400 year-old Wiki Discovered on Earth!

400 hundred years before Facebook, Google  and Wikipedia the idea of publishing your  views or re-mixing somebody else’s work wasn’t on the cards… or was it? There were no computers – you looked through Windows and Browsing was strictly a market place activity and boy, apples were much cheaper then. But were things so different? 400 hundred years ago home-grown terrorist Guy Fawkes was planning mass murder of his countrymen, and Gallilaos new must-have gadget – the telescope, was bringing people closer and there was nothing good on tv.

Nestling in the rare books collection at the University of Leicester lies a book that could prove the brave new world of the Internet is a phoney.  There, via the charming medium of glued paper is a book that records botanical facts and figures, but enhanced by its original owner with local notes and . Ye Olde Mashup no less.

February 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

Publishing Open Resources: The tangled Web

A presentation i gave (with voiceover) to 12 project partners on Open Educational Resources and the Nature and Complexity of the publishing game. The presentation is 40 minutes so flick through! [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8tfXWFaR7s]

September 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

Artworks and Graphic Design

pencil drawing of a hand, relaxed

An often overlooked aspect of my work, a passion and an interest of mine is art and graphic design work.  You can’t have anything worthwhile without art and design. I’ve put some examples of the kind of work I do on this page..


September 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm Leave a comment

Oh Crap! Can Google see through your eyes?

Just had a thought i cant put down! Just bought a new Android mobile phone. It took hours to connect to all online services I use. The possibilities! Whipped into a lustful technical frenzy and drowning in my own saliva, I naturally  gave Google permission to know where i am at any time…I’ll know what shops are nearby, the local swimming pool…   …then it hit me.

April 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm 2 comments

OER vs. NOER – Why the new kid must go to the old school

Ok, please open your books at page 1. Open Educational Resources (OERs) are not the only way to find materials for teaching. Yes, its the best way , but its not the first choice, yet.

Some rights reserved by dullhunk on Flickr

By dullhunk on Flickr

That accolade, at the moment, belongs to the status quo or NOER. Shrouded in  a grey cloud of semi-legal licencing and ask no questions, share-if-you-like NOER has usurped the old rigid print-era  structures and heralded a new age of digital sharing. But like all revolutions, the torch must one day be passed on to a more stable arrangement- and OER is the way.

It is with the spirit of passing the torch that my project to surface OERs will surface best of breed non-OERs too. No-one wants a search tool with one eye closed,  searchers need stuff and plenty of it; a few resources and a lot of evangelistic zeal isnt going to get a presentation ready for tomorrow. If the non-OER resource gets used it was because it was better but if the OER is comparable then the association of the two may lead the searcher to a better solution and the originators of both resources to create a yet better resource.

February 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Serendipity Engine

Came over a little strangely at a meeting in London recently trying to explain how my most recent search engine project for JISC will have “not working” programmed into it. Funny Retro Google Screen Image by dullhunk http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/ under CC licence Attribution 2.0 Generic Stuff on the Internet isn’t described clearly enough and searchers don’t really know what it is they want – so let’s stop worrying about it.

It’s my first search system with a ‘philosophy’ rather than a muscular search algorithm. It’s taken me 12 years to finally accept a little rectangular search box is too thin a passageway to transfer our complex aspirations to even the most sentient super-computer search engine.

What I’m saying is Serendipity (making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated) is a fruitful relationship that has always existed betwixt humans and the world (more…)

September 27, 2010 at 10:20 am 1 comment

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