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7 Years Writing my OU Student Blog

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I remember the first milestone: I wrote every day for a year.

I remember the next milestone: 1,000 views.

Then 10,000 views.

Then 50,000 and onwards to 500,000 and even 1 million.

Having reached over 2.25m views I wonder what the next goals might be?

Blog for 10 years and 5 million views?

Actually, the pattern is that on 6 February I reflect where the MAODE has, or has not taken me.

My efforts to become embedded in an University involved closely in Learning Technology have been thwarted. Just a toe in the door would do - something I had by working for the Open University itself but something that was impossible with my family living too far away to make a commute viable.

I am marking today by getting CVs out to a number of Universities, for a variety of remarkably similar roles, all based in a 'Technology Enhanced Learning' team, some making greater use of my historic skills and experiences as a video and TV producer.

 

 

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1 million views in an OU Student Blog

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 3 Apr 2015, 12:45

Fig.1. What do a million people look like?

I learnt when the figure was around 100,000 that these figures should be dismissed as 'pingbacks' - these automatic links to sites that link to my blog and vice versa. It's reciprocal, but it is not the same as a person reading what I have written.

It's trapped me though. At various moments over the last five years at 100, 1,000, 10,000, 500,000 views I have looked to the next figure and kept on posting content. The reality is that 1,000 'views' a day has been the norm for the last year whether or not I post anything. These 'pingbacks' are historic then: my linking to other sites, and then linking back to me. And what percentage of the views are me coming back, even linking to my external website Mind Bursts?

And if this is a record of my five years with the Open University where has it got me?

An MA in Open and Distance Education, halfway towards either an M. Ed or an Open Degree, a third of a way towards an MA in History (from another institution, but armed with 60 credits I can bring this to the OU). I worked for the Open University for a year, and I got so close to joining FutureLearn that I checked the cost of a season ticket into London. I've worked in commercial e-learning while remain attracted mostly to e-learning in higher education. The problem here is that all the roles are very junior first jobs, often technical rather than production or strategic. I can talk about the current state of e-learning for hours if asked. 

Academics are odd folk: buried in their expertise for decades they believe they should transfer their expertise and retain their status on other platforms and in other situations. It's like an author wanting to direct the movie of their best selling book; few can pull it off. Or a consultant surgeon feeling they should chair management meetings.

Those academics who take on the e-learning mantle are institutionalised academics who know their subject, and how to give a lecture series and run a seminar; does this qualify them to understand the potential of learning online with a mix of media and approaches? Whilst Clint Eastwood made the transition from actor to director, not all academics should or can make the transition to producer and writing e-learning: contributors as presents or interviewees yes ... play to their strengths, in other words, rather than revealing their weaknesses.

There are plenty of examples of academics, never at the OU, blundering into the online learning market believing that their academic reputation is enough to carry a course in a series of head and shoulders shots of them talking to camera ad nauseam.

Things are changing, and the OU, OU students and OU staff are leading the way.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 3 Apr 2015, 12:43)
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Views and reviews

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 20 Oct 2014, 08:31

'I've hit 10,000 hits in my OU blog, which translates as 1000 per month'. I wrote here on 11 December 2010.

I'd been posting for 11 months.

For the last 18 months its been fairly consistent at 1,000 views a day.

With one aberration of 5,000. Did someone, or several people download the entire blog or some such? Or was it the product of the OU re-booting the platform? Often there is a 'machine' answer to these things. 'Pingbacks' produce 'views' but no one at all may have viewed the content as this is a link from content from anywhere in these 2,000+ pages to someone else's blog, here or anywhere on the Internet. 

Who knows. I don't. I just write the stuff. 

It'll pass the 1,000,000 views mark in mid-March 2015.

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This is the tea party of blog platforms, the Wild West is long gone.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 2 May 2014, 08:38

Going for 250,000 views before graduation. At 1000 views a week and my final module coming up why not. But why? It is'nt a qualitative thing. And I'm never about to post completed assignments. I am, as we alll become online, very aware of the context. This is no different to what we do anywhere, we behave accordingly. 12 years ago online was the Wild West.

 

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Joyce Rae, Saturday, 30 Jun 2012, 18:10)
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Gobbets

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011, 11:54

Chunky assets, often hard to swallow. Insightful or irritating, they should be peppered across a blog like seasoning.

If a gobbet looked like something I fancy it (she/he) would look like this:

 

Gobbet%201.JPG

 

Gobbet came up on Seaford Beach nine years ago. He has a precarious existance as my wife has wanted him in the bin from day one. I'm glad at last he serves a purpose; everything about him says 'gobbet' - he makes you smile or squirm in equal measure.

If you are new to blogging then might I suggest that you try the odd gobbet, once a week would do.

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