One of the first books I ever read about digital media was Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital. I have a first edition, published in 1995, and I was honoured to have dinner with Nic last year, where he duly signed my copy. Negroponte has been influential with many projects such as MIT Media Lab, Wired Magazine and the One Laptop Per Child initiative bearing his name. One of the things that most struck me about Being Digital, was the distinction Nic made between atoms and bits.

I'm sure it hasn't escaped your attention that botanical metaphors are being increasingly used to describe a variety of aspects of education, and especially digital learning. The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau  likened the outcome of education to the yielding of fruit, and highlighted the need for cultivation of knowledge.

Here are some of my recent thoughts on learning spaces at universities, and the impact of student owned personal technologies:

As the shift from location specific learning to untethered learning gathers pace, so the personal device gains increasing importance. Distributed forms of learning are burgeoning, and geographical distance between learners and their parent institutions is less of a problem.
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There is much talk about openness in education. Most of us by now are familiar with open learning, and many could describe their use of open source software such as Moodle, Mahara, Linux or Open Office. Many can also articulate what open educational resources look like, and have knowledge of Massive Open Online Courses - otherwise known as MOOCs. How many though, are familiar with the concept of open scholarship?

There is a complex interplay between openness, scholarship and digital technology.

Being invited to present the closing keynote speech at CSEDU in Barcelona was a great honour. CSEDU is the annual Computer Supported Education Conference which is now in its sixth year. My presentation was entitled 'the changing face of digital learning' and I'm told it will be published shortly as a video by the CSEDU folks.
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Thank you to all those who read and commented on my blog post on April 1st.  I'm not really going to stop blogging. Some may have found it funny, others less amused. It wasn't merely a 'joke'.

There was a serious side to this. I used April Fool's day to explore many of the issues that confront educational bloggers. Hopefully I succeeded - albeit in a tongue in cheek way - to illustrate that blogging is never easy, but it can have great rewards.
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As this will be my last ever blog post, I thought I would explain why I have decided to quit blogging. In the 5 years since I first took up blogging, I have written just over 1160 posts, and have received over 4600 comments. Readership is averaging at around 80-100 thousand views each month, and I have just passed the 4 million views mark. Now I have decided to stop. 

Perhaps some of you may be thinking - he's a real fool to stop now.
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