Bradford Literature Festival

Filed Under (Events, General) by ronan on 11-09-2014

Bradford Literature Festival 2014: the wonderful world of words

Date: 26th – 28th September

Bradford College is a proud sponsor of Bradford Literature Festival, celebrating the written and spoken word and showcasing the intimate relationship between words and art forms such as film, theatre and music, set against the city’s distinctive backdrop. With over 25 events featuring 60 speakers, artists and authors, Bradford is the place to be during the weekend of 26th to 28th September. To see events and to book please visit the website below. Some events to be held in the David Hockney Building at Bradford College.

Heutagogy Conference 2014 – London June 6th

Filed Under (Events, General, OpenSource) by ronan on 13-05-2014

Been busy organising this event…


  2014 Heutagogy Conference

Linking Heutagogy with Learning for the 21st century

A One Day event to be held on 6th June 2014
VENUE confirmed In London, WC1N 3QS, UK at the London Knowledge Lab (LKL)

9:00 Welcome & Introduction to the day: presenting the context of
Heutagogy (Fred Garnett/ Ronan O’Beirne organisers)

Morning theme; How helpful is the theory of heutagogy?

9:30 Keynote; Stewart Hase “Heutagogy; contributing to an educational revolution?” Followed by plenary discussion to identify HnS workshop themes. (30mins & 15mins plenary)

10:15 Hope ‘n’ Space workshop: to provide a question or an answer for
the discussion e.g. “A heutagogy toolbox for the 21st Century learning”
(tea and coffee free flowing) (group chairs to be identified in discussion)

11:30 Feedback from workshops – curated by Fred Garnett (&CC after)

12:00 Pecha Kucha – randomly chosen (6min 40s each maximum) all
audio recorded (all attendees invited to present a PK).

13:00 Lunch

Afternoon theme; How helpful is the practice of heutagogy?

14:00 Show and Tell of Practical Heutagogy: Heutagogy projects on display. Convivial Camera, Raspberry Pi/Wyliodrin, Soundwalk, WikiQuals, Digital/Analogue integration, Learning Planet, iPad Art, Open Sqolars, Silicon Skills, Hub Westminster, Transition Councils, Recipe Walks, Social Reporting, OpenRSA, Open Institutes…

16:00 Show and Tell plenary. What is Practical Heutagogy?

16:15 Heutagogy-­enabled policy for the 21st Century; Nigel Ecclesfield

16.30 Plenary 21st Century Education; what’s missing from this picture?

BOOKINGS will open soon – watch this space 
for more information please contact
Key People:
Monika Barton – Prague (organizer of last years – 2013 conference)
Lisa Marie Blaschke – Stuttgart (key speaker at 2013 conference)
Bernard Bull – Wisconsin US (enthusiast keen to help organize 2014 conference)
Fred Garnett – London (enthusiast keen to be involved in 2014 conference)
Stewart Hase – Sydney (organizer and be involved in 2014 conference)
Ronan O’Beirne – Bradford (organizer and be involved in 2014 conference)


SEE ALSO The Heutagogic Archives


Now this is what I call an ambitious printmaking project

Filed Under (General, Printing, Technology Reviews) by ronan on 10-05-2014



View this interesting video of a linocut printmaking process that is undertaken by artist – Creative Fellow Angela Cavalieri ( The process from design through to final hanging is fascinating for its ambition.


Angela Cavalieri: large scale linocut printmaking process











New Technologies and Ethics in educational research

Filed Under (Events, General, Research) by ronan on 04-04-2014

Professor Luciano Floridi at the BERA seminar March 2014

Prof. Luciano Floridi at the BERA seminar 13/03/2014



I attended a recent BERA (British Educational Research Association) event which looked in the main at new technologies and ethics. The outline for the day noted: “For those who engage in research in learning technology there are codes and guidelines for best practice in research ethics from professional bodies such as the British Educational Research Association and the American Educational Research Association.  These cover the researchers’ responsibilities to the participants in their research, to their sponsors and the wider community and to those who publish and disseminate their work.”

The keynote presentation – and it really was keynote – was from Professor Luciano Floridi Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford.  Floridi’s books include: The Fourth Revolution – How the infosphere is reshaping human reality (OUP, 2014), The Ethics of Information (OUP, 2013), The Philosophy of Information (OUP, 2011), The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics (editor, CUP, 2010), which I recall reviewing some time ago and Information: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2010). I was interested to hear Prof. Floridi explain the challenges associated with data protection as an ethical issue and particularly pleased to get his view on the emerging challenges around big data in the education context.
One of the areas for discussion was the identity of groups (of people) and how we might treat such groups in relation to how the individual is treated vis-a-vis privacy laws and information disclosure. The problem is that groups are transient in nature, may come together for a brief period of time or may have a long history. Also groups can be self-selecting or one may find oneself included in a group against one’s will.  Of course technology enables data to be manipulated in many ways and can be seen both as empowering the individual and as a threat, this compounds significantly the ethical challenges.

The abstract of Prof. Floridi’s talk is outlined below.

In education research, the analysis of large datasets (Big Data) has become a major driver of innovation and success. However, the use of Educational Big Data (EBD) raises serious ethical problems, which may threaten the significant opportunities it offers. The risk is that of a double bottleneck: ethical mistakes or misunderstandings may lead to distorted legislation, which may cripple the usability of Big Data in educational research and practice. In this talk, I clarify what the nature of Big Data is and how it leads to a group of ethical problems that are either unprecedented, or at least utterly renewed. In the end, I shall argue that we should invest in the development of a national framework for the ethical use of EBD.”


All change in the copyright world

Filed Under (Events, General) by ronan on 04-04-2014

kewgardensI attended the Executive Briefing by CILIP on the imminent changes to UK copyright legislation and licensing, on Tuesday at the Hallam Conference Centre in London. This was an update for librarians and information professionals and the turnout was impressive – about 200 candidates eager to hear about the new copyright exceptions.  Apart from what has now become the accepted rather superficial introduction from the politician, in this case, Viscount Younger of Leckie Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, all of the speakers had a great deal to contribute. So too did the audience. I was particularly impressed with the Chair Naomi Korn’s facilitation of the event, her knowledge of the subject matter and clear communication style ensured the event moved along at a steady pace.

While I was initially tempted to take notes on all the various aspects of the very recently published statutory instruments it soon became apparent that such tactics were futile. Rather I shall wait until the dust settles a little and then make use of the various resource to which our speakers directed us. Moreover  the issues will be discussed in greater detail in the coming months as the politicians shape up to pass the legislation.

Some of the presentations form the event are available here .

The Live event blog

The CILIP Copyright pages are available here

The CILIP Press release can be found here



Mick Manning and Brita Granström exhibition opens at Bradford College

Filed Under (Events, General, Printing, Research) by ronan on 20-09-2013

manning_invite_f1I am pleased to be opening the first exhibition of the academic year, in the Bradford Gallery at the Yorkshire Craft Centre. Featuring the work of Mick Manning and Brita Granström.

Multi-award winning children’s author and illustrator Mick Manning began his career at Bradford College’s School of Art in 1978. Over the last twenty years he, and his partner, Brita Granström, have written and illustrated over seventy children’s books. In 2012 Bradford College nominated Mick for a AoC Gold Award and as a result he was honoured on the AoC Roll of Honour. Last year Mick and Brita were jointly shortlisted for the ALMA – the largest children’s book award in the  world.

This unique exhibition, the first time Mick’s work has returned to be exhibited in his native West Yorkshire, will not only display the original book illustrations from Mick and Brita’s highly acclaimed books: Charles Dickens: Scenes from an extraordinary life, Taff in the WAAF and Tail-End Charlie but will also feature canvases, paintings and prints, many  available for sale. Brita Granström was educated in Sweden and is an exhibiting and collectable fine artist in her own right.

The exhibition runs from 30th September until 11th October 2013. The Gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 10.30am until 4pm.

Please come along, on Thursday 3rd October from 5-7pm  I look forward to seeing you there.


Preparing for the SWITCH Conference – Sydney November 24th – 26th 2013

Filed Under (Events, General, Professional practice) by ronan on 01-09-2013


Switch 2013 logo

I am busy preparing my keynote presentation for the SWITCH conference.   Looks like an excellent venue with an exciting programme and of course it will be great to return to Sydney. The abstract for what I will talk about currently reads as:

Yearning for the vast and endless sea – thoughts on the future of public libraries.
With the upheaval in formal education brought about by informal open learning systems what opportunity does this provide for the community-based public library to fulfil its role in supporting learning? How might notions of digital citizenship and information literacy be realised by public library strategy? Through the advent of social media how might the public library go beyond its walls and engage more proactively with its users? Such initiatives present exciting challenges for the library of the future, but what are the implications of a proactive and innovative approach for library workers?

Should be good fun developing these threads for discussion.

Research in the early years – a step-by-step guide.

Filed Under (General, Information Literacy, Professional practice, Research) by ronan on 19-01-2013

“Research in the early years – a step-by-step guide / Pam Jarvis…[et al.] (2012) contains a chapter I co-authored with Pam Jarvis entitled “Reading for research: efficient use of your access to an academic library”. It was a fairly tricky challenge for me as I am less well experienced at writing for a narrow audience particularly at undergraduate level. It seems to be fine. The other obvious challenge was ensuring sources were up-to-date generally I steered clear of specifics but came down fairly stongly on suggesting a diverse range of finding aids. I also did a little rant about the importance of understanding precision and recall – and of course tackled social media. This is how the publishers describe the book:
This new text is the only resource out there to address the needs of today’s early years students/trainees and support them through every stage of the early years research process.  Research in the Early Years contains case study material in the form of four fictional students’ experiences, which run through the book. Readers follow these example students through their dissertation module as they address common problems, issues and pitfalls. Clear explanations and a step-by-step approach are balanced with sufficient depth and rigour to challenge those on undergraduate courses or following graduate programmes such as EYPS.

Winter wanderings

Filed Under (Built Learning Environments, General, Research) by ronan on 19-01-2013


View from MacMillan building carpark Bradford College 08:45 17 Jan 2013

As summer temperatures soar in Melbourne I’m back here in a snow covered Yorkshire looking at the short days of winter. Incredibly busy on my return from Australia with much to do on the £50m new build at Bradford College – specifically for me the library facilities more about that in a later post. Also organised a call for research and received 18 successful projects which are all up and running. The Bradford College application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers enters into its next phase with a resubmission being put together for June.

I have also been directing the XCRI (eXchange of Course Related Information) JISC-funded project which ends its 18 months in March 2013. Spending a short time on a project to evaluate the successor to BeCTA’s Generator which is being piloted by LSIS.

On a more personal note I am applying for the Higher Education Academy’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme which is due at the end of March. My doctorate studies at the University of Sheffield enter into their second stage with the commencement of my thesis – more about this is a later post.

Learning for All – Day One

Filed Under (Events, General, Information Literacy, Professional practice) by ronan on 21-09-2012

On Thursday the first day of the “Learning For All” conference in Melbourne, I met a large number of interesting people and surprisingly was given a most concise and effective tour of the State Library Of Victoria by Andrew Hiskens – Manager Learning Services Division.
The papers presented during this first day of the conference were of a high standard and the debate generated for the plenary sessions was lively. Sue Roberts State Librarian of Victoria and formerly of Edge Hill University  gave a well focused and entertaining opening keynote presentation. The evening reception in the State Library culminated with a performance by the choir Off the Shelf an all female choir of librarians from Victoria formed to celebrate Australia’s first National Year of Reading 2012.