Category: Speaking Engagements

Resources for curating and sharing information relevant to teaching

Tomorrow I’ve got 10 minutes to show a workshop how to quickly ‘curate’ (find/gather) information that is useful for teaching (e.g. examples relevant to this week’s topic) and the share them across various social platforms.

The point of this is that it can be done when on the train with little more than an iPhone and some automation in the background through services such as Buffer and IFTTT. It takes a little to set up, but once done, the rest is simple and takes almost no time at all.

Getting information In Sign up and use the lists function to pull together a list of people and organisations that are sharing information that is useful to you and your class. – Think of this as a place to send things you want to get to later. A digital ‘catch-all’. Revisit it when you’ve got time to do all that reading…

FlipBoard – A digital platform where you can pull in articles on topics that interest you. Categories such as technology, business, sport, celebrity….

On iOS (iPhones/iPads) – Apple News. A news aggregator that you can set up to show things that are interesting to you. Filter for the best content.

Getting information Out – A scheduling service for sending links that you find on the web to your social media platforms. Schedule updates to go at regular times, or choose a specific time. Works with Twitter, Facebook (profile/page/groups), LinkedIn (profile/page), Google + (profile/page), pinterest, instagram.

Facebook Page – Your professional profile on Facebook. This way you don’t have to be ‘friends’ with anyone. #creepy

LinkedIn – For when you want to share with your professional network. You are working on things that are interesting both in the classroom and to industry, right?

If This Then – Get the internet to work for you. Set up ‘recipes’ that when they trigger, actions get taken. For example, IF I tag something on Pocket with the tag ‘strategy’, POST the article to my twitter account in buffer <— result: the article and link gets shared in my next scheduled tweet via Buffer.

Developing a teaching strategy – workshop

I’m please to be able to announce that I’ll be giving a workshop on Developing a Teaching Strategy as part of a series hosted by my university and ANZAM (Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management).

In this workshop I’ll be discussing how to pull together a “teaching strategy” that includes a combination of what kinds of activities are needed and how to go about automating as many of them as possible to ensure consistent quality, timeliness and efficiency.

The session is ostensibly for Early Career Academics, however I’ll also provide an overview of the processes I go through and some of the technologies I use that more experienced academics might find useful as well.

If you are an ECA or are interested in developing a teaching strategy, then come along and say hi.

For more information and registration (free!) visit this page.


26th March, 2015


11:15-12:00 Noon


The Experimedia Room, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston, Melbourne, Victoria.


You can register for this workshop here. Registration is free, but places are limited.

State Library of Victoria Google Map

Universities as Living ‘Laboratories’

Between March 11th and 13th I’ll be at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, Australia presenting our research on living laboratories. This is part of the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference. This research looks at what it takes for Universities to operate in partnership with industry and develop ‘living laboratories’ where students, academics and  industry can come together to solve complex problems. We’ve managed to do it in my strategic management course which has over 300 students per semester – getting it to work at that scale is tough. My presentation will explain what to do and what to avoid.

I’ve only been to Canberra once before and I really like the place. I can see why @thesiswhisperer moved there to work at ANU.

While I’m there I’m going to take the opportunity to further explore the maps collection at the National Library of Australia and continue on with my other stream of research – mapping. I’m interested in the activity of mapping as being a representative discourse. Specifically, I’m interested in how mapping and the practice of strategy can intersect.

If you are in Canberra at that time, come along to the Poster Hall and say hi. If you are interested in maps, maybe we can go and check out the @nlagovau collection together and nerd out (just a little bit). I’d love to hear about your research and I’ll even buy you a coffee – especially if you know where to find the best coffee in Canberra.

Upcoming Speaking Engagement – Using Video in Teaching

I’m please to announce that I’m helping facilitate a workshop for academics who wish to use video and podcasts in their teaching. The workshop is described as:

This practical workshop will introduce academic and teaching staff to the use of short films and podcasts to engage learners and support learning and teaching. It will explore how to develop an idea into a film or podcast, record it simply using a smartphone, and use it effectively in face-to-face, blended and online modes of delivery.

I’ve been using video in my teaching more and more in the past couple of years and I’m slowly figuring out how to produce (relatively) high quality video for very little cost. I’m by no means a Hollywood director, but I manage to do some passable stuff.

There is very little ‘semi-professional’ grade video out there available for people to use in their classrooms. Most of the videos that ARE available on YouTube are poorly shot, have terrible audio and aren’t focussed enough for students.

My ongoing project is to try and change that – at least for the students who are taking my course.  😉

The workshop details are:

June 30th, 2015:  3:00pm-4:00pm

Building 80, Level 4, Room 20.

I’m sure that if you wanted to come along I could arrange for guest access – just send me a tweet: @jasondowns

Upcoming speaking engagements

I’ve been lucky enough to get invited along to participate in two speaking engagements on the next week or so. While they are very different kinds of speaking engagements, the common element is that I was asked to participate because of the way I use Twitter. For the first I was approached by the good people at the CAVAL Reference Group who had seen some of my work relating to productivity hacks, while in the second, my use of Twitter in the classroom meant that I was selected for a research project which subsequently has seem me interviewed and selected for the upcoming panel session.

The details for each are:

On November 26th I’m giving the closing keynote at the CAVAL reference group’s Information Literacy Seminar titled: Information Literacy and Beyond: To boldly go where no librarian has gone before. []. It looks like a fascinating agenda covering everything from learning design, to remote research classes, to alt-metrics. I’ll be speaking about my Adventures In Extreme Productivity series and (hopefully) wrapping the day up on a positive note. I intend to break down he process of hacking the time we have to get the kinds of results we want.

On December 1st, I’m a panel member as part of the @RMIT research project looking into the practices of teachers who have gone beyond just using BlackBoard in their classes. The session will be MC’d by Tania Lacy (@tanialacy) and it should be  some good fun. If you’d like to come along, you can see the details here: [] and register here. It’s being held in RMIT Building 80, 12:30-1:30pm on December 1st.(ignore where on the registration page that says Wednesday 19th November).

If you can make it to either/both I’d love to see you. Come up and say hi (or just heckle me over Twitter).

The Experiential Turn – Mapping and research

On Wednesday 12th November I was a “conversationalist” in an event sponsored by the Design Research Institute at RMIT University. A bunch of experienced and early career researchers (ECRs) came together to talk about our research, explore what each of us are doing and to have a larger conversation about the experience of research. My role was to facilitate the discussion and prompt, prod and ask questions and generally kept things moving along in an interesting way.

To help with this task I brought along some artefacts, some maps, from An Atlas of Radical Cartography. Inside are ten maps that serve to challenge our conceptions of what a map is and also force us to ask questions about such things as legitimacy, agency and power.

Our table discussed such issues as:

  • how, as researchers, do we conceive our audiences for our research. Who is our research for?
  • do we make transparent in our research that which is normally hidden? Do we surface our micro-decisions?
  • how do we account for the fact that research design and method selection have an inextricable link with what we eventually ‘show’?
  • If we were to represent our research in map form, would we draw maps of that which already exists, or would we be drawing maps of that which is yet to be?
  • what does it mean when our maps (research) gets published? Is unpublished research somehow illegitimate?

It was a fascinating 90 minutes and it flew by. All too soon it was over.

You can scroll through the photos above to get a sense of what occurred on our table. I would love to have been a ‘roving conversationalist’ – it seemed that there were extremely interesting conversations happening all around the room.

Many thanks to Jeremy Yuille for inviting me along to participate!

The Turn – Exploring with maps

I’m pleased to announce that I’m one of the ‘conversationalists’ at the Design Research Institute seminar @RMIT next Wednesday, 12th November.

My role is to prod, prompt and help the participants to explore their (our!) roles as early career researchers with a focus on cross-disciplinarity.

I’ll be bringing some maps along and I’m really looking forward to seeing what my ‘table’ comes up with. I think this is a great initiative from the uni.

If you want to pop in for a look, or even better, join the conversation, you can see all the details on the invitation which I’ve included below.

I hope to see you there!

The Turn: Experiential Discourse – (invitation)