The earliest usage the OED records for the noun ‘app’ is from 1985, referring to a new development from a computer company called Apple. In 2013, apps are an essential part of our digital lives. Apps do some pretty amazing things and they are increasingly being used by universities and educational bodies to engage the public with aspects of the Arts and Humanities. Look, for example, at apps produced by the British Library or apps […]

Garden Love Seat Raises The Debate on Ethics

  Image src: gardencentreshopping.co.uk This might be a bit of a long winded explanation, so I apologise in advance. I mean compared to some of the other articles this one is hardly scratching the surface. Garden Love Seat that is Weatherproof – And So No Wood? We are all aware that the environment hasn’t been going in the correct direction recently, with global warming and deforestation still common in some of the less known cultures […]


Designed as a tool to help people capture their journey and have their ‘interests at their fingertips’ my experimentation with Pearltrees has revealed what a great tool it is for capturing the ideas and often diverse tenants of research in minuscule to present to others. Collating ideas together was really easy as photos can be uploaded via the app as well as off a computer desktop, notes are made to create ‘pearls’ and URL addresses copied by […]

Sensory Stories

In this guest post, Dr. Claire Wood (University of York) from Sensory Stories considers how blogging can be a way of producing ‘public-facing’ communication alongside innovative face-to-face dialogue. Children at a Sensory Stories event taste gruel from the famous scene in Oliver Twist. Sensory Stories was an AHRC-funded project that ran from 2010 to 2011, which taught researchers to communicate their ideas to audiences beyond the academy by using a sensory ‘hook’. It was a […]

On Writing Online

If it were not for the historical accident of print, we would put all of our work online and simply call it “publishing”. Indeed, all the debates around “open access” that are currently engulfing academia would be rendered null and void; we would disseminate scholarly material through interlinked documents that leveraged multi-media presentation and let people comment on their merit afterwards. In other words: web pages. Now, while that isn’t a way that we can […]

OpenJoyce and Community

If one word defines the coming decade it will probably be open. Now perhaps your sitting uncomfortably I shall begin. As the open access bandwagon rolls on to become a tank parked on our quad – what you’re not from Oxford? – it seems to have become an intersectional shibboleth on the future of education. Scientific scholars, under the secondary aegis of patents can distribute papers freely and openly as their labour and time is […]

Crowdfunding and the Arts and Humanities

Crowdfunding has received extensive media coverage at a time when the global financial situation has meant loans are harder than ever to secure. Kickstarter, by no means the only but certainly the most well-known crowd-funding platform, has plunged over 611 million US dollars into 41000 creative projects both large and small. One student crowd-funded his Masters degree. As Arts and Humanities funding teeters precariously on the sidelines of many higher education budgets, this blog post […]

Twitter for Academics and Engagement

This week, it was announced that ‘tweet’ enters the Oxford English Dictionary in its most common modern usage as both a noun and a verb relating to Twitter. On the day this was announced, postgraduates and early career researchers joined The C21 Scholar project team in Oxford for our one day skills development day on engaging with the digital world. Every single one of our speakers has a Twitter account, and there was much discussion […]

Teaching in the Digital Age

In this guest post, Chrissi Nerantzi (University of Salford) shares her experiences of teaching in the digital age and reflects on some of the digital tools she has used in her work as an Academic Developer. About re-discovering the love of learning and learning to love teaching in the digital age when we love what we do, we get better at it and make little and big wonders – image by Chrissi Nerantzi A few […]

A Digitally Engaging University?

In this guest post Alex Fenton discusses some the digital projects currently running at MediaCityUK with the University of Salford and showcases how the digital is being used to enhance the wider learning community.  MediaCityUK, University of Salford – A hive of creativity We were first given a tour of The University of Salford’s MediaCityUK building back in 2010 when MediaCity and Orange Tower was just a concrete shell. Even then, between the artist’s impressions […]

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