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Janet Finlay :: Blog :: A belated introduction

May 21, 2007

Oh dear ... always having to start with an apology - but better late than never here is my intro. 

Who are you and where are you based/working?

I'm Janet Finlay and I am Professor of Interactive Systems at Leeds Metrpolitan University. My background is human-computer interaction but of late I have become interested in learning as a domain of application for interactive technologies and particularly social technologies. I live and work in Leeds. 

What is your role in the Emerge team you belong to?

I am lucky/crazy enough to be involved in two Emerge teams. The first is the e-admin project Streamline which is developing tools to support the workflow associated with learning object repositories. I lead the Streamline team which includes Jill Taylor, Stuart Hirst, Tony Renshaw, Rodney Brunt, Elizabeth Guest (all of Leeds Met) and Ben Ryan (KaiNao Ltd). My second team is led by John Heap and is particularly interested in the role of social networking tools as a way of sharing learning objects. And finally - though not currently a team - I am very interested in design patterns so am hoping to work with Steve Warburton and others on their use with Emerge.

What is your current favourite web based application or site?

One favourite...? That is too hard. There are a lot of sites I am currently enjoying using. I've been active in online communities through fora and BBS since the early 90s and I guess this is still where I feel most comfortable. I've been a member of one community for over 10 years now (on the Maremma Sheepdog - a big white hairy Italian breed!) and the dynamics have been very interesting to observe over that time - particularly the now background role that the few remaining "original" members take.  But I spend more time these days on more practical boards - they vary depending on current personal interests - some recent ones: www.moneysavingexpert.com (found this when I moved last year and needed "best deals" on stuff!) and www.dogpages.org.uk (always find it fascinating that so much real world "good work" gets organised entirely online by people who never meet but consider each other friends). Am also now having a lot of fun with Facebook with some friends and am exploring LinkedIn. Note that with the exception of the last one (and even that is more work networks rather than education per se) none of these are formally educational sites (though most certainly are informally). In fact that is part of the gap I am trying to bridge here. I have heaps of personal experience of non-work related online social networks which are really successful so I know these things work. But I have never managed to reproduce that in a formal educational context - why is that?

 


Overview for Keywords: Bulletin boards, educational communities, Facebook, fora, forum, Introduction, Leeds Metropolitan University, LinkedIn, social networks

Blogs with Keywords: Bulletin boards, educational communities, Facebook, fora, forum, Introduction, Leeds Metropolitan University, LinkedIn, social networks

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