Friday 9 November 2012

The early majority

This week I have presented at and attended more extra thingies (forums, surgeries, debates) than perhaps I should - there's quite a backlog of stuff I didn't do, and here I am writing a blog.  Oops.

It has been a mind expanding and twit expanding experience.  One completely new concept to me (probably something pretty basic to you social sciencie types) is the 'early majority'.  It was only mentioned in passing at The ESRC acting local thinking global event I'd been representing HGA at, but led me to consider how it applied across other areas of my life.

At the ESRC event we were discussing car culture, train stations, anti-social youths and how, more generally to influence people to change their habits and make social change.  It was a challenge to, I think, a somewhat fatalist attitude, that you can only work 'with' market forces rather than attempting to change them.

Moving on to the digital surgery, the next evening, a good number of students had come out, or stayed out at Campus to meet up and discuss their use of ipads, tablets and mobile devices.  In some ways it was frustrating to see the university as a whole is clearly at the 'early adopters' stage, and we were looking at the 'chasm' of barriers to make more effective and systematic use of these devices.  But there was awareness of the problem, plenty of suggestions how we can go ahead, both as a group, and actions we can take to make it easier for students to use their own devices, apple or other.

The next evening I had off - Nikki was working in Kingstanding interviewing young folk, so still had discussion around how to change adult attitudes to young people late into the night - again huge challenges, and frustrating to change attitudes to young people - are we still at early adopters?

Next evening was Teachmeet, which I had been looking forward to, and maybe foolishly put myself forward for a presentation I knew I probably wouldn't have time to adequately prepare - note to self, even if presentation is short, doesn't necessarily mean less time to prepare.  Again we were looking at the barriers to effective use of ipads, and some of the fantastic examples of uses across education.  there was one particularly impressive presentation by  Finham Park students who were training their teachers to use ipads.  I'm going to suggest this to our students on our iLearn ning - I'm sure could develop something interesting on these lines at University.   Thanks also to @danielharvey9 for organising a great event.

I suspect I'm placing myself into 'early adopters' role, even if I'm looking to early majority, when really I fit in all of them for a whole range of issues, or for the same issue across the many different communities of which I am a part.  And sometimes things don't go past 'early adopter'  -  I've definitely put a mental block on that one.  But if you were to put yourself in a social sciencie box, wouldn't you rather be 'an early adopter' too?

Tonight?  That's our office social.

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