At Jisc, we support people in using technology to make their working practices more efficient, which often means helping people to develop their curation skills in an era of information deluge.
In order to take the hard work out of finding the best blogs to keep up with, we asked programme manager David Kernohan, an active blogger and tweeter, to share some of his own trusted sources below.
David explains: “What are my metrics? We've chosen blogs primarily that inform – these sources are some of the most trusted voices in the higher education policy sphere. I've chosen those that entertain, that say something with a different take on the news headlines, perhaps with a particular research angle or political slant.
“And I've chosen blogs that challenge me to think differently. As a blogger myself, I see their value for developing ideas – they're a rare space to test, debate and redraft in public. Being challenged and challenging back is all part of that research process – enjoy.”
1. Critical Education
Andrew McGettigan was responsible for the Intergenerational Foundation report 'False Accounting?' which is an incisive investigation into the real cost of the new student funding model in England. He blogs in a similar way, drawing on detailed referenced analysis of policy alongside an understanding of economics and government accounting.
2. HE Planning Blog
A view from Andrew Fisher in the registry at the University of London, this blog covers all manner of planning and funding issues.
Written by Paul Greatrix, registrar at the University of Nottingham, this blog aggregates and comments on what's going on policy-wise in the UK and overseas. And True Crime on Campus is absolutely unmissable!
4. Fragments of Amber
Amber Thomas was my colleague at Jisc and one of the smartest people I know. She exemplifies an approach known as whole-person blogging, so you'll find her reflections on the technological and policy challenges facing HE alongside everything else that she's interested in. Such as (currently) rabbits.
5. University Blog
Occasionally blogging with great insight on higher education policy, as a post-graduate student Martin Hughes also writes practical advice for students
6. Research Research
The blog forum for the magazine Research Fortnight is like a sweetshop of different authors (most frequently William Cullerne Browne) writing on a wide range of issues affecting research policy. It's particularly good at analysing speeches by key MPs.
7. Improvisation Blog
Mark Johnson at Bolton University shares a cybernetics-informed perspective on higher education policy and practice, enhanced by drawing on everything from musical creativity to modern philosophy. It's an incredibly thought-provoking read and I've recommended it to a lot of people.
8. You met me at a very strange time in my life
Richard Hall who works at DeMontfort University, is developing an important, Marxist-informed, analysis of the interface between academia and the corporate world.
Tony Hirst at the Open University will be known to many people for his posts about emerging techniques for analysing and manipulating big data – I love how he is happy to experiment in public and share his learning process. But he also writes well on HE policy and emerging trends in academic practice.
10. No Good Reason
Another great OU blogger, Martin Weller focuses on issues around pedagogy and online learning, examining the ways in which policy and linked trends affect these areas.
The medium and the message
A bonus non-HE policy link, just to demonstrate some of the best blogging practice I know about. Adam Curtis is a BBC filmmaker ("all watched over by machines of loving grace" etc) who tells stories from history by finding links between what's going on in the news, and the amazing archives of the BBC – one of my favourites.
This article originally featured in issue 35 of Jisc Inform (UK web archive).