Beacons Festival 2014 – Chills, Thrills and Hurricanes

Beacons Festival 2014Back in 2013 we got wind of a little festival called Beacons at Funkirk Estate near Skipton on the Yorkshire Moors. We didn’t know too much about it other than a band called the Savages were playing. We did a bit more research and got ourselves booked in. We took our VW vans along and had one of the best weekends on record. The festival was relatively small but it had an amazing blend of interesting arts things combined with some really well chosen acts that kept us entertained and amused from start to finish.


PhD methodologies, understanding positivist,interpretive, interpretative and young minds

Alex Fenton at MediaCityUKI recently started my PhD and I’ve been reading about different methodologies and philosophical stances. I’ve read several papers and books on the subject. From my understanding so far there are several ways in which to approach. First of all, a positivist study is aimed primarily at trying to prove a particular case using objective information. Meanwhile, an interpretive study looks for and carves out the meaning of particular phenomena using primarily qualitative information.
On the way home from a VW festival, my young daughter asked me what I was reading. I explained to her I was reading about how to do research and when she asked more about it, I tried to explain. (more…)

Return to Circle Yer Wagens and the TT

Lining up for the VW drive out

Lining up for the VW drive out

Back in 2011, we had the opportunity to check out the Circle Yer Wagens VW festival on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man VW Club had arranged a brilliant deal with Steam Packet for £280 to get your van over from Heysham, entry into the festival and 3 nights camping on the Michael United football ground. We had an incredible time on our 5 night stay on the Island and we vowed to come back soon. (more…)

European Search awards 2014 & some great reasons to go to Reykjavik

European-search-awards-Alex Fenton and Aleksej Heinze Salford Business School

Alex Fenton and Aleksej Heinze at the European Search Awards

Back in blighty, my head is spinning from everything that just happened in the last 24 hours. It all started when my colleague at Salford Uni, Dr.Aleksej Heinze asked me if I wanted to get involved as tech lead for a project Salford Business School were working on called Passport to Trade 2.0. It sounded like a really cool project, researching business and social media culture in Europe and producing a website for with text, images, animations and videos with the results aimed at helping people to do business in different countries. (more…)

Search and Social Media Marketing Tips for 2014

Alex Fenton at MediaCityUKAs the course leader for a Search and Social Media Marketing CPD course at the University of Salford, MediaCityUK, I sometimes get asked for contributions to publications. I wanted to share these tips with you – I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to contribute!

1.   The right people – If you do not have expertise within your organisation, seek advice and training from reputable sources. Search and Social Media Marketing is not rocket science, but you will save a lot of time and money if you work with experienced people with a successful track record.

Seek out recommendations from customers, employers or colleagues and speak to the people that they have worked with previously to gauge how effective they have been with previous projects. (more…)

Home computer gaming from the 1980’s onwards

Magnavox 3000

Magnavox 3000

I have to doff my cap to my Dad, who, in an inspired move, bought us a TV console around about 1980. Memory and the Internet fail us as to exactly what it was, but it played about 8 games, most of which were essentially Pong. I think it was the Magnavox Odyssey 3000. We might have still had it at our house had our rabbit Toyah not chewed through the wires in the hope that they contained lettuce I suppose. Either way, this was one of the world’s first home computer games systems and it paved the way for a future entwined with computer games. (more…)

Open access showcasing platform and the UKPSF

I have spent most of my career as a web programmer and digital developer. My teaching responsibilities have increased over the years and these things can cross over and weave together to support students. Creative Hive is a web platform that I developed to support students to create a blog and website to showcase their work. This project I believe ties in varying degrees with the UKPSF Areas of activity A1, A2, A3 and A4,K2 and K4, V2 & V4. These alignments came largely from help and support from staff and students to shape and inspire the project.


Flexible, distance and blended learning for CPD short courses

SSMM course

Opportunties for change – support for flexible and distance learning Photo by A.Hickey

Flexible and innovative learning models and also CPD are actively supported by Salford University as outlined in the teaching and learning strategy (The University of Salford, 2013, p.13). On a wider level, QAA (2010, p.63) also supports the quality facilitation of collaborative learning in HE. (more…)

Open educational practises, open resources and MOOC’s

MOOC screenshot - Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business

MOOC screenshot – Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business

Open educational practises (OEP) generally include the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and are usually free to access,  open licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, assessment and research. The exact definition varies, but  the concept of opening out education is increasingly popular with the UK government investing £15m on open resource projects since 2009 (Jisc, 2013). One of these projects is Jorum, a resource based at Manchester University allowing people to freely share learning and teaching resources. An example at Salford is USIR our open paper repository, I use this to share my papers with the world and look for other useful papers. (more…)