This week I met a fascinating group of academics who are part of the Scholars at Risk: reconnecting with research programme run by LSE’s Centre for Human Rights. The group are all academics who are asylum seekers or refugees and I was asked to speak to them about academic conventions and the use of learning technologies. We started off talking about plagiarism and copyright issues and had some really lively discussions, about how academic conventions on citing and referencing differ around the world (and across LSE!) and how copyright issues can be really tricky in some countries – such as those who don’t recognise international copyright agreements. I went on to talk to them about the range of technologies available at LSE to support teaching: Moodle, voting systems, lecture recordings, but also blogs, wikis and the variety of other classes that we offer in the digital literacy programme. I also advertised the NetworkED seminar series to them – as something we are encouraging people from around the world to participate in.
I felt really honoured to be asked to speak to the group and I enjoyed the evening a lot. I understand they will be having a follow up session on blogging, which I am sure will be really useful, as we talked about the power of social media to influence and get your voice heard. We had such a wide ranging discussions it is difficult to capture it all, but we seemed to talk about issues such as Freedom of Information and government information, as well as how long the Home Office might keep your file if you apply for asylum, what exactly plagiarism is, what Creative Commons licences are and how to engage students in their learning through technology! Wow!