Category Archives: Education

A typology of the potential for 'democracy consolidation' across the Arab Spring countries.

  Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE AR-SA /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} It has been more than three years since a series of protests and uprisings in North Africa […]

Media and Political Transformations in the Arab Spring

On  Wednesday (15 May 2013) I had the honour of  introducing a documentary  film ‘Words of Witness’ as it premiered as part of the Human Right Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF).   The documentary was made  during the Egyptian uprising, by  ?lmmaker Mai Iskander and follows Heba A?fy, an online journalist reporting from the frontline of the revolution. I […]

Migrant youth and the challenge of schooling and identity

Young people have been the focal point in recent debates about immigration, multiculturalism, cultural diversity, and the notion of living with difference. We have seen recently (March 2013) the release of the Federal government inquiry into ‘Multiculturalism in Australia’ with a sharper emphasis on social cohesion and successful integration for migrant youth. But within the […]

Not well enough informed to "give a Gonski"

Clever marketing strategies, well designed t-shirts, coloured cars, and a social media campaign have increasingly asked members of the Australian public to position themselves as "Giving a Gonski" (see To badge oneself with this term, is to demonstrate visible support to proposed changes to the funding of Australian schools. I want to give a […]

School Education – a tangled and conflated web of public issues

It is easy to feel confused, disillusioned and a little disheartened by current critiques and critics of school education as it is portrayed in the media. There are many competing agendas, and a series of conflated issues raised by policy makers, politicians, media commentators and many graduates of the school sector. There is a lack […]

My School is losing

Undertaking numeracy and literacy tests at all schools around Australia (NAPLAN), and then publishing the results on the My School website, continues to rouse both defenders and critics because the proverbial report card on My School is mixed. The bureaucrats responsible for organising NAPLAN and the groups of sixty like schools continue to use the […]

From stalker to dobber: parenting on social media

My research and thinking, and even my identity with regard to social networking has evolved, but not in a way I have anticipated. Over the past three years, I have offered a number of conference addresses and keynote presentations focussed on the use of social media and networking in education. I have co-authored chapters in […]

Online opportunities: digital innovation or death through regulation?

The steady measured progress of innovation in higher education has been replaced with an explosion of new ideas. The change is both exhilarating and frightening. Each day there are new innovations, as more and more experts explain where these changes might take us. New ideas are flourishing around Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, badging, […]

An insider’s guide: Studying with Coursera

The disruptive influence of massive online open courses, or ‘MOOCs’, has been well documented on The Conversation and elsewhere. The arrival of major players, edX, Udacity and Coursera create opportunities and challenges for Australian educational institutions.   My colleagues at Deakin University are playing close attention to the phenomenon; our Vice-Chancellor has written that   […]