Welcome to Around the web, where every couple of weeks we’ll share (hopefully!) interesting links to articles, posts, Tweets and more covering learning and teaching, technology and the internet generally.

Have a link you would like to share with the Griffith community? Feel free to send us your suggestions.


Slow Twitter chats

#HEdigID (Higher Education Digital Identity) is a ‘slow’ Twitter chat exploring what it means to work and participate in online spaces as higher education professionals. The conversation takes place on Twitter on the second Friday of each month, covering different topics and themes and discussing the opportunities as well as the challenges of working online.

This is an interesting idea encouraging you to reflect and share how you’re ’digitally engaged’. Slow Twitterers of the world unite!


Using video to support learning and instruction

Another interesting Twitter powered chat is #DLNchat (Digital Learning Network, from EdSurge). The most recent topic explores using video to support learning and instruction, and the discussion provides some practical tips alongside general views about video in the higher education context. Participants have tweeted about how video can be used by both educators and students, production quality considerations and using video as a tool for creating a ‘human presence’ in online learning experiences.

The next #DLNchat also looks pretty interesting and will discuss the hot topic: How Could AI Shape the Future of Higher Education?


Google is testing ‘stories’ in search results

You may have seen the ‘stories’ format on Instagram (or possibly Snapchat, where the stories format originated) and now the format is set to make its mark on Google search. Google is testing a format called AMP Stories, which will mix visually rich stories (think text, graphics that pop and snack size video content) with Google’s superfast Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Anyone can create AMP Stories (well, if you have the technical and creative know how) but Google will only be serving up stories from approved publishers such as CNN, Wired and Mashable for the time being. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next little while and how it will impact the way we search.


The Facebook data scandal explained

If there’s one story that’s dominated the web over the past couple of weeks, it’s Cambridge Analytica and their use of Facebook data. While there has been story after blog post after podcast about the scandal, it hasn’t been easy to get a handle on what it’s all about. Embracing the philosophy of less is more, this article from The Atlantic is worth a read for a simple breakdown of the who, what, when and where of this story.

For a a higher education perspective of using Facebook groups for learning and teaching in light of recent happenings, have a read of this article from EdSurge. And if you’re feeling a bit uneasy about using Facebook, ‘How to use Facebook while giving it the minimum amount of personal data’ from The Verge offers some basic advice.


Bringing ‘skeuomorphic’ back

If you use the web or have been anywhere near an iPhone over the last few years, you would be familiar with the minimalist style of design that has become quite common on the web and in the apps we use. Maybe you love these super clean and fresh interfaces, or maybe you’re beginning to find them a little monotonous.

This minimal design style was preceded by what many call ‘skeuomorphic design’ design that takes more if its inspiration from real world objects and textures. One designer is predicting that skeuomorphic design elements could be ready to make a bit of a comeback, and are a way to ‘delight’ users and bring back a bit of ‘whimsy and uniqueness’ to the digital experience.

While minimalism probably won’t be going away anytime soon, it will be interesting to see if more embellished design elements start popping up on our favourite websites and apps soon.