About this website -- it´s all very simple
A professor of media studies at one university and professor of journalism at another university college, I am fortunate to work with colleagues in development studies, planning studies, journalism studies and generally peers with an interest in the challenges posed for higher education by the twin forces of digitalization and globalization. This website contains both my own material and updates as well as writings on various topics associated with this sort of social science, policy and education issues.
Various menus will take you to key internet resources. Others will take you to my own projects and courses that I teach. If you sign up to my blog you will not find my publications -- those are listed in menus you find at the top of this page. My blog contains ideas, points of view, sometimes more extended writings. Clicking the link to my blog updates above and you will also come to my various Flipboard magazines and archives of past posts. This website dates back to 2014. The blog only displays a selection of old posts. There´s a limit to what you want to put others through... On request, everything else is available. I began the site at a coffee house in Berkelye, thinking "let´s see what comes out of it". Well, this is it. Lots of coffee since then. Lots of visits back to Berkeley, too.
ABOUT MY TEACHING
I teach for the most part in English. Someone´s "gotta do it", and it comes easy to me. My courses entail globalization, political communication, cultural studies and the issue of technology impacting on society. I have done a bachelor course in political communication since 2002, a course in strategic communication, PR, power and persuasion since 2003. Since 2009 I have taught a course in globalization, mobility and communication. I have designed a PhD course in development, planning and communication. And since 2019 I have also taught two courses in eLearning, for the Faculty of Science and Engineering in their masters degree in multimedia pedagogy.
In my adjunct professorship at the NLA Univeristy College I have been privileged since 2007 to teach Media and Democracy at the Universities of Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar in Ethiopia, as well as Global Journalism at the Uganda Christian University in Mukono, outside of Kampala. I also teach and advise at the NLA Gimlekollen campus, in Kristiansand.
Currently, I am working to create online versions of some of these courses, pursuing an Open Education Resources approach.
And yes, I do give guest lectures, aside from conference presentations and project workshops: Norway, Iceland, USA, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Finland -- about sums it up. Always open for more.
ABOUT MY PROJECTS
Future Learning Lab
Begun in 2010, the Future Learning Lab combines research in the area of educational technology with critical perspectives from the social sciences and humanities on the impacts of technology on society with a focus on education, learning and particularly higher education. Future Learning Lab has a chapter at my home University of Agder, as well as an international network and team comprised of members from a range of different countries. Our main idea is very simple: In order to understand new and emergent technologies, exploring them is the best way to gain new insights. And so we do. My role here is as founder of the center and head of day-to-day operations in both the UiA and international chapters.
Future Learning Lab introduced the challenge of society´s digital transformation as a theme at UiA in 2010. We connect with the Open Innovation Lab of Norway in Oslo and have done so for many years, hosting workshops for them at Stanford University and bringing other groups as well to Silicon Valley, in California. In 2013 we set up the Nordic Edupreneuring Network, first mapping the Nordic Ed Tech community and then inviting EdTech companies from across all the Nordic countries to attend our 2016 conference -- World Learning Summit. About 35 Nordic companies showed up, presenting their innovation ideas.
World Learning Summit
As a main feature of the Future Learning Lab, we host an annual conference branded since 2016 as the World Learning Summit. The conference had its start in 2010 and has since then grown to attract attendee interest across 22 world time zones. The main theme of the conference is "education´s digital future". Through conversations, we seek to better understand the cultural and societal implications of emergent communications technologies as they impact on higher education and our ways of connecting with society. Our 2015 version was held at Stanford University. Our 2018 version combined the Literature House in Oslo with the Oslo Opera and a fall Roundtable in Kristiansand, the small city at the Southern tip of Norway, where I live.
Other conferences have been local, but all told they have attracted attendees from about 35 different countries. Our keynote speaker alumni includes a quite wide range of top-tier international speakers. World Learning Summit by 2022 has an international team of dedicated scholars and peers, ranging from New Zealand in the east to California/USA in the West, Norway in the North to South Africa in the South.
Center for global journalism and communication
Like education, journalism has been challenged over the past few decades with adopting to a new and digitalized world of more networked journalism. My own background in journalism is like that of many other educators: I was trained as a journalist, worked as a freelancer in Oslo-based papers when I went through my studies in Oslo, moved abroad and did a masters degree in journalism, during which period I also co-edited a student newspaper. My university in the US was not like the ones in Norway: Our newspaper Minnesota Daily came out five days a week, with 72 pages on the week-end edition. It has an estimated 40 000 readers every day, catering to a network of university campuses making up the University of Minnesota, with about 110 000 students.
I have been forever grateful for the tremendous experience it was to also pursue a PhD at the University of Minnesota. The experience of connecting with peers from absolutely all global walks led many years later to the establishment of the Center for global journalism and communication. Peers from back then and new colleagues from later years convened in 2020 to set up this center, where we meet to share ideas and experience as educators in journalism, with a particular focus on global challenges, pressures and divides produced by the coming of new technologies.
Student-faculty collaboration lab
I am fortunate to work at a university that provides financial means for bringing students into our research projects. At all times I have a set of masters students and PhD students working with me to correct me where I err on the side of age: There are obvious generational issues in 0ur understandings of emergent communications technologies. Our Future Learning Student Lab brings engaged students into our research community, doing basic research and assisting in executing our events. Research staff at the Future Learning Lab gain from their perspectives. Students get to experience a world beyond the classroom and some of them are guided to a future path of becoming researchers and educators themselves.
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