University in 2020

It is the summer of 2020 and higher education is in crisis again : – but this is a big one. There are projections that are many private universities will go broke in the next year to 18 months because in the light of the coronavirus crisis the product they’re selling is not something that can be delivered safely.

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D&D Online, Summer 2020

My Test Game area on Roll20

I have a lot to do this summer, but creative downtime is good for productivity  so I’m going to start a light D&D game online. There are a lot of people out there who want to play D&D for the first time, and/or play online for the first time so I’m going to justify this indulgence as a good work by providing an game for folks! (It’s an excuse!)

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Asynchronous discussion in online learning

I wanted to talk about asynchronous discussions in online learning because they are the most commonly used tool in online learning apart from lecture capture videos (which are really terrible.)

The problem with the asynchronous discussions in online learning is that if you build it they won’t come. You can’t just put some readings up or a discussion prompt and expect it to happen so I want to talk a little bit about how I’ve come to use them.

Link to YouTube Video

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Research (The Books Posts 1)

The practice of historical research has changed significantly in the space of the past few decades. When I began doing research on United Nations peacekeeping for my PhD, primary research required visiting archives, reading original documents and taking notes by hand, usually in pencil. Reflecting on that now that I have done a book on the topic, I would start the process differently now

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Faction Aims in Boardgames

A question came up in conversation at this years Board Game Studies colloquium about gaming the Crusades and specifically about the problem of simulating in a game the different objectives of the factions among the Crusaders; objectives which shifted and changed during the course of the First Crusade. A number of games have addressed the events of the Crusades, and a number of other games have offered possible models for simulating more complex objectives and victory conditions in multiplayer games.

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Religion and Society? (1)

Arguments about separation of church and state in contemporary Ireland are of limited value as long as they fail to address spirituality and society.

Repeal of the 8th amendment, the removal of the baptism requirements for primary schools, the removal of the provisions on blasphemy from the constitution and the removal of the Victorian Catholic phrases that stipulate that a woman’s place is in the home, rolling back the dominance of the church over schools through the archaic instrument of patronage are all important changes, but they fall well short of addressing the near monopoly which the Churches hold over spiritual practices and the celebration of major life events.

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Writing yourself


I describe myself as a “Historian, Digital Humanities, gamer, geek, teaching in Cork, Ireland, occ surfer, pipesmoker, drinks single malt, old fashioned Liberal #CitizenoftheWorld” in my Twitter bio. I freely confess to my first year students that I never really planned this out, and at several points, I made choices which I did not think through, or which were, view objectively, wrong and stupid, but it ended up very well. Continue reading “Writing yourself”