VIRTUAL TEACHERS: UK university to trial ‘hologram’ lecturers

London – VIJAY SHAH via LEO KELION and BBC News

A university in the United Kingdom will become the first in the world to introduce ‘holographic’ teaching staff for its students, according to a report by national broadcaster BBC News. 

Imperial College London is bringing in 3D projection technology that will emit ‘holograms’ of lecturers who are unable to attend their lectures in person. While the teacher will not be physically present, the futuristic technology will carry across their voice and body movements. Similar technology was used for a Tupac Shakur music concert at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2010, and has also been adopted by airports and train stations.


The new technology, which was launched officially this past Thursday, will be at first used solely for students learning at Imperial’s Business School, but the university expects the technology to become more commonplace, perhaps eventually superseding video conferencing and Skype. The technology also means lecturers can broadcast to several halls, holding the same lecture simultaneously, which will cut down on teaching hours.

“The alternative is to use video-conferencing software but we believe these holograms have a much greater sense of presence,” Dr David Lefevre, director of Imperial’s Edtech Lab, told the BBC.

“The lecturers have a high-definition monitor in front of them which is calibrated so they can point at people and look them in the eye. They can really interact.”

Unlike previous such projections, more than one person can be included in Imperial’s ‘holograms’. Projected users also do not have to be even in the same country as the lecture hall for the technology to ‘beam’ their image in front of scholars.

The Imperial technology was developed with the Canadian firm, Arht Media. Lecturers using the technology must stand in a special ‘capture studio’ in front of a black background. The university will be able to make use of two such studios in Los Angeles, USA and Toronto in Canada, alongside a portable projection kit for visiting guest speakers.


HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc.

Nicolas Babin, Twitter, Twitter Inc.

Simon Hewitt, Twitter, Twitter Inc.

“‘Hologram’ lecturers to teach students at Imperial College London” – Leo Kelion, BBC News/BBC (1 November 2018)


“File:8oCongresoInnovacion05.JPG” – Thelmadatter, Wikimedia Commons (12 December 2013)


UNIVERSITY DOODLES: Scribbling my way through a degree

From the years 2003 to 2006, I was an undergraduate at the University of Westminster here in London, where I was on a standard three-year Bachelor of Arts degree reading journalism and media studies. Virtually all my lectures and seminars took place at the university’s Northwick Park campus in Harrow, which shared an open-plan site with the expansive Northwick Park Hospital, an NHS run medical facility. I studied under numerous lecturers at the School of Media, Art and Design, or ‘MAD’ for short and very much enjoyed my time there. Even now I still reminisce about those golden days, with my new-found independence (this was my first time I lived outside the family home). I met people from all over the globe, learned many interesting things about the media industry and came away a more mature and responsible person. It would be my first years of living as an independent taking care of myself, cooking my own food and arranging my own entertainment, but it would also be the last years I would enjoy life as a carefree student before the world of work beckoned. These were golden days, which I still fondly remember to this day.

English: University of Westminster, Harrow Cam...
English: University of Westminster, Harrow Campus. In Northwick Park, photo taken across Watford Road. This campus has schools of business, computer science, and media, arts, design. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You would  not think that though, if you saw some of the doodles I would often scribble on the margins of my notes, especially during lectures. It was not always a case of being bored to death by the professor droning on and pointing to a whiteboard at the front of the lecture hall, as they often had a great many interesting things to say. Sometimes it was just due to a delay, or me turning over thoughts in my head. I put a lot of emphasis on studies and kept my daydreaming strictly outside of office hours. Still, I could not resist the urge to let my inner artist stretch his hands a bit, crack some knuckles and author some rather elaborate scrawlings.

My doodling career began in primary school, where I would often draw a cartoon bumblebee on the corners of my notebooks and paper sheets in class. This was around twenty years ago so I do not recall why I chose to draw this bee so obsessively. Maybe it was something to do with liking honey. God knows. Once I moved up into secondary school, my doodling career really took off aided by disruptive classes and clueless teachers in the rough inner London comprehensive I attended. Most teachers took a blind eye to my budding Da Vinci drawings, but there were a few occasions where I would get an exercise book returned to me after marking with the offending designs encircled in red pen, accompanied by a handwritten note asking me to desist from desecrating those sacred scholastic notes. That very same inner artist refused to submit to the Soviet-like demands of my educators, and I continued my addiction to manifesting Biro-influenced graffiti between the fine blue lines. At times, I would really pull out all the stops and go full-on Technicolor with the generous assistance of an unfettered imagination and a set of cheap multicoloured pens from the local ‘Poundstreet’.

According to Wikipedia, a doodle is an “unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes“. Doodling is often associated with college or school students being bored and insufficiently stimulated by classroom activities and also by people using notepads or diaries while they talk on the phone. It is an unconscious, yet manifestly physical expression of a person’s abstract or pertinent thoughts and feelings. Doodles can be simple squiggles, spirals or geometric patterns, but for the more time-rich, these can stretch into full-blown lifelike drawings, cartoons and elaborate designs. Doodles are a visual manifestation of a person’s innermost thoughts, ideas, perceptions and beliefs – what inspires them and what makes them tick. Presidents, singers and other luminaries are not immune to the wayward scribblings of their pens, despite the popular perception of doodling as being the preserve of bored schoolkids or lovestruck teenagers with too much free time on their hands.

For me, doodling was often a means to pass dead time or when I felt uninspired or unoccupied, but I also feel it was a natural expression of my artistic abilities. I studied GCSE Art while in school, and had a flair for drawing in class, especially in conceptual design and still lives. At home on bad weather days, I and my brother Azzy would sit on my bed with a blank exercise book, and fill the pages with doodles. In fact doodling has a strong presence in my family, with two of my sisters also involved in the family doodling business.

Sadly I do not have any of my original exercise books from primary school, as my moronic stepfather threw them out in one of his enforced house cleanups, but I retained all three years’ worth of notes from my university tenure as the information contained in them was very valuable to my future career plans. Preserved with these notes are the many silly doodles I did when things got a bit dry academically. I spent a good weekend putting those notes into some old binders and categorising the less controversial doodles with my camera phone, before uploading them to the blog Twitter account. I now present to you a carefully chosen selection of my best ‘UniDoodles’ along with captions explaining a little of their context. Please bear in mind that these are merely simple doodles. As much as I would have loved to create an epic masterpiece, there is only so much time a student can seize the moment before Sir/Miss starts up again. Nevertheless, if you would like to see the full collection, just scroll to the top of this page and click on the Flickr icon at the bottom of the blog header image. The doodles can be found in the set entitled “Doodles @ UofWestminster 2003-2006

Doodle of a three-eyed beast and a numeral from notes on feature writing – 17 February 2004.


A bank of doodles including a vintage rocket with landscape and graffiti. From university notes on PR and mass media dated 26 February 2004.


A bird zooms in on an apple. From ‘Understanding PR’ lecture notes dated 26 February 2004.
US style ‘Harrow’ licence plate on essay notes concerning public relations and consumerism 25 March 2004.


Mutant vegetables and factories – influenced by the usage of PR by controversial companies in a lecture on alternative PR perspectives. Dated 6 May 2004.
Wings on fire – bird drops an object in fear on notes from a lecture on the future of public relations. Dated 13 May 2004.


Assorted ensemble of designs including the slogan ‘All Your Bases Belong to Us’ which was fashionable at the time. On media management notes for a PR seminar on 15 March 2004.
Graffiti doodles on notes explaining the essence of a good PR practitioner written on 22 March 2004.


Budgie News – for your daily diet of avian scoops. Found on notes for PR crisis management 29 March 2004.


A squirrel pronounces her lyrical prowess on a paper of notes on press conferences 26 April 2004.


A fusion of space travel and Seventies youth nostalgia on these notes concerning the social organisation of journalism and news 1 April 2004.


A smiling cartoon bat complete with phrase in London urban youth slang. Found on notes concerning the social history of the world’s media technology 20 November 2003.
A silly selection of scribbles on seminar notes for theories of globalisation 5 October 2004.


Probably a less than complimentary caricature of our lecturer. Seen on a handout sheet on the global and local aspects of globalisation 12 October 2004


An elaborate smorgasbord of some of my finer doodling behind this sheet on media law and ethics in the first semester of 2004.


Boom graffiti possibly influenced by the vintage British cartoon “Dangermouse”. Appears on a handout on ethnography collected while writing my dissertation 3 November 2005.


Be afraid, be very afraid: Cartoon drawing of a snake on the same handout. March 2005.


“Rite” glowing graffiti – possibly religiously inspired – on a handout on media multiculturalism in March 2005.


A scorpion on another handout sheet on multiculturalism in March 2005.


All pictures copyright V. Shah (2003-2005) 2013. Apologies for any pictures that appeared darkened. This was due to the strong flash employed by my camera-phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. Better resolution photographs can be found in the HEM Flickr page.


Doodle” – Wikipedia/ Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. LINK
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A TWITTER BOOST FOR TRAINEE HACKS: 100 useful follows for future journalists

(c) AppAdvice

Since its founding on the 21st March 2006, the micro-blogging site Twitter has become an important vehicle for both journalists and news organisations to express themselves, both personally and through their news agendas and lead stories.

While the major news networks generally rely on Twitter for self-promotion, increasingly, both journalists and highly-literate people outside the media industries, the daily act of typing up 140-character ‘tweets’ has helped democratise journalism in a way, that older print-based media were less able to do.

Twitter has helped the popularity of grassroots journalism, and reinforced the voice of freelancers as well as alternative/niche media outlets. It has also benefitted less popular news outlets that may not have the financial capital or popular clout of say, the BBC or Al-Jazeera.

The role of Twitter, as well as other social networking and blogging formats, in benefitting the struggle for democracy and popular representation, should also not be underestimated under any length.  A good recent example was during the Arab Spring. Commentators on the ground in Egypt used Twitter to organise protests and agitate for social change, despite the Mubarak administration clamping down on social networking and the Internet in general.

Not only is Twitter a valuable aid to news-writers and gatekeepers currently working now, but it is fast becoming a benefit to the next generation of journalists. Compared to this article’s author’s experience of studying a journalism degree, when micro-blogging was practically unheard of, journalism students these days are strongly recommended by their university lecturers to maintain a Twitter feed. The benefits are obvious. Not only do graduates studying the media enhance their professional online sociability, networking and ICT skills, but they develop a keen eye for ‘hot’ newsworthy topics – which can only prove valuable for sourcing stories in the newsroom. They will be able to keep up to speed and informed on journalistic matters, and learn at the virtual feet of established newswriting gurus who are willing to pass on their knowledge and experience through Twitter.

(c) Journalism at UCLAN /Univ. of Central Lancashire, a journalism training and media news website, is valuable in offering employment and training opportunities to would-be reporters. Based in the United Kingdom and primarily aimed at people wishing to enter the British news media industry, have today published an article which affirms just how essential Twitter is to both the training and news-gathering skills of the contemporary journalist.  The article is penned by regular contributor Sarah Marshall, and lists the top 100 Twitter accounts that journalism students should follow.

The starter list was created by Ms Marshall with the help of the 63,441 followers of’s Twitter Page (@journalismnews).  It is intended to help college leavers beginning their first year of further education at university.

The Half-Eaten Mind blog has reproduced the list here in alphabetical order of handle. The 100 recommended people every media graduate should follow comprises some of the best movers-and-shakers in journalism, including media bloggers, editors, news presenters and lecturers. This list also features Twitter accounts for online meeting places where students can interact with those already setting out on their journalism journey, and for advocates for press freedom.

@10000Words – 10,000 Words, blog on digital journalism

@acarvin – Andy Carvin, social-media strategist at NPR and a “one-man Twitter news bureau for developments in the Middle East”
@adders – Adam Tinworth, digital strategist, blogger and liveblogger
@alisongow – Alison Gow, editor, Daily Post Wales
@AntDeRosa – Anthony De Rosa, social media editor, Reuters
@APstylebook – Associated Press style guide
@atompkins – Al Tompkins, Poynter

@bbccollege – BBC College of Journalism
@BBCSteveH – Steve Herrmann, editor of BBC News website
@benfenton – Ben Fenton, oversees FT live news desk
@brianstelter – Brian Stelter, media reporter, New York Times

@charlesarthur – Charles Arthur, technology editor, the Guardian
@CharlieBeckett – Journalist and director of Polis, LSE’s media think-tank
@chrisboutet, Chris Boutet, deputy editor, digital, Globe and Mail, Canada
@chrishams – Chris Hamilton, social media editor, BBC News
@ChrisIrvine – Senior lecturer in sports journalism, University of Huddersfield
@CityJournalism – City University’s journalism department
@CJR – Columbia Journalism Review
@ckanal – Craig Kanalley, senior editor, Huffington Post
@CraigSilverman, Craig Silverman, editor, Regret the Error
@cshirky – Clay Shirky, commentator
@currybet – Martin Belam, blogger and developer

@dangillmor – Dan Gillmor, tutor in digital media entrepreneurship
@dansabbagh – Dan Sabbagh, head of media and tech, Guardian
@davelee – Dave Lee, BBC technology reporter
@DavidAllenGreen – David Allen Green, lawyer and legal correspondent
@davidhiggerson – David Higgerson, digital publishing editor, Trinity Mirror Regionals
@DBanksy – David Banks, media law expert
@digidickinson – Andy Dickinson, online journalism lecturer

@egrommet – Glyn Mottershead, digital journalism lecturer at Cardiff University
@ejcnet – European Journalism Centre
@elanazak – Elana Zak, social media producer, Wall Street Journal
@emilybell –  Emily Bell, director of Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School

@faisalislam – Faisal Islam, economics editor, Channel 4 News.
@fieldproducer – Neal Mann, social media editor, Wall Street Journal
@fleetstreetfox – Anonymous Fleet Street hack
@freelance_hacks –’s account with news for freelance journalists

@georgprof – George Brock, head of journalism, City University
@greglinch – Greg Linch, special projects and news apps, Washington Post
@GuardianJoanna – Joanna Geary, digital development editor, Guardian
@guardianstyle – Guardian Style Guide
@guidofawkes – Political blogger

@hackshackers – Main account for meetups of journalists and technologists
@Hermida – Alfred Hermida, journalism professor

@iburrell – Ian Burrell, assistant editor and media editor of the Independent
@ITVlauraK – Laura Kuenssberg, ITV News business editor

@JamesCridland – James Cridland, managing director, MediaUK
@jamesrbuk – James Ball, data journalist
@jayrosen_nyu – Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at New York University
@jeffjarvis – Jeff Jarvis, journalism commentator and professor
@jeffsonderman – Jeff Sonderman, Poynter
@JonHew – Jonathan Hewett, director of interactive and newspaper journalism, City University London
@jonsnowC4 – Jon Snow, anchor, Channel 4 News
@JosephStash – Joseph Stashko, recent journalism graduate currently building liveblogging platform Ocqur
@JoshHalliday – Josh Halliday, Guardian reporter covering media and tech
@journalism_jobs – jobs channel
@journalism_news – HoldTheFrontPage, news site focussing on regional press
@journalismjobs – jobs channel, including US jobs
@journalismnews – news channel
@journochat – Catherine O’Connor, head of journalism, Leeds Trinity
@journodave – David Wyllie, editor, BreakingNews
@journotutor – Marie Kinsey, journalism lecturer, Sheffield University

@kevglobal – Kevin Anderson, digital strategist
@knightfdn – Knight Foundation, which supports innovations in digital journalism

@Lavrusik – Vadim Lavrusik, journalism programme manager at Facebook
@lheron – Liz Heron, director of social media and engagement at the Wall Street Journal

@macloo – Mindy McAdams, online journalism professor, University of Florida
@mallarytenore – Mallary Tenore, managing editor, Poynter
@MarcSettle – Marc Blank-Settle, trainer at the BBC College of Journalism
@MarkJones – Mark Jones, global communities editor, Reuters
@marksluckie – Mark Luckie, manager of journalism and news at Twitter
@mathewi – Mathew Ingram, senior writer at GigaOm
@mediaguardian – Media Guardian, for industry developments
@MediaLawUK – Media law updates
@megpickard – Meg Pickard, head of digital engagement, Guardian

@newsbrooke – Heather Brooke, journalist and freedom of information campaigner
@newsmary – Mary Hamilton, deputy SEO editor, the Guardian
@newsrewired –’s digital journalism conference
@NiemanLab – A journalism site and project of Harvard University
@NUJofficial – National Union of Journalists
@nytjim – Jim Roberts, assistant managing editor, New York Times

@ONA – ONA, annual US journalism conference and awards

@paidContent – paidContent, media news site
@paulbradshaw – Paul Bradshaw, journalism lecturer, data journalist, founder of Help Me Investigate and Online Journalism Blog
@paulwaugh – Paul Waugh, editor of
@Poynter – US news site and project for journalists
@pressfreedom – Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
@pressgazette – Press Gazette, magazine and news site covering the news industry
@ProducerMatthew – Matthew Keys, deputy social media editor, Reuters
@psmith – Patrick Smith, editor of TheMediaBriefing

@rajunarisetti – Raju Narisetti, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network
@risj_oxford – Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

@spikefodder – David Holmes, journalism lecturer, Sheffield University
@sree – Sree Sreenivasan, journalism professor at Columbia Journalism School
@stevebuttry – Steve Buttry, digital transformation editor, Journal Register Co and Digital First Media
@StKonrath – Steffen Konrath, founder of Liquid Newsroom, real-time news curation
@subedited – National newspaper commissioning editor
@suttonnick – Nick Sutton, editor of the World at One

@TheMediaTweets – Blog about the media

@WannabeHacks – Site by wannabe hacks with advice, insight and inspiration for wannabe hacks

Reproduced courtesy of Sarah Marshall and

“100 Twitter accounts every journalism student should follow” – Sarah Marshall ( LINK
“Twitter” – Wikipedia LINK
“Twitter, Facebook and YouTube’s role in Arab Spring (Middle East uprisings)” – Social Capital Blog LINK on Twitter – @journalismnews LINK

FROM 4-4-2 TO 1.1: Fabrice Muamba recieves honorary degree from Bolton University


Fabrice Muamba, in graduate attire, collects his doctorate from the University of Bolton (c) Manchester Evening News
Fabrice Muamba, in graduate attire, collects his doctorate from the University of Bolton (c) Manchester Evening News

Fabrice Muamba, the 24-year-old football star who survived a cardiac arrest during a live match, has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bolton. The Bolton Wanderers midfielder collected his certificate on Friday this past week dressed in a formal suit and colourful graduate’s robes. Muamba dedicated the degree to the medics who saved his life when he suffered a potentially fatal heart attack in March during the Wanderers’ face-off with Tottenham Hotspurs, also known simply as Spurs.

During the first half of the FA Cup quarter-final match, Muamba, who was previously of very good health, suddenly collapsed onto the pitch just before the half-time whistle. Players from both teams as well as on-site medical staff immediately rushed to his aid. Millions of TV viewers watched with horror and shock as Muamba was turned onto his side and put into the recovery position by the specialists.

His heart stopped for nearly eighty minutes as staff frantically tried to revive him. Doctors there attempted a total of fifteen shocks and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but by that time, Muamba was clinically dead. He was immediately taken by ambulance to the London Chest Hospital where he was placed in an induced coma to limit the damage to his vital organs. A specialist team led by doctors Andrew Deaner and Sam Mohiddin of the Barts Health NHS Trust immediately began operating on the footballer. He was fitted with a defibrillator which will keep his heart beating in the event of a second attack. Within a week, Muamba had regained consciousness and was discharged one month later. He soon happily rejoined his teammates as well as his girlfriend and young son in Wilmslow, east Cheshire.

Fellow players watch in shock as medics from both clubs battle to keep Muamba alive. (c)

The graduation ceremony was attended by Muamba’s friends and family, along with many other graduates. While he has yet to take up professional-level football again, Muamba expressed immense gratitude to his supporters and the people who kept him alive during that fateful day, saying “I am very humbled to accept it (the degree) on behalf of all the amazing men and women who combined to save my life – the paramedics and medical teams of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham, ambulance personnel, and, of course, the consultants, doctors and nurses at the London Chest hospital. My family and I owe them all so much.”  He also had praise for his town’s premier seat of learning, which conferred upon him a doctorate of science. Especially he also thanked the millions of people and fellow sportsmen who wished him a speedy recovery. Fabrice Muamba has commented that he is looking forward to making a return to his team’s Reebok Stadium, adding “I really, really hope, by the grace of God, that I’ll be back on the pitch.

Muamba, 24, with Drs. Deaner and Mohiddin, who led the team at London Chest Hospital cardiology ward (c) & courtesy BBC Sport Football 2012
Many thanks to the London Evening Standard for supplying the idea for this week’s article. Information was also taken from the following news articles by the Manchester Evening News (original article) and BBC Sport (original article). The Half-Eaten Mind would like to wish Dr. Fabrice Muamba a complete recovery and all the best for his career.