Interesting question: "Does the internet influence the character virtues of 11 to 14 year olds in England?" This post summarizes a study with an emphasis on cyber-bullying by Thomas john Harrison, published as a PhD thesis in his the eTheses Repository.
This is a healthy bit of pushback against the popular idea that the spread of ideas is inherently a good thing. " Think of a virus. The characteristic most important to a virus spreading is that it spreads quickly. Does it ultimately maim or incapacitate or kill its victim? Those things are really secondary to its ability to spread fast before the long-term results kick in, whatever they may be." That is (in my opinion) why the structure of a network is important. A network needs to be able to resist harmful cascade phenomena.
From the "welcome to the 21st century" department: "A new study suggests that if engaged in online debate, college students can use the popular social network to learn and develop a variety of skills."
I've always liked haaving my own FTP server because it means I can handle large files without really thinking about it. As well, it's easy to update scripts and web pages. But the downside of having my own FTP server is managing my own FTP server. But as this post notes, DropBox's new service will make FTP-like servers available to everyone. And then anyone will be able to fling around 1 gigabyte files with ease.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) isn't the only cloud hosting service out there, but it's one of the largest and most sophisticated. But as Jim Groom writes, people still get nervous about using cloud technology. " One of the reasons folks were scared of AWS is the fact that you pay monthly based on usage and resources rather than a fixed cost for a dedicated server." And it's not just web services - I get nervous about having my music on Google and my Photoshop on Adobe Cloud. Anyhow, you can keep costs under control, but you have to manage your configuration, otherwise "you could keep throwing EC2 instances at the problem," says Groom. An EC2 instance (I looked it up) is an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, "a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud."
If you haven't explored these, you may want to take a quick look through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) online courses. Here's their pitch: "Get hands-on practice working with cloud technologies and software. Train on-demand and learn at your own pace. Choose from a variety of Learning Quests to guide you." The 'quests' are courses, more or less, composed on a dozen or so small tasks priced at between $8 and $15 each. Learners (players?) get badges for completing the courses, and can prepare for an AWS certification exam. Amazon is also making the most of its cloud environment to help others offer courses: "Partners can create, manage and run labs anytime. Labs are delivered via the public cloud to classrooms, events or online; anywhere there is access to the Internet." See also: The Cloud Academy Blog.
According to this article, a Iowa school district is "outfitting its principals and assistant principals with small, clip-on video camera." Why? "It's personal accountability," Superintendent Pat Coen told The Des Moines Register. "Did we treat this person with dignity, honor and respect? And if we didn't, why didn't we?" He can say that, but I imagine it's just as much to protect the educators from the accusations of parents. For example: "A parent had complained about the Burlington school leader's behavior after he used de-escalation strategies to try to calm down a student. The incident was caught on a school camera, which Yeoman said he reviewed and later showed to the parent."
I can only imagine how violated someone may feel when they log on to Facebook and are asked to "verify" their identity by sending documents and photos. I would certainly not send any such information to Facebook. Yet, based simply on the say-so of an anonymous tipster, this is what happens to many Facebook users. It should be a sobering lesson. "The intent, according to the company, is that users know at all times who they’ re talking to.... (But) Identity is such a complex issue, says Drake (Nadia Drake, who doesn't exist). 'Where does Facebook get the power to decide what 'authentic' is?'" Facebook says it needs real names to be able to combat harassment. But there's no evidence that real names reduces harassment - if anything, it seems to increase it!
We are happy to announce that Dr. Ing. Diana Andone and Ebba Ossiannilsson, PhD, have been elected by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Barcelona to serve as new members of the Executive Committee of EDEN from June 2015.
In June 2015, the collaboration agreement has been signed between the Ontario's Distance Education and Training Network - Contact North and EDEN. The aim of the collaboration is the development of strategic co-operation between the two organisations.
The first Senior Fellow and Fellow Awards, launched on the initiative of Professor Alan Tait, former EDEN President, were presented at the 2007 Annual Conference in Naples. In 2015, this tradition was continued in Barcelona, at the Welcome Reception of the 2015 Annual Conference - #EDEN15. The 2015 Awards were announced to the Senior Fellows and Fellow present at the event, while those who couldn't join the Conference Reception were mentioned with applause.
The EDEN Senior Fellow Award is given in 2015, based on the decision of the EDEN Executive Committee to:
Following the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Dowling Review into the complexity of current business-university collaborations – which recommended as ‘simple as possible’ interfaces between user and scheme that ‘hide the wiring’ – Jisc is pleased to announce power systems provider Rolls-Royce as the first company to join its high performance computing (HPC) agreement.
Through the brokerage scheme, Rolls-Royce will have easy access to supercomputing equipment worth up to £60m, at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) HPC Midlands. There are enormous capital costs in setting up HPC centres and this agreement will allow Rolls-Royce to benefit from additional world-class HPC facilities and expertise, thereby supporting the company to be more innovative.
In addition, Rolls-Royce will also be taking advantage of a connection to the Janet network, the high-speed network for UK education and research. Through Jisc’s Janet Reach scheme for industrial connectivity – which leverages £30m of public investment in ultra-fast internet and is supported by BIS – a network circuit operating at 10 Gigabits per second will be installed by Jisc, so that it is able to fully-exploit the HPC centre.
Rolls-Royce’s HPC lead, Dr Yoon Ho says:
“For many years now we have worked with universities and colleges across the UK and internationally, and we partner with a number of institutions on research and development through our University Technology Centres. This agreement was a natural next step to explore sharing facilities more broadly.
We have been impressed by the professional approach that Jisc and HPC Midlands have taken to this project, in particular around our tough information security and export control requirements, and we see a very bright future for our collaboration.”
Jeremy Sharp, Jisc's director of strategic technologies, continued:
“It is no longer the case that academia and industry operate in separate, parallel worlds. In an environment where resources are increasingly constrained, both sectors need to understand how they can work more closely together and learn from one another.
I am very pleased that we have been able to come up with a two such solutions that break down some of these barriers. Rolls-Royce signing up as the first company demonstrates just how valuable these initiatives are to supporting UK business and the economy to thrive.”
HPC Midlands director, professor Steven Kenny added:
"It has been a pleasure to work with Jisc to develop what we hope will become a standardised approach for providing industry access to supercomputing facilities. In years to come we hope that it becomes accepted practice for research and industry to share these kinds of high tech facilities and expertise."
Janet Reach is a Jisc research and design project that will provide companies who join with high-capacity connections to the Janet network, enabling them to benefit from the same superfast and secure connectivity that UK academic organisations already enjoy.
Thousands of medical, nursing and other allied health profession students in West Yorkshire are now able to seamlessly access free Wi-Fi connectivity when on NHS Trust clinical placements, making it easier for them to complete their work away from their university.
The project by the University of Leeds has seen nine NHS Trusts in the region deploy eduroam, provided in the UK by Jisc, which allows users authenticated internet access through a single Wi-Fi profile and set of credentials, wherever this service has been made available.
Hospitals in the scheme include those at Huddersfield and Calderdale, Harrogate, Bradford, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Pontefract, Airedale and Leeds. Additionally community care Trusts in both Leeds and Bradford have adopted the scheme making eduroam available in many healthcare locations across those cities.
As well as being available to the 1,250 medical students at the University of Leeds, any learner with eduroam credentials will be able to access the internet at eduroam-enabled hospitals and practices.
This means that the work spearheaded by the University of Leeds is of value to all universities running health related courses, where their students or related staff spend time in NHS facilities in West Yorkshire.
“We see eduroam as being a valuable tool in supporting the learning and development for our medical students as they move between classroom and lecture halls to clinical placements in our hospitals and community”
Unique to this project was that eight of the nine Trusts have been implemented as a ‘visited’ partner members of eduroam, rather than as extensions of a local university’s eduroam service.
This results in user authentications being passed to Jisc's national Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) infrastructure directly and means that the Trusts have the option to enable eduroam for eligible members of their own staff.
The work was funded by Health Education Yorkshire and Humber. It was a collaborative effort with all the NHS Trusts involved, and a dedicated consultant was employed to liaise directly with each site and trouble-shoot any barriers to the installation.
Malcolm Teague, NHS-HE coordinator, Jisc, said:
“For medical students there has previously been something of a postcode lottery as to whether they can get access to free, high quality internet connections while on hospital placements as they are not recognised officially as hospital staff. In some cases they’re unable to access any online services, stopping them from accessing their e-portfolio or completing vital evidence.
In rolling out eduroam across its primary NHS Trusts and other community care sites in West Yorkshire, students are now able to gain easy and secure internet access that supports their study even when they are away from their university.”
Using 802.1X standard-based technology, eduroam provides a secure authentication framework which protects against ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks. Users are never prompted to enter their credentials onto a web page that could be vulnerable to hijacking.
Instead, before the user’s device is granted an IP network connection, authentication occurs at the user’s ‘home’ institution with the authentication exchange being securely encrypted end to end.
Primarily used at education campuses, there is a growing uptake of eduroam in the health sector to support medical degrees and training. More than 100 hospitals in the UK have deployed eduroam, while it has been adopted by most universities in the UK.
SHERPA/FACT, the funders and author’s compliance tool, has been found to be more than 95% accurate when checking publisher policies against funder mandates for open access – significantly higher than even experienced repository managers.
A study by the SHERPA/FACT advisory group compared the information provided by SHERPA/FACT with a control made up of members of UKCoRR (United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories), who manually checked the policies.
Where a discrepancy was identified between the two sets of data, the advisory group made an investigation into which returned the correct result, and found that SHERPA/FACT was correct in almost all of the cases, against 57% of the time for human checking.
For researchers, this should come as clear evidence that SHERPA/FACT can provide accurate results on journal and funder policy alignment on open access, better enabling them to decide where to publish their research outputs to meet funder requirements.
Neil Jacobs, head of scholarly communication support, Jisc, said:
“The transition to open access is exactly that: a transition from an established way of doing things to something completely different. As with any major change, there will understandably be barriers to overcome as people and organisations familiarise themselves with the new world.
"With this in mind it’s hugely positive that SHERPA/FACT has been proven to operate at such a high level of accuracy. It gives assurances that this technology is able to clarify journal and funder policies and help researchers make informed decisions about where they should be publishing, as well as saving time and effort in understanding where discrepancies may lie.”
Mark Thorley, chair of RCUK Research Outputs Network, said:
“I am pleased that an independent test has validated that the information in FACT is highly accurate. The Research Councils support FACT as the authoritative source of information to check if a journal is compliant with the RCUK policy on open access. We hope that all those that we fund will use FACT as the most efficient and accurate way to check journal compliance with our OA policy."
“Clarity in communication of open access policies is clearly vital if researchers are to have confidence that they are complying with funder mandates. Publishers will continue to work with the SHERPA/FACT team to identify ways of better elucidating the sometimes nuanced licence conditions.”
SHERPA/FACT works by syndicating information on journal policies on open access and reviewing this against the funding requirements of RCUK and Wellcome Trust. It draws this information from the SHERPA/RoMEO and SHERPA/JULIET databases respectively.
In this podcast Will Allen, head of Jisc North, is at the Jisc Connect More regional event in Leeds. The event offers delegates from across the education sector, the chance to come together to find out about the latest technology and how it can be used in education.
In the recent article “Simulating Learning Networks in a Higher Education Blogosphere – At Scale“, Fridolin Wild and Steinn Sigurdarson introduce into a simulation model built from the iCamp trial data and educational model assumption: they wanted to see what would happen, if trials are scaled up an order of magnitude. The simulation results are [...]
One year after we succesfully went through iCamp project’s last official review, we are wirting down a new post for wellcoming a new version of our Handbook. This is the time for its Spanish version, issued by Win-Win Consultores, with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Turism under its “avanza2” [...]
The iCamp partner AGH – the University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland, has published recently a Polish version of the iCamp handbook on how to use social software in education. Please click here to get the electronic version.
Since the iCamp experience was very successful in making use of new media for cross-cultural collaboration iCamp competes for the MEDEA Awards, respecively in the European Collaboration Award.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
We now received the final review report where our external reviewers commend us on our excellent work and our valuable contribution to European research in Technology Enhanced Learning.
Here are some quotes from the report, which can also be downloaded:
… In the opinion of the reviewers the products and outcomes of the project are of considerable [...]