The educational workplace, like all others, will continue to change dramatically as the information revolution marches on. Essentially, the next wave of change in the enterprise will bring it to something like par with what people today have at home: "mart mobile devices, jam-packed app stores, wearables of every description, a constellation of game-changing sharing economy services ala Uber and Airbnb." This will have sweeping changes on the ground, accoridng to the author: "New modes of collaboration; changes in how we structure our organizations because of digital networks; new ways of developing and managing workforces and talent; the collaborative economy as a new core business model; upgrades to the digital workplace to reflect the complexity and ubiquity of tech."
This is a fun project. "Nine notable offenders have agreed to have a go at stripping the jargon from the following educational terms... take a popular educational expression (captured in 2 words and a hyphen) and simplify it by writing 1000 words about it."
The very high quality of the presentations and discussions held in Oxford this week made the EDENRW8 a tremendous success. Last Sunday, the 26th October, the EDEN Executive Committee met for the 100th time, in Oxford. On this occasion, EDEN President Antonio Teixeira reflects past and present.
Digital collections are not always as discoverable as they could be through the channels and devices most commonly accessed by users. Karen Colbron, digital content manager, discusses some of the challenges in making resources more discoverable and offers a few top tips.
The report highlights the £200m annual savings from the current shared infrastructure provided by Jisc and charts the potential for new shared services – including a ‘university in a box’ concept that could free up university spending on technology for reinvestment in research, teaching and learning.
Ahead of anticipated changes to Jisc’s funding model, the report warns that policymakers and institutions need to recognise the value generated through the UK’s shared infrastructure for higher and further education.
Jisc works with every publicly financed higher education and further education institution in the UK, more than 600 in total, and is one of the key pillars on which the world class reputation of the education sector depends.
Nick Hillman, director of HEPI, said:
"Ministers and civil servants have not had to worry about IT infrastructure in our universities because it has generally worked well. That reflects Jisc’s world-beating success. Other countries look jealously at our successful shared service.
Jisc’s achievements, which often take place off the radar, are in stark contrast to other big IT projects, which have typically been over budget, late and not fit for purpose. Yet forthcoming changes could make Jisc a victim of its own success. Funding changes will put the onus on individual universities to subscribe to Jisc’s services for the first time.
In the rearview mirror, Jisc’s history looks comparatively smooth but the road ahead is bumpy and laden with obstacles. The best way to address those challenges is to recognise the benefits of collective provision for individual institutions and the education sector as a whole."
The author of the report, Martyn Harrow, said:
"Jisc does the things that it makes sense to do on a UK level once rather than a hundred times over. If our coverage were to be reduced because of decision making that is not informed by the full value that the UK’s infrastructure brings to each institution, that would put the economies of scale and the specialised knowledge that we provide in danger.
There has never been a more important time for institutions to think about their use of technology. A new dialogue is needed at the highest level of each and every university to determine how the digital needs of their institution will be met, both in the immediate future and in the longer term.
We have a great opportunity in the years ahead to make the most of new developments in technology. If the UK is to cement its competitive advantage in higher and further education, we need to help universities tackle the new challenges head on."
Jisc is enabling researchers across the UK to safely and securely share health data to progress their research with a collaborative initiative.
This initiative is showcasing how the UK’s research and education network Janet, provided by Jisc, can offer additional controls and safeguards for researchers working with sensitive data.
Jisc is working in partnership with leading UK universities to support three new initiatives. Rather than each of the research programmes and organisations developing one-off solutions to manage collaborative secure communication and user authentication between partners, Jisc is securing the networks across the organisations so that approved researchers working in one partner organisation can gain access to the data they need wherever it is stored.
The first is the development of the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, a UK-wide virtual organisation with four connection points and ten funding organisations. The Farr Institute provides a cutting-edge collaborative infrastructure for the safe use of patient and research data for medical research. This will lead to advances in preventative medicine, improvements in NHS care and better development of commercial drugs and diagnostics. It will also allow researchers to discover new insights into the causes of ill health, which in turn will lead to new therapies.
The second initiative, Medical Bioinformatics, is funded by the Medical Research Council, and will provide capacity for the safe use and analysis of biological and patient data for medical research across all diseases.
Jeremy Sharp, Janet's director of strategic technologies, says:
“Providing researchers with controlled access to data and resources through the network is key to enabling them to focus on their research. In validating this use of the Janet network for sensitive, anonymised health data, we are ensuring that the UK’s investment in Janet will reap larger returns in the future and continue to respond to the considerable challenges facing those people who are doing valuable work analysing large quantities of data.”
The longer term aim is to create the conditions for a national infrastructure for secure access to data for researchers across various academic disciplines.
John Ainsworth, senior research fellow at the University of Manchester and e-infrastructure lead for the Farr Institute, says:
“The network is changing the way we do data analysis. It will provide a secure infrastructure for collaboration and the sharing of resources for data science. This will enable researchers to concentrate on what they do best – discovering new knowledge.”
Successful proposals will have to demonstrate considerations of metadata, ‘curriculum mapping’ and Creative Commons licences are an integral part of the proposal to ensure the resources are discoverable, relevant and recyclable.
The aim is that these online interactive resources will help to improve access to and exploitation of open educational resources (OERs). The commissioned content will be deposited on the national repository for open educational resources, Jorum and made available for teachers and learners to share and exploit.
Ruth Hansford, manager of the interactive learning resources for skills project at Jisc, says:
“There is a time-honoured teacher tradition of spending evenings creating learning materials, taking them into work and swapping them over the photocopier. But how do teachers in the FE and skills sector locate and exploit suitable learning content in the digital age?
We’re offering the possibility to create varied and high-quality multimedia and interactive content which will be available to all in the sector.”
Hairdressing students and their lecturers will now be able to access Jisc's pioneering Hairdressing Training videos any time, anywhere through their mobile.
From today the award-winning service Hairdressing Training will be available as a mobile app. The app showcases the existing portfolio of hairdressing and barbering training videos developed by Mimas, a part of Jisc.
There are many benefits to mobile learning. Research by the former Learning and Skills Network (LSN)1 has found that the use of mobile technologies in work-based and vocational learning contexts can result in increased:
engagement with the topic
flexibility of learning
learner retention and achievement
personalisation of learning
access to learning resources
To maximise these benefits further the videos included in the app were created by those who teach NVQ/SVQ Levels 1-3 in further education in the UK, ensuring accuracy for learning and teaching.
The app is an easy way to view over 60 educational hairdressing training and barbering video tutorials – all mapped to the NVQ curriculum. Users will be able to save their favourite videos to a playlist and even share them socially. The videos are organised into different categories, making searching simple, and new content will be added when available.
Susanne Boyle, senior manager for learning, teaching and professional skills at Mimas, a part of Jisc, says:
"The Hairdressing Training service is a mature and highly valued service. It is much-loved and well-used and has grown over the years, with training videos amassing 1000s of hits on YouTube. It’s predominantly used by further education teachers and students but also by those who work in salons, both in the UK and abroad.
The launch of the mobile app is another exciting development and offers our users the benefits of flexible access 24/7, supplying quality resources at their fingertips."
Lorraine Estelle, Jisc’s executive director digital resources and divisional CEO of Jisc Collections, said:
“Our vision is to ensure that learners and teachers realise the benefits of mobile technology by delivering content onto any device, at any time and anywhere. This app is an important step in realising this vision and improving the student experience.”
Currently the app has been optimised for use on mobile devices only. A version for iPads and other handheld tablets may be looked at in the future.
The Hairdressing Training app is available to download for iOS devices from the Apple Store and for Android devices from Google Play.
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 [...]