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Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

USTLG Spring Meeting Redux (Afternoon)

Posted by selinalock on 17 May, 2010

Following on from my post USTLG Spring Meeting Redux (Morning), here’s few notes on the afternoon.

Theme for afternoon: social networking.

Advocating professional social networking to academics. Paula Anne Beasley and Linda Norbury, University of Birmingham.

  • The subject librarians are well placed to advocate Web2.0 tech for gathering information via social networks.
  • Found a knowledge gap for those not using Web2.0 or not of the generation to ‘just have a go’ at things & prefer some training.
  • Surveyed staff in College of Physical Sciences & Engineering about their use/knowledge of Web2.0 using a free text survey.
  • Responses variable, but enough interest to offer training session.
  • Major issues from survey were whether Web2.0 tools were secure/stable, whether there was a University policy on using them and a lack of knowledge.
  • Anne & Linda managed to get the College Academic Enhancement Group interested in the session, and all invites went out from that group rather than from the Library.
  • The training session that was offered was originally going to cover blogging and twitter. However, as Linda got stuck abroad due to the ash cloud it became focused only on blogging on the day.
  • 31 attendees for session: academics, admin staff, researchers & Emeritus Professors.
  • Got very good feedback and the attendees were enthusiastic about blogging on the day.
  • They hope to follow-up with seminars on social networking and social bookmarking, plus a support course in Blackboard.
  • No-one else in their University is currently offering training in this area.

‘Do Librarians Dream of Electric Tweets?”, Gareth Johnson, University of Leicester.

The next presentation was from our very own Gareth, who gave a very enthusiastic talk on using Web2.0 technology for networking, and in library services.  Main points were:

  • Why use things like twitter & Blogs?
  • For professional networking, self-reflection, sharing experiences, staff development, answering enquiries, motivating staff etc.
  • Can be very powerful tools.
  • Like Gareth, I pick up lots of useful information and links to new reports via twitter now rather than by other routes.
  • When using these technologies it is important to be human: respond to people, don’t just broadcast, share things.
  • The best use of web2.0 csome when you allow it to overlap your personal, workplace and professional lives, but if you’re not comfortable with this level of engagement it can still be useful when used only in work hours.
  • Important to “find the right tools for you”.

Gareth’s full presentation:

Posted in Digital Strategy & Website, Meetings, Mobile technologies, Research Support, Service Delivery, Staff training, Subject Support, Technology & Devices, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

JISC Conference: April 13th 2010

Posted by gazjjohnson on 15 April, 2010

Round the corner from the conferenceThis Tuesday I travelled down to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in a very sunny Westminster to attend the annual JISC Conference.  This event draws a lot of senior people from across the educational sector; and it’s possible to run into more than a few VCs over coffee.  It’s also a rich opportunity to hear from the broadest cross section of educational computing projects.  What follows are my notes

 The day was introduced by Malcolm Reed and Chair of JISC then JISC Chair Sir Timothy O’Shea. Spoke about current value as well as what the impact the UK election and reduced funding means we as a sector will be dealing with.  The next 10 years will be difficult as the environmental impact as well as funding will impact on HE computing.  He highlighted an article in the Guardian (14/Apr/2010) on HE, commenting that it complemented the lively pre-conference debate 150 people yesterday led by JISC Vice-Chair.  Suggested to go back and have one key thing to implement.

Martin Bean, VC OU: The Learning Journey: From Informal to Formal

A packed hall of listeners

An anarchist at heart who sought to spark discussions and possibly put a few backs up; with imitable Australian bravado.  Distance education is on fire – because you cannot build enough brick and mortar institutions to keep pace with growth in HE; and thus need to look at alternative delivery modes.  Distance learning is growth area, as cannot build enough brick and mortar HEIs.  But 1/3 HE students are in private institutions – going to see a growth in private organisations providing this kind of educational role.

 Challenges for the custodians – need to educate citizens for new kinds of work.  STEM is key for a competitive workforce for the next 10-50-100 years for innovation.  Need to think about transformation of information into meaningful knowledge.  John Naisbitt book Megatrends was mentioned.  Learning in the workplace needs to become essential, and supported by HEIs more.

 Modern students need constant stimulation and hate complexity (among other aspects of their  desires) but does this mean we need to dumb down our degrees, or shouldn’t we adapt to the modern student expectations?  Is there nothing to be said for a proper old fashioned solid and complex education, I wondered  – where does that take us in terms of teaching critical thinking?

 What can be done to break down the barriers?  Multichannel.  YouTube and iTunes university – 342,000 downloads a week for the OU – in the top 10 in U channel; and most of that traffic comes from outside the UK, pay off is that many of their new students first encounter the OU in this way and are drawn in by the brand.  Informal learning, more cooperative environment and need for flexibility for educational institutions.  LLL need the ability to move in and out of HE formally and informally.  Comments that the D.E. Act is going to seriously interfere with this ability to evolve and use new patterns of education, research and training.

Living with IPR – the web, the law and academic practise

View out the window at lunchCharles Oppenheim opened with a passionate and scholarly dismantling of the appallingly poorly debated and rushed through Digital Economy Bill (now Act).  Then Jason Miles-Campbell (his sporran is a wifi hot spot allegedly) from JISC Legal spoke.  In the next five years there is unlikely to be changes to copyright protected items, you need to find an exemption. Gave an overview of the small changes in the law and clarifications under law for reuse of items.  Digital Economy act – what’s going to happen to institutions – some time to go to see if we are subscribers or ISPs as there will need to be case law.  Note that D.E. Act calls for a graduated response to infringement.  Talked about the Newsbin vs big media companies case.  Newsbin was indexing infringing material – in court case they were found to be infringing.  Court noted what we need to do to have an exemption for such a thing; Newsbin was effectively authorising infringement – encouraged copyright infringement by employing editors.  11 words effective of being substantial.  No good making a large amount of material available to staff, if they’re unsure if they can legally use it.  Patchwork licenses are a problem – different aspects of resources covered by different legislation.  May mean we need to ditch some resources that we won’t be able to use.  Need to make life easy, but we also need to be able to take risk decisions – e.g. like driving – there are times when 32mph in a 30 zone can be okay, but you have to make the judgement call.

Naomi Korn and Emma Beer, Copyright Consultants spoke next about orphan works- those where author is unknown or untraceable – they are significant barrier to public access, due to length of implicit copyright.  The internet is a major source of orphan works.  Items hundreds of years old can still be in © until end of 2039!  In a project 302 staff hours were spent to give only 8 permissions received for use in the British Library sound archive – massive staff effort to little effective impact.  EU Mile Project -registry of Image Orphan Works.  EU ARROW Project – accessible registries of rights information and orphan works.  One thing is clear dealing with orphan works even for major bodies and projects requires a lot of work and staff time, something that those of working in open access can be aware of.  In D.E. Bill Clause 43 tried to offer an exemption.  The D.E. Act means that for now you should only use orphan works within a risk management framework, as not clear quite what the impact of this will be.

Project OOER – best name of the day? #jisc10 Organising Open Educational Resources.  Barriers for sharing different levels of IPR awareness, licensing awareness etc.

 Open Access Session, Neil Jacobs (Chair)

Talked about the report authored by Charles Oppenheim et al late last year.  Moves to electronic only can help reduce costs in the scholarly communications sector.  Alma Swann gave an overview of the work looking at three models of repos gold, green, and role of repos as locations of quality assurance and publication – described by Alma as more futuristic.  Libraries do things differently, and this affected the model that they created.   Though unis increase in size the benefits don’t necessarily.  The Salford VC and Librarian of Imperial College spoke about how they’ve gone about making a strong case for open access, fiscally, at their institutions.

Community Collections and the power of the crowd, Catherine Grout

In a fascinating session looking at crowdsourcing and citizen science we heard from Kate Lindsay (Oxford, WWI Poetry Digital Archive) Arfon Smith (Oxford, Galaxy Zoo), William Perrin (Web innovator and Community Activist) and Katherine Campbell (BBC, History of the World) about 4 very different areas of community engagement.  From sourcing and augmenting first world war artefacts from across the country (including a roadshow – turn up and digitise!), though the power of Galaxy Zoo’s galactic classification project – which I’m proud to say I’m one of the thousands involved in.  What was clear from these two talks is the scale of what is achievable is amplified many, many times beyond what can be achieved through using more conventional team based approaches, and that the successes far outweigh the concerns over quality (indeed the “normalisation” of so many repeated analyses ala Wikipedia was touched on).

 William took a different approach building up a resource from the ground up, and using it as a focus for drawing a community together physically as well as virtually.  He showed some excellent examples of what you can do when a community develops a local Web resource rather than just one activist (I am reminded of the local Sileby village Website for an example of how NOT to approach this – locked down and run by a small clique).

For the twitter over view see here, here and here

Posted in Staff training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Setting up a twitter feed from a repository RSS feed

Posted by gazjjohnson on 15 January, 2010

I’ve been keen to set up a feed from our blog (the LRA) for new additions for some time, but I’ve always thought it would be a technological challenge.  Turns out that it’s pretty easy if you’ve got an RSS output already, which we have. 

I had a word with my contacts on twitter and as usual they came up aces with the answer – two suggestions a site called Twitterfeed or using HootDeck.  This is how I did it.

  1. I registered a new twitter account for the repository UoLLRA.  You don’t have to do that you can just use your own account – but I wanted this to be separate from my online identity.
  2. I went to
  3. I opted to register using an OpenID account, although you can set up your own personal registration on the site.  Since the LRA has a GMail address I used this.
  4. Once logged in I created a new feed
  5. I named the feed and copied in the URL of the RSS feed of new additions to the site.
  6. I selected where this was to be posted to – in this case Twitter.  As I was still logged into twitter I only had to authorise this access, rather log in again.
  7. And that was it – all new items added to the repository will automatically gain a little more exposure to the electronic world without me taking any additional action.

Now I just need to keep promoting to a few people and we can take it from there.  Much much easier than I expected!  Thanks to all the people who offered advice and suggestions via twitter!

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

A feed to follow

Posted by gazjjohnson on 13 January, 2010

The David Wilson Library has set up a twitter feed where news from the library will be tweeted.

Likely of use to academics, students and administrative staff alike

Posted in Service Delivery | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Snow 2.0

Posted by gazjjohnson on 16 December, 2009

A little something useful for fans of Web 2 and mash ups – Ben Marsh’s UK Snow Map.  This tracks people discussing levels of snow fall out of 10 (where 10 is heavy snow) with their post codes on twitter (e.g. #uksnow le1 0/10 – for no snow at the University).  It rapudly answers the question “Is it snowing here in the UK?”

As winter moves on this will be an interesting resource to follow, and a good example of how to take a social web hash tagged feed and build a useful resource on the back of it.

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Librarian Twitterers and other news

Posted by gazjjohnson on 14 September, 2009

Useful post by Phil Bradley with a 100 librarian twittering types in the UK. I don’t think it’s ranked in any order (worryingly I’m near the top or the bottom depending on how you read the list!).

In other news the build up to the start of term (and in my case job switch) continues. Quite a few of the information librarians are already knees deep in induction work, I’m lucky enough that my few (last) sessions are only in week 1 of term (w/b 28th Sept).

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies, Wider profession | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tweeting in a pedagogical kinda of way

Posted by gazjjohnson on 12 June, 2009

I see that Leicester’s Beyond Distance Research Alliance (BDRA) is thinking about exploring twitter for pedagogical and learning activities.  Excellent, this is really good news.  Let’s hope that those of us twitter veterans here already can support them and help welcome them into the community.  As we’ve explored and discussed on this blog (and elsewhere) more than a few times, twitter has been a great tool for us.

Posted in Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ranking open access with twitter

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 May, 2009

Spotted over on Gerry McKiernan’s blog, a website that ranks arXiv papers by their popularity on Twitter.  I think this is a really interesting idea, and one I’d love to use for the LRA; but I suspect that a) Not that many of our papers are being discussed and b) Not many people who are using our papers are on twitter anyway.

It’s really an order of magnitude thing, the LRA has 4,000ish items arXiv has over 536,000 – we’re not even 1% of their size, and doubtless traffic also.  That said this kind of qualitative real time metric is a bit different to the usual quantitative ones that we seem to be relying on for most repository measurement. 

That said, I know we’ve got to consider that it’s not everyone who is reading these papers is talking about them, and taken on their own these metrics hold only a certain value.  But then, isn’t that the case with every metric?

Posted in Leicester Research Archive, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

TAN: Web 2.0 & Information Literacy

Posted by selinalock on 15 January, 2009

Several of us from the library attended the Teaching Assessment Network presentation yesterday by Sarah Whittaker and Alan Cann.

The slides with an audio commentary for this session can be found in a previous post.

The session mainly consisted of a face to face and simultaneous twitter discussion about using Web 2.0 technologies in teaching, particularly with regards to information literacy skills.

I don’t have a particular problem twittering while listening/discussing issues face to face. However,  it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and some people had problems hearing the face verbal discussion due to the tapping of keyboards and/or concentrating on the online discussion due to the amount of tangential “twittering”.

Some of the interesting points I picked up in the room and online were:

  • Web 2.0 tools used included a customised google search engine, wikis, and a pageflakes page for relevant journal links and RSS feeds. All bought together through the Blackboard VLE page for the course.
  • As the students saw each other daily anyway there was very little interaction online.
  • The custom search and the journal pages were very popular with the students.
  • The tutor saw an improvement in the quality of resources used.
  • suggests it’s best to integrate appropriate Web 2.0 info literacy tools within student courses.
  • Academis staff were offered library sessions on RSS and social bookmarking but take up was low – they didn’t come because they didn’t know how it would be useful?
  • The library needs to expand on our Web 2.0 knowledge and the support we offer – need web 2.0 evangelists?
  • More emphasis on evaluation – less on searching?
  • Issues to think about teaching: advanced google searching, specialist image/audio search engines, wikipedia, youtube as reference tool, RSS, blogs/blog searching, citing new types of resources and copyright/creative commons.

Posted in Meetings, RSS, Staff training, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Online Seminar: Web 2.0 and Information Literacy

Posted by sarahw9 on 12 January, 2009

During 2008 Alan Cann and I ran a UoL TEF funded project Using Web 2.0 to Cultivate Information Literacy via Construction of Personal Learning Environments.  On Wednesday 14th January 2009 between 12.30-2pm (GMT) we will be presenting a live TAN session in which we will outline the project and its main outcomes. Most of the session will be a discussion of how information literacy can be developed across the University.

If you would like to attend this seminar, please email the UoL Staff Development Centre on

Additionally, we will be conducting a live Twitter session at this event. If you would like join as a remote participant, the slides for the session are:

Posted in RSS, Service Delivery, Subject Support, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

TAN Facebook session

Posted by sarahw9 on 30 October, 2008

On Monday 27 October Dr Clare Madge and Dr Jane Wellens presented their findings from the TEF funded project: Facebook and the University of Leicester Student Experience. Selina and myself went along to this well attended session.

The team had examined how new students used Facebook before and during the early days of their time at University. Amongst other things they asked students what they thought about Facebook and if they considered it relevant to their studies or academic work. Their was discussion about how staff are using Facebook, for example, whether staff contact students using Facebook, whether they think it has use as a communication tool or has other academic purposes.

I don’t have a copy of the slides with their findings, but from memory they found that large numbers (sorry I don’t know if the majority of not) of students had already got Facebook accounts before beginning University and had already made connections with others coming to Leicester well before arriving here in person. This was a new trend. Overall the students thought that Facebook was a place for socialising rather than for academic work. Some thought it would be a useful place to get notices (such as lecture cancelled). Selina – your memory is probably better than mine, so feel free to chip in here.

A facinating sideline was the use of Twitter in the session. A live discussion paralleling the face-to-face took place where you can still read the debate that took place. The debate was even picked up by trendspotters and temporarily took discussion on McCain and Halloween of the top slots. Some ‘outsiders’ even pitched in.

Using Twitter this way gave people a platform to have parallel discussions and put out their ideas about the topics being discussed. Unfortunately quite a few people (including me) found it hard to concentrate on all these threads at once, and I think the face-to-face discussion probably suffered as a result. Still, an interesting session.

I look forward to seeing the final results of the project. Popular themes from the discussion were:

  • should students be given official University guidance on online identity and risk of self exposure on Facebook?
  • the potential for Facebook for learning, teaching and support.
  • are non English language students indirectly excluded from Facebook? Does its ubiquitous presence alienate them?
  • whether staff should be Facebook friends with students.

It’s a time of experimentation but many are warying of interfereing in students social space (which could kill the fun / dynamism of the space). All a bit creepytreehouse.

Of course that doesn’t apply to our Facebook page as we are not intruding on anyone’s space, people are free to join or not. The existence of the now famous Leicester University Library Toilets Appreciation Society Facebook group is a fine example of grass roots feedback to the library. We have to know it is there of course to get the feedback. A less welcome version of the same mechanism is the case of bullying of a member of library staff at the University of Kent .

OK enough of my ramblings, any thoughts?

Posted in Meetings, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Small Worlds hands on

Posted by gazjjohnson on 16 October, 2008

The power of social networking in a professional environment was self-evident even before yesterday – I wasn’t down to help out with Alan’s session, but whilst we’d been chatting over Twitter the night before he’d invited me to come along.  Glad he did, as it was certainly one of the more satisfying bits of student teaching I’ve done in a while; helped by the excellent student teacher ratio which must have been close to 4:1.  That was certainly better than the RefWorks class I had the other week; but that’s another story entirely.

Yesterday’s session was a follow up to one Alan had led about online social networking and was the hands on explore for yourself resources like Delicious , Twitter and the Small Worlds Wiki for about 20-25 students.  For a good chunk of the session the students were registering on Small Worlds and creating their profiles, and then they were off to explore the various social tools -in most cases it seems without stopping to read the instructions and help on the Small Worlds site. 

Not that I can blame them, that’s exactly what I do – refreshing to meet so many people with a similer learning style to myself!  I spent the time during the session, as Alan put it, “chatting up” the students.  Alan, like my MiL uses chatting up in the context of talking to them, social networking in vivo rather than in silico if you will.  They were a great bunch of students and it was refreshing to see them pretty quickly get to grasp with not just the tools, but how they could use them in their studies and research. Very rewarding, and repeated today with Selina in residence.

Posted in Research Support, Training, Web 2.0 & Emerging Technologies | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »