Remembering ‘the War to End All Wars’

2706On the centenary of Britain’s entry into the First World War we remember the combatants and civilians who died or suffered during that terrible conflict, as well as those soldiers who returned to pick up their lives – often bearing the scars both outside and within. During the lead-up to the anniversary a number of Academic IT Services projects (and their international partners) have digitised and crowdsourced materials for educational use. From one of those collections, here is the diary entry for 4th August 1914 by the young Vera Brittain. She writes about the international declarations of war and Sir Edward Grey’s speech in Parliament, and the enlistment of acquaintances in the reserves, as well as the implications for their families.

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Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School 2014

DHOxSS poster sessionJames Cummings and colleagues in Academic IT Services are busy during the week 14th-18th July with the Digital Humanities Summer School (DHOxSS). This annual training event introduces researchers, project managers, students, and anyone interested in digital humanities to a range of topics including the creation, management, analysis, modelling, visualization, and publication of digital data. Each delegate follows one of a set of five-day workshops and supplements this experience with guest lectures. Also featured is a poster session giving delegates a chance to share their digital humanities with each other. This year the event has gone mobile with an app for smartphone tablet, and web platforms.

DHOxSS is a collaboration led by IT Services, the Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC), the Bodleian Libraries, the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.

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Goodbye to Melissa Highton

Pitt Rivers - Party view Lo resAt the end of June we said goodbye to Melissa, who after six years in Oxford has moved to a new post at the University of Edinburgh. Melissa joined as Head of the Learning Technologies Group and subsequently became Co-Director of Academic IT Services with responsibility for learning and teaching after the LTG merged with the Research Support team. We will be forever appreciative of the energy with which Melissa drove the production and promotion of open educational resources at Oxford and built the OxTALENT awards from a low-key lunchtime event to the high-profile ‘red carpet’ ceremony which is one of the high points of the Academic IT year. With characteristic originality and aplomb, Melissa chose the Pitt Rivers Museum for her leaving party, with guests sipping Prosecco and nibbling tasty cup-cakes while browsing the cabinets of curiosities. We send every good wish to Melissa as she embarks on the next exciting stage of her career.

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OxTALENT: a bumper crop of entries and awards

OxTALENT 2014 Red CarpetThe OxTALENT awards for innovation and creativity in the use of digital technology in the University were presented in a packed Isis room at IT Services on Wednesday 18th June. This has been a particularly fruitful year, with the number of categories expanded to 11, including awards for the use of technology to support students in transition. In all, 27 prizes were given to individuals and teams, and you can read about the winners here.

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IMG_1717Come along to our red carpet event to celebrate how we use digital technology to support learning and teaching.

We will be giving prizes to more than 20 winners from across the collegiate University. We will be live tweeting as each of the winners is announced. Follow this blog and #oxtalent2014

At the ceremony we will showcase work done by staff and students this year. Our guest speakers include Professor Marcus Du Sautoy, Professor Anne Trefethen and the event is hosted by Melissa Highton, Director of Academic IT.

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Learning at Work Week 19th-25th May

learningatworkweekbannerweb“Learning at Work Week” is a national annual awareness campaign to promote and support workplace learning. All University staff are invited to sample our many ways to learn from a range of face to face sessions, downloadable podcasts and on-line learning material. See the schedule of courses for the week on the Learn at Work 2014 Courses page.

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WebLearn Templates for All

oxford-tools-150WebLearn site owners can easily build new sites using a template  based on their own teaching context, and they may adapt any template according to the pedagogical purpose and nature of the course. The team just have published an article about it: “A collection of suggested electronic course templates for use in higher education”, Jill W. Fresen, Robin K. Hill, and Fawei Geng:

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Listen again – lecture capture for Oxford

Oxford-University-iTunes-U-iPad-450x2532-300x168In order to meet  demand from departments and schools,  we are carrying out some live trials of automated (as opposed to manual) recording of  lectures.  We are also investigating best practice in using recorded lectures to support learning.  We hope this work will lead to more sustainable services for staff and students.

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Innovation showcase

make-animationMake: is back for Trinity!  This term we have 17 lunchtime sessions that will give you ideas for using technology in your teaching, learning and outreach.

The series also includes sessions about 3D scanning, modelling, printing and more, so there is something for everyone.

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Summer internships- Apply now

olymicThe internships we offer to Oxford University students are a key element in how IT Services ensure that our skills and services are up to date.  What a luxury for any IT group to have such an enormous pool of talent to draw upon.  A fine set of projects have been chosen, all that remains to be seen is whether we will be lucky in finding the best students to work with. Apply before 12.00 noon on Monday 28th April 2014.

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