I’ve moved….

I now write my blog posts for my team’s blog which can be found at: http://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/eet/.

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Live Twitter Chats and Tweetorials

It’s no secret that I am a *big* fan of Twitter. I’ve been using it pretty heavily for the past 2 1/2 years to build my online presence and engage with those who share my interests in public engagement, WW1, social media, educational technology and all the other elements that make up what I do. I have found it to be the tool that has progressed my career the most. This year all 8 conferences I have presented at have been by invitation, and most of those invitations came through via connections and conversations on Twitter.

One thing I haven’t explored that much though has been the ‘Live Twitter Chat’. A chat were you all log-on at the same time and use a hashtag to tie together a synchronous conversation. This week I have randomly engaged in three.

The first was by chance, and perhaps took on more of the characteristics of a ‘Tweetorial’ (HT to Marcus Du Sautoy who was the concept founder of this term). Whilst awaiting my delayed train at Oxford Station I was browsing the stacks in W H Smiths when I was  incensed by the cover of this month’s BBC History Magazine.

Oh so much wrong with this. First of all *it’s NOVEMBER* , outbreak of WW1 was in August, lets try to be timely. Secondly this whole shooting an Archduke thing was not the main cause of WW1, and neither did the whole of Europe march War at its onset. Plus of course there were places outside of Europe getting in on the action. The myths keep rolling…….I could go on. But I thought I’d send it to the Twitterverse to see what came about. First I sent it out via my personal account @KTDigital, but quickly twigged if I sent it out via @WW1C (my project account whose task it is to challenge the myths of WW1) I would get more of a response. Instantly I got a few comments, and I had a go at pushing them for a bit more info and realised I needed to know a bit more about the subject. In the end I pointed my followers to some great resources in WW1 Centenary on the causes of the First World War to explore the subject further, which, if retweets are anything to go by, was appreciated.

The second live chat I was involved in was #23things for our #oxengage programme I am co-leading with colleagues in the IT Learning Programme and Bodelian Libraries. At 3pm on Thursday those involved in the online self-directed course 23 Things for Research, hooked up on Twitter with colleagues from Cambridge doing a similar programme in Digital Humanities to discuss all social-media-for-academia-things-related. This was a well organised discussion with questions posted to guide the conversation. It was inspiring hearing how other enthused about the use of social media in their academic and academic-related work and what the elements of the course were that had given new dimensions to their practice. Quite a few people engaged in this Twitter Chat so it was a bit hard to follow at times as sometimes different groups were discussing different things on the same hashtag. But all in all it worked pretty well and the fact I was sat under the dryer at the hairdressers for the duration didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. You can see the chat capture in a Storify by Liz McCarthy.

The last has just happened now. Late Sunday night I remembered it was the anniversary of Wilfred Owen’s death thus I must post out information about all our Owen resources ASAP. Whilst dealing with my multiple WW1-related social media accounts, I fell across a debate @sommecourt was having on the role of the War poets in the remembering the First World War. I have a lot to say on this subject so jumped in with an #excuseme. As more joined the conversation, more characters  got taken up @-ing eachother. We didn’t reach the stage of the hashtag but trying to place an  argument into 70 characters after @names, is a real challenge. And whilst I didn’t get across everything  I wanted to as well as I wanted to, it really made me think deeply bout my argument and the key points. If I was to write an essay on the subject I would certainly feel like I had considered the question carefully in advance via the medium of Twitter. So for me. Yes. Twitter can be used as pedagogical tool. Certainly. And what’s more I got to batt ideas with some big names in the field.

All in all, a good week on Twitter. And I like that even though I teach courses on Twitter and offer consultancy, I am still learning interesting ways to use it myself.

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RunCoCo: If You Build It, They Will Scan: Oxford University’s Exploration of Community Collections

RunCoCo offers advice, training and support for crowdsourcing, public engagement and impact and is being established as an advisory group within Academic IT Services. It all started with community collections online, read about our work here:

Extract from: If You Build It, They Will Scan: Oxford University’s Exploration of Community Collections in Educause Quarterly
Authors: Stuart D. Lee and Kate Lindsay (2009)

In 2009 the University of Oxford ran a groundbreaking digitization project focused on getting members of the public to digitally capture, submit, catalogue, and assign usage rights to material they personally held to do with the First World War. The results demonstrated the potential of this approach to save money compared with traditional digitization projects. It also revealed that community collections could capture a wealth of hitherto undiscovered material held in private hands.

Mass Amateur Digitization and Mobilizing the Public

In 2008 the NPD Group’s Household Penetration Study: Ownership Landscape 2008 reported that nearly 75 percent of all U.S. households owned at least one digital camera. These ranged from compact point-and-shoot cameras to full digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Add to this figure the number of mobile phones with cameras and the public availability of flat-bed scanners or combination scanners/photocopiers/printers, and it would not be a wild claim to say that in North America, Western Europe, and other developed countries the ability to digitize visual material is almost ubiquitous. Or, to put it another way, an extraordinary resource is just waiting to be exploited – namely, mass amateur digitization. The question is how to tap into this resource for the benefit of research and teaching.

The concept of mobilizing large cohorts of volunteers to assist in public projects is not new:

  • In an area to the south of Oxford lie the remains of a volunteer project led by John Ruskin and his undergraduate “Hinksey diggers” to build a causeway linking the city with the nearby town of Abingdon.
  • In the late 1930s the mass observation movement in the U.K. used an army of volunteers across the country to record everyday life, conversations, and behaviors of the average Briton through diaries, correspondences, and questionnaires.
  • In more recent times came public participation in screen saver projects such as the LifeSaver initiative, which used a grid of personal computers to analyze data related to cancer. Indeed, the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon relies on voluntary users creating content.

So are institutions looking to create digital archives missing a trick here? Could they build on the potential for voluntary projects and the clear willingness of the public to assist in projects in which they feel some form of investment, and take advantage of the widespread availability of domestic digitization equipment? Or, to put it another way, could one create a “community collection” whereby members of the public generate the digital content? More importantly, can individual institutions take on such initiatives?

Read the full article online at: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/if-you-build-it-they-will-scan-oxford-university%E2%80%99s-exploration-community-collections

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engage

This term I am co-leading a new programme entitled ‘engage: social media michaelmas’ (note the lower case – very ‘social’). The programme explores the use of social and digital technologies for building an online profile, networking, public engagement and outreach. The programme pulls together existing courses offered by our IT Learning Programme (with some new inclusions), a series of inspiring lunchtime talks, and a self-directed online courses: 23 Things Oxford.

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2012 OxTALENT Awards

On the 21st June, 4pm we will be live tweeting and  blogging the annual OxTALENT Awards. Tune into the event page and follow #oxtalent2012 on Twitter to see who in Oxford has been recognised for their creative use of digital technologies in teaching, learning, resaerch and outreach.

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Summer Season Papers

The summer conference season is upon us. Look out for me at Beyond Books: There and Back Again and Community-Powered Digital Transformations in Learning where I will be presenting on WWIC, the Digital Humanities @Oxford Summer School where I will be presenting on crowdsourcing community collections and ITCF 2012 Conference where I will be running a session on developing social media strategy.

Hope to see you there.

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Twitter for Academia

Each term I run a lunchtime session on using Twitter in academic practice. Unfortunately this term I can’t fit it in in, but you can access my slides on slidshare at http://www.slideshare.net/ktlindsay/twitter-for-academia. The slideshow has featured on Slidehare’s recommendations and has had over 2500 views.

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@Arras95 – Live Tweeting Campaign

Contribute. Collaborate. Commemorate. @Arras95 Time Machine. 9th April 2012. bit.ly/H9JwhT #arras95 #ukoer

Between the 9th April and 16th May 2012 an experiment in social media will take place. We will tweet the events of the Battle of Arras in real time, from the perspective of a neutral reporter on the field. What makes this Twitter event different from other real time tweeting initiatives (and there are some great ones out there!) is that @Arras95 will engage online communites, crowdsourcing facts about Arras and the individuals who played a part, asking for reappraisals and additions to the action as it happens.

Why are we doing this?

@Arras95 will surface a key, but lesser taught, turning point of the War, providing an innovative opportunity for others to learn about and engage in discussion about this historical event. @Arras95 will increase the visibility of open content around this one focal point, providing teachers, students and the general public with a wealth of resources for free use and adaption.

After the event a searchable archive of the Twitter conversation will be made available, open content will be added to the Resource Library of our web site, and the event maps and geotags will be analysed and refined to produce OpenLayers of data for overlay on 2D maps and 3D Earth browsers.

How to get involved

  • Follow @Arras95 on Twitter
  • Tell your followers to follow @Arras95 on Twitter – blog about us, talk about us, facebook us.
  • Engage with us. RT the latest news from the Arras battlefield. If you think further information could be added or another perspective contributed, add your own tweets to the conversation by using the #arras95 hashtag. We welcome tweets in languages other than English and information provided about any of the troops involved in the Battle. If you would like to schedule your own live tweets from Arras, read our Scheduled and Geo-located Tweeting Guide [add link].
  • If you are able to add location data to your tweets do so. We’ll be placing tweets with location data on a Google map.
  • Can you enrich the community’s experience by linking to relevant photographs, primary source documents or articles to the event? All material that we surface must be open licenced and we will check the license before quoting you. Open licences we will accept include: Creative Commons Attribution, Creative Commons Attribution* Non-Commercial, Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike*; Open Government Licence; Open Parliament Licence; other Open Content Licences; and items in the public domain with no copyright restrictions. Examples of where to find such material include Wikipedia, Wikipedia Commons, The Commons on Flickr.
  • If you have photographs and documents in your own private collection and can digitise these with a scanner or digital camera you can make them available online under an open-licence. Here are some of the commonest ways:
    – Upload your images to Wikimedia Commons, the media repository for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects
    – Upload your images to a photosharing site like Flickr, specifying one of the above creative commons licences.
    – Upload your images to your own website, with a clear and unambiguous statement that they are under a specified open licence.
  • Add information and links to open content on our Google Event Map. See this short video tutorial on how to do this .

“Attribution” means that the copyright holder must be given a credit.
“ShareAlike” means that if someone uses your picture, anything made with it must have the same licence.

You can stay updated with the @Arras95 campaign on the Project Blog.

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World War One Collections Guide

In late 2011, the Imperial War Museums, was commissioned, funded and supported by JISC and the Wellcome Trust, to produce a guide to First World War collections held across the UK. The guide is now available and provides information on which archive, museum or library across the UK has material relevant to the First World War.

Questions which can be answered by the guide include:

  • Who has Prime Minister Lloyd George’s papers?
  • Which museums have First World War aeroplanes?
  • Which library has the papers of women’s suffrage societies?
  • What books were children reading and what toys were they playing with?
  • Where are the silent films that were shown to cinema audiences at the time?
  • Which art galleries have major works by First World War artists?
  • Where do I find out about the medical effects of working with explosive material in
    munitions factories?

This is the first iteration of a growing body of research on this topic and cannot, as yet, be considered a comprehensive list. Further research on First World War content and collections available to education in analogue and digital form will be undertaken as part of the JISC WW1 Discovery programme by King’s College London and will be openly released in March 2012.

For more information on JISC activity around the First World War, please see the JISC WW1 Commemoration Blog.

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WW1 Commemorations OER Project Launched

World War One Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings

I am delighted to announce that we have won the grant for the ‘JISC World War One (WW1) Open Educational Resources (OER)’ project, and I will be taking this project forward as PI and Project Manager. This initiative will collect, create and release digital learning content as OER in an easily accessible online platform to provide an academic-driven corpus of reusable scholarly resources that seek to readdress World War One and its cultural, historical, and political context.

The project will surface the highest quality OER through thematic collections that will also contain a series of expert commentaries created by some of the most notable academics in the field of World War One studies and related disciplines. Alongside these thematic directory areas, dynamic libraries of relevant resources from the wider OER community will be made available. The project will also innovatively revisualise a series of OER to showcase the full potential of using open material to seed academic debate.

JISC state ‘Due to the breadth of academic engagement with the project, it is hoped that some of the core motivating factors for JISC in undertaking this work will start to be addressed e.g. encouraging new academic interpretations around WW1 to challenge received notions of historical fact and build on new areas of research and study. It will also provide new insights into the global nature of the conflict and provide new ways by which students, learners and researchers can engage with and draw out fresh perspectives in one of the most taught and researched periods of European and global history.’

As with the JISC WW1 Discovery programme, this project shall be underpinned by the JISC ‘Statement of Intent

Our project is an exciting collaboration between the teams at the University of Oxford responsible for the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and the Great War Archive (funded under the JISC Content and Digitisation Programme), and the Oxford Open Spires, Triton, and Great Writers projects (funded under the HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme Phases 1, 2 and 3). This project team will therefore bring together a wealth of experience from pedagological and content perspectives to create a unique and timely open educational resource that brings the people, events and places of WW1 back into sharp relief for the benefit of education and research.

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