Tag Archives: edtech

Replaying highlights from the last year⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This is largely a paper that I wrote for our September 2017 Learning and Teaching Committee. The paper is available as Paper K here. Just in case anyone wants to know what I’ve been working on for the last 12 months…

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Information Services Group has been working to launch a centrally-supported lecture recording service for the start of the academic year 2017/18 and to scale up the service over 2 subsequent years to provide a highly integrated, highly automated service in 400 general teaching spaces across campus.

Lecture Recording Programme Phases

Lecture recording rollout is spread over 3 phases, recognising that there are limited windows of opportunity during the academic year to equip many of our teaching spaces, and to allow the programme sufficient time to take feedback and adjust plans to ensure the service delivers the required benefits for all.

For the start of academic year 2017/18 the focus has firmly been on transitioning those users who currently rely on lecture recording into the new service.

Phase 1 timeline

One of the biggest challenges has been the length of time that a public procurement process requires. In this project it took 9 months to complete what was a complex and highly competitive procurement. The willingness of our chosen supplier – Echo360 – to work with us on rolling out the service even whilst we were finalising terms and conditions has been vital to achieving a service for the start of 17/18.

Phase 1 Service

The new service is called ‘Media Hopper Replay’. The service was made available to staff from 5 September to allow VLE courses to be linked to the new service in good time, and for staff to familiarize themselves with the Replay software.

All courses that relied on the previous Panopto lecture recording service have been contacted personally to ensure they are transitioned over to the new service. Additionally, where possible, a small number of additional courses have been included in the service. Typically this has been where they are already scheduled into an enabled room or are being taught by someone already using the service on another course.

For the start of term 17/18 the service will be available in 114 general teaching spaces across the campus. This includes all of our largest lecture theatres. Commissioning of rooms will take place right up to the end of Welcome Week, reflecting the use of many teaching spaces in the Central Area by the Fringe Festival, and the more general programme of refurbishment of our estate.

Along with lecture recording equipment, additional cameras and microphones have been installed. In larger spaces we have also doubled up the number of microphones. Each room has an indicator light that is used to signal when recording is taking place. The light also functions as a button to allow recordings to be easily paused. 50 ‘Catchbox’ throwable microphones will be in larger teaching spaces to aid recording of questions from students.

New room signage is being installed to clearly indicate which rooms are equipped. Telephones are being installed in teaching spaces as part of the rollout to allow issues to be reported to support more quickly.

Media Hopper Replay has been integrated with the Learn and Moodle VLEs. Academic colleagues will be able to manually start and stop ad-hoc recordings as per the previous lecture recording service. Additionally around 75 courses have requested to be part of a pilot for scheduling of recording. This process has been defined and documented and tested with colleagues in the Timetabling Unit.

Several lecture theatres in Kings Buildings have been equipped specifically to record chalkboards. A significant amount of effort has gone into this activity, led by a cross-College Technical Special Interest Group. A number of courses in Maths and Physics have signed up to pilot the service in 17/18.

Examples of recording light and new room signage

Phase 1 Support

Equipping our academic colleagues and students with the appropriate digital skills to make best use of lecture recording technology has been integral to the programme and we have taken a broad approach based on early School feedback.

To support the new service two new training courses have been developed and are being delivered both face to face and via webinars:

  • “Preparing for Lecture Recording” covers accessibility and copyright topics – these were identified by academic colleagues as areas where more guidance was needed.
  • “Delivering Lectures using Lecture Recording” explains how to use the Replay system itself and how it links to the Learn VLE.

Feedback from training courses so far has been that the service is simple and easy to use. A series of drop-in sessions are scheduled for w/b 11 September and w/b 18 September to give academic colleagues an opportunity to try out a ‘hands-on’ recording process in an equipped teaching space.

Online help materials for staff have been published on the ISG website, including demonstrations videos. Similar materials for students will be published during Welcome Week. An extensive set of FAQs are also published online, and are being regularly updated as the service rolls out.

Operating procedures inside Information Services Group with key support teams such as the IS Helpline have been agreed. Preview sessions for School IT and learning technology colleagues and teams within Information Services Group have been held. Staff who support teaching spaces, both in ISG and in Schools have been trained on swap-out procedures and spare lecture recording boxes are being held at several points across campus for rapid response. IT and learning technology colleagues in Schools who have devolved administrator roles have been identified and trained. The programme has benefitted enormously from both the support and advice of School colleagues who have been supporting the previous Panopto lecture recording service.

Student helpers are being recruited to provide hands-on assistance in lecture theatres for the first week of teaching.

The Timetabling Unit have worked to ensure that courses that require lecture recording are booked into appropriate spaces. This has been challenging in so far as the rollout of lecture recording has begun after final room requirements data is normally required by the Timetabling Unit. The working partnership between ISG and the Timetabling Unit within this programme has been absolutely key to success.

Phase 1 Communications

An extensive communications programme has underpinned all of this work, with a monthly newsletter, plus regular key messages information distributed to comms colleagues in Schools, Colleges and EUSA for inclusion in local newsletters or emails. Articles have appeared in Bulletin and BITs, the student newsletter, and on the IS News pages. An article will be also be published in Teaching Matters in September. Comms has also been distributed through College IT and academic representatives on various projects boards, steering groups and task groups. A student intern has been working with us over the summer and has created a series of videos featuring student and staff perspectives on the service, along with developing a flyer to go in the welcome pack for all new students, and marketing materials. This is key to managing student expectations as we rollout over several years.

Academic Champions

The Academic User Group has been formally convened, chaired by Professor Susan Rhind. Heads of Schools have been contacted to provide the name of a Lecture Recording champion in each School. 14 nominations have been received so far. The next User Group meeting will be on the 2nd of October.

Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley will lead the Engagement and Evaluation Group, which will meet for the first time in October. Three PTAS projects have been funded so far to evaluate lecture recording (http://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/learning-teaching/funding/funding/previous-projects/theme/lecture-recording) and a further call is open until 26 October for projects starting in 2018.

MVM Timetabling

Recognising that use of the central Timetabling system was key to allowing the service to scale, the programme also includes work to assist the College of MVM to migrate over. Migration of the Vet School to central Timetabling is on track for September 2017 although some work is still needed to define the ongoing support model. A review of the Medical School timetabling/room booking requirements has been presented and a review report will be delivered in October 2017.

Next Steps

Once the first 114 rooms are operational for the start of term the programme will move on to focus on the delivery of automated Timetabling integration. This will allow courses to signal whether they need a lecture recording enabled room, and whether they would like their recordings automatically started and stopped as part of the annual Timetabling scheduling process. We are recruiting additional resources during September to assist with this work so that it begins quickly. We will also continue analysis and development work with the Medical School to help integrate them into the Central Timetabling System.

Phase 1 has focussed on supporting the core recording use cases for lecture recording. As we move into the next phase of the project we will develop and rollout further training courses to support more advanced use of the service. We have recruited additional resource to support this and input from the Academic User Group champions will help ensure this activity aligns well to academic needs in Schools. We also continue to make sure that lecture recording training is complimented by the wider training offered in within ISG and the Institute for Academic Development by cross-marketing relevant events (Flipped classroom; lecturing skills etc).

Additionally we will continue to install AV and IT equipment into teaching spaces across campus. During Phase 1 we have also identified several areas where front-line support for teaching spaces could be improved either by new processes or with additional staffing resources.

By the start of 2018/19 the service will be installed in around 300 teaching spaces, along with a more automated and integrated process for booking rooms and recording lectures. This will complement the new lecture recording policy being developed by the LTC task group.

Another story about maps⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’m on my way to London for my fourth #MozFest and as I’ve already written about, this year I’m running a session along with Alice White, the Wikimedian in Residence for the Wellcome Library. We’re doing a session in which we hope to make the case for why more people need to edit Wikipedia, and through some fun games introduce light touch ways in which folks can get started. Small edits can have big impact.

Whilst pulling together my materials last night I decided to use an image from our University Collections – a 17th Century map of Iceland that I uploaded during a Women in Medicine Editathon in February 2016. Sometimes when inspiration leaves me or my energy is flagging I focus on uploading into Wikimedia Commons many of the lovely openly licensed collections of images that are shared out on Flickr. There’s an excellent Flickr2Commons upload tool that makes the business of importing very simple.

By Centre for Research Collections University of Edinburgh [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

This image was one of a number I uploaded on the day and because we have a very knowledgable Wikimedian in Residence he made sure all the images uploaded were tagged as coming from the University of Edinburgh. A colleague at Wikimedia UK spotted this new collection of tagged images and thought this map of Iceland in particular would be a suitable addition to some of the existing articles about Iceland. It was added to English Wikipedia, German Wikipedia and Simple Wikipedia.

Shortly after this the football World Cup kicked off, and a certain plucky northerly island nation started to do much better than expected (no, not Scotland – this isn’t a fantasy story I’m writing). Ewan our Wikimedian looked at the correlation between views and matches at the time.

Iceland’s Euro 2016 matches were on 14 June (1-1 with Portugal), 18 June (1-1 Hungary), 22 June (2-1 victory over Austria), 27 June (2-1 win over England), and 3 July (2-5 defeat to France). Around each of these events people all over the world were keen to learn about this surprising nation. Viewing numbers ( numbers of hits) show appreciable spikes for the matches against Portugal, England, and France.

On German Wikipedia spikes against each of the matches regularly exceeded 100,000 page views.

The biggest spike was for the victory over England!

Since then, the image has been added to Afrikaanes Wikipedia and Welsh Wikipedia and has been viewed over 10,000,000 times.

It was also featured earlier this in Creative Commons “State of the Commons 2016” report as one of the spotlight features for Wikipedia.

IMG_0475.JPG

Small edits can have big impact.

(I said this was another story about maps – here is the first story about openly licensed maps and how great they are.

#MozFest Cometh⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

This time next week I should be in London at Ravensbourne art college for my fourth MozFest experience. *Finally* Martin Hawksey is attending and he’s gone all out and is even running a session. The lovely people of ALT will be there talking about CMALT. I’m also going to take the plunge this year and run a short session to introduce the wonderful world of Wikipedia editing and Alice White from the Wellcome Library has kindly volunteered to co-facilitate. I’ve had so much from the sessions I’ve attended in the past that it’s really long overdue to give something back.

Last year I didn’t write a lot about MozFest because I got mugged and had my phone stolen and lost all my notes and photos. It was a bit of a downer. This year I’m not only going to try write something for myself, but also hopefully something for the ALT blog because frankly more learning technologists should be at this event. It is hands-down the best fun, if you’re into hacking, making, art, data, ethics, privacy, the open web, everything open that you can do on the open web, social justice and all the other things that are too numerous to list.

Look at the speaker line-up alone for goodness sake.

Then there’s the scheduled sessions. How do I even choose and this is about 1/5 of what’s in the 10:00 – 11:00 slot.

IMG_0430-3.PNG

Okay. I’m over-stimulated already. Going to have a cup of tea and sit down.

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Wikipedia is a very lovely place to be⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today is Ada Lovelace Day and this has become a firm fixture in our calendar at the University of Edinburgh. It is one of our flagship Wikipedia editathon events, and this year we partnered with the School of Chemistry and took the event on the road to our Kings Buildings campus. You can see the full schedule here, and there’s even some OER there if that’s your cup of tea. We ate our body-weight in periodic table cupcakes. I personally ate polonium and arsenic and have lived to tell the tale.

As the closing event to the day we had a viewing of the excellent short film “A Chemical Imbalance” commissioned by Professor Polly Arnold, Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry. I had the distinct pleasure of chairing a panel discussion with Professor Arnold, Professor Jane Norman, and Dr Carole Morrison after the film and we discussed the ways in which we can recruit more women into STEM careers, and nuture and retain women already working in the field.

Earlier in the afternoon I had started gathering up some info on Katherine Isabella Williams, one of the 19 signatories to the 1904 petition to join the Chemical Society. This is a story that our colleague Dr Michael Seery brought to our attention through an epic Twitter rant earier in the year (What do you do with a dead chemist?) and since then he’s written a fine Wikipedia article on the subject. We spent much of the editathon today fleshing out biographies of each of the 19 signatories.

Someone else was also working on the same biography as me, so I spent a little time fitting my notes in around the existing page this evening. After that I happened to look at my notifications in Wikipedia, and spotted the following comment on my user page, from around a month ago:

Hello, this isn’t a very Wikipedian comment but I just wanted to thank you personally for creating an entry for my mother Ann Katharine Mitchell. She is in residential care with Alzheimers, serene and contented, and largely lives in the past. She was told recently that she had a Wikipedia entry and was flattered and delighted to see it (I’ve now made some revisions). It isn’t the purpose of your editing to give the subjects pleasure, of course, but thanks for doing so!

I created the page for Ann Katharine Mitchell on 11 October 2016. Ada Lovelace Day last year. Sometimes working with Wikipedia can be one of the nicest things one gets to do.

Wikipedia is a very lovely place to be⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today is Ada Lovelace Day and this has become a firm fixture in our calendar at the University of Edinburgh. It is one of our flagship Wikipedia editathon days, and this year we partnered with the School of Chemistry and took the event on the road to our Kings Buildings campus. You can see the full schedule here, and there’s event some OER there if that’s your cup of tea. We ate our body-weight in periodic table cupcakes. I personally ate polonium and arsenic and have lived to tell the tale.

As the closing event to the day we had a viewing of the excellent short film “A Chemical Imbalance” commissioned by Professor Polly Arnold, Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry. I had the distinct pleasure of chairing a panel discussion with Professor Arnold, Professor Jane Norman, and Dr Carole Morrison after the film and we discussed the ways in which we can recruit more women into STEM careers, and nuture and retain women already working in the field.

Earlier in the afternoon I had started gathering up some info on Katherine Isabella Williams, one of the 19 signatories to the 1904 petition to join the Chemical Society. This is a story that our colleague Dr Michael Seery brought to our attention through an epic Twitter rant earier in the year (What do you do with a dead chemist?) and since then he’s written a fine Wikipedia article on the subject. We spent much of the editathon today fleshing out biographies of each of the 19 signatories.

Someone else was also working on the same biography as me, so I spent a little time fitting my notes in around the existing page this evening. After that I happened to look at my notifications in Wikimedia, and spotted the following comment on my user page, from around a month ago:

Hello, this isn’t a very Wikipedian comment but I just wanted to thank you personally for creating an entry for my mother Ann Katharine Mitchell. She is in residential care with Alzheimers, serene and contented, and largely lives in the past. She was told recently that she had a Wikipedia entry and was flattered and delighted to see it (I’ve now made some revisions). It isn’t the purpose of your editing to give the subjects pleasure, of course, but thanks for doing so!

I created the page for Ann Katharine Mitchell on 11 October 2016. Ada Lovelace Day last year. Sometimes working with Wikipedia can be one of the nicest things one gets to do.

Pushing some more thoughts⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve been dipping in and out of the livestream and Twitter feed for the Pushing HE conference today, and there’s a few thoughts that I don’t want to lose – they’re very ill-informed and random. Apologies in advance.

Digital skills. The NGDLE talks about Universal Design – technology so easy to use that it’s intuitive. Tony Bates talked about the extent to which we can help colleagues to change and helping them solve problems. Investing in digital skills (training, working together – whatever this means to you) is the glue in here, because even the most intuitive tools on their own aren’t going to work. Whatever ‘Digital Skills’ means, it probably doesn’t mean building more IT. What looks cool to us (tools! pop-up! domains!) looks like work / administration to many of our academic colleagues. This is a problem.

Technology as tools. How do we push beyond a deterministic view of technology as a set of tools and get to the heart of how teacher agency can be inscribed into / onto technology. Values are key, as is ownership / control of the development of IT. This is the fundamental challenge and maybe why we keep going round and round in interative loops on the technology and why the metaphors don’t change? We keep talking about the “what” of the technology.

TEL wealth gap. I’ve thought about this a few times and failed to expand the metaphor. Sketching it out, it goes like this: There is a tipping point at which the wealth gap in society between the rich and the rest of us is so wide that it becomes pyschologically insurmountable. The Thatcherite thinking that allows the rich to get richer as an aspirational activity is the heart of this. To what extent do “innovation” and concepts like the NGDLE appear to many of our colleagues to be an insurmountable gap? Perhaps what is do-able in terms of ‘getting there’ is working on (a) ensuring that the gap between “innovators” and the rest of us doesn’t get too wide (b) keeping the whole train moving – the long tail doesn’t get longer. We should aim high for sure, but do we need some reasonable measure of progress to keep us sane?

Using compliance activities to have conversations about data. I’m already negotiating GDPR compliant contracts, trying out Privacy Impact Assessments, writing GDPR compliant Privacy Statements. I need to think more about how to turn this into something I can work with further.

 

 

Pushing some more thoughts⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve been dipping in and out of the livestream and Twitter feed for the Pushing HE conference, and there’s a few thoughts that I don’t want to lose – they’re probably very ill-informed and random. Apologies in advance.

Digital skills. The NGDLE talks about Universal Design – technology so easy to use that it’s intuitive. Tony Bates talked about the extent to which we can help colleagues to change and helping them solve problems. Investing in digital skills is the glue in here, because even the most intuitive tools on their own aren’t going to work. Whatever ‘Digital Skills’ means, it probably doesn’t mean building more IT. What looks cool to us (tools! pop-up!) looks like work / administration to many of our academic colleagues. This is a problem.

Technology as tools. How do we push beyond a deterministic view of technology as a set of tools and get to the heart of how teacher agency can be inscribed into / onto technology. Values are key, as is ownership / control of the development of IT. This is the fundamental challenge and maybe why we keep going round and round in interative loops on the technology and why the metaphors don’t change? We keep talking about the “what” of the technology.

TEL wealth gap. I’ve thought about this a few times and failed to expand the metaphor. Sketching it out, it goes like this: There is a tipping point at which the wealth gap in society between the rich and the rest of us is so wide that it becomes pyschologically insurmountable. The Thatcherite thinking that allows the rich to get richer as an aspirational activity is the heart of this. To what extent does “innovation” and concepts like the NGDLE appear to many of our colleagues be an insurmountable gap? Perhaps what is do-able in terms of ‘getting there’ is working on (a) ensuring that the gap between innovators and the rest of us doesn’t get too wide (b) we keep the whole train moving – the long tail doesn’t get longer. We should aim high for sure, but do we need some reasonable measure of progress to keep us sane?

Using compliance activities to have conversations about data. I’m already negotiating GDPR compliant contracts, trying out Privacy Impact Assessments, writing GDPR compliant Privacy Statements. I need to think more about how to turn this into something I can work with further.

 

 

Mortuary Chapel, Revisited⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

I’ve written a little bit before about my work connected with the mural paintings of Phoebe Anna Traquair, and this week we had a lovely gathering to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Friends organisation. I took the opportunity to share a few of the stunning images that Diane Holdsworth has taken of the Mortuary Chapel murals with my colleagues and friends. Diane has agreed that the photographs can be released under a CC-BY license and so tomorrow I will start working out how best to make them widely available (Wikimedia Commons is my preferred choice, but there’s some admin to do around clarifying copyright agreements).

Tonight though, I’m going to post a few of them here, because I can’t wait to share them. The photographs are brilliant and show how strange and wonderful these murals are; and what a precarious condition they are now in.

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

 

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

 

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

 

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

Mortuary Chapel, Revisited⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

I’ve written a little bit before about my work connected with the mural paintings of Phoebe Anna Traquair, and this week we had a lovely gathering to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Friends organisation. I took the opportunity to share a few of the stunning images that Diane Holdsworth has taken of the Mortuary Chapel murals with my colleagues and friends. Diane has agreed that the photographs can be released under a CC-BY license and so tomorrow I will start working out how best to make them widely available (Wikimedia Commons is my preferred choice, but there’s some admin to do around clarifying copyright agreements).

Tonight though, I’m going to post a few of them here, because I can’t wait to share them. The photographs are brilliant and show how strange and wonderful these murals are; and what a precarious condition they are now in.

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

 

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

 

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0

 

Photograph by Diane Holdsworth CC-BY 4.0