I’ve been so fortunate to work with a huge number of amazing women throughout my career in Education Technology that I’m always a bit spoilt for choice when International Women’s Way and Ada Lovelace Day come around. In fact my first appreciation post, written for Ada Lovelace Day way back in 2009, was simply a list of the women I’d worked with in Ed Tech.
All the women I work with are amazing in their own unique ways, so it seems a bit unfair to single some out over others, but I would just like to highlight those who have been particularly supportive, influential and inspirational to me over the last year.
Javiera Atenas, OKFNEdu; Helen Beetham, helenbeetham.com; Frances Bell, francesbell.com; Lucy Crompton-Reid, Wikimedia UK CEO; Catherine Cronin, National University of Ireland, Galway; Maren Deepwell, ALT CEO ; Charlie Farley, Open Education Resources Advisor, UoE; Josie Fraser, OER17 Co-Chair & Wikimedia Board; Gill Hamilton, National Library of Scotland; Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services & Assistant Principal Online Learning, University of Edinburgh; Morna Simpson; Geek Girl Scotland; Jo Spiller, Educational Design and Engagement, UoE.
And on the Maritime History side… Joanne Begiato, Oxford Brookes University; Cathryn Pearce, University of Greenwich Maritime Centre; Heather Noel-Smith, my Indefatigable co-author.
And last but not least, an honourable mention to Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence, UoE, who has worked so hard to help redress the gender imbalance and improve the representation of women on Wikipedia.
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with you all.
How is it March already?! I’ve been sorely neglecting this blog for the past few months, not because I’ve got nothing to say, quite the opposite, I’ve been so tied up with different projects I’ve barely had a chance to write a single blog post! A poor excuse I know, but anyway, here’s a very brief run down of what I’ve been up to for the past three months and hopefully I’ll be able to get back to blogging on a regular schedule soon.
Most of my time has been taken up with two new IS Innovation Fund projects I’m running at the University of Edinburgh.
UoE Open Knowledge Network
The UoE Open Knowledge Network is an informal forum to draw together the University’s strategic policies and activities in the area of Open Data, Open Access, Open Education, Open Research, Open Collections and Archives, in order to support cross-fertilisation and promote the institution’s activities in these areas. This Network aims to embed open knowledge within the institution and to establish a self-sustaining network supported by the departments and divisions that have oversight of the University’s strategic Open Access, Open Education and Open Data policies.
The Network held its first event in January which featured a keynote from Gill Hamilton of the National Library of Scotland plus lightning talks from colleagues across the institution. You can read more about the event on the Open Knowledge network blog here: http://okn.ed.ac.uk/
Accessing Open Research Outputs MOOC
Since the publication of the Finch report and the Research Councils’ policy on open access, universities have increasingly made the outputs of their publicly funded research freely and openly available through open access journals and repositories. However it’s not always easy for people outwith academia to know how to access these outputs even though they are available under open licence.
This project is developing a short self paced learning MOOC aimed at the general public, private researchers, entrepreneurs and SMEs to provide advice on how to access open research outputs including Open Access scholarly works and open research data sets, in order to foster technology transfer and innovation. The course will focus on developing digital and data literacy skills and search strategies to find and access open research outputs and will also feature a series of case studies based on individuals and SMEs that have made successful use of the University of Edinburgh’s world class research outputs.
This is the first time I’ve worked on a MOOC project and I’m delighted to be working with Morna Simpson, of Geek Girl Scotland who has just been named one of Scotland’s most influential women in tech.
I’ve been involved in a whole host of Wikimedia events including the Wikimedia UK Education Summit at Middlesex University, where Melissa Highton gave an inspiring keynote and I chaired a panel of lightning talks, #1Lib1Ref which encouraged Librarians and wikimedia editors to add one reference to Wikipedia to mark the 15th anniversary of the foundation of Wikipedia, and the History of Medicine editathon, part of the University of Edinburgh’s Festival of Creative Learning. This event was a personal highlight not only because it took place in the stunning Surgeon’s Hall Museum and featured an utterly fascinating series of talks on subjects as diverse as Lothian Health Services Archive and William Burke, Scotland’s most prolific serial killer, but also because I got to create a new Wikipedia page for Ethel Moir, a nurse from Inverness who served on the Eastern Front in WW1. I’m planning to do some more work on Ethel’s Wikipedia page tomorrow as during the University of Edinburgh’s Bragging Writes editathon as part of International Women’s Day.
UNESCO European Consultation on OER
2017 marks the 5th anniversary of the Paris OER Declaration and UNESCO and the Commonwealth for Learning are undertaking an international consultation focused on OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education. Since the end of last year I’ve been liaising with COL to ensure that Scotland was represented at this consultation which is being undertaken in advance of the 2nd World OER Congress which will be held in Ljubljana later this year. Joe Wilson went along to the consultation in Malta represent Open Scotland and you can read his report on the event here.
Maritime Masculinities Conference
Way back in December I took a week off from Ed Tech to co-chair the Maritime Masculinities Conference at the University of Oxford. The two day conference featured keynotes from Prof. Joanne Begiato, Dr Isaac Land and Dr Mary Conley and a wide range of international papers. I chaired a panel of papers on the theme of Sexualities and my co-author Heather Noel-Smith and I also presented a paper on Smoking Chimneys and Fallen Women: the several reinventions of Sir Henry Hart. We were pleasantly surprised by the success of the conference and the lovely feedback we got from delegates.
— Dr Mary O'Neill (@Mary_C_ONeill) December 20, 2016
I’ve also got a lot of conferences and events coming up over the next couple of months, but I think that deserves a separate blog post!
So what is Virtual Reality or VR?
Virtual Reality, or VR, provides a means to have an experience of a location or object (whether real or imaginary) through a mobile device, often viewed through a headset, in such a way that when the viewer moves around they see the virtual view moving with them. So the images are usually 360 degree images and can be in 3D so that when viewed on a mobile device within a headset with twin lenses it appears to the viewer as being as close to being there as possible. When you move forward, tilt your head, look up – it’s as if you are doing the same in the virtual reality experience.
What are the options for the classroom?
The least expensive option for using Virtual Reality in a classroom would be Google Expeditions using Google Cardboard viewers (while they can be viewed without a twin-lens 3D viewer the viewer will lose the feeling of 3D) which are held by the hand up to the eyes. More expensive options are available with a variety of VR viewer headsets (such as Microsoft HoloLens, Gear VR or Oculus Rift headsets) and accompanying sensors (often handheld) so that the experience can involve touching or interacting with objects within a VR experience – as you approach or touch something in virtual reality it will react in a way as it in real life.
Google Expeditions with Google Cardboard Viewers
Google Expeditions are virtual reality experiences designed with a classroom guided exploration in mind. The teacher downloads the choice of virtual reality location using the Google Expeditions app and starts the expedition. Then when the pupil on the same wi-fi connection starts the app on their device they will see the teacher-directed expedition awaiting them.
In Google Expeditions the teacher application provides suggestions for questions or directions to guide learners as they explore the virtual environment. The teacher can see on their mobile device app where the learners are exploring on their screens, and can make suggestions as the learners explore.
The video below is a promotional video for Google Expeditions in the classroom giving a brief overview of what it looks like in a classroom setting where a teacher with a tablet device guides pupils each holding a Google Cardboard headset viewer.
How do I get started using Google Expeditions?
How do I use Google Expeditions with iPads or Android tablets?
The video below shows how Google Expeditions can be viewed on iPads rather than smartphones. Many school may already have iPads or Android tablets, and the Google Expeditions apps will work on these too. However the Google Cardboard viewer is designed with the size of a smartphone in mind. If you wish to use the app on an iPad or Android tablet then when running the setup at the point where you see the two images side by side there is a small icon at the top right which lets you change the twin view to single view. Having done that the view will no longer be 3D and will no longer be held up to the eyes of the viewer but simply handheld.
Where can I find Virtual Reality Experiences for my classroom?
Google Expeditions provides a superb source of Virtual Reality experiences ready to be downloaded for use on devices in the classroom.
Discovery VR provides a wide range of downloadable virtual reality experiences in an educational context. Each is available for specific devices and come with notes for use by the educator with their class to guide their learners in the exploration of the experience.
Ideas for using Virtual Reality in the classroom
10 Simple Ways to Use Google Cardboard in the Classroom – a post by Neil Jarrett on the EdTech4 Beginners blog describing different ways in which the virtual reality app Google Cardboard can be used in the classroom.
Ideas for using Google Cardboard Virtual Reality in the classroom – a blogpost on the Whiteboard Blog by Danny Nicholson
What Virtual Reality experiences have you used with your class?
Please share how you have used virtual reality experiences with your class by adding a comment below
When I joined the Board of Wikimedia UK earlier this year I was asked if I’d like to write a blog post for the Wikimedia UK Blog, this is the result….
Although I’ve worked in open education technology for almost twenty years now, my original background is actually in archaeology. I studied archaeology at the University of Glasgow in the late 1980s and later worked there as material sciences technician for a number of years. Along the way I worked on some amazing fieldwork projects including excavating Iron Age brochs in Orkney and the Outer Hebrides, Bronze Age wetland sites at Flag Fen, a rare Neolithic settlement at Loch Olabhat in North Uist, the Roman fort of Trimontium at Newstead in the Scottish Borders and prehistoric, Nabatean and Roman sites in the South Hauran desert in Jordan. I still have a strong interest in both history and archaeology and, perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m a passionate advocate of opening access to our shared cultural heritage.
Archaeological field work and post excavation analysis generates an enormous volume of data including photographs, plans, notebooks and journals, topographic data, terrain maps, archaeometric data, artefact collections, soil samples, osteoarchaeology data, archaeobotanical data, zooarchaeological data, radio carbon data, etc, etc, etc. The majority of this data ends up in university, museum and county archives around the country or in specialist archives such as Historic Environment Scotland’s Canmore archive and the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) at the University of York. And while there is no question that the majority of this data is being carefully curated and archived for posterity, much of it remains largely inaccessible as it is either un-digitised, or released under restrictive or ambiguous licenses.
This is hardly surprising for older archives which are composed primarily of analogue data. I worked on the reanalysis of the Cadbury Castle archive in the early 1990’s and can still remember trawling through hundreds of dusty boxes and files of plans, context sheets, finds records, correspondence, notebooks, etc. That reanalysis did result in the publication of an English Heritage monograph which is now freely available from the ADS but, as far as I’m aware, little if any, of the archive has been digitised.
Digitising the archives of historic excavations may be prohibitively expensive and of debatable value, however much of the data generated by fieldwork now is born digital. Archives such as Canmore and the ADS do an invaluable job of curating this data and making it freely available online for research and educational purposes. Which is great, but it’s not really open. Both archives use custom licenses rather than the more widely used Creative Commons licences. It feels a bit uncharitable to be overly critical of these services because they are at least providing free access to curated archaeological data online. Other services restrict access to public cultural heritage archives with subscriptions and paywalls.
Several key thinkers in the field of digital humanities have warned of the dangers of enclosing our cultural heritage commons and have stressed the need for digital archives to be open, accessible and reusable.
The Journal of Open Archaeology Data is one admirable example of an Open Access scholarly journal that makes all its papers and data sets freely and openly available under Creative Commons licenses, while endorsing the Panton Principles and using open, non-proprietary standards for all of its content. Internet Archaeology is another Open Access journal that publishes all its content under Creative Commons Attribution licences. However it’s still just a drop in the ocean when one considers the vast quantity of archaeological data generated each year. Archaeological data is an important component of our cultural commons and if even a small portion of this material was deposited into Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikipedia etc., it would help to significantly increase the sum of open knowledge.
Wikimedia UK is already taking positive steps to engage with the Culture sector through a wide range of projects and initiatives such as residencies, editathons, and the Wiki Loves Monuments competition, an annual event that encourages both amateur and professional photographers to capture images of the world’s historic monuments. By engaging with archaeologists and cultural heritage agencies directly, and encouraging them to contribute to our cultural commons, Wikimedia UK can play a key role in helping to ensure that our digital cultural heritage is freely and openly available to all.
This post originally appeared on the Wikimedia UK Blog.
Last week was the October school holidays so I took my daughter home to the Outer Hebrides to visit family. My trip coincided with the Royal National Mòd which was held in my home town of Stornoway this year so I was able to go along to some of the Mòd fringe events.
On Wednesday I was at the Council Chambers in Stornoway to hear Mr John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, present the Angus Macleod Lecture on The Place of Gaelic in Modern Scotland. (I’ve already written a more comprehensive blog post about the Minister’s lecture for the Open Scotland blog here.) In a wide ranging and really rather inspiring talk Swinney reiterated the government’s commitment to Gaelic stating
“Gaelic belongs to Scotland, hostility to Gaelic has no place in Scotland and we should all unite behind the effort to create a secure future for Gaelic in Scotland.”
In questions after the lecture I also had an opportunity to ask Swinney for his thoughts on the role of ICT in supporting Gaelic education. He answered by re-stating the Government’s commitment to providing 100% network connectivity throughout Scotland and went on to highlight the importance of education technology in broadening the coverage of education provision and ensuring that Gaelic education can reach greater numbers of learners than ever before. In addition he also emphasised the new opportunities that ICT affords young people in the Highlands and Islands, enabling them to expand their education and skills, and seek new careers without having to leave the Gàidhealtachd.
The second fringe event I went to was Manifestos, Mòds and Music, a fascinating talk by Jennifer Gilles on the National Library of Scotland’s digitised Gaelic collections. Jennifer presented a short history of An Comunn Gàidhealach illustrated by a whole host of items from the Library’s collections, ranging from publications and periodicals, to Mòd programmes and ephemera, printed music and even recipe books. I confess I was particularly fond of the “Celtic Terms of Invective” column from one of An Comunn’s early 1900’s periodicals. You can find a short Storify of Jennifer’s talk here.
Jennifer’s talk was followed by a showing of the a 1942 film The Western Isles. Set in Harris, the film depicts scenes of island life during World War II, as a family anxiously awaits news of their son after his ship, the Atlantic Queen, is sunk by a German submarine in the Mid Atlantic. The son, admirably played by a 14 year old motor mechanic from Harris, successfully skippers the lifeboat back to the Hebrides and returns to his family. It was fascinating to recognise many of the places that appeared in the film and many Hebridean families, mine included, can relate similar tales of heroism from the both the Merchant and Royal Navy during the Second World War.
Registration is open for the Maritime Masculinities conference which takes place at St Anne’s College Oxford on the 19th and 20th December.
Maritime Masculinities covers the period from 1815 – 1940, which saw the demise of the sail ship, the rise of steam and oil-powered ships, the erosion of British naval and maritime supremacy during two world wars, the advent of the Pax Britannica, and the emergence of popular navalism through the press, popular literature, photography and film. Panels will cover a wide range of topics and themes including: material culture and technology, bravery and honour, memory and nostalgia, race and empire, visual culture, life stages, homosociability, and sexualities. A full conference programme will be published shortly.
The conference features a wide range of international speakers from the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, Germany and Sweden, along with keynotes from leading international scholars Professor Joanne Begiato, Oxford Brookes University, Dr Mary Conley, College of the Holy Cross, and Dr Isaac Land, Indiana State University.
Professor Joanne Begiato has worked on the role that representations of military and maritime masculinity played in the formation of masculine identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is particularly interested in the part played by material culture and emotions in disseminating and fixing ideas about manliness.
Dr Mary Conley’s research areas include the intersection between empire, navy, and manhood in British society; imperialism and post-colonialism; maritime history; and the history of gender, family and childhood. She is particularly interested in issues relating to boys’ culture and sodomy.
Dr Isaac Land has written about masculinity and the Royal Navy in a variety of contexts, including patriotism, popular politics, spectacle, empire, nostalgia, autobiography, domestic violence, and religion. He will present a keynote on “Dibdin’s Ghost in the Age of Ironclads”.
Further information about Maritime Masculinities is available from the conference website https://maritimemasculinities.wordpress.com/ and on twitter @MMasculinities. Emails can be directed to email@example.com
Maritime Masculinities is supported by Oxford Brookes University, Portsmouth University and the Society for Nautical Research. The conference is being organised by Prof Joanne Begiato, Dr Steven Gray, Dr Isaac Land and Ms Lorna M. Campbell.
On Saturday I went along to my first Wikipedia AGM in Birmingham. It was a really interesting event and it was great to meet so many dedicated Wikimedians and also to see more than a few familiar faces. Martin Poulter has put together a Storify of tweets and pictures from the event here Wikimedia UK AGM 2016.
The event featured an inspiring keynote on The Open Movement by Andy Mabbett who highlighted the importance of linking Wikimedia initiatives to both Open Government and national heritage organisations and who argued that we need to do more to welcome people to the open community and communicate why openness is important to everyone.
Andy’s talk was followed by a workshop on Wikidata and a walk around the local area to take photographs for Wikimedia Commons. Who’d have thought a photography safari of Digbeth could be so fascinating? I just need to remember to upload some of the pictures I took to the Commons.
In the afternoon we had a fascinating series of lightning talks, one of which covered the brilliant Wiki Loves Monuments photography competition which will take place in the UK again later this year.
Of course the highlight of the day was the UK Wikimedian of the Year Awards. Martin Poulter was a very worthy winner of the individual UK Wikipedian of the Year award; Navino Evans, one of the developers behind the fabulous Histropedia timeline tool, received an Honourable Mention; and I was delighted that the OER16 Open Culture Conference won Partnership of the Year.
The AGM concluded with the Board meeting and I was honoured to be voted onto the Board as a new Trustee of Wikimedia UK. The University of Edinburgh already has a strong relationship with Wikimedia UK and I hope that I can make a positive contribution to nurturing the development of a supportive and mutually beneficial relationship between Wikimedia and the education sector. Gill Hamilton, of the National Library of Scotland stepped down from the Board, so I’ll also be doing my best to fill her shoes as the Scottish representative on the Board, though it’ll be a hard act to follow!
I follow a lot of historians on twitter and earlier in the week I stumbled across the #femfog tag at the International Medieval Congress #IMC2016. Femfog is a term coined by the retired Mediaeval historian Allen J. Frantzen who apparently had “strong views” about his female colleagues. In a now deleted personal blog post Frentzen wrote
“Let’s call it the femfog for short, the sour mix of victimization and privilege that makes up modern feminism and that feminists use to intimidate and exploit men … I refer to men who are shrouded in this fog as FUMs, fogged up men. I think they are also fucked up, but let’s settle for the more analytical term.”
If you want to read the whole sorry history of femfog I can highly recommend reading this post by Jo Livingston Snakes and Ladders On Allen Frantzen, misogyny, and the problem with tenure.
The #femfog session covered a wide range of issues relating to women in academia in general and in humanities in particular, including lack of diversity, misogyny, racial and sexual discrimination even “dig culture” and harassment on archaeological excavations*. I was only able to follow snippets of the conversation as I was in the process of writing this blog post NewDLHE – personal reflections on measuring success, which ironically touched on some of the issues being discussed. You can revisit the #femfog discussions on this storify #FemFog at IMC 2016.
One tweet that did catch my eye though was this one:
Women are often told they are ‘intimidating’ if they stand up for themselves. It’s a way of policing us and the spaces we occupy #femfog
— Debbie White (@medievaldebbie) July 6, 2016
I retweeted it and added
— Lorna M. Campbell (@LornaMCampbell) July 6, 2016
It’s true. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told I’m “intimidating”. I’m genuinely bemused by this. I mean I’m barely over five feet tall and I’m the kind of person who actively avoids conflict and aggressive behaviour so why do colleagues find me intimidating? Of course I’ve always had my suspicions that the kind of behaviour people find “intimidating” coming from me would be regarded as perfectly normal among older, male colleagues. For example I don’t hesitate to speak up in meetings and if I have something to contribute to the debate I’ll say it (waiting my turn first of course). I also often chair meetings, committees and events which sometimes necessitates stopping some people from monopolising the conversation in order to ensure everyone has an opportunity to speak. Is that really such “intimidating” behaviour? Or am I missing something?
Anyway, my reblog seems to have struck a chord as several colleagues retweeted it and added their own comments.
— Ealasaid Munro (@Ealasaidmunro) July 6, 2016
@LornaMCampbell people don’t like my “tone”. All the time, I get told by privileged white men that my “tone” is an issue.
— melissa terras (@melissaterras) July 6, 2016
— notanna1AnnaNotaro (@notanna1) July 6, 2016
— Aimée Morrison (@digiwonk) July 6, 2016
@Ealasaidmunro the *challenge* is the problem, no matter the shape or tone it takes
— notanna1AnnaNotaro (@notanna1) July 6, 2016
— melissa terras (@melissaterras) July 6, 2016
Three days later and this thread is still going strong on twitter. Seems like we’re an intimidating bunch…
* I should add, despite working on archaeological excavations for many years, I never personally experienced any harassment though I was well aware it existed and I was certainly familiar with dig culture.
And now for something completely different…
OER16 isn’t the only conference I’m organising this year, I’m also delighted to be involved with organising the Maritime Masculinities 1815 – 1940 conference along with Professor Joanne Begiato, Oxford Brookes University, Dr Steven Gray, University of Portsmouth, and Dr Isaac Land, Indiana State University. The conference takes place at Oxford Brookes University on 19th- 20th December, 2016 and invites proposals on a wide range of topics including, but not limited to
- The growth of maritime empires, and cultural contact with indigenous peoples.
- The maritime man in material culture, fashion, advertising and the press.
- Exploration and heroism.
- Photography, art, and film.
- Fiction, theatre, and music.
- Sailors in port and at home.
- Dockyards and shipbuilding.
- Heritage, memory, and museums.
The call for papers has already been open for several months and closes at the end of this week on 20th May. There’s still time to submit an abstract though!
Proposals are invited for short papers (20 minutes) and panel sessions (60 minutes). Abstracts of up to 250 words are invited, and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The period from 1815 – 1940 saw the demise of the sail ship, and the rise of the machine-driven steam, and then oil-powered ships. It began as a period of both naval and maritime supremacy for Britain, which was subsequently eroded during two world wars. After a century of frequent naval warfare, there was the advent of the Pax Britannica, and the phenomenon of navies which barely fought. Moreover, popular navalism emerged in advertising, pageantry, and popular literature, and was the subject of photography and then film.
Cultural ideals of masculinities also underwent considerable shifts in a period that in civilian life advocated differing styles of manliness including Christian manliness, muscular Christianity, and the domestic man, and in the armed forces deployed tropes of masculinity such as bravery, stoicism, and endurance to the extent that military and maritime models of manliness were held up as aspirational models for all men.
Further information about the Maritime Masculinities 1815 – 1940 Conference is available from the conference blog maritimemasculinities.wordpress.com