Tag Archives: Media

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

Fancies⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

Every now and again it’s fun to pretend the world around me isn’t in flames (metaphorical and literal) and engage in a little day dreaming. Yesterday it was “fantasy stately home”.

These are my requirements:

– A morning room
– A print room
– A Corridor (yes – the kind of corridor that is classed as a room in it’s own right – for showing off and swooshing about in)

Twitter chums reminded me that I would also like:

– An orangery
– A double height library with a ladder and an arcane catalogue system.

I’d like all of this probably in Georgian style, but somehow cleansed of the reek of Empire, if possible.

Below-stairs is often my favourite place. Tiled corridors are a must. Some sort of enormous kitchen with massive table goes without saying. A china room and a dry goods room and a larder are obvious. I care less for laundry rooms, butler’s offices, gun rooms etc.

Probably a bedroom is required for appearances, but to be honest I could probably nest in a good library quite happily.

Fancies⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

Every now and again it’s fun to pretend the world around me isn’t in flames (metaphorical and literal) and engage in a little day dreaming. Yesterday it was “fantasy stately home”.

These are my requirements:

– A morning room
– A print room
– A Corridor (yes – the kind of corridor that is classed as a room in it’s own right – for showing off and swooshing about in)

Twitter chums reminded me that I would also like:

– An orangery
– A double height library with a ladder and an arcane catalogue system.

I’d like all of this probably in Georgian style, but somehow cleansed of the reek of Empire, if possible.

Below-stairs is often my favourite place. Tiled corridors are a must. Some sort of enormous kitchen with massive table goes without saying. A china room and a dry goods room and a larder are obvious. I care less for laundry rooms, butler’s offices, gun rooms etc.

Probably a bedroom is required for appearances, but to be honest I could probably nest in a good library quite happily.

Wanderings with a Wikimedian⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It being a lovely evening this evening, I convinced Ewan McAndrew, our Wikimedian, to walk to the station with me, taking a circuitous route to snap some photos for the Wiki Loves Monuments competition. Last we checked, we were getting properly humped by our UK cousins in the image upload stakes. Given that we are rubbish at football, rugby, weather, and healthy eating we need to have some sort of win for our national pride. Also we live in a city with UNESCO World Heritage status, so there must be the odd good shot or two out there.

Typically as soon as we stepped out of our office building the sun slid behind the clouds and then slowly sank down below the rooflines. Curses. Nevertheless, we persevered.

In our short 40 minutes we discovered many treats: a beautiful mosaic over the door of an otherwise unremarkable bank; an art deco style telephone exchange; St Cuthbert’s Cooperative Society; and our final destination – Gardner’s Cresent – a late Georgian Street, cast adrift from the rest of the New Town and now sandwiched in on all sides by a ram-jam mix of other architecture.

Gardner’s Crescent was built in 1822, on land feued by William Gardner, to a design by architects R & R Dickson. The crescent is an “unbroken arc of fifty-two bays” with a pretty little communal garden seperating it from Rosebank Cottages on the other side of the street. The gardens were refurbished and re-planted as a community space after a local campaign to return them to their pre-WW2 state (the railings were removed for smelting in WW2). J.K. Rowling apparently rented a small flat here for a short time and found it depressing.

Prior to William Gardner’s ownership, the land was owned from 1722 by the Society and Fraternity of Gardeners and a large building called Gardener’s Hall stood on the land. The Free Gardeners were a form of mutual aid and insurance society, quite strongly influence by Freemasonry. The first lodge was formed in 1676 in Haddington and the last lodge in Dunfermline closed in the mid 1980s.

A rare treat this evening to take a slow meandering route to the station and look a little more closely at this fine city.

Wanderings with a Wikimedian⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It being a lovely evening this evening, I convinced Ewan McAndrew, our Wikimedian, to walk to the station with me, taking a circuitous route to snap some photos for the Wiki Loves Monuments competition. Last we checked, we were getting properly humped by our UK cousins in the image upload stakes. Given that we are rubbish at football, rugby, weather, and healthy eating we need to have some sort of win for our national pride. Also we live in a city with UNESCO World Heritage status, so there must be the odd good shot or two out there.

Typically as soon as we stepped out of our office building the sun slid behind the clouds and then slowly sank down below the rooflines. Curses. Nevertheless, we persevered.

In our short 40 minutes we discovered many treats: a beautiful mosaic over the door of an otherwise unremarkable bank; an art deco style telephone exchange; St Cuthbert’s Cooperative Society; and our final destination – Gardner’s Cresent – a late Georgian Street, cast adrift from the rest of the New Town and now sandwiched in on all sides by a ram-jam mix of other architecture.

Gardner’s Crescent was built in 1822, on land feued by William Gardner, to a design by architects R & R Dickson. The crescent is an “unbroken arc of fifty-two bays” with a pretty little communal garden seperating it from Rosebank Cottages on the other side of the street. The gardens were refurbished and re-planted as a community space after a local campaign to return them to their pre-WW2 state (the railings were removed for smelting in WW2). J.K. Rowling apparently rented a small flat here for a short time and found it depressing.

Prior to William Gardner’s ownership, the land was owned from 1722 by the Society and Fraternity of Gardeners and a large building called Gardener’s Hall stood on the land. The Free Gardeners were a form of mutual aid and insurance society, quite strongly influence by Freemasonry. The first lodge was formed in 1676 in Haddington and the last lodge in Dunfermline closed in the mid 1980s.

A rare treat this evening to take a slow meandering route to the station and look a little more closely at this fine city.