I first signed up for twitter in April 2007 and I’ve been tweeting pretty much continually ever since; over 23,000 tweets and counting! It’s no exaggeration to say that, in terms of work, I would be lost without twitter. Twitter has become so fundamental to my work and my identity as an open educational practitioner that I genuinely don’t think I could do my job without it. Twitter is my workspace, it’s my office, it’s where I hang out with friends and connect to colleagues all over the world. It’s where I pick up news, find new ideas, and listen to fresh perspectives. It’s where continuous professional development happens. It’s where I learn. As someone who works remotely a lot of the time, twitter enables me to be part of a global connected community of open education practitioners.
Live tweeting ALTC by www.chrisbullphotographer.com
Twitter is also an invaluable tool for communicating and disseminating educational events all kinds of. It’s second nature for me to live tweet every event I attend and if I can’t get online, I feel a bit lost. I find that live tweeting helps me to process what I’m listening to and the 140 character limit means I have to synthesise the ideas as I go along. Sometimes I get invited to live tweet events, such as the ALT Conference and the Day of Digital Ideas, in a more official capacity. Live tweeting in an official capacity requires a slightly different approach to live tweeting from my own account. When I live tweet on behalf of an event organiser I try to keep my tweets as factual, neutral and representative as possible. If I’m tweeting personally, I tend to tweet the points that interest or irritate me, adding my own thoughts and comments along the way. It feels quite different. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to use twitter to amplify academic events, here’s a presentation I gave at the Day of Digital Ideas at the University of Edinburgh: Using Social Media to Amplify Academic Events.
Despite the fact that twitter is such an important channel for me, I actually use very few twitter tools. I have tweetbot installed for occasions when I want to manage multiple accounts but I prefer to use the generic web interface. I do have a couple of lists set up, but I very rarely use them, I prefer not to filter as I love the random serendipity of my twitter feed. The only twitter tools I use with any regularity are Storify, for collating event tweets, and Martin Hawksey’s fabulous TAGs for archiving and visualising tweets associated with event hashtags.
Although I think of twitter as a work channel first and foremost, I tend not to filter what I tweet. I don’t just tweet about educational technology, I tweet about all kinds of things that interest me – naval history, poetry, sexuality and gender,tattooing, art, politics, rugby, whatever. These things are all part of my real life identity, so they’re part of my online identity too.
Two teams from the University of Edinburgh were acknowledged in the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards at the annual ALT Conference at the University of Warwick last week. The Open Education Team was placed third in the Team awards, with the team from Educational Design and Engagement being highly commended.
The ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field, and aim to promote intelligent use of Learning Technology on a national scale.
Open Education Team
The Open Education Team is a virtual team within Information Services whose role is to coordinate open education and open knowledge activities across the University. The Team undertakes a wide range of activities that support staff and students to engage with OER, and help the institution to mainstream digital education across the curriculum. Initiatives run by the Open Education Team include the OER Service, Open.Ed, support for CMALT accreditation, engagement with Wikimedia UK and support for Open Scotland which raises awareness of open education policy and practice to benefit all sectors of Scottish education.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Open Education Team by www.chrisbullphotographer.com
Educational Design and Engagement
The Educational Design and Engagement team, which came into existence less than two years ago, supports University teaching and learning by providing a central hub for developing awareness, support for staff and students and leadership for e-learning service improvements. With a developing portfolio of 35 MOOCs with over two million sign ups globally, the team continues to grow. In the past year alone, supporting a 20% increase in online assessment submission institution-wide as well as over 10,000 ePortfolio submissions.
Stuart Nicol accepts the award on behalf of EDE by www.chrisbullphotographer.com
Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal Online Learning at the University of Edinburgh, said
“These awards recognise excellent achievement by the IS teams, they show that our work in open education and educational design is recognised and valued at a national level. I’m very proud of the teams and it was great fun to be at the ALT Conference when they received their award.”
Me speaking after receiving the award on behalf of the Open Education Team
ALTC used to be one of those conferences I only attended every second or third year, but over the last couple of years it really has become unmissable. Whether you attend in person or participate virtually, it undoubtedly provides the best way to get a broad overview of technology enhanced learning in the UK together with plenty of opportunity for in depth discussion around many of the issues currently affecting the sector. And this years conference Connect, Collaborate, Create co-chaired by Nicola Whitton and Alex Moseley, at the University of Warwick was no exception.
I’m not going to attempt to blog a summary of the conference, as the ALT team has already rounded up a whole host of excellent conference reports here Enabling the Connection, so I’m just going to pick out a few or my own personal highlights.
Lets get the team back together
I was delighted that ALT invited Rich Goodman, Chris Bull and I back to join Martin Hawksey and the conference social media team again this year. Live tweeting the conference keynotes from the official ALT account can be more than a bit daunting but it’s also an extremely rewarding experience and it was great to be joined this year by Kenji Lamb and Sandra Huskinson.
tweet tweet tweet – me & Rich Goodman by www.chrisbullphotographer.com
Trolls, myths, privilege and freedom
Josie Fraser’s keynote In The The Valley of the Trolls took an intelligent look at the thorny subject of trolling and didn’t shy away from addressing Gamergate head on. (By contrast, aside from a single comment about gender imbalance in the games industry, Ian Livingston failed to address the issue of representation, sexism and harassment in the gaming community.) Lia Commissar gave a highly entertaining keynote on Education and Neuroscience: Issues and Opportunities, which exploded a whole host of neuromyths common in education, ranging from learning styles and right / left brain thinking to the magical power of fish oils. Jane Secker’s thoughtful and thought provoking keynote Copyright and e-learning: understanding our privileges and freedoms touched on many issues that are of deep personal concern to me, including privilege, equality and the enclosure of our cultural commons. I actually found myself getting quite over emulsional while Jane was talking :}
Me fangirling Jane Secker’s keynote by www.chrisbullphotographer.com
Although I didn’t manage to get to nearly as many sessions as I would have liked, because I was running around doing so many other things, my impression is that some of the main issues to emerge from the conference this year were learning analytics, policies for lecture capture, and games in education.
It was great to see so many presentations on different aspects of open education, particularly at a time when there is so little external funding going into OER. My impression is that openness is slowly starting to become embedded across the sector, with more institutions starting to consider the sustainability of the resources their staff and students create. I gave a presentation Into the Open – a critical overview of open education policy and practice in Scotland and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who provided enthusiastic comments and feedback.
ALT Scotland SIG
And talking of Scotland….we had a very successful meeting of the ALT Scotland SIG. It was great to see so many new faces! You can find out more about ALT Scotland and join out mailing list for updates.
Learning Technologist of the Year Awards
The University of Edinburgh was acknowledged twice in the Learning Technologist of the Year awards. The Open Education Team, which I work with, was placed third in the team awards and the Education Development and Enhancement team was highly commended. The awards were great fun and it was a real honour to join so many of the award winners from 2007 – 2016 on the stage.
ALT Learning Technologists of the Year by www.chrisbullphotographer.com
I’m delighted to have joined the ALT Central Executive Committee as a Trustee and look forward to hopefully making a positive contribution to the organisation.
I took part in a great Virtually Connecting session with Fiona Harvey, Teresa MacKinnon, Nadine Aboulmagd and others. We discussed a wide range of topics including the risks and privileges associated with openness.
Despite patiently explaining to co-chair Nicola Whitton that I am #notagamer she insisted that I joined her team for the Actionbound School of Rock challenge. Yes really. I have to admit it was a lot of fun and we had the most awesome team. Also this happened…
It’s that time of year again! The ALT Conference is taking place at the University of Warwick next week. The theme of this years conference, which has a distinctly playful feel, is Connect, Collaborate and Create, and the conference is being co-chaired by Nicola Whitton and Alex Moseley. I’ll be joining the ALTC social media team again with my partner in crime Richard Goodman from Loughborough University and we’ll be live tweeting all five (count ’em!) of the conference keynotes. Chris Bull will be on hand again to photograph the conference and this year we’re also being joined by Kenji Lamb from the College Development Network and Sandra Huskinson, Loughborough University, who’ll be helping Martin Hawksey to livestream and broadcast the event.
Oh and the Open Education Team that I work with at the University of Edinburgh is up for the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Community Choice Awards. If you’d like to vote for us, which would be super nice of you, you can send an email to LTAwardsemail@example.com with the subject line #LTA6 or tweet a message with the hashtags #altc #LTA6.
Sorry, it had to be done :} I’m delighted that the Open Education Team at the University of Edinburgh where I work has been nominated for the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Community Choice Awards, and y’know, if you feel that way inclined, you might like to vote for us. You can find out more about the Community Choice Awards here Finalists and Community Choice Voting and you can vote for us by sending an email to LTAwardsfirstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line #LTA6. Or alternatively you can tweet a message with the hashtags #altc #LTA6. Those clever people at ALT have even set up a link to generate the tweet for you 🙂
The Open Education Team at the University of Edinburgh is a virtual team within the Information Services Group, Learning, Teaching and Web Services Division and our role is to coordinate open education and open knowledge activities across the University.
The team is made up of Lorna M Campbell, OER Liaison – Open Scotland, Stuart Nicol, Learning Technology Team Manager, Stephanie (Charlie) Farley, OER Advisor, Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian-in-Residence, Jo Spiller, Head of Educational Design and Engagement, Eugenia Twomey, Student Engagement Officer, Anne-Marie Scott, Head of Digital Learning Applications & Media, Susan Greig, Learning Technology Advisor and Martin Tasker, Open Content Curation Intern.
You can find out more about our work in the video below which, you’ll be relieved to hear, is not filmed in the style of Trainspotting ;}
Earlier this month I went along to the ALT Scotland SIG‘s annual conference, which was held at Dundee and Angus College’s fabulous Gardyne Campus and Learning Lab. This year the theme of the event was Sharing Stories: enablers and drivers for Learning Technology in Scottish Education. I spoke about how the University of Edinburgh is supporting engagement with learning technology through open education, and my colleague Susan Greig gave a presentation about how the university is supporting staff to become Certified Members of ALT.
I’ve linked the recording of the afternoon session below along with my slides, and the recording of the morning session can be accessed from ALT’s YouTube channel.
For once in my life I actually wrote my presentation in advance of the event so I’ve copied my script below too.
Supporting Engagement with Learning Technology Through Open Education at the University of Edinburgh
Earlier this year the University of Edinburgh launched a new strategic vision which outlined where the university is at present and where it intends to be in 2025.
Central to this vision is increased provision of world-leading online distance learning.
It’s an ambitious vision that aims to see up to 10,000 students, learning online by 2020, through MOOCs and postgraduate online learning programmes, and open education embedded right across the institution.
I’m not going to talk today about MOOCs and online masters programmes per se, what I want to focus on today is how the University is supporting engagement with learning technology through a range of open education initiatives and services, focusing particularly on OER.
The University of Edinburgh’s vision for open educational resources builds on three strands:
The history of the Edinburgh Settlement.
Excellent education and research collections.
Traditions of the Enlightenment and the University’s civic mission.
The University has established an OER Service that will create an OER exchange to enrich both the University and the sector; provide support frameworks to enable staff to share OER created as a routine part of their work, and enable staff to find and use high quality teaching materials developed within and beyond the University.
The service will also showcase Edinburgh at it’s best, highlighting the highest quality learning and teaching; identifying collections of learning materials to be published online for flexible use, and made available as open courseware, and enabling the discovery of these materials to enhance the University’s reputation.
And as a contribution to the University’s civic mission it will open access to Edinburgh’s treasures, making available collections of unique resources to promote health, economic and cultural well-being; digitising, curating and sharing major collections of unique archives and museum resources to encourage public engagement with learning, study and research.
In order to ensure Edinburgh’s OER Vision is sustainable and supported across the institution, the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee has approved an accompanying OER Policy that encourages staff and students to use, create and publish OERs to enhance the quality of the student experience and to help colleagues make informed decisions about creating and using OER in support of the University’s OER Vision.
The Edinburgh OER Policy will look familiar to many of you as it’s based on the policy developed by the University or Leeds and already adopted by Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Greenwich. Edinburgh has made a number changes to this policy including adopting a more active and inclusive definition of OER.
“Digital resources that are used in the context of teaching and learning, which have been released by the copyright holder under an open licence permitting their use or re-purposing by others.”
By focusing on the context of use, this definition encompasses a wide range of resources including multimedia, courseware, and cultural heritage resources.
In order to provide access to its open educational resource the university has launched Open.Ed, a one-stop-shop which provides access to openly licensed content, the OER Vision statement and OER Policy, together with practical support for staff and students in the form of workshops, advice and guidance on finding, using and creating OERs.
I should add that this is not a formal repository Open.Ed is built on WordPress and aggregates OER from other repositories and sites across the university.
In addition to Open.Ed, the University has also launched Media Hopper a new multimedia asset management system which provides all staff and students with space to upload media and publish it to VLEs, websites and social media channels. Not all the content in Media Hopper is openly licensed, but student interns currently working to develop feeds to pull openly licensed content out of Media Hopper and into Open.Ed.
Edinburgh is also working to enhance the biggest open educational resource in the world; Wikipedia. Building on long term engagement with Wikimedia UK, the University has become the first in the UK to employ a dedicated Wikimedian in Residence. As an advocate for openness the WiR delivers training events and workshops to further the quantity and quality of open knowledge and enhance digital literacy, through skills training sessions and editathons.
The University is also committed to supporting open education across the sector and last year announced it’s support for Open Scotland. Scotland is a cross sector initiative that aims to raise awareness of open education, encourage the sharing of open educational resources, and explore the potential of open policy and practice to benefit all sectors of Scottish education. Part of my role as OER Liaison – Open Scotland will be to continue promoting the Scottish Open Education Declaration and hopefully bring it to the attention of the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
And of course last, but not least, earlier this year we were very privileged to host the OER16 conference with the support of ALT. The theme of the 7th OER Conference, and the first to be held in Scotland, was Open Culture and the conference focused on the value proposition of embedding open culture in the context of institutional strategies.
So to conclude, open education is being used as a key driver to encourage and embed engagement with education technology right across the institution.
The University of Edinburgh’s vision for open education provides a strong foundation for developing a sustainable model for online education at scale, encouraging engagement with learning technology and OER within the curriculum, and improving teachers and learners’ confidence and digital literacy with regard to teaching and learning online. In addition, this affords the University a valuable opportunity to scale up its community engagement, to disseminate the knowledge created and curated within the institution to the wider community and to help shape conversations about the role of learning technology and the future of open education in Scotland.
I’m delighted to announce that OER16 Open Culture is now accepting submissions for the conference which will take place at the University of Edinburgh on the 19th and 20th April 2016. The call for proposals was launched at the ALT Conference in Manchester at the beginning of September and the submissions site is now open.
Submissions are invited for presentations, lightning talks, posters, and panels and workshops on the themes of:
The strategic advantage of open, creating a culture of openness, and the reputational challenges of openwashing.
Converging and competing cultures of open knowledge, open source, open content, open practice, open data and open access.
Hacking, making and sharing.
Openness and public engagement.
Innovative approaches to opening up cultural heritage collections for education.
If you have any queries about the conference themes feel free to contact me at email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @lornamcampbell. Any queries regarding the submission process should be directed to Anna Davidge at ALT, email@example.com.
Further information about the conference is available here oer16.oerconf.organd you can follow @oerconf and #oer16 on twitter. Look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh in the Spring!
Tomorrow I’ll be taking part in the first ALT-C ‘Community Call’ where I’ll be in conversation with ALT’s Chief Innovation, Community and Technology Officer, Martin Hawksey. Among other things, I’ll be talking about my role in open education technology, policy and practice advocacy, my involvement with ALT, and my work with EDINA and LTW at the University of Edinburgh. I’ll also be giving an update on OER16 and outlining the conference themes.
The Community Call is free to join and will be hosted as a Google Hangout On Air at 12.30 PM. You can watch the call from the Google+ page, YouTube Channel or embedded on the ALT website, and you’ll be able to ask questions during the call from the Google+ page or via Twitter by using the tag #altc. I hope you’ll come along and join us!
ETA: In case you missed it, here’s the video of the event. If I look rather bemused and there’s a delay in me answering Martin’s questions it’s because I was hearing everything repeated with a 2 second delay!
Tomorrow I’ll be heading off to Manchester where I’ll be attending the ALT Conference for the first time in several years. Or rather what I should say is that this is the first time for a while that I’ll be attending the conference in person, as for the last couple of years I’ve participated in ALTC remotely. This year however I’ll be on the other side of the ALTC twitter feed. Along with Richard Goodman (@Bulgenen) of Loughborough University, I’ll be taking over the @A_L_T twitter account to live tweet the conference keynotes and invited talks, which will also be live streamed on ALT’s Youtube channel. Last year I found that following the keynotes via the livestream and the twitter feed to be a very rewarding experience (see Marvellous Monsters – thoughts on the #altc 2014 keynotes) so I’m looking forward to helping to make sure that this year’s remote participants are able to enjoy the conference as much as I did last year!
I’ll also be providing updates about OER16 at various stages throughout the conference, so if you’d like to find out more about OER16 and how to participate look out for me and feel free to come and have a chat any time.
I’m very pleased to have added a new string to my bow! As of the beginning of this month I will be working one day a week as OER Liaison – Open Scotland within the Learning, Teaching and Web division at the University of Edinburgh, where I’ll be working with LTW Director and OER16 co-chair, Melissa Highton. I’ll also continue working in my main role as Digital Education Manager at EDINA, while still doing some consultancy work with former Cetis colleagues, so I’m certainly going to be busy!
Edinburgh already has a world class reputation for encouraging innovation in open education and a forward looking vision for sharing open educational materials, so I’m very pleased indeed that the University has chosen to support Open Scotland in this way.
The main activities I’ll be concentrating on over the coming months are planning next year’s OER16 conference, revitalising the Open Scotland initiative, promoting the Scottish Open Education Declaration, and continuing to participate in the Open Policy Network. The Open Scotland blog has been sadly neglected for some time now so hopefully I’ll be able to start updating it again with open education news and developments from across Scotland and beyond, so if you’re involved in an any kind of open education initiative that you’d like to see featured on Open Scotland please feel free to get in touch. You can drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on twitter @lornamcampbell.
I’ll also be at ALT-C next week so if you’ve got any thoughts or ideas either for OER16 or for Open Scotland, please do come and find me for a chat.