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Tag Archives: web2.0

Phil Barker (CETIS) opened the day, mentioning the ‘dark web’, that part of the web which is inaccessible to search engines (‘The Invisible Web – Sherman and Price, 2001) and not adding your work to it inadvertently by choosing the wrong repository. Different repositories were contrasted, ones that manage resources instead of managing access (eg MIT OpenCourseware) and ones that manage different types of content (eg work in progress, finished work.) Ben Goldacre’s request for information on the content of a homeopathy course, though initially refused by the institution, was eventually granted after a court ruled that this was legally public information. Do we think of course material this way?

David Davis (Warwick) took us through his survey on searching for resources, conducted for the OOER project. This was full of interesting and somewhat counter intuitive insights into how users searched and how they assessed resources when they found them: an excellent read (see link below.)

David Millard (Southampton) compared sharing through repositories and Web 2.0 sites. He pointed out that those that shared did so for a reason (backing up our research in Skills for Scientists) and so it was important that the repository/site fulfilled those needs.

Joss Winn (Lincoln) expressed the view that a repository needed to concentrate on storing resources and nothing more, providing ”food for Google” rather than trying to provide social web functions which other sites already did so well and could be taken advantage of.

Patrick Lockley (Nottingham) spoke about the challenges of harvesting a multitude of RSS feeds; should be easy but it isn’t!

Lisa Rogers (Heriot-Watt) gave details of her work on two Subject OER projects, CORE for Materials and the Engineering Pilot Project. CORE involved experimenting with uploading to JorumOpen using RSS feeds (since manual upload of so many resources was unfeasible) whereas the engineering project had authors upload material themselves to make the process more sustainable.

Roger Greenhalgh (Harper-Adams) took us on a tour of repositories, including the Virtual Carrot Museum (everything you wanted to know about carrots ….and some) and his own OpenFields: a repository for land based studies.

Sarah Currier outlined a repository built by a community of practice based on Diigo and Netvibes.

Links to all the position papers can be found here:

Tweets (tagged #cetisrow) can  be found here:

This is an annual event organised by the Centre for new and aspiring lecturers from all the physical sciences. Attendees this year had various levels of previous experience and came from a range of HEIs across the UK.

As well as being there to tell attendees more about the Centre and what we could do for them, I gave a very short presentation on web 2.0 tools and some simple examples of how they might be used in higher education, for themselves and for their students.

Having covered the same material last year I was interested to find that this year’s attendees had a significantly greater awareness of social software and could name specific examples of tools that were available; some were using them at least for their own development or collaboration between colleagues.

For those still finding their way around, the Centre offers examples of RSS feeds from the Centre’s website to which visitors can subscribe, the Centre’s Twitter feed and an account on Delicious.

The talk itself (including an image located through the CC search on Flickr) was posted on SlideShare and a list of all the references from the talk were posted to a list on Diigo.

Darren Mundy (Hull) gave us an introduction and his ideas of what differentiates web 2.0 from what has gone before, reminding us that Tim Berners-Lee always saw the web as a place to share but that perhaps this aspect is just greatly enhanced in a web 2.0 world. Observing that students may now possess the greater ability when it comes to technology in the classroom, what does that do to the position of the lecturer, how should they react? If students use the social web how can this be harnessed for teaching and learning?

Mark van Harmelen (Manchester) suggested that what defines web 2.0 is its emphasis on creating and sharing content. Nevertheless, the vast majority of web users would be passive with only a small percentage creating content or actively contributing towards it. He went on to talk about the fusing of the social and technical spheres within web 2.0 where the two could no longer be divided. Web 2.0 gives opportunities to work collaboratively and become more involved in their learning: ‘felt involved in a course for the first time’ was a telling student quote. A response to an audience question was that many web 2.0 tools were increasingly accessible to all practitioners, needing little or no technical expertise.

Science specific examples of web 2.0 use in higher education were provided by presentations from Nick Greeves of Liverpool and Clare Sansom of Birbeck.

Robert Consoli spoke about his HullUniLecturer project on YouTube. Of particular note was the institutional reaction to liability which acts as a cautionary tale for anyone contemplating similar work.

Steve Wheeler (Plymouth) challenged us with the idea that education needed to be transformed, examining the structure of post industrial revolution education and its need to fit children to their future in the world of work. Students today would not be entering the same world, yet the structure of education largely has not changed. The contrast was made between taxonomies and folksonomies, the blog and the wiki. Though students would use wikis within the classroom there was reluctance to use them outside; take-up required scaffolding and a critical mass of, but not too many, participants (lest cliques form).

Mark van Harmelen returned to give an overview of tips for using a range of web 2.0 tools including Delicious, GoogleDocs, GoogleReader, MediaWiki, Flickr, Skype and DimDim.

Darren Mundy returned to talk about the Wild Project, a initiative to network large groups through mobile technology.

Tweets associated with the event:

Event webpage (with the presentations that speakers have permitted the Centre to host):

This event was organised partly based on the success of a previous event on the use of technology in education. Yes, you see those comments you leave on feedback forms really do count!

In the Choice and Change in OER workshop we looked at our own motivations to use Open Educational Resources and were then  taken through a process of working with ‘patterns’ looking at how that might be used in conjunction with the reuse of an OER. ‘Blog Innovation’ showcased a couple of projects that had used blogs and wikis with undergraduates and revealed the usual suspects of enablers (time, cost, support, embedding, access) and inhibitors (isolation, time, firewalls, lack of training).

In the Pedagogic Innovation session there were examples of the use of QR codes from Andy Ramsden (for instance in labeling artifacts with further information) and a contrast of ‘visitors’ and ‘residents’ experience of the web and web 2.0 tools from David White. Helen Whitehead expanded on the ‘Beyond 9 to 5′ community site and Brock Craft explained how sketching had been used to try to elucidate practitioners’ course design processes.

In the Learning Technology session Joss Winn talked about the use of BuddyPress to set up a series of institutional blogs and its versatility. Adam Blackwood illustrated the potential ability of a mobile phone to replace a range of gadgets in the classroom.

The keynote came from Martin Bean, giving us his vision for the OU of which he is soon to become VC. We have all been invited to join Social Learn (, a tool that hopes to bring together social networking and education.

The afternoon session on Redesigning Assessment included Sue Folley’s look at the use of rubrics to make thing easier for both teacher and self assessment, and the use of digital story telling as a method of assessment from Geraldine Jones.

A great opening to the first day with a keynote from Michael Wesch, full of ideas and challenges. He began with the idea of media being more than a tool but something that can actually mediate our relationships (making me wonder if therefore we choose our media with sufficient care). His history of insignificance looked at the possible increasing loss of the sense of self and how this might be manifesting itself through the quest to be broadcast. Wesch suggested an interesting alternative to the term group, using ‘flock’ to better describe the coming together of numbers of people at points when they were traveling in the same direction, followed by their dispersal when their directions diverged. We were directed to the videos ‘A Vision of Students Today’ and ‘An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube’ for further information.

Aaron Porter had several good ideas about how we might use technology to enhance the student experience. He asked if any university of offering students a tracking system for their work (rather like on online order or helpdesk problem), whereby they might see when feedback is offered and those offering it could see that it has been accessed. When students give us feedback are we seen to be responding to it? Since students are known to use social networking tools might  same be used to help students feel part of the academic community? I like the idea of easing the inevitable tensions of approaching group work by allowing students to draw up their own rules of engagement.

Richard Noss talked about several interesting TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) projects including Ensemble (concerned with semantic technologies); InterLife (using virtual worlds to help with transition skills) and Learning Design Support (to help teachers exploit the potential of TEL).

The Semantic Technologies in Education session had us all thinking, not least about what were the problems it could actually solve or was it simply ‘a good idea’ and when realised we would find out what it could do.

The OER Matters session speculated a lot of possible opinions about OER that I have already met through the course of my work. The question ‘Are free resources really free?’ is an important one along with the worry that the apparent economic driver may become the main focus. Though we may all agree that ‘Open Education’ and ‘Educational Resources’ are good ideas, are we really positive about OER and it’s implications?


'Both Arms', Millennium Square, Leeds, UK

Prompted by a workshop on Web 2.0 I’ve started this blog.

Watch this space.