Users, new technologies and emerging practices: Users and Innovation programme update
The Users and Innovation programme has been integral to JISC’s activity in Web 2.0-centred innovation.
The Users and Innovation programme
Focussing on how the user interacts with continuously and rapidly changing emergent technologies, the programme’s 22 projects have developed a variety of ways to potentially transform teaching, research and administrative practice. In addition, a number of support projects have developed advice on take-up of technologies and practices that have emerged.
The vision for the programme included building communities to identify key issues across education and research, and to explore how emergent technologies could support them. The Emerge project supported the programme through its initial community of practice phase, amidst which many of the resulting innovative ideas for development arose. The project continues to provide support via new technologies, social networking, open space ‘unconference’ technology and blended face-to-face/online community workshops.
Several projects have been working to deliver real value through information exchange via social networking and collaborative learning. Awesome has created a tool to help and support students through the writing of their dissertations, while SkillClouds has been examining how to make students more aware of the skills they possess through the use of social bookmarking software and tagging. Gold Dust and ticTOCs are delivering relevant tables of contents from 18,000 academic journals through a dynamic, user-aware service which has the power to transform current research practice, while alongside this, Streamline has developed tools to integrate repository functions. HORUS e-Learning Management Extension for Tutors (HeLMET) is supporting online consultation and brainstorming in distributed communities of practice in medical education via the use of social software, and the Content Integration Project has been tackling the problem of information integration in large organisations.
Multimedia social technologies for engagement, reflection and learning feature prominently in the programme. MOdelling Of Second Life Environments (MOOSE) and OpenHabitat have highlighted the value of 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments in learning and teaching, designing and building innovative learning activities in Second Life for undergraduates both on campus and at a distance, the skills students acquire becoming an integrated part of their learning. Audio Supported Enhanced Learning (ASEL) has developed, implemented and evaluated the use of audio for learners in next generation technologies, and Reflect 2.0 is collecting and assembling pictures and sound to form multimedia stories in an innovative approach to reflective learning. Pattern Language Network (Planet) uses Web 2.0 technologies to facilitate community-based learning pattern creation.
A number of projects are highlighting the shifting centres of control, time, place, agency and technologies in learning. Alternate Reality Games for Orientation, Socialisation and Induction (ARGOSI) provides an alternative to new student orientation. Problem-based Learning in Virtual Interactive Educational Worlds (PREVIEW) (right) has developed and delivered problem-based learning (PBL) scenarios in virtual worlds, while fellow Second Life project MUVEs, Moodle and Microblogging (M3) has integrated Second Life and Twitter in an existing Moodle course, increasing in-course participation by learners. Multimedia Annotation and Community Folksonomy Building (MACFob) and Sounds Good have extended the uses of multimedia in education, MACFob by creating the Synote tool to make pod- and vodcasts easier to access, search and manage, and Sounds Good by showing that it is possible to give richer feedback to students and save assessors’ time by using multimedia in Virtual Learning Environments.
New web technology platforms present exciting opportunities to enrich teaching, learning and research. Appropriate and Practical Technologies for Students, Teachers, Administrators and Researchers (APT STAIRS) has developed capacity to support collaborative learning with Web 2.0 tools, and eTutor has created an effective online learning environment from currently available Web 2.0 services and software. Skills development maps and a system to allow academics to record their personal and professional development to create rich e-portfolios have been produced by UKAN-Skills and Flourish, and Personal Engagement with Repositories through Social Networking Applications (PERSoNA) is showing how social networking tools can facilitate connections to learning object repositories.
What’s coming up?
Launch of the Web 2.0, IPR and You animation, in support of the Web2Rights online advisory toolkit on the issues all web 2.0 users need to consider with regard to Intellectual Property Rights.
Launch of the QR Code Getting Started guide.
Launch of the Web2Access online advisory resource, developed by JISC TechDis.
Launch of the online Second Life User Manual.
For details of all the above, see the Users and Innovation programme page.
Presentations and demonstrations of a range of project final outputs, successes and their impact on users at the Next Generation Technologies in Practice Conference, Loughborough, 10 & 11 March 2009 and JISC Conference, Edinburgh, 24 March 2009.