Drive your data dashboard with analytics labs

Higher education (HE) professionals will discover the power of data dashboards in a new continuing professional development (CPD) service launching this month. Catherine O’Donnell, who has already sampled analytics labs as a beta service, describes how the programme benefited her. >>

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Catherine O'Donnell

Preparing frontline staff to deal with students in distress

Would you know what to do if a student launched into an angry tirade in the library, or dissolved into tears during a tutorial? How should you deal with the immediate situation? What is the safeguarding policy? How and when should you contact student wellbeing services?  >>

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Steve James

How do monographs fit with the open access agenda?

In the UK, the push towards open access (OA) monograph publishing dates back to at least 2013. That was the year the Wellcome Trust included monographs and book chapters in its OA policy and the former higher education funding body for England, HEFCE, posed a number of questions relating to open access monographs in its Research Excellence Framework consultation. >>

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Graham Stone Verena Weigert

Is your college future-ready?

Ahead of his talk at the Aoc/Jisc Technology Summit on Monday 17 June, Robin Ghurbhurun encourages FE leaders to prepare for Industry 4.0. >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

How technology can help your brain work smarter

The brain is a more powerful learning device than any piece of technology. In his talk at the AoC/Jisc Technology Summit, Alex Beard urges delegates to take human intelligence seriously, developing technology that supports our capacity to learn. >>

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Alex Beard

How can research benefit from increased spending in R&D?

The UK government has vowed to increase its total R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. With this ambitious target in sight, now seems a good time to pause and reflect on where to focus investment to support the fourth industrial revolution and big data research. >>

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Neil Jacobs

Creating the library of the future

Libraries and learning resources services have embraced digital practice over three decades. Lis Parcell reflects on their pioneering approach and considers how libraries will continue to reinvent themselves >>

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Lis Parcell

Opening up immersive technologies to education

Using immersive technology, student nurses can perfect their stitches and criminals see the consequences of their actions. In this post, I explore today’s practical applications of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) to see how it may benefit education. >>

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Matt Ramirez

Why ethical debate is crucial in the classroom

As digital technology transforms our world, computer scientists must consider the ethical impact of their work. In her powerful Digifest workshop, Miranda Mowbray illustrated why this is so important. Here, she shows how universities can keep up with the pace of change. >>

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Dr Miranda Mowbray

The perils of big data

Speaking at Jisc’s forthcoming Networkshop 47 conference, Kieron O’Hara warns that even anonymised data can reveal sensitive personal information. We must ensure data is both safe and useful, he says. >>

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Kieron O'Hara

How to create a broader, fairer and smarter education system

Girls and people from disadvantaged backgrounds are currently less likely to choose subjects that develop the skills needed for digital and data science careers.  >>

Students in the workshop at Harlow College
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Students in the workshop at Harlow College
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Joysy John

How to be human in a machine world

Hannah Fry, author of Hello World, an exploration of how we live our lives in the age of artificial intelligence, considers the kind of future we want – and how education can help to get us there. Hannah will be speaking at Networkshop47, 9-11 April 2019, in Nottingham. >>

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Dr Hannah Fry

Survey results benchmark students’ attitude to technology in teaching and learning

Those of us in developed countries are operating in an increasingly connected environment where digital technology already impacts hugely on almost all aspects of our lives. In the years ahead, emerging tech, such as robotics and machine learning, will likely have an even greater influence, not least in the sort of jobs we do. >>

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Ruth Drysdale

AI will revolutionise education, but it could worsen inequalities

At our annual edtech showcase Digifest, 12-13 March 2019, delegates can experience the latest technologies and learn from edtech experts. Rose Luckin, professor of learner centred design at University College of London, shared some of her hopes and fears for artificial intelligence (AI) at last year's event. >>

Rose Luckin speaking at Digifest 2018
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Rose Luckin speaking at Digifest 2018
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Rose Luckin

Data matters, and so do ethics

There are many positive arguments for the use of data in education, but data collectors have a responsibility to ensure it really does benefit students and their institutions. >>

Students at Lincoln University
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Students at Lincoln University
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Phil Richards

Minister's call to improve support for disabled students is a welcome move toward an equal university experience

Today's call (The Guardian, 18 January 2019) by universities minister Chris Skidmore for universities to do more to improve support for disabled students is a welcome boost in moving further toward an education system that offers genuinely equal opportunities.  >>

Staff and students at the University of Kent
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Staff and students at the University of Kent
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Alistair McNaught

Member stories: moving towards Education 4.0

Have you been following all the coverage about the fourth industrial revolution – Industry 4.0, as it’s sometimes called? Big data, artificial intelligence and robotics will fundamentally change the way products are designed and built and how services are provided. They are already changing how we live and communicate.   >>

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Sarah Davies

Edtech 2K19, what’s in store?

Was there a robot or a drone under your Christmas tree this year, or perhaps a smart lightbulb or a connected toothbrush? As tech companies put microchips into everyday objects and connect them to the internet, it feels like our lives are becoming a little more sci-fi every day. >>

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Martin Hamilton

Shaping the new IT crowd

Universities are changing and so are the skills needed in their higher education IT workforce. Heriot-Watt University's Kathy McCabe reports back from a global IT conference on some of the trends we can expect.   >>

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Kathy McCabe

What does the FE college of the future look like?

In the same way that machines changed the lives of our ancestors in the 19th century, so technology is transforming our world in the 21st century. Here, we imagine a day in the life of a further education principal in a few years' time. >>

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Paul McKean

Chatbots - now is the time

With chatbots active in some institutions and minimal investment required to get them up and running, now really is the time to explore this technology. >>

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Richard Maccabee

Working with colleges to understand what our services mean to staff and students

Earlier this year, as part of our ongoing engagement process with members, we commissioned independent consultants to determine what Jisc services mean to the FE sector. The information will help us refine and develop what we do for our members now and into the future. >>

Students at Strode College
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Students at Strode College
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Tim BlakeAngela LeavensInnes DavidsonDominic Cumberland

What does best practice look like for using learning technology in colleges?

Five years on from the Further Education learning Technology Action Group’s (FELTAG) first report, my colleague Ros Smith and I have been talking to leaders and practitioners in colleges across the UK to see how they have implemented the report’s recommendations and how today’s use of technology is helping to improve student experience and prospects.   >>

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Rob Bristow

Announcing the results of our student digital experience survey

This year, universities minister Sam Gyimah opens our student digital experience survey. Launched today, the report contains the opinions of 37,000 students on their digital experiences in further and higher education. Here's what the minister has to say in the foreword. >>

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Sam Gyimah

How we’ve been helping universities and colleges to improve the digital experience for their students

Last year 20,000 students from higher and further education told us about their digital learning experiences in further and higher education. This year we’re back with the results from over 37,000 students and 83 organisations, in our digital experience report set to be published next week...  >>

Students at the University of Lincoln
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Students at the University of Lincoln
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Sarah Knight

Could the research data lifecycle be the engine to drive open science?

We want to make the UK the most digitally advanced research nation in the world. There are some strong foundations to build on, but one area that needs continued support is how we manage, and make the most of data produced in the process of research. This is where Jisc can help. >>

Lab work at the University of Lincoln
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Lab work at the University of Lincoln
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Paul Stokes John Kaye

Inspiring colleges to improve the learner experience

Over the last few weeks we’ve been immersed in our Connect More programme of regional events and it has been as rewarding as ever to meet with Jisc members. At each event, I’ve been seeking out practitioners in FE and skills to talk about the ideas and insights we shared in the various sessions and to find out where we can help people to do things better. >>

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Sarah Knight

What I’ve learned as a woman in tech with gender dysphoria

Hi, my name is Chloe and I work in strategy and corporate services where I'm a SharePoint architect and developer. I've been at Jisc for about four years or so both as a contractor and as a full time member of staff. In my spare time I'm an artist and photographer, and also study Chen style Tai Chi. I have gender dysphoria, and I transitioned from male to female whilst working at Jisc. >>

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Chloe Gilbert

An update: Jisc and FE subscription

So far, I have refrained from responding to comments in the media and among sector representatives relating to the requirement from the Department for Education (DfE) for Jisc to introduce a subscription for further education colleges in England. >>

Paul Feldman

Why it's time to get tough on passwords

Earlier this year, Jisc informed several universities and colleges that compromised usernames and passwords belonging to some of their staff and students had appeared in the public domain, on one of several legitimate websites often used for this purpose. >>

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John Chapman

FE subscription: members’ top concerns answered

Since March, when the Department for Education (DfE) announced that English colleges must pay Jisc a subscription from August 2019, we’ve been talking with as many affected members as possible to answer questions and listen to feedback. >>

Students studying at North Lindsey College
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Students studying at North Lindsey College
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Paul McKean

Taking pride in who you are: a personal coming-out story

At the start of Pride month, our executive director of technologies, Tim Kidd, talks about the difficulties of coming out, what it is like working at Jisc, and his passion for helping young people through his role as the Scouts' UK chief commissioner >>

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Tim Kidd

A robust cyber security strategy is one of the top priorities for my college

As a college leader there are many concerning issues to consider, including the pressure on funds, doing the best I can for staff and students and keeping up with ever-changing shift in government policy. But right up there on my list of priorities is cyber security, particularly protection of the college network and the countless online systems which depend upon it. >>

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College students working in the library
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Ken Thomson

From plagiarism detection to academic integrity

After two decades in which our technology has played an important role, we are now seeing universities deploying new tactics in the fight against plagiarism. >>

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Working in the student centre
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Gill Rowell

FE and social media make the perfect match

The UK’s further education (FE) sector is known for its capacity to adapt and innovate; its ability to morph in response to the changing demands on post-16 education. Which is perhaps why it so often finds a bedfellow in social media – flexible, ever-evolving, and for the most part free. >>

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Richard Tatnall

The top five things about Digifest for attendees

Digifest is a great way to hear from other educators from around the UK and share and learn from like-minded people.  >>

Workshop at Digifest 2017
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Workshop at Digifest 2017
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Scott Hayden

Ten top tips to make your university accessible to all learners

The University of Kent has been leading the way in designing systems and ways of presenting content to make it easily accessible to as many learners as possible. >>

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Student using an iPad at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus
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Ben Watson

The top challenges for the UK’s HE leaders - revealed

The results are in from our second annual higher education leadership survey, exploring what is looming large on the horizons for those in senior leadership positions in UK higher education. >>

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Sarah Davies

The next generation of research – it’s online and open to all

Research is changing, with calls on academics to make research open and collaborate across sectors. So how is technology helping to meet these demands? It’s time to meet the startups answering these calls. >>

Know it Wall team at Jisc Summer of Student Innovation pitch day 2016
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Know it Wall team at Jisc Summer of Student Innovation pitch day 2016
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Daniela Duca

Ten ways we support a sustainable future for open access

We've been involved in shaping and supporting the open access movement since its early days, and we know that our members want to see a sustainable future for open access; but what does sustainable look like when we’re talking about sharing research? >>

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Helen Blanchett

The General Data Protection Regulation and what it means for cyber security

Keeping personal data secure has been a legal requirement since the 1984 Data Protection Act. But that creates a paradox, because to secure the computers and networks that store and carry personal data, we need to collect additional personal data about how those systems are used and abused >>

Students working at North Lindsey College
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Students working at North Lindsey College
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Andrew Cormack

The future of FE: our vision for the next five years

Can colleges and skills providers become efficient and financially stable, while also providing an excellent learning experience that produces a workforce with the skills required to help the UK economy thrive post-Brexit and beyond? >>

Students working at North Lindsey College
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Students working at North Lindsey College
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Paul McKean

Are you our next HE social media superstar?

We’re on the look-out for the most social media-savvy folk in higher education (HE). Sound like you? Well, if you make our top ten list you could win an edtech visit for your class, with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and even a robot, and hey, it’s always nice to be acknowledged for your hard work! >>

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Emma   Dixon

Crack that code! This could be the week the magic happens...

At Jisc we believe that education technology (edtech) can improve education, research and student life – and not just in the classroom or lecture theatre. However, most of us are consumers of technology rather than producers. What would it take to learn how to code, or get into hardware hacking? >>

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Students at the University of Bath coding with Arduino
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Martin Hamilton

The smart home reloaded - welcome to the intelligent campus

Smart homes are impressive, there’s no denying it. More and more devices can be hooked up to your wifi in order to do various ‘smart’ things – from smart lights to smart thermostats and of course Google Home and Amazon Echo, all set to become run-of-the-mill (are listening hairbrushes and emotional cars also on the horizon?). >>

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James Clay

As challenges for the FE sector continue, leaders acknowledge technology as a way forward

As the further education (FE) sector continues to battle through difficult and ever-changing conditions, our second survey of FE leaders gives us a clear picture of the most difficult current challenges and, more importantly, how we can assist with solutions. >>

Staff and students at Salford City College
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Staff and students at Salford City College
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Paul McKean

From next generation research environments to digital apprenticeships – our five new priority areas as chosen by you

Time for an update. The last time I wrote about our co-design project, I let you know that we’re pursuing five exciting ideas, as chosen by you. Since then, we’ve been working with experts and those on the ground to gather research and draw conclusions, and generally work out where to take the projects from here. >>

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Students working together on a tablet
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Andy McGregor

Connect with technology, connect with your audience, and Connect More

Lectures and presentations that I’ve been to have been quite predictable affairs. The teacher or presenter typically stood at the front and talked while everyone else sat quietly and listened (or nodded off). But now digital technologies are making it much easier to create engaging presentations that are more rewarding for students and teachers alike. >>

Speakers at Connect more in London, June 2016
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Speakers at Connect more in London, June 2016
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Jo Wheatley

A year to get your act together: how universities and colleges should be preparing for new data regulations

It’s out with the old and in with the new in May 2018 as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sweeps into effect to replace the Data Protection Act (DPA). As the world moves into an ever more digital direction, our personal data, how it is used and who has access to it has become a global concern for all of us. >>

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Andrew Cormack

Creating learning experiences, and spaces, for future students

What do the next generation of digital learning environments look like? Given the time and thought that they have already invested in developing digital learning spaces – would colleges and universities be better off making best use of the ones they have?  >>

Elizabeth Ellis, Lawrie Phipps and Ange Fitzpatrick take part in the debate 'what does a next generation learning environment look like?' at Digifest 2017
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Elizabeth Ellis, Lawrie Phipps and Ange Fitzpatrick take part in the debate 'what does a next generation learning environment look like?' at Digifest 2017
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Lawrie Phipps

Beating Brexit: why we must build more bridges towards borderless education

Overseas’ students are a key part of the UK economy, but Brexit is already having an effect on the numbers from the EU who want to study here. To ensure the UK remains a world leader in delivering education and research internationally we must now capitalise on developing opportunities for “borderless” study >>

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Esther Wilkinson

Boosting skills from roots to shoots

At Digifest 2017, we announced a suite of new resources to help university and college leaders and staff make sure they have the digital skills they’ll need in their increasingly digital environment. >>

Ross Anderson speaks to staff at North Lindsey College
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Ross Anderson speaks to staff at North Lindsey College
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Lisa Gray

What I’m most looking forward to at Digifest 2017

Digifest is our annual must-attend event that celebrates the power digital has to revolutionise learning and teaching. Each year the event is packed full of exciting talks and debates, and the chance to investigate ideas and explore sector issues, and a buzzing atmosphere fuelled by people ready to learn and share ideas.  >>

Digifest 2016
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Digifest 2016
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Sarah Knight

You helped us to identify our new priorities, so what are they, and what next?

Our R&D effort is currently focused on three major projects: learning analytics, digital capability and the research data shared service. However, it’s important for us to keep an eye on what comes next after these endeavours, so that we’re able to move quickly to develop new projects as soon as effort is released from our current ones. >>

Students working together in a computer lab
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Students working together in a computer lab
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Andy McGregor

Response to the Bell review

We welcome the Bell review, which is designed to make sure we’re adapting along with other agencies to best support the sector while they also go through change. >>

Student centre
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Student centre
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Paul Feldman

Jisc Collections and Elsevier agreement: questions and answers

On behalf of UK institutions, Jisc Collections has signed an agreement with Elsevier, covering access to research publications. The five-year, opt-in agreement offers subscription access to around 2,116 journals on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect online platform. >>

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Liam Earney

Recognising digital innovation in research and education

The 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards on 24 November 2016 saw the sector come together to recognise innovation from institutions across the UK, showcasing the best of higher education. >>

Martin Hamilton

How can we create user-led solutions for better research?

Researchers might not start off thinking about managing their data. They have plenty of other considerations; time management, funding, and publishing deadlines can all take priority over data management. >>

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Daniela Duca

Sharing data makes the most of research, but how do we keep it safe?

The quantity of biomedical and population data from clinical studies, work on genomics, health records and administrative functions is ever increasing. Making this data available to researchers can lead to new scientific discoveries on a scope and scale not previously possible.  >>

Infinity shared data centre
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John Chapman

Managing information security in a digital era

The paperless office has been an aspiration for some time. However, for many in the world of education and training, they are now moving towards the next era, looking at a born digital approach with the potential for increased efficiencies, improvements in quality, auditability and transparency, as well as financial savings. >>

Logged in at Jisc Digital Festival
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Logged in at Jisc Digital Festival
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Nicole Convery

Moving open access into action

For this year’s International Open Access (OA) Week, the focus is firmly on the practical. Its theme – ‘open in action’ – should encourage everyone with a stake in the open research agenda to take solid steps towards making research more openly available. >>

Open Access Week 2016: open in action
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Neil Jacobs

Creating a solid foundation for success post-area reviews

‘Technology as an enabler’ is a major theme in government’s guidance on the area reviews, reviewing post-16 education and training institutions. If we look at the objectives of this programme, and what a college needs to be successful in the post-area review landscape, it is easy to see why. >>

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Paul McKean

Our Summer of Student Innovation win: what gave us the edtech edge

The idea for Know it Wall came about in the summer of 2014, when my co-founders and fellow UCL students wanted to solve the problem of accessibility in academia.  >>

Know it Wall team at Jisc Summer of Student Innovation pitch day 2016
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Know it Wall team at Jisc Summer of Student Innovation pitch day 2016
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Angus Waite

The English and maths resits challenge – and how Jisc is helping

Was there a subject you really disliked at school? Perhaps it was an optional course that you were able to drop in making your GCSE choices, or one that you were glad to see the back of after sitting your exams. As long as that subject didn’t impact on your career choice, you probably gave it little thought thereafter. >>

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Karla Youngs

Understanding the who, what and how of online learning

Learning in a digital environment is potentially a great leveller, enabling people from all backgrounds to access learning and valuable knowledge; technically, all you need to learn online is an internet connection and curiosity about a particular subject or topic area.  >>

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Sarah Knight Heather Price

Introducing the new sector agreement for open research data

Within the research sector it is now widely recognised that open data is a good thing and beneficial to research and its subsequent impacts and uses. It improves the integrity of research by making it more transparent, open to scrutiny and therefore trustworthy, while supporting reuse, new advances, and contributing to economic growth. >>

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Rachel Bruce

Creating a collaborative, integrated learning analytics service fit for the sector

Universities and colleges wishing to maximise student success and raise achievement of all students – including those from non-traditional backgrounds – should consider adopting learning analytics, as recommended by the Higher Education Commission in its recent report ‘From Bricks to Clicks’. >>

John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University
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John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University
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Phil Richards

The art of collaboration to provide a better service for UK higher education

As the UK higher education system goes through its biggest overhaul in 20 years, together with cost cutting targets becoming the norm, partnerships and collaborations are more important than ever before. >>

Paul Clark, chief executive of HESA, Paul Feldman, chief executive of Jisc and Douglas Blackstock, QAA chief executive
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Paul Clark, chief executive of HESA, Paul Feldman, chief executive of Jisc and Douglas Blackstock, QAA chief executive
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Paul FeldmanPaul ClarkDouglas Blackstock

Questions you need to ask when developing a digital strategy

Mention the word strategy, and some people will switch off straight away. When we talk about digital strategies you might lose even more of your audience if they’ve decided they’re not technically-minded. But with digital coming to play such a crucial role in further education (FE) and skills - being recommended as a core skill in all college programmes in the Sainsbury review of technical education and part of Government's post-16 skills plan - it’s not something that can be ignored.  >>

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Enhancing the efficiency of library support services

This week’s Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) summer conference and AGM is based around the theme of 'library transformation'. >>

Student working on a tablet in the library
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Student working on a tablet in the library
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Liam Earney

Unlocking the potential of predictive analytics and big data: how do we move forward?

You’ll undoubtedly have read one of the many reports and articles on the power of data and analytics to further and higher education (HE) organisations, but may not be clear on what needs to happen so that your own university or college is able to do just that. >>

Students working in a classroom
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Martin Hamilton

Want to develop your own technology solution to support your learning? Enter our Summer of Student Innovation competition.

If you are a student or apprentice on a course in a UK college or university, or a member of staff with a budding idea for tech that could support the learning process, there is still time to enter our Summer of Student Innovation competition, which closes on Monday 23 May 2016. >>

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Student giving a presentation
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Paul Bailey

Support your autistic learners more effectively

World Autism Awareness Week started on Saturday. With one in every 100 people on the autism spectrum, and a new BBC series highlighting that even the word ‘autism’ may suggest different things to different people, it’s an issue educators must concern themselves with.  >>

College students with tablets
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College students with tablets
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Julia Taylor Margaret McKay

Solving the ethical and legal issues around learning analytics: a series of podcasts

Learning analytics is increasingly in the news. Recently the Higher Education Commission launched their Bricks to Clicks report, which demonstrates the enormous potential for the use of learning analytics in UK universities. It also highlights the dangers around the potential misuse of students’ personal data. >>

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Niall Sclater

Digital stories can empower the teller

Everyone has a story to tell. They do not need to be big, powerful stories to have impact or provide crucial information for others. More often than not it’s the act of telling that’s important.  >>

Staff and students from Treloar College at the 2015 Summer of Student Innovation event
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Staff and students from Treloar College at the 2015 Summer of Student Innovation event
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Lisa Featherstone

Take-home messages from Bett 2016

For many people the Bett Show is one of the world's leading education events; there’s something for everyone who wants to find out about the latest technology and how it can make learning and teaching experiences richer. >>

Section of the Bett Show learning wheel
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Paul McKean

Bricks to Clicks: from recommendation to action

If you’ve been working in higher education (HE) for a while, you’ll know that the latest Higher Education Commission (HEC) report ‘From Bricks to Clicks: the Potential of Data and Analytics in Higher Education’ is welcome research.  It brings into the spotlight the conversation about the strategic role that data and digital can play in HE. >>

Paul Feldman

Getting the most out of your next videoconference

Videoconferencing (VC) should feel like an ordinary conversation but it’s amazing how often it seems awkward. We’ve put together a few tips to improve your next VC so you can be sure of a smoother meeting that is more satisfying for everyone. >>

Videoconferencing
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Tim Boundy

Mapping digital practices

One of the issues I have been talking about lately in a variety of contexts is the digital and physical practices of students and staff in the pursuit of teaching and learning.    >>

Digital screen at Jisc Digital Festival 2015
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Digital screen at Jisc Digital Festival 2015
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Donna Lanclos

Celebrating outstanding digital innovation in teaching and research

Our universities are bursting with innovative ideas that involve exploiting digital technologies to their fullest extent, and the annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Outstanding Digital Innovation category provides a great opportunity to celebrate them.  >>

Rory Bremner and Jisc chief executive Paul Feldman with the THE Award winner from Bournemouth University
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Rory Bremner and Jisc chief executive Paul Feldman with the THE Award winner from Bournemouth University
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Martin Hamilton

Helping institutions to move to the cloud

What does the future of cloud computing hold for universities and colleges? We recently sat down with public cloud providers Amazon, Atos, Google and Microsoft and university IT leaders and practitioners to discuss blockers and enablers to more widespread adoption of cloud technologies. >>

Virtus shared data centre
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Virtus shared data centre
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Martin Hamilton

Open data mashup challenge: enhancing the student journey

Universities UK (UUK) and Jisc recently challenged developers to submit ideas to feed into the open data mashup day taking place this Tuesday. Ian Powling, digital programmes lead at UUK, rounds up the six entrants ahead of the event. >>

Open box
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Ian Powling

The journey toward openness

For the last 20 years or so, Coalition for Networked Education (CNI) and Jisc have been working together on a wide range of issues involving technology and digital content, sharing knowledge and supporting higher education in the US and UK.  >>

Open access week - world map
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Clifford LynchJoan Lippincott

Beyond Safe Harbour – what happens now?

The European Court’s scrapping of the US-EU Safe Harbour agreement has raised some confusion and concern within the UK education and research sector. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic.   >>

Keyboard
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Andrew Cormack

Unpicking the open access lock

Recently, I’ve been working with higher education (HE) research sector bodies to explore the experiences of a group of UK higher education institutions as they forge ahead in their efforts to implement open access (OA). >>

Open padlock
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Neil Jacobs

The textbook challenge: supporting literacy through technology

Literacy is arguably the most significant invention of all time, allowing us to live rich and varied lives and gain knowledge and experiences from the minds of others. >>

Sophie from Treloar College whose 'Voice It' app is an entry in the 2015 Summer of Student Innovation
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Sophie from Treloar College whose 'Voice It' app is an entry in the 2015 Summer of Student Innovation
©Jisc and Matt Lincoln
Alistair McNaught

Building social engagement at your college or university

Last week we opened our call to find 50 of the most influential HE professionals on social media in the UK. But what consitututes good practice?  >>

Summer of Student Innovation 2015 workshop
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Summer of Student Innovation 2015 workshop
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Tom Mitchell

Five reasons to use Twitter for your virtual CPD

As educators, our role is to facilitate a learning experience that is interesting, current, flexible, challenging, collaborative, adaptive - and fun! But that’s why we chose this profession isn’t it? To have a stimulating job in a subject we are passionate about? To never have two days alike? And to be rewarded with making positive differences to others’ lives?   >>

Using social media on a mobile
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Deb Millar

Re-balancing the power in our digital colonies

Recently, Lawrie Phipps, senior co-design manager, published a blog post referring to digital colonialism and its potential to destroy any kind of pedagogic innovation.   >>

Digifest 2015
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Digifest 2015
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Simon Thomson, head of digital pedagogy, Leeds Beckett University

Coming together to change the future of education at Google’s Moonshot Summit

If you could change anything in the education system, what would your ‘moonshot’ be? This was the question asked of 40 educators, edtech innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world who were invited to Google’s Moonshot for Education Summit in Amsterdam last week, which I was delighted to be able to attend representing Jisc. >>

A workshop at the Google Moonshot for Education Summit
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A workshop at the Google Moonshot for Education Summit
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Martin Hamilton

The six ages of incident response

The aims of incident response have stayed pretty constant - to reduce the number and severity of security breaches that occur. But nowadays far more services and people need to be involved.  >>

Orange light
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Andrew Cormack

Summer of Student Innovation 2015 - technology startup winners announced

Last week I was part of a small team that met with some of the applicants for the technology start-ups category of Jisc’s 2015 Summer of Student Innovation co-design challenges.  >>

CrowdEmotion demo their emotion recognition software at the Digital Catapult
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CrowdEmotion demo their emotion recognition software at the Digital Catapult
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Owen White

Cloud is...or is it?

I often read or hear sweeping generalisations about cloud computing. But if it were that simple surely we’d all be doing the same things with it? Cloud is actually a lot more interesting, and provides many more opportunities for innovation, than the stereotypes suggest. >>

Andrew Cormack

Offsetting agreements for open access publishing

Last year my colleague Lorraine Estelle blogged about how we've unpicked the full cost of publishing in open access (OA). She reported a sharp increase in article processing charges (APCs) from UK universities’ central funds, particularly over the previous two years.  >>

Liam Earney

Research data at the forefront of Networkshop 43

Networkshop is Jisc’s annual technical event, hosted each year by a higher education organisation in the UK. Aimed at network managers and technical staff, the conference provides a forum for discussion on the latest technologies bringing together expertise from all fields of networking. >>

Networkshop 43 delegates
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Networkshop 43 delegates
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Neil Shewry

Signed up for Networkshop43 yet?

Today, after what seems like ages, the sun is shining and the birds are singing outside my window. Which must mean it’s nearly spring and time is running out to register for Networkshop43. >>

Networkshop 42
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Networkshop 42
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Steve Kennett

A shot in the ARM: Catapults give UK tech a boost

Universities and colleges have a vast amount of equipment at their disposal and rich seams of talent and expertise that can be mined. Sharing those resources with other institutions and with business opens up new opportunities to boost the UK’s technology sectors. >>

CrowdEmotion demo their emotion recognition software at the Digital Catapult
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CrowdEmotion demo their emotion recognition software at the Digital Catapult
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Martin Hamilton

ETAG – a good Bett for UK education?

A couple of months ago my daughter came home from school with an interesting new project: everyone in her year group was being asked to imagine what the classroom of the future might be like.  >>

ETAG illustration
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ETAG illustration
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Martin Hamilton

How technology-enabled data sharing could aid medical research

Researchers who work to harness scientific understanding and translate it into best practice recommendations are invaluable in the search for a cure for diseases such as cancer, treatments for medical conditions, and for accelerating the speed in which drugs go from concept to useable, personalised medicines for patients.  >>

Dr Jonathan Tedds

Unravelling the true cost of publishing in open access

Research Libraries UK (RLUK) estimates that the UK’s universities now pay around £192m per year for access to academic journals and databases: that is nearly a tenth of the total QR budget for research funding.  >>

Lorraine Estelle

Where next for the e-book?

Many academic librarians today have very ambitious goals to provide their users with effective access to e-books. E-books, it is recognised, can give researchers and students the information they need whenever they need it and wherever they are.   >>

e-book reader
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Roger Tritton

Celebrating outstanding ICT in UK higher education

Last night saw the sector come together in London for the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. One of the most eagerly awaited categories was the Jisc-sponsored Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year – celebrating the use of innovative and strategic digital technologies in universities – with The Open University’s OpenScience Laboratory announced as the very deserving winner. >>

Jack Dee and Martyn Harrow with THE Awards winners 2014
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Jack Dee and Martyn Harrow with THE Awards winners 2014
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Martin Hamilton

Delivering curriculum-relevant services

Digital resources are high on the agenda at the moment and the use of online course delivery is now being measured by government. But, it’s not just about taking a digital resource and putting it online, you need to develop services that are accessible, easy to use and most importantly made relevant to the curriculum. >>

Digimap for Colleges
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Digimap for Colleges
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Anne Robertson

Tackling assessment and feedback issues with technology-enhanced solutions

Assessment and feedback are vital components of any successful learning programme. But they can also be sources of dissatisfaction, as shown by the National Student Survey which consistently returns lower satisfaction scores for these areas than any other aspect of the learning experience. >>

Ros Smith

Why is electronic management of assessment (EMA) still achieving mediocre marks? Tell us what you think

We’re becoming increasingly used to dealing with the routine business of our daily lives online – from paying bills to buying groceries – so we might imagine that the days of students trudging to campus to hand in assignments, or trying to decipher a tutor’s scrawled comments are long gone.  >>

Exam hall
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Gill Ferrell

UK digital capabilities: mind the gap

In recent months the UK has seen several landmark reports launched on the ‘digital state of the nation’ – notably the TechUK Manifesto, the Number One in Digital report from Labour Digital and the government’s own Digital Inclusion Strategy.  >>

Martin Hamilton

We must not lose the benefits of shared infrastructure

With the publication of his Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) yellow paper, Martyn Harrow, chief executive of Jisc, makes the case for universities continuing to share the costs of joint investment in technology infrastructure. >>

Martyn Harrow

How to prepare for the financial side of open access

Disruption in any sector naturally incurs costs in transitioning to a new model or way of working. Despite its promise to liberate research and benefit universities, the move to open access (OA) publishing is no exception - and a particularly topical issue with Open Access Week 2014 starting on Monday.  >>

Neil Jacobs

Finding a common tongue to drive IT innovation

We may not always agree on whether it is a ‘cookie’ or a ‘biscuit’; if it should be dd/mm/yy or mm/dd/yy; and whether you can name a sport ‘football’ if you don’t actually use your feet; but what we do find British and Americans agree on, as Winston Churchill famously said, is that ‘the gift of a common tongue is a priceless inheritance’. >>

Paul Saunders

A new chapter for the monograph?

Interest in the form of the scholarly book, or the monograph, has a long history. >>

Open book
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Ben Showers

How to use 3D content in simulations for teaching and learning

Whether you’re dressed up in fifties costume for this summer’s immersive version of Back to the Future by Secret Cinema, or are using Second Life for learning, which allows students to carry out work in a virtual environment, a 'real life' experience can certainly bring the screen or page to life. >>

3D printer at Jisc Digital Festival 2014
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3D printer at Jisc Digital Festival 2014
©Jisc and Matt Lincoln
Karla Youngs

ac.uk domain name consultation - the results are in

Jisc manages the registration and administration of names in the ac.uk domain. It has been 16 years since the policy for domain name eligibility was last updated - which is why we decided to hold a consultation into whether it reflected evolving market conditions.  >>

Phil Gummett

Collaborative approach to sector-wide challenges

The UK has a rich and varied array of universities, colleges and training providers for learners to choose from, but if there’s one lesson that has stood out most during the first few months of our co-design process, it’s just how many of them are facing very similar challenges. >>

Andy McGregor

Engaging students with under-used services

Universities, colleges and other learning providers are working round the clock to demonstrate the value of their support services to students. And yet research suggests that students may be missing out because they’re not visiting them or simply aren’t aware of them. >>

Allen Crawford Thomas

Emerging trends in augmented reality

Wearable devices have been in the news a lot recently with the launch of Google Glass to the UK consumer market and an explosion of other form factors such as smart watches, thermostats and fitness bands that monitor user biometrics.  >>

Matt Ramirez tests Google Glass
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Matt Ramirez tests Google Glass
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Matt Ramirez

Enhancing exhibitions with digital resources

Physical objects are a central feature of any good exhibition, but increasingly digital resources are enhancing the experience of visitors to the exhibition space.                                     >>

Lieutenant William Chevasse’s design for a marine chair for observing Jupiter’s satellites, 1813
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Lieutenant William Chevasse’s design for a marine chair for observing Jupiter’s satellites, 1813
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Peter Findlay

Let’s get serious about Wikipedia

If you use Wikipedia to read about shell shock, look at the skeleton of a greater flamingo, or investigate the Enquiry into the Cost of the National Health Service, you benefit from scholarly content shared by academics or institutions. >>

Wikipedia through a magnifying glass
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Wikipedia through a magnifying glass
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Martin Poulter

Tweeting to your full potential

Yesterday we reached a Twitter milestone of 20,000 followers. >>

Twitter HQ: logo artwork
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Twitter HQ: logo artwork
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Tom Mitchell

Embracing change and lifelong learning

In a month when so many people are commemorating D-day it feels particularly fitting that I found my own attitude to change summed up neatly by Winston Churchill - “To improve is to change: to be perfect is to change often”. >>

John Dalziel

Navigating a path along the Berlin road to OA

Scholarly reports on aspects of open access (OA) are coming through thick and fast while institutions, publishers and a range of stakeholders work to optimise the benefits that they want OA publishing to bring to themselves, to scholarly publishing and to the UK’s wider research community.  >>

Library
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Library
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Neil Jacobs

Action on discoverability

More and more frequently the web is the starting point for researchers when they begin a project.  >>

David Prosser

Indicators for a competitive and efficient open access market

Much of the recent attention has, understandably, been on HEFCE’s announcement on open access in the post-2014 REF. However, many universities and publishers are still working through the implications of the Research Councils’ policy and, in particular, its preference for gold open access.  >>

Neil Jacobs

Sustaining digital collections: finding future funding

There has been much debate about how we might help secure the future of digital scholarship for the next generation of learners, teachers and researchers. The business end of how this might be achieved in regards revenue generation beyond host institutional support remains a challenge. >>

Stuart Dempster

Should adult learning embrace the MOOC?

At the end of last year NIACE held their Learning at the Digital Frontier conference which included a debate on whether adult education should embrace the MOOC culture. >>

Adult learning
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Shri Footring

Listen, understand, act: social media for engagement

Not long ago, social media was a phenomenon viewed by many in education with some suspicion: useful, perhaps, for marketing departments to issue press releases, but surely not a serious tool for academic or professional purposes? After all, isn’t Twitter just celebrity chit-chat? What could Facebook possibly have to do with a quality learning experience? Where does LinkedIn fit into the picture? asks Lis Parcell. >>

Lis Parcell

Ten ways educators can use Wikipedia

Wikipedia is meant to be a starting point, not a final source of knowledge. It is permanently incomplete and evolving, with continuous formal and informal review. Delving into that process, learners can explore critical reading, digital literacy and deep questions of knowledge. Martin Poulter, Jisc Wikimedia ambassador, gives us his top ten tips for educators using Wikipedia… >>

Martin Poulter

Risky business: make sure your MOOCs aren’t exposing you to legal challenge

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are still pretty new but more and more universities, platform providers and publishers are beginning to create MOOCs to raise their profile and showcase high-quality materials. But there is a risk that reputations can take a serious hit if materials and data are being used incorrectly, or without permission. The time to make sure your institution is squeaky clean is NOW, says David Kernohan, Jisc programme manager, e-learning. >>

David Kernohan

Creating organisation-wide transformational change

Organisational change is a phrase that can fill the hardiest among us with dread. It can consume huge sums of money and masses of staff time, sapping resources and morale remorselessly. But Jisc infoNet information manager Andrew Stewart says that doesn’t need to be the case. >>

Andy Stewart

Using student feedback to re-shape library services

The University of East Anglia (UEA)’s library is in the vanguard of institutional libraries seeking to engage students and other users in shaping and embedding library services into core teaching and research activity, pioneering (among other things) digital literacy and the introduction of 24-hour opening.  >>

Nicholas Lewis

Top tips to engage students and staff in reducing energy use

“If it’s too hot in the room, I open the window.”This comment is typical of the feedback we got from students when we talked to them about their energy use, and it’s not really surprising. Opening a window will provide them with a quicker cool-down than turning back the thermostat. >>

Open window
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Elise Smithson

Turn your data into a story

We have more data than ever available from many internal and external sources which can be overwhelming and difficult to digest.  >>

Teresa Tocewicz

Is the internet making universities defunct?

Imagine, if you will, a world where individual academics work in isolation from one another. Each attracting a greater or lesser number of students according to their reputation and tailoring course content to ensure that student fees continue to flow in.  >>

David Kernohan

Improving the student experience through curriculum design

Universities are under increasing pressure to design and deliver curricula that develop the skills and capabilities students need to be successful in today’s job market. Jisc’s e-learning programme managers Ruth Drysdale and Sarah Knight share experiences from institutions that are successfully enhancing the curriculum design process. >>

Ruth Drysdale Sarah Knight

It’s good to talk...

…so ran the BT advert, one of the most successful advertising slogans in corporate history. For the 10% of print impaired people in the population the sentiment applies as much to their learning resource as it does to their social lives. It’s good to have web pages that talk, documents that talk, e-books that talk and so on. >>

Jane Cain, the first voice of the Speaking Clock, recording messages for it (1935)
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Jane Cain, the first voice of the Speaking Clock, recording messages for it (1935)
©BT Digital Archives
Alistair McNaught

World War One: digital spotlight on a dark episode

2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One (WW1), and yet the immediacy and resonance of the personal experiences of those at the front line remain undimmed by all those intervening years.  >>

Zadik: Photograph depicting German soldiers on the Eastern Front, 1917
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©Manfred Zadik collection via The Serving Soldier Collection, King's College
Sarah Fahmy

Identity strategies to improve access to resources

American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that ‘to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment’, and when it comes to the science of identity management, that’s certainly true. >>

Mark Toole

Top tools to help your dyslexic learners

It is Dyslexia Awareness Week and this year’s theme ‘Beyond Words’ highlights the range of difficulties people with dyslexia can face when trying to access education.  >>

Allison Loftfield

Can’t get no satisfaction? You can here…

Over the past year or so, we at Jisc have redoubled our emphasis on helping customers find practical solutions across all their business issues, and our 12 Regional Support Centres (RSCs) are playing a vital role in that ongoing process. >>

RSC event
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Robert Haymon-Collins

Fighting for discoverability

These are challenging times for librarians in research libraries. Alongside funding issues, digital technology is changing the way collections are managed, accessed and used, and transforming the role of libraries and of librarians. >>

David Prosser

Exploring the hidden world of bats through your smartphone

Your smartphone could be so much more than a glorified alarm clock and a portal into the world of Angry Birds. It could also help scientists unlock some of the mysteries of the natural world. In years to come it might even contribute towards protecting global biodiversity, through crowdsourcing.  >>

Dave Kilbey

Gateway to better research information

How far does knowledge about your university’s research reach? What have you heard about research going on elsewhere? How would you know if you are missing out on something really important? >>

Neil Jacobs

Using open citation data to benefit research

When academics publish research it usually builds upon work that preceded it and where this occurs these links need to be recorded. This is done through citations, which show the links between related documents, who wrote what, where they wrote it and when. >>

Numbered notes
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Paul Stokes

Collaborating to save monographs… we need you!

The scholarly monograph - the book-length result of dedicated research, the gold standard for authoritative academic publication - finds itself in a precarious position. >>

Ben Showers