And the next big thing is …

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The rate of change we are seeing these days is similar to that seen in the industrial revolution. The changes are not just about how we use banking services or how we communicate with friends and employers. The changes affect fundamental aspects of our lives such as how we learn or how we are treated when we are ill. To be able to take advantage of these changes we have to be aware of what they are, so I thought I’d tell you about a few things I’ve been reading about.

I enjoyed reading this article that appeared in the Telegraph about how and why digital literacy is being (or is not being) embedded in UK compulsory schooling. Hearing about what some people, like Don Wettrick in the USA, (No 9 in the list) and the Play-i robots are doing in classes is really exciting. I do wonder just how many children get these sorts of opportunities, will it just be the lucky few?

Healthcare doesn’t miss out on all these new inventions either. Sandra Winkler, an occupational health researcher in Nova Southeastern University in Florida, has received a $1 million dollar grant to investigate the use of Second Lifeยฎ to support amputees in leading more functionally effective lives. In another instance of technology enhanced healthcare is an operation performed using Google Glass. Two surgeons, in hospitals more than two hours apart from each other, performed a shoulder replacement. This enables inexperienced surgeons to have the support of experts as if they were standing right next to them.

In academia we see yet more potential changes. This article is asking if Google Help with replace librarians?

For a few tips before I finish you might find these helpful. You can help keep yourself safe online by controlling who has access to where you are – this article tells you how to do that. Next, a list of apps you might find useful. Finally, a discussion from LSE on copyright, open access and moral rights.


Who knows you?

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We all think we know everything there is to know about the online aspects of our lives but I am constantly finding helpful tips about managing my own data and image. So I’m going to carry on with the idea of the Digital Footprint in this post and see if there isn’t something of interest I can turn up for you.

Just take a look at this video – it’s really good – by Tom Scott, who is a sort of digital literacy journalist. Once you have watched the video ask yourself if Tom could do the same thing with your Facebook page? If you feel a little worried by this video, instead of worrying go and look at the Facebook Help site. There’s loads of information here about how to control who gets to know you and your friends in Facebook. Look at your other Networking sites and check their Help pages for Privacy and Security advice too.

For some general good advice on how to keep your computer/mobile phone/tablet from letting in unwanted attention your should look at this video from Channel 4 News. It provides some very basic advice which can be applied to any networking you do, such as:

  • Keep your personal details out of any profile you create (put in the minimum required)
  • Check your privacy settings are at the level you need
  • Periodically check your “likes”/”friendships” to make sure nothing fishy has occurred
  • Make sure you update your internet browser software (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer etc)
  • Make sure you update your operating system regularly (Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc)
  • Install and regularly update some reputable anti-virus software

If you have any problems sorting out your privacy or security settings do contact me – I might not know the answer straight away but I can usually find out ๐Ÿ™‚

New leaflets in the Digital Literacy Series

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Ahh, great to be back again! The first blog in the new year – I hope you are all raring to go ๐Ÿ™‚

This is just a short blog to bring you the new leaflets I have been slaving away at. I will, eventually make them available on the new ILS website but I still have some work to do on my part before it is presentable. So here are the leaflets for you:

ILS – Digital Literacy Series No.1 Creative Commons – a Brief Overview
ILS – Digital Literacy Series No.2 Good Practice advice for education in a digital world
ILS – Digital Literacy Series No.3 Creating Safe and Effective Online Learning Resources
ILS – Digital Literacy Series No.5 OER Framework – Supporting Text and Flow Chart Page 1, 2&3, 4

Please post a comment if there is any topic in particular you would like to see a leaflet on or if you have any comments about these first ones.

Copyright, copyright, copyright

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Urrgh – copyright. The leaflet is coming to an end but there is one big hurdle left to leap – Crown Copyright. It is just so annoying, it’s like trying to nail jelly to a tree! Never mind eh ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought you might like to look at some of the web sites I’ve been using. They are very easy to use and not a bit overpowering.

The first, one of course, has to be the National Archives site. This site just has so much in it – I feel like a child in a sweetie shop! Go and look up where your family came from or look for look for the farm where grandad used to work.

I also rather like the Intellectual Property Office. I know it sounds dull but if you want to find out about Property Rights in detail these are the people who can help you. If it’s not on the web site contact them by phone or email.

If you want to learn about Copyright take the self-directed IPR and Licensing module on the web2rights site. It’s all very easy to follow and you can stop and re-start again whenever you want.

Just Tweeted by JISC – I thought you might like to see the JISC comments on the Government report, “Peer Review in Scientific Publications”. Researchers and research students could find this an interesting read.

I’ll try to find something a little more “fun”; speak with you again tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

A trip to Leicester

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I took a trip to Leicester yesterday, started very early and arrived home late. I did mean to warn everyone sorry about that. It was worth the trip though; I went to a workshop on Copyright and Digitisation run by Naomi Korn.

Naomi has been running her Consultancy business for 10 years now and she certainly knows her stuff. I have used the web site of web2rights before and have found it very helpful. There’s quite a lot there so I suggest you dip in occasionally rather than try to take it all in at once. If you can spare a little more time the learning module on IPR and Licensing is well worth a visit. Some of you might like to try the Risk Management Calculator to find out just how risky it is to use that picture or document without being certain about its copyright status ๐Ÿ™‚

Just one more little tip today. Understanding how things work can often help you to remember how to use them, at least that is what I find. If you are struggling to come to terms with computers and the Internet you might find this site on How Stuff Works is really useful to you.

That’s all for now, more tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

Helping out?

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A colleague came to my office this morning and exclaimed, “there are students everywhere”! There certainly are lots of them and I hope all you more experienced people are wearing your, “here to help” badges ๐Ÿ™‚

On one of my quick treks through the Web I came across a really interesting blog site, Networked Researcher. I think it has lots to offer – not just to researchers – but to all of us in HE so I’m going to put it in my blog roll. The post that caught my eye was this one on the effects of blogging, The Suprising Effects of Blogging for Impact.

I think I’ve mentioned the Copyright Licencing Agency before on this blog (I get so confused [that is supposed to elicit an ahhh from you]). I just thought I ought to mention that they have just put up their beta version of, “Does my CLA Licence cover this title?“. It does what it says it does – put in what type of licence you have (in our case Higher Education), what you want to use if for, the name of the publication, the ISBN and the country of publication – then just click the search button and it will tell you if you are able to use the work/creation or not. Now that’s what I call neat. I would think our Librarians will like it too. Just think of all those questions it will save ๐Ÿ™‚

ok my lovelies I hope these little tips help you out and that you’ll all help our new students. I’ll chat with you all again tomorrow.

Week’s end endings

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A strange but enjoyable week to begin the new semester. The University has been all buzzy and fun with the return of the students and there seems to be an optimism in the air that denies the existence of Copyright arguments and Government/Higher Education battles. I love HE or should I say I love HE when it’s doing its best or striving to do its best. I like to think that Digital Literacy is adding its four-penny-worth to that striving.

An example of striving to do it’s best is Oxford University’s Podcasts site. There are some really interesting things on this site – I particularly like their Medieval English Lectures in their Humanities Division – a marvellously relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Go and find something you enjoy or even something that might help you with your studies. There are over 3,000 media items altogether and over 1,000 of them are under a Creative Commons license.

I’ve started writing a series of leaflets that will be in hardcopy as well as accessible through the ILS website. The first two will be published shortly, one is on Creative Commons – I’ll put the link on this blog when I start publishing. Do let me know if there is anything else you would like information on.

Don’t know how many of you are design students but I found this interesting little app you might be interested in. It’s called Spur and its by ZURB, I really like their website. Spur is a neat little tool that enables web designers to evaluate their design without all the other stuff (you know the stuff that makes a website work) getting in the way. Excellent, once you have all the functionality worked out your can also see if it looks good too ๐Ÿ™‚

This next app is for everyone lecturers and students. I guess that by now an awful lot of you will have heard of Dropbox – well this little app is call Dropvox. Dropvox allows you to make an audio recording on you phone and once finished it immediately sends it to your Dropbox account – how cool is that? I can’t wait to try it out ๐Ÿ™‚

See you all next week – byeeee, have a good weekend.

Nominal dysphasia – a thing of the past :)

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Well now look at this, I did say they were making criminals out us all – I thought I was exaggerating but it seems I wasn’t! I do not want to write about copyright anymore – this ruling by the Court of Appeal is just too ridiculous for words!

Now this is a complete change of direction but I just love the possibilities of this technology which is going to be available on iPhone. Face recognition is coming to an iPhone near you ๐Ÿ™‚ Just think of it – no longer will you be embarrassed because you can’t remember someone’s name. Just whip out your phone and there you are immediate recognition. Lecturers will suddenly know their students names; you’ll be able to give a personal message to that chap who always glowers at you in the Post Office ๐Ÿ™‚ He he he I can’t wait to try it.

More on that fiendish copyright

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Just been listening to the start of the discussion from Transatlantic Roundtable (Transatlantic Week), it’s a bit long but a very interesting beginning. I hope these will be some useful discussions about copyright law that can be used successfuly across the whole of both the EU and the USA.

It gets very boring trying to work out whether you have infringed some copyright law in another country. Now that we have the web or more importantly web2.0 (for want of a better phrase) we need to have world wide agreement on regulation/non-regulation (not that I’m naieve enough to think that will ever happen). For example why should we have to bother whether if we have the appropriate copyright license for someone in another country to read the etextbook we have provided for our students. We have increasingly more distance learning students and more students from overseas – by the time we know where they are from it’s a bit late to try to get copyright sorted for them. I was very interested to read the post by Rick Falkvinge, “It was never about the money, stupid” that I linked to through victorsald’s Tweet on #copyright. There are some pointers here for those legislators who are interested enough to find out.

Rick mentions the act of sharing and why we do it. We all do it or have done it at sometime in our lives. Shared a book we have just read, or an article we have photocopied or printed. We don’t do it because we intend to breech copyright law, we do it ‘cos we are human beings. Rick’s post mentions a post on Shareable by Kelly McCartney on the short study by New York Times, The Psychology of Sharing. This study indicates that we like to share for all sorts of interesting reasons; why should we have to jump through hoops to share something in a “legal” way. It feels as if the law is determined to make criminals of us all rather than providing protection for those who need it. I think a lot of academics must feel under attack like this chap in the USA that Brett Trout writes about. I feel very sorry for this poor chap, “24 year-old Harvard Fellow, Aaron Swartz”. His treatment seems to be completely out of proportion.

Come on now legislators give us some laws that we can keep to instead of one that just wastes our time.

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