At the start of the year I read this Guardian article calling for politicians to trust teachers, and it set me thinking about trust in education. Then yesterday I saw this which shows just how bad it can get when you don’t trust your teachers/staff.
Sometimes its not the big educational ideas but more just getting things done.
So this week I have been mostly…
A nice little project to encourage academic staff to submit their reading list to a central point so that library staff can ensure that the libraries have appropriate book stocks in place. Currently there are a number of different ways that different areas communicate to the libraries (and I am assuming of differing effectiveness). In the long term the central reading lists will be held on a dedicated reading list system, but during the transition I am using Blackboard & Google to design as simple a process as possible for staff to upload their reading lists (and librarians to check them). The selling point for staff is that if they upload their list not only does it get checked by the librarians but it also magically appears in their next years Blackboard course.
Functional prototype up and running pretty will come later.
Our lecture capture project moves onward, this week we were looking at the data to connect the differing systems (VLE, Media Server, Timetabling). This will allow a event in timetabling to trigger a recording in the media server which will be placed in the appropriate VLE course. Sounds easy but every system has its quirks and workarounds. Still it was a useful discussion and a lot of the problems seem solvable.
Number and use of eReserve scans by department, how heavily used have our new “Student Course Rep” spaces been and what has been happening with a “Support Forum” project. Writing the SQL, messing about with pivot charts and getting some pretty graphs. A pleasant morning and the results should help inform the direction of a few projects.
And I also had a days staff development looking at blended learning which was really good.
This weekend was a great step forward in sharing with the British library releasing loads of open copyright pictures. Shortly after http://movieclips.com/ turned up in my G+ stream and I could add videos clips as well. Finally I found educational clip art. Ah a great weekend for sharing I thought.
Then as the week went on and I did some digging I noticed the Elephant in the room, while the British Library had got it right with its picture shares and embed codes (and was even crowd sourcing the tagging and cataloguing of pictures)
It seems that not all shares are equal, having looked at the clip art I see that they allow “up to 50” pictures in a project and ask that you link back to their site (read the full licence here http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/info/license)
So the clip on the left (of me throwing my toys out the pram ) comes from http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/
Im not sure if I am allowed to use 50 of them in my blog, in a single post or what. More to the point you have to download them as tifs and then add them to your project and add a reference to where they came from. Its not massively onerous but it requires thinking about (unlike CC images – once you know the licences you are good with all of them) and filling in all the details yourself.
Compare this with Wiki Media Commons (which has been my go to site for images for a while) where you get an embed code which includes all the licencing and attribution stuff as part of it.
The thing is if I want to encourage academics to reference their images correctly it has to be easy and non time consuming – otherwise they will simply drop in any image and then get cross with me when they want to share a “presentation I have been using for years” and I have to point out they have to lose most of the images because they are unsourced/illegal
I very much like the Movieclips.com clips – even though I cant embed them in my blog as it doesnt support iframes (and the links seem slow)
Then at the end of the week I found this http://search.creativecommons.org/,
which among other things allows me to search for CC clipart, which comes with embed code with the licence details meaning I am once again happy… Merry Christmas all!