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The Future for Educational Resource Repositories in a Web 2.0 World


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Slides for a talk on "The Future for Educational Resource Repositories in a Web 2.0 World" given by Brian Kelly, UKOLN at an Edspaces workshop held at the University of Southampton on 4 November 2009.


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The Future for Educational Resource Repositories in a Web 2.0 World

  1. 1. Edspace Workshop 2009: The Future for Educational Resource Repositories in a Web 2.0 World Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath, UK UKOLN is supported by: This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) Acceptable Use Policy Recording of this talk, taking photos, discussing the content using email, Twitter, blogs, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Resources bookmarked using ‘ edspace09 ’ tags <ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>Email: [email_address] Twitter: Blog:
  2. 2. About Me <ul><li>Brian Kelly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UK Web Focus: a advisory post on Web standards, developments and best practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved in Web development since Jan 1993 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting innovation and best practices for the Web, including Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UKOLN: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National centre of expertise in digital information management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded by JISC and MLA to support the higher/further education communities and the cultural heritage sector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on University of Bath </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Web 2.0 <ul><li>What Is Web 2.0? </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing term (derived from observing 'patterns') rather than technical standards - “an attitude not a technology” </li></ul>Web2MemeMap, Tim O’Reilly, 2005 <ul><li>Characteristics Of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network as platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always beta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean URIs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remix and mash-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Syndication (RSS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture of participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs & wikis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social tagging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of scale </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  4. 4. Web and Web 2.0 <ul><li>Initially differing perspectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s a trendy marketing term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s meaningless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s not a formal technical term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Widely accepted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s embrace the term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s put higher educational use of Web 2.0 in a historical context </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. JISC Development Approach <ul><li>The JISC Information Environment diagram has a </li></ul><ul><li>focus on backend provider issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishment of calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project management guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standards document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Later: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SUMS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service Genres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>IE Technical architecture
  6. 6. My Take (2001) <ul><li>In 2001 in a talk on “ The Web In The 21st Century ” I suggested that applications could be provided on the network: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmarking services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spell-checkers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Word processing applications) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What I missed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial provision of such services (I envisaged!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed economy (I was Old Labour) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New business models (Google makes money; we spend money) </li></ul></ul>Local National International
  7. 7. Web 2.0 – It’s Working <ul><li>In brief: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s attracting users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s attracting investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It relates to aims of educational sectors and political environment: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Importance of social & informal learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraging students to become well-informed digital citizens </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allows our rich cultural & scholarly resources to be accessed widely </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public / private collaboration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoidance of unnecessary public expenditure </li></ul></ul></ul>In the opening plenary talk at the Umbrella 2007 conference Lynne Brinley highlighted the importance of Web 2.0 to the British Library and encouraged conference delegates to “just do it!”
  8. 8. Opportunities & Challenges <ul><li>The challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting our audiences back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responding to the wide diversity of applications being developed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responding to the lightweight development tools and approaches being taken </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The opportunities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning from Web 2.0 successes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responding to changes (we’ve been doing this for centuries!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applying innovative practices appropriately (and not just on top of existing working practices) </li></ul></ul>Slide used at JISC conferences in 2007 & 2009
  9. 9. Getting Our Audience Back <ul><li>If we build it will they come? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Web 2.0 and Edshare <ul><li>Edshare: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Embracing a Web 2.0 approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But which aspects? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s missing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the risks? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Edshare and Web 2.0 <ul><li>Edshare service: provides RSS feeds </li></ul>
  12. 12. Edshare and Web 2.0 <ul><li>Edshare service: provides tag clouds </li></ul>
  13. 13. Edshare and Web 2.0 <ul><li>Edshare service: provides cool URIS and embedding </li></ul>
  14. 14. Edshare and Web 2.0 <ul><li>This looks interesting </li></ul>
  15. 15. Edshare and Web 2.0 <ul><li>D’oh! </li></ul>
  16. 16. Web 2.0 <ul><li>Another perspective on Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about the technological aspects, it’s about rethinking ownership and use of services and content </li></ul>Web2MemeMap, Tim O’Reilly, 2005 <ul><li>Characteristics Of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network as platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always beta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clean URIs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remix and mash-ups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Syndication (RSS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture of participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs & wikis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social tagging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits of scale </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  17. 17. The 1 – 9 – 90 Challenge <ul><li>Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action. (Jakob Neilson, Oct 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Globalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-fertilisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unexpected benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximising impact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential Dangers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Globalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mono-culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unexpected dangers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of impact </li></ul></ul>Remember that Social Web services improve as the numbers of users increase
  18. 18. Why I’m A Fan <ul><li>Slideshare: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to upload slides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be embedded in Web pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistics provided </li></ul></ul> <ul><li>More importantly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Annotation facility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slides can be ‘favourited’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I can see my fans, and the other slides they like </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amazon style “readers who bought this book also liked these” </li></ul></ul>Would this level of popularity be possible on an institutional or even national repository?
  19. 19. Research Influencing Teaching? <ul><li>Note 8,617 views in June 2008 </li></ul>
  20. 20. Is It Risky? <ul><li>Scenario </li></ul><ul><li>What happens if a third party provider goes out of business? </li></ul> londoninmaps/exhibition.html There’s a need for risk assessment, risk management, etc. But this also applies when you are developing software, procuring development work, etc. Application Elsewhere What will happen to our life savings if our bank goes out of business? Do we keep our money under the mattress? And note Guardian headline “ Secret List of Universities Facing Collapse ”
  21. 21. A Mixed Economy <ul><li>We are likely to have a mixed economy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systems managed in-house </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of external services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We need to ensure these can co-exist and utilise their respective strengths </li></ul> “… there is potential for institutions to push out their repository content to other services that have a more up to minute Web interface? This would not need to be a long term commitment and would enable institutions to cater in a more targeted way to their particular 'consumers '. Rachel Heery, UKOLN
  22. 22. A Question <ul><li>“ How Can Institutions Develop Innovative and Affordable Tools to Engage Increasingly Sophisticated Audiences ” (JISC Digitisation Conf 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Some thoughts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In some areas they shouldn’t attempt to compete with market place successes (e.g. Google) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If some cases institutions should be indifferent to the service provider (e.g. Microsoft or Google Docs) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There are real needs to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer the question “Why develop?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be realistic if development work is funded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be user-focussed (and this isn’t necessarily easy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared to write off investment if users don’t want what we’ve developed </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Being Realistic <ul><li>Options in light of the credit crunch: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s build up an empire now which will be embarrassing to close down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s use issues of ownership, stability, privacy, … to stifle discussion of 3 rd party solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s explore a blended approach (a 3 rd way?) </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Can We Expect To Compete? <ul><li>We: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May find innovation breaks the rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May encounter ‘job’s worth’ in our institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have to deliver the goods in order to make money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be more flexible in interpretting the rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Job’s worths’ won’t to last in innovative companies </li></ul></ul>We : “don’t use trendy technologies like AJAX. We care about blind users and WCAG AA conformance” They : know WCAG approach is flawed; know about ARIA and hybrid accessibility. They will take risks
  25. 25. A Hybrid Approach <ul><li>University of Bath’s OPUS repository </li></ul>
  26. 26. Risk Management <ul><li>JISC infoNet Risk Management infoKit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In education, as in any other environment, you can’t decide not to take risks: that simply isn’t an option in today’s world. All of us take risks and it’s a question of which risks we take ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of people who are likely to be adverse stakeholders: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who fear loss of their jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will require re-training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who may be moved to a different department / team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People .. required to commit resources to the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who fear loss of control over a function or resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will have to do their job in a different way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will have to carry out new or additional functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who will have to use a new technology </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Critical Friends <ul><li>JISC U&I programme is encouraging establishment of “Critical Friends” </li></ul>See <>
  28. 28. Scenario Planning
  29. 29. Towards a Framework <ul><li>“ Time To Stop Doing and Start Thinking: A Framework For Exploiting Web 2.0 Services ”, Museums & the Web 2009 conference </li></ul>Biases Subjective factors Intended Purpose Benefits (various stakeholders Risks (various stakeholders Missed Opps. (various stakeholders Costs (various stakeholders <ul><li>Sharing experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Learning from successes & failures </li></ul><ul><li>Tackling biases </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Application to existing services </li></ul><ul><li>Application to in-house development </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>
  30. 30. Using The Framework <ul><li>Use of approach in two scenarios: use of Twitter & Facebook </li></ul>Note personal biases! Intended Purpose Benefits (various stakeholders Risks (various stakeholders Missed Opps. (various stakeholders Costs (various stakeholders Community support Rapid feedback Justify ROI Org. brand Community- building Low? Twitter for individuals Organisational Fb Page Marketing events,… Large audiences Ownership, privacy, lock-in Marketing opportunity Low? <ul><li>Critical Friends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UKOLN blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email list discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many blogs Engaging with a Twitter community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Papers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Conclusions <ul><li>To conclude: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding AJAX interfaces, folksonomies, annotation features, etc. to existing may miss out on the benefits that large-scale social networks can provide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember 1 – 9 – 90 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll need to assess the risks of 3 rd party services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But this is nothing new </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The main issues are policy ones, not technical </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Conclusions Acknowledgments to Michael Edson for the Web Tech Guy and Angry Staff Person post / comic strip
  33. 33. Questions