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The 'Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World' Report: Implications For IT Service Departments


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Slides for a talk on "The 'Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World' Report: Implications For IT Service Departments" given by Brian Kelly, UKOLN at a BUCS Seminar held in the BUCS Seminar Room, University of Bath, BATH on 1 June 2009.


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The 'Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World' Report: Implications For IT Service Departments

  1. 1. The ‘Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World’ Report: Implications For IT Service Departments 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, instant messaging, blogs, SMS, etc. is permitted providing distractions to others is minimised. Resources bookmarked using ‘ bucs-200906 ' tag Email: [email_address] Twitter: Blog:
  2. 2. About Me <ul><li>Brian Kelly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Web adviser to UK Universities and cultural heritage organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management and located at the University of Bath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involved in Web since January 1993 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information World Review’s Information Professional of the Year (2007-8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 300 presentations given since 1997 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current area of interest include Web 2.0, Web standards and Web accessibility </li></ul></ul>Introduction
  3. 3. About My Past <ul><li>Background of working in IT Services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1984-90: Application support at Loughborough University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1990-91: Information Officer at University of Liverpool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1991-95: Information Officer at University of Leeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1995-96: Senior Trainer, Netskills, University of Newcastle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1996-: UK Web Focus at UKOLN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specific areas of interest in the past: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User support, document and training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provision of news, marketing the department (a ‘spin-doctor’!), user liaison, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online information systems and CWISes </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Using Tools I Talk About <ul><li>Use of Web 2.0 technologies & approaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds for structured information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo-location data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploitation of 3 rd party services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment / management approaches </li></ul></ul>Talks given in 2008 covered Web 2.0, accessibility & standards. Introduction Note also use of blogs, video blogs, YouTube, Twitter, …
  5. 5. About This Talk <ul><li>This talk will cover: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implications of the “ Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World ” report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What ‘network as a platform’ / Cloud computing means to IT Service departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How the University might respond </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How IT Service departments can make use of the Social Web </li></ul></ul>Introduction
  6. 6. The CLEX Inquiry <ul><li>Background: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience (CLEX) set up in 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remit to “consider the impact of the newest technologies such as social networking & mobile devices on the behaviour and attitudes of students coming up to and just entered higher education and the issues this poses for universities & colleges” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launched on12 May & featured in Guardian </li></ul></ul>“ Web 2.0 in HE” Report <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Senior managers finally get the Social Web”  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Series of recommendations for further work </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Cloud <ul><li>Web 2.0 Characteristic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Network as the platform’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Originally perceived a a threat to IT Services (Thatcherite out-sourcing)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used to scare senior managers at UCISA 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Today: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becoming accepted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See Sheffield University & GMail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the cloud & save the planet? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also see Bath Web Team’s work (on ‘Eternal Beta’) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Student Experience <ul><li>From the report: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 technologies being deployed across broad spectrum of university activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployment is not systematic; drive is bottom up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UK is well-positioned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no implementation blueprint for Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implications for institutions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior management should now take notice of the early adopters! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t put unnecessary blocks in place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to explore institutional opportunities (new funding?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let’s not forget researchers & staff </li></ul></ul>What should Bath do?
  9. 9. 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 (folksonomies) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust and openness </li></ul></ul>Web 2.0
  10. 10. Benefits of Web 2.0/Social Web <ul><li>Delivery Mechanisms (“network as platform”): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global outreach : maximise impact of and engagement with ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsourced services : allowing organisations to focus on their strengths and small institutions to engage on more equal terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploits infrastructure : the standards (e,g. RSS) & services (Google, Amazon, ..) now in place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User can create content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can comment on other’s content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can engage with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users no longer passive consumers of content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Isn’t this an important aspect of what learning & research is about? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Social Web and Students <ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessing formal learning resources in preferred user environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploiting potential of mobile devices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building up network of contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using a user’s preferred PLE </li></ul></ul>Can we regard a student’s social network as a more democratic equivalent of the old school tie (public school) network
  12. 12. Social Web & Staff/Researchers <ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As for students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing links with new professional contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maximising impact of new ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using a user’s preferred PRE </li></ul></ul>Increasingly Web 2.0-savvy staff may be managing their ‘personal brand’, professional impact and engaging in personal identity management
  13. 13. Social Web and Librarians / E-Learning Support Staff <ul><li>What’s the role of libraries and/or e-learning support staff in a Social Web environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing and implementing new media literacy strategies for students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional training & development in new media literacy for staff and researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring resources can be surfaced in a variety of environments (PLEs and PREs) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Social Web and IT Services <ul><li>What’s the role of IT Service departments in a Social Web environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not to get in the away </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embracing a diversity of solutions & preferred environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing a safe & reliable infrastructure, which reflects the risk assessment of the user community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be prepared to argue for preferred best practices, but to be willing to give priority to user preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage with the users who are happy with the status quo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the Social Web to support departmental aims & objectives </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The Developer’s Blog <ul><li>In Cider Knowledge Blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mark Sammons, Edinburgh Uni </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launched in 2004! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main focus on Firefox ADM development work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other reflections on IT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not official! </li></ul></ul>Originally at Now at
  16. 16. The IT Service’s Blog <ul><li>IT Services blog at Edge Hill University: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful info about IT developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to provide comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease of syndicating content (e.g. to mobile devices) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No longer active </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Senior Managers <ul><li>Chris Sexton: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director at Sheffield Uni & UCISA Chair </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prolific blogger since 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosted on Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valuable trip reports (e.g. Educause) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also uses Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note recent post on deployment of Google Mail for students: </li></ul></ul>“ Formally announced the Google mail for students option last night by sending an email to all staff and students. Replies are split almost 50/50. From students saying this is great news, and from staff saying why can't we have it!”
  18. 18. Who’s Blogging & Who’s Not? <ul><li>Senior Managers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>David Harrison, Cardiff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Webb, Newport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graham Hill, Bradford </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New director, UCL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where are the: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Officers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trainers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SysAdmins? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Are senior managers blogging because of others concerns over AUP, precedents, …? Note see my “ Defend this Tory MP (yes, really!) ” blog post In-house (& Twitterer) In-house (& Twitterer) Hosted on Blogger
  19. 19. Plants and Resource Investigators <ul><li>Should everyone blog, tweet, …? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Resource Investigation <ul><li>Who else has implemented the services we’re planning? </li></ul><ul><li>Did it work? What problems did they have? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the users saying about us? Have we done something wrong? How do we respond? </li></ul>We used to have email & annual conferences We now have rich portfolio of tools (blogs, Twitter, wikis, Skype, …) Particular benefits for IT staff – we’re comfortable with IT!
  21. 21. What About Twitter? <ul><li>Twitter is part of my portfolio of support, dissemination, user engagement & social) tools </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a need to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared to experiment & innovate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify emerging patterns of best practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid developing policies too soon </li></ul></ul>Questions : Multiple Twitter accounts? News dissemination or user engagement? Do you follow back and respond? Should BUCS promote access? Is there a role for Yammer? …
  22. 22. The Researcher’s Perspective <ul><li>A repositories report published by UKOLN – but some criticisms from Stephen Downes. </li></ul><ul><li>Blog post spotted (Technorati search for ‘UKOLN’) and response made (and accepted) </li></ul>
  23. 23. What Are They Saying About BUCS? <ul><li>They hate you! (Well one or two people said they did) But it’s now gone quiet. </li></ul><ul><li>Is monitoring Facebook: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A sensible approach to gauging user views? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An intrusion into personal space? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neither? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. IT Services 1.0! <ul><li>We need to avoid simplistic solutions to the complexities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Standards Fundamentalist: we just need XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open Source Fundamentalist: we just need Linux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership Fundamentalist: must own everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor Fundamentalist: we must use next version of our enterprise system (and you must fit in with this) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility Fundamentalist: must do WAI WCAG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User Fundamentalist: must do whatever users want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Fundamentalist: it breaches copyright, … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perfectionist : It doesn't do everything, so we'll do nothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplistic Developer : I've developed a perfect solution – I don't care if it doesn't run in the real world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 : It’s new; its cool! </li></ul></ul>Slide first used at UCISA Management Conf: “So true!”
  25. 25. IT Services 2.0 <ul><li>IT Services 2.0: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coined by Mark Salmon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used in recorded talk at UCISA Conference 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embraced by David Harrison (Information Services 2.0) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity for rethinking role (again!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users come before IT dogma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Services may be in the Cloud </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AUP and a flexible AUP process (AUPP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to embrace risks </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Deployment Strategies <ul><li>Interested in using Web 2.0 in your organisation? </li></ul><ul><li>Worried about corporate inertia, power struggles, etc? </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a need for a deployment strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing business needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-hanging fruits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraging the enthusiasts (don’t get in the way) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain experience of the browser tools – and see what you’re missing! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff training & development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address areas you feel comfortable with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact analysis and assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk and opportunity management strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture of sharing and openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. 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>
  28. 28. Critical Friends / Friendly Critics <ul><li>JISC U&I programme is encouraging establishment of “Critical Friends” </li></ul>See <> Critical Friends has a formal definition, providing an informed but confidential advice and feedback. Friendly critics, however, may give such advice in an open forum Paul Walk (UKOLN) was described as a ‘critical friend’ of JISC See < 02/10/five-minute-interview-paul-walk/>
  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>See blog post on Critical Friends, Friendly Critics (and Hostile Opponents!)
  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 / Friendly Critics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phil Bradley / Brian Kelly blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email list discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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 The future is exciting - but IT Services 2.0 will need to address the challenges. Let the debate begin! Acknowledgments to Michael Edson for the Web Tech Guy and Angry Staff Person post / comic strip