JISC Inform Issue 36

Inform magazine

There’s an email lurking in my inbox about the Spring edition of JISC Inform. It contains three recommended options for what to read.

  1. If you have 5 minutes – top tips and hot picks.
  2. 20 mins – interviews and advice articles.
  3. 30 mins – browse our horizon scanning articles.

I’ll give it 30 and try to take in the lot as I don’t see why I can’t have a top tip and some advice if I give it the max amount of time. Here goes:

Coming SoonBOYD (Bring your own device) –AirWatch offers IT managers a way to ensure their networks can support a  wide variety of approved devices and  authenticate  their users, enabling tracking of what is being done on the  networks – when, and by whom.”  Not my area but worth knowing.

Analytics – I’m aware of this area from numerous conferences over the last couple of years but haven’t so far implemented anything systematically.  How can I use analytics to benefit my students looks like a good practical starting point. Adam Cooper’s blog looks work following too.

MOOCS Making Sence of MOOCs – A cursory glance discovered something on this side of the Atlantic – Phonar is a student led open-photography class, across  multiple channels from Coventry Univerity. “They’ve ditched one onsite member of staff in favour of re-allocating those resources to hire three off-site mentors and a series of guest speakers.” Oh dear, but interesting. Hashtag for that is #phubu.

Social Media Social Media – Who needs it?  A lot here seems obvious to me undoubtedly because I use social media. Nevertheless, the trial of facebook at Shrewsbury College offers practical advice and feedback.  The advice –

  1. Create a separate, dedicated account
  2. Manage the settings so that no-one outside the  intended group members could become a friend
  3. Personally set up the groups
  4. Appoint two staff moderators to manage posts
  5. Make the groups private once the intended  members had joined, so they were invisible to outsiders

“The college’s sports pilot was so successful in bringing  students back to the college’s Moodle site that Facebook and Twitter are now  routinely used in marketing  for around 34 groups across the curriculum.”

DyslexiaSupport your Dyslexic Learners. A quick scan of the article revealed it was talking about accessibility and xerte both of which I am well aware of. However, two new things popped up: Azzapt and Navitext.

“Azzapt allows users to set  reading preferences (font size, colours, audio etc) and then get any document  delivered to their laptop or mobile devices in their preferred format, while  Navitext is a comprehension tool that provides navigable headings in a document  and summarises key words in sections and paragraphs. These tools are valuable  for everyone, and they offer particular benefits for print-impaired learners.”

I’ll take a look at both.

Open Access. What do April 2013’s changes mean for you?.  A few choice quotes:

“What’s  changed? The key driver has been the publication of the Finch  report last year, which advocated a  clear move towards gold open access. Following the government’s positive  reaction to Finch, the UK’s major funders of academic research – the Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust – are tightening up their open access policies.”

“Gold open access: “pay to publish” rather than  “pay to read”, so the journal is paid to peer review, edit and  publish a paper, for example via an APC, and then it’s freely available for all  to read rather than only being accessible in a subscription-only journal.”

“Green open access: parallel publishing in subscription journal  and deposit into an open access institutional or subject repository route.”

“APC: article processing charge. This is the charge levied by a publisher to edit an  article and make it ready for publication.”

And that’s my 30 minutes with JISC Inform Issue 36 Sprint 2013.

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