What with SHEEN Sharing having visibility on Twitter and Diigo and the blogosphere, we’ve picked up a few followers from outwith the ECN, which is great.
We got a very kind Tweet today on Twitter from Darren Jones at the University of Sussex Careers and Employability Centre. BTW: you can see they are already pretty au fait with Web 2.0: they use a blog to update their main page with big news (see under ‘Latest News’), and their Twitter account to give short pithy updates (scroll down a bit to see an embedded Twitter widget from their @sussxunicareers account), both embedded in the page.
Anyway, Darren likes our Netvibes page and is experimenting with using Netvibes to create a student careers page at Sussex. Here it is. You’ll notice he’s chosen to divide his tabs by subject area. Check it out!
I’ve bookmarked this in our Diigo Employability Group.
Besides SHEEN Sharing, I’ve been working on another project since about May 2009, where I’ve been researching and writing some Web stories about the use of certain data services in undergraduate learning and teaching. These are real world data services provided to the UK research community by the Mimas at Manchester University.
The thrust of these stories has been about the value of using real world data to teach real world skills to students, as a way of both deepening their understanding of their subject area, and increasing their employability in a number of ways.
The research I’ve done, which has involved interviewing academics at various universities and colleges, will be developed into more detailed case studies later this year and published on the Web.
In the meantime, here are two small taster news items about this research. I did the research and much of the writing on these, but they have been edited and polished up admirably by the Web authoring team at Mimas.
Capturing and collating UK census data, the Census Dissemination Unit (CDU) connects researchers, analysts and decision-makers with high-quality statistical outputs. This real-world data is also of great value in learning and teaching – as students and teachers in human geography at the University of Leeds have discovered …
ESDS International provides real-world economic data for a wide range of researchers, analysts and decision-makers. Today, this data is also being used in learning and teaching, bringing considerable benefits to students, teachers and society as a whole. Here, we focus on how Nick Weaver of The University of Manchester and Paul Turner of Loughborough University are using this data to teach applied econometrics to undergraduates and Masters students …
I’ve bookmarked both of these on Diigo and shared them with the Diigo Employability Group.
Our Netvibes site is the public face of SHEEN Sharing’s original remit: the one-stop-shop, virtual repository/portal type thing that presents a range of quality employability resources, as planned and hoped for when SHEEN Sharing was originally funded in January 2009. It displays selected resources by using feeds out of Diigo, from our Diigo groups and tags, and other Web-based feeds and resources.
Now, as it currently stands it is a sandbox / demonstrator site, mainly designed by me with some help from Cherie Woolmer at Strathclyde University. I am not an employability co-ordinator, so I have used quite a bit of creative licence in trying to imagine the kinds of things the ECN will eventually want to go into the site. It will be much easier for folk to say “not that, this” than to try and think of things from scratch. So please keep that in mind when you have a look!
Even with this in mind, I have learned a lot since January 2009, and received a lot of feedback. So, before we even get to the bit of the project extension where the ECN sits down and hashes out what it wants its Netvibes to look like, I have made a range of improvements and updates, as follows:
Google Scholar Resources Gone :-(
I had to remove all the fabulous Google Scholar feeds. We used a wonderful Yahoo Pipe that enabled me to do a search in Google Scholar (e.g. “employability AND eportfolios”, resources published after 2006) and create a feed in Netvibes that showed the up-to-date results of that search. Google Scholar of course only lists peer-reviewed publications, so this was a very rich resource. However, Google does not allow this kind of feed and they have now blocked this Pipe and others like it from working. Boo! However, I have added a Google Scholar search box here.
EvidenceNet Searches: A Holding Pattern Until They Get Their Feeds Sorted
We are waiting with baited breath for the awesome HEA EvidenceNet repository to start providing feeds of specific searches so we can pop some of these into our Netvibes tabs. So, we hope to be able to search for resources, or events, in EvidenceNet, e.g. with the topic “personal development planning”, get a feed for that search result, put it into Netvibes and thereby always see the most up-to-date list of evidence-based UK resources or events. We know they are going to provide this, they just haven’t yet. In the meantime, I’ve worked out that you can just use the URL of a search results page, and put that into Netvibes as a Web page, and get a rather clunky but still usable display of said search. See here and here and here and here and here.
Delicious Feeds on Work Related Learning: Thanks Glasgow Caledonian!
I discovered some juicy resources tagged on Delicious with “work_related_learning”, so, in the absence of anything immediate on Diigo, I added a feed for that Delicious tag here (along with an above-mentioned EvidenceNet search page). Shout out to Allison Littlejohn and team at Glasgow Caledonian for many of these!
New Version of Diigo Allows Group Tag Feeds: Cocurriculum Resources Tagged by Employability Group
Felt much joy when I realised Diigo had fixed a previous problem in their new version: I now have an example of a Diigo feed for a specific group tag (resources tagged “cocurriculum” by the Employability Group) here. This will be great when we come to adding tag dictionaries to our Google Groups.
New Voluntary Sector Tab with Reflective Student Blogs from SHEEN Placements
Created a new Voluntary Sector tab, which has the feed from the SHEEN Placements blog in it (it’s still there under “Student Resources” too, Fiona, don’t worry!). It also has the project’s Twitter feed, and individual feeds from the two student blogs accompanying the Samaritans placements set up by the project.
Some Content for International Students Tab
Added a couple of EvidenceNet search pages under the International Students tab, which was previously empty.
Small but Significant: You Can Read the Page Title Now!
Changed the colour of the title text to a much more harmonious and readable shade!
Moving Forward: Netvibes Day in November
Still have some empty tabs, and would like some new and exciting ideas from the ECN about what they’d like to see in the Netvibes page. We’ll be having a day-long workshop session to hash it all out and make decisions in November, so please keep an eye on emails on the ECN JISCmail list if you want to take part in that. We’ll use that day to train keen development group members in keeping Netvibes up-to-date after I go, too.
Launch in 2010
And, we’ll be running a launch event in January or February 2010! So please help us make it as good as we can!
Good news: SHEEN Sharing has officially been extended until February 2010. Our thanks to the SHEEN Steering Group for this validation of the hard work everyone involved has put in so far.
You’ll be seeing some new blog posts coming out here updating you on many different aspects of SHEEN Sharing’s progress.
We’ve been extended to really capitalise on the first nine months of the project. Now that the ECN are starting a new academic year, and have had tasters of all the cool Web 2.0 things they can do, we want to really start embedding the chosen trial tools and new practices in their work.
When SHEEN Sharing started, the core idea was to end up with a one-stop-shop on the Web to share and find and disseminate and discuss good quality employability resources with a range of stakeholders in and around the ECN.
Our One-Stop-Shop: Netvibes
Our one-stop-shop is the virtual repository for employability we have created using Netvibes: http://www.netvibes.com/Employability
This repository is still in a “sandbox” phase: the next four months of SHEEN Sharing will be dedicated in part to turning this into a resource the ECN can use, contribute to and be proud to send to other stakeholders.
Contributing Your Favourite Resources: Diigo
The way for ECN members to contribute their favourite resources to the Netvibes repository is through bookmarking and sharing them on Diigo.
This has the added benefit of allowing them to access their own bookmarks from any computer on the Web, and to link in with each other and a wider international community to discuss and share resources.
Catching up on Netvibes and Diigo: Flashmeeting Webinar Later This Month
With the extension of the SHEEN Sharing project until Jan/Feb 2010, we will be having some more Flashmeeting webinars.
I will be hosting monthly webinars, with open drop-in support from 9:00-10:30, and presentations / discussions on particular topics from 10:30-12:00. The first webinar this month will be for a recap/catchup on Netvibes and Diigo (including an overview of new features in Diigo v4, released late last month).
In addition, Cherie Woolmer and the project development group will be organising a series of employability co-ordinator led webinars to show-and-tell tools and practices that have changed their jobs and lives for the better through SHEEN Sharing.
Further Diigo Trainings: Introductions, Recaps and Diigo-ing Deeper
We will also be running two more Diigo Training days, in November 2009. Each day will consist of a morning session recapping the original introductory workshop for those who haven’t been able to attend, which can also serve as a refresher for those who would like one. Each afternoon will be a chance to dig a bit deeper into Diigo for those who have already been using it. Those who attend in the morning will also be welcome to stay for the afternoon.
NB: Diigo recently released an all-new and shiny version 4. This includes one amazing new feature: the ability to save an archived copy of a resource you have bookmarked, so if the resource ever disappears you have a copy of it to use in future. It also includes the feature we’d been eagerly waiting and hoping for: the ability to set up a working feed from a Diigo Group by individual tag (e.g. a feed just for resources tagged “cocurriculum” by the Employability Group). We’ll cover all this and more for those who want to see it at the afternoon trainings.
Keeping Up-To-Date on SHEEN Sharing
Further information on the above and more will continue to be disseminated via the SHEEN Sharing blog and Twitter account. Please note that the blog is now totally dedicated to dissemination of SHEEN Sharing as a project: sharing of employability resources by the ECN will continue via Diigo.
The SHEEN Sharing blog can be visited here: https://sheensharing.wordpress.com/
You can subscribe to updates from the blog using the RSS feed here: https://sheensharing.wordpress.com/feed/
Or, you can look at the blog updates on the Employability Netvibes page, in the first tab which is currently devoted to SHEEN Sharing as a project:
http://www.netvibes.com/Employability#Welcome (see the section in the bottom right: “SHEEN Sharing Blog updates”).
To follow us on Twitter for even more pithy updates, go here: http://twitter.com/sheensharing