SHEEN Sharing

A Project of the Scottish Employability Co-ordinators' Network

Coordinating employability resources on the web: We made it!

Launch of SHEEN Sharing project: Using web 2.0 applications to co-ordinate employability resources on the web. (NB: This article will always appear at the top of this page! Scroll down for more recent updates.)

www.netvibes.com/employability

Sarah and I have been coordinating SHEEN Sharing on behalf of the Scottish Higher Education Employability Network (SHEEN) for the last year. We’ve been working with all Employability Coordinators (ECs) across Scotland to develop a means of co-ordinating employability-related resources on the web using web 2.0 technologies.

The project developed out of a need identified by all the ECs to a) use web 2.0 applications to support greater virtual networking and to build a community of practice and b) to provide a place for colleagues “to go to” where we could recommend a range of resources we have found useful in our own development work. The project had no technology budget so everything we have achieved has been through using free tools on the web.

All the hard work put in by Sarah and the Coordinators  culminated in a really successful launch event on Wednesday (3 February). Sarah has described in her earlier blog post what we covered on the day. It was great to see the fruits of our (collective) labour and to receive feedback that we had not only produced something of immediate use but also provided an opportunity which can be built upon as the sector continues to develop the employability agenda.

We developed a public-facing set of web pages using a free tool called Netvibes. Under each topic tab, viewers can find on the left a series of live feeds which pull in comment and opinion on the related topic from all over the web and on the right a series of resources that the Employability Coordinators have recommended through our professional community. We used the social bookmarking tool diigo to help coordinate this information. You will also see on the welcome page a series of short introductory videos on how to navigate the pages as well as introductory text on each tab. The link is www.netvibes.com/employability

We’re in the process of writing up a final report but I’d like to share  some of the comments that other EC members made on the day about their experience of the project:

“I have been inspired by others’ stories. It has demystified web 2.0 for me”

“It has shifted my mental attitude of the web. I used to see it only as something I could take from whereas now I actually contribute to it”

“I am able to discover new resources….and this is what I hoped for out of the project”

“I’m taking in bits of this project to other parts of my work in the university”

“I was initially disappointed about not having a “one stop shop” but now I know how this works I’m finding so much more than I ordinarily would”

“Seeing that others have bookmarked the same resource as you is validating”

“Using Diigo has changed my view of information management”

I’d add to my colleagues comments by saying that it is only through looking back on what we’ve achieved that I realise just how much I’ve learned over the last year through the project. I wasn’t just project managing; I was a participating member of the community of practice working through my own learning curve as we went along. Now I can’t really imagine not using diigo to help me manage all of my bookmarks and I’d never thought I’d be helping structure the netvibes pages (learning a little bit of the jargon about widgets and pipes as I went along!).  And I know other colleagues involved in the more detailed planning and development phases of the project feel the same way. It has been mentioned more than once that we’ve managed to enhance our own employability through the professional development that has taken place for each of us!

This is not the end of developments though. The ECs continue to contribute to the recommended resources sections on the netvibes pages and we hope that things will grow as we move into the next funding phase which will be addressed through the Scottish Funding Council’s new action plan for employability –  Learning to Work 2.

February 10, 2010 Posted by | SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, SHEEN Sharing Project | , , , | 2 Comments