SHEEN Sharing

A Project of the Scottish Employability Co-ordinators' Network

Next phase under way: a community ECN site plus a lovely resource sharing tool

SHEEN Sharing to date: many tools, little time
Since we kicked off in January this year, SHEEN Sharing has shown Scotland’s employability co-ordinators a lot of Web 2.0 stuff, possibly to the point of overwhelm at times. This phase has been necessary just to make sure folk start getting a glimpse of what’s out there; you can’t elicit decent requirements from people if they don’t know what’s possible. We’ve also been doing a lot of listening to the ECN’s priorities, and thinking hard about ways to meet them in the short time available. We’re now ready to recommend a couple of tools, only one of which the ECN will need to “learn”.

Priority One: sharing and recommending employability resources
While our plan to work with small groups of co-ordinators and other stakeholders in trialling different social media and other Web 2.0 tools is still burbling away in the background, the most important priority is the one that brought this project into being in the first place. The Employability Coordinators’ Network want a way to share, discuss and recommend good quality employability resources, and a way to make sure those resources (and discussion on their quality and use) can be made available to current and future stakeholders. We knew we didn’t have the resource for a formal, sustainable repository, so we’ve been investigating the freely available tools out there currently which make resource sharing and recommending, and community building, easy.

A one-stop shop for employability resources: Netvibes
We’ve now established that Netvibes will let us set up a project site for free, which will allow a place for the ECN and other stakeholders to come and find resources that the ECN has shared and discussed. Netvibes does this without us having to build a website; it pulls in stuff from anywhere on the Web using newsfeeds and widgets, and presents them in any structure you like. It can also have a public face (for stuff you want to push out to different stakeholders) and a private face (just for those with logins).

I can set up the Netvibes page; we don’t need ECN folks to do anything but feed back on how that’s looking.

A place for a community to share and discuss resources, and build a wider network of interested people
We’ve also found the wonderful social bookmarking site Diigo, which does a lot more than store your bookmarks. It meets most of our requirements, for both private and public group activities around sharing, discussing, recommending and commenting on resources.

I can set up Netvibes to make public the results of this resource sharing and discussion on Diigo (only those bits we want to be public of course!). This can be done in as fine-grained a way or as broad a way as possible. For instance, we can have a section on our Netvibes pages just for “anything related to employability”, and one on some narrow topic of interest, such as PDP for international post-grads. We could have a feed out of Diigo, appearing in the Netvibes page, just for our own group discussions on third-sector voluntary placements, alongside a feed listing everything being discussed around the world on Diigo by anyone on this topic, and some individual feeds from prominent blogs and websites in this domain. The possibilities are many and varied.

Both Cherie and I have been playing with Diigo’s numerous features in the past few weeks, and we’ve both used the words “falling in love” to describe our reaction to this very cool free tool. And don’t worry: as previously mentioned, if you are already using Delicious for your Web-based social bookmarking, it couldn’t be easier to use them both with no extra effort, or to swap over to Diigo.

The next ECN meeting
We’d like to use our slot at the next ECN meeting on June 1st to show you Netvibes and Diigo properly, with some prototype stuff set up so you can get a feel for them. We’ll be taking feedback and suggestions at this point.

Training on Diigo
From there, if folk are happy with the approach we are recommending, and with the support of the SHEEN Sharing Development Group, we’d like to set up some training sessions to get folk started on using Diigo to share, recommend and discuss resources. Our hope is that this wonderful site will take over from the ECN JISCmail list as the place to go when discussing and sharing resources with other employability co-ordinators. And of course, finding resources again that you’ve previously heard about or saved.

Finally, Cherie has noted to me that one of the things she finds exciting about Diigo is the way it allows you to find other resources out there that you hadn’t previously known of, and indeed to come across other networks of people with similar interests who may be of use to you in your work.

So, ECN members: see you on June 1st! And don’t forget to drop into one of our weekly Wednesday SHEEN Sharing webinars if you’d like a preview, a taster, or any other help with anything SHEEN Sharing related!

May 25, 2009 Posted by | Bookmarking, Group Spaces Online, Resource sharing sites, SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Project Events & Meetings, Social Networking | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Planning SHEEN Sharing Trials Reprise: All the Info for Those Attending

SHEEN Sharing Tools Trials Planning Meeting at St Andrews University on Monday 6th April

This post contains all the relevant information about the meeting venue, plus some ideas about the agenda. If anyone would like to come and hasn’t yet let me know, please do, just so I can check catering numbers and also know when everyone has arrived on the day. My thanks to Pam Andrew and Pamela Small at St Andrews University for their excellent help in getting this organised.

Date: Monday 6th April 2009

Time:
10:30-11:00 Arrival, registration and tea/coffee/biscuits to refresh you after your journey (we’ll get started as soon as everyone arrives).
Lunch will be provided: let me know ASAP if you have any special dietary requirements (vegetarians have already been catered for).
Finish between 15:30-16:00 depending on how much time we need to finish all the work that needs doing.

Venue: St Andrews University
Lochnagar Room, Mansefield Building (Chaplaincy), 3 St Mary’s Place, St Andrews KY16 9UY
Please see maps: Map of main roads into St Andrews | Map showing location of meeting venue: Mansefield Building, St Andrews University | Map showing location of free car parks at St Andrews University

Transport:
– Travelling by rail:
St Andrews University is a 20-25min taxi journey from Dundee Railway Station. Cherie Woolmer and I will be getting the 08:41 train from Glasgow Queen Street which arrives at 09:59 in Dundee. We’ll then get a taxi to St Andrews. If anyone would like to share this taxi, let us know, and please give us your estimated arrival time at the station, and a mobile number if possible.

– Travelling by car:
There is no car parking available immediately adjacent to the venue, and street parking there is for a maximum of 2 hours (and you can’t just run out and add another parking ticket apparently). However, there is a free car park at the entrance to the town (Petherum Bridge Car Park). From there it’s only about 5 minutes on foot through the Bus Station to the St Andrews University Careers Centre. Please see map showing location of free car parks at St Andrews University.

Agenda:
At this meeting the SHEEN Sharing Development Group and other interested ECN folk will catch up on the project outcomes so far, namely: the requirements gathering and benchmarking exercise (introductory meetings and survey); and the Web 2.0 review (tools, review of literature and projects, expert advice). We will use this information to make decisions about how to conduct the trials period of the project from April to August 2009. Issues will include:

– Trial groups based around interests / projects / goals (what groups; who should be in them; what are particular needs of each group; should each group have a named “champion” from the Development Group?).
– How can training and support best be achieved? Initial training groups / ongoing Webinar clinics / materials?
– How will we evaluate the trials (formative and summative?). How and when will we record evaluations? What facets need to be evaluated (e.g. efficacy of our communities of practice; engagement of academics; pushing resources out to appropriate places; sustainability of solutions selected; are trialled tools sufficient or should we look at others, etc.?).
– Should we be engaging non-ECN stakeholders in some groups (e.g. academics, students, other support staff)?
– Picking up on key issues around technical barriers and IPR issues.

We’d like to invite participants to come with ideas about interest groups and projects they may like to be involved with or organise, and resources that can constitute examples of what they might like to share. Examples of Web2.0-type tools and resources folk have been involved with before may also prove useful, if you have them. But most important is to bring yourself so we can get stuff happening!

Oh, and I threw those agenda ideas together just to get you started thinking- I will come up with a more organised plan before Monday, so if you have any ideas about the day, let us know via Comments here!

March 31, 2009 Posted by | SHEEN Project Events & Meetings | , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the new SHEEN Sharing Project Blog

Welcome to the first posting on the SHEEN Sharing Project Blog.  I’m Sarah Currier (my username on this blog, and in many other Web spaces: morageyrie), and I’ve been employed by the project as an external consultant to help develop resource sharing, resource dissemination, and community building for the SHEEN Employability Co-ordinators’ Network (ECN).

This blog is a place for the ECN and other interested people to find out what’s going on in the project.  It’s also a collaborative space for the ECN to share resources, tips & tricks, and their own ideas and activities related to the SHEEN Sharing Project.  As such, it’s both a sandbox for learning about Web2.0, and a resource in its own right.

To start with, the SHEEN Sharing Project Development Group will have author accounts which will allow them to post to the blog, contributing to its content.  Anyone can comment on postings, and suggest resources to be included in the various widgets in the right-hand columns.  I’ll be visiting and supporting the whole ECN over the next few months; eventually, we hope that all the employability co-ordinators will feel confident to post to the blog themselves.

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, SHEEN Project Dissemination, SHEEN Sharing Project, Web2.0 Tools, Tips and Tricks | , , , | Leave a comment