Online Resources Blog (ORB)

Learning resources news from RSC Scotland North & East

The latest Web 2.0 forum meeting for learning resources staff took place at Queen Margaret University on 16th February and centred around the use of mobile technologies.

Simon Marsden set the scene for the day by discussing the University of Edinburgh’s mobile technologies survey which has produced some really interesting findings and will inform future developments for mobile provision and support at the University.

Craig Mill followed with a presentation on Create&Convert: a free tool designed to help institutions publish accessible information for all.  Create&Convert is the latest addition to the EduApps suite of software collections developed by RSC Scotland North & East.

Emma Faragher then discussed work at the National Library of Scotland to produce the John Murray archive app.  This free app makes use of a range of multimedia and provides a facscinating insight into the collection.

Finally, delegates had the opportunity to explore their creative abilities by participating in a hands-on digital video workshop led by Carol Walker.  Carol supplied the group with a whole range of tips and tricks for cheap and effective video production.

A number of other initiatives were discussed throughout the day, including the MLibraries project at Edinburgh Napier University and the release of Edina’s Social Media Guidlines.

All presentations can be accessed from the menu below.  Our thanks to the presenters and also Queen Margaret University Library for providing delegates with such a warm welcome and great facilities on the day.

The next meeting of the McShib (Scottish federated access management) forum will take place on Thursday 24th February at the National e-Science Centre in Edinburgh.

The forum provides a lively opportunity to share experiences, knowledge, expertise - and even frustrations - about federated access management.  We are delighted to announce that we will be joined by some very special guests on this occasion, including Chad La Joie, Scott Cantor and Brent Putman - all well-known Shibboleth developers from the US.

View further information (including booking details).

The next meeting of the Web 2.0 forum for learning resources staff will take place at Queen Margaret University on Friday 3rd December.  The event will focus on mobile technologies in education and will be filled with a mixture of presentations and hands-on activity.  Topics include:

  • The results of the recent mobile services survey at the University of Edinburgh
  • An overview of mobile apps at the University of St. Andrews
  • The development of the John Murray Archive app at the National Library of Scotland
  • The use of digital video cameras at Perth College


View further information (including booking details)
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Image by Leeks on Flickr used under Creative Commons

Delegates gathered at the impressive Playfair Library in Edinburgh last week for ‘Working in a digital age: the 10th anniversary e-books conference’.  The day was packed with informative, thought-provoking presentations, ranging from reflections on e-book developments to the implications of the Digital Economy Act.

Speakers included Professor David Nicholas from UCL on the Google Generation and Debbi Boden of Glasgow Caledonian University on digital literacy.  Caren Milloy discussed the need for hyper-personalised experiences and innovation in delivery, citing examples such as Enhanced Editions.  Jon Trinder also gave an interesting talk on mobile technologies, providing a brief history, as well as discussing student reponses to projects involving mobile devices.

The full list of presentations are available from the SCURL website.

With the recent news of publisher restrictions on the remote lending of e-books, it is clear that they will be the topic of debate for some time to come.

Transform library guides and other materials into digital talking books.

The JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland North & East launches a powerful FREE tool that is able to create talking books for print-impaired learners and those with reading or literacy difficulties. Create&Convert is an important leveller of opportunity for such students, but it also helps organisations comply with the Equality Act 2010, released in early October.

Create&Convert can take electronic documents such as Word, Open Writer and scanned editable text documents which are in an accessible structured format and turn them easily, simply, and cheaply into an ‘epub’ or talking book.  The talking book can then be listened to on a computer, an Mp3 player or ipod, or on any suitable portable or handheld device.

Create&Convert is part of the RSC’s EduApps family of tools (which include the popular AccessApps and MyStudyBar collections).  It’s completely free to download, share and use.