Archive for the 'Google Alert' Category

EduApps – Portable applications in your pocket

Back in September 2008 we launched AccessApps, an initiative developed by the Scottish JISC Regional Support Centres in cooperation with JISC TechDis. This consisted of over 50 open source and freeware assistive technology applications which can be entirely used from a USB stick on a Windows computer as known as portable software.

The huge advantage of portable software is that it can entirely run from a portable storage device (e.g. USB pen/thumb drive, memory card, mp3 player) without the need for installation or configuration on the computer being used (particularly useful for students working on locked down machines on campus).

The video below prepared for the IMS Learning Impact awards nicely summaries what AccessApps is and the philosophy behind it.

Find more videos like this on RSC Access and Inclusion

Portable software is nothing new and sites like have been going for a number of years. AccessApps is probably unique by highlighting assistive software that is open source and freeware, making it freely available for anyone to download.

Building on our success so far (which has included winning a Scottish Open Source Award) we are now expanding the AccessApps brand with two further software bundles, LearnApps and TeachApps. We are collectively calling these three strands as EduApps.

EduApps USB StickAs well as updating the existing AccessApps software we’ve been trawling the net for new applications to include in the two new packages. Notable inclusions include the popular open source VLE, Moodle, and two a learning object creators/editors, eXe and Xerte.

In total we’re hoping to make 86 applications both freeware and open source available via EduApps (here is the complete list of software we are hoping to distribute).

UPDATE – We’re busy putting the final polish to EduApps. We want to make sure we get it right, rather than putting out a rushed version. Please bear with us, it’ll be worth the wait - we promise! EduApps is here!

The week in Higher Education (Week 37)

Universities have allowed themselves to become the casual
Times Online - UK
That country, she said, invested 2.9% of its national product in higher education, compared with Britain’s paltry 1.1%. Universities therefore had to stop
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Higher, busier, costlier … a business motto for 2012
Times Online - UK
Although if you are working in high-tech medical research, London has some of the finest academic establishments in the world (London’s higher education
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Centre for Higher Education Practice
University of Ulster Online - Coleraine,UK
Professor Desmond Hunter has been seconded to Staff Development for up to a three year period to head up a pedagogic support unit and to provide academic
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Troubled university’s merger plan
BBC News - UK
A troubled university is in talks with other higher education institutions about a possible merger. Lampeter university in Ceredigion, the oldest in Wales
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UK slipping down graduate league
BBC News - UK
Getting half of all young people to enter higher education would, so we were told, devalue university degrees. Graduates would find it difficult to get jobs
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Bradford students rack up £80 million of debt
Bradford Telegraph Argus - Bradford,England,UK
But Bill Rammell, Minister of State for Higher Education, said: “I want people to aim for university confident that they’ll have the help they need to fund
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Students praise course teaching
BBC News - UK
But a spokesman for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) said the Kingston matter was a “very specific case”. “It [the National Student
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Minister wants to ‘lower threshold for complaints’ against
Independent - London,England,UK
John Denham, the Universities Secretary, said yesterday that he wanted the Quality Assurance Agency, which monitors higher education standards,
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How to Advertise
times higher education - London,England,UK
The Times Higher Education Supplement has been at the heart of the UK’s higher education sector for over 36 years. During this time it has built a solid
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Students more satisfied than ever before
times higher education - London,England,UK
A total of 149 higher education institutions from across the UK took part in the survey, with almost 210000 students taking part.
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The week in Higher Education (Week 36)

Not philistine, just practical - UK
It’s certainly true that the expansion of the higher education system since the 1950s has resulted in wider access to a university education.
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Academia and the NHS - bridging the gap
Health Service Journal - London,UK
The initiative and funds for the programme came from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s strategic development fund.
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Made in Britain: the man who can see an industrial renaissance
Independent - London,England,UK
They also want greater incentives to get the young through higher education. The next priorities on the CBI’s hitlist are energy security and climate change
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Comment: How universities and graduates can thrive
Independent - London,England,UK
The extent to which this happens in UK higher education institutions varies. An NCGE study – Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education – mapped
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Providing vital information
Aberdeen Press and Journal - Aberdeen,Scotland,UK
Rachel Sandison, head of student recruitment and admissions at the University of Aberdeen, said: “The Grampian Higher Education Convention is a prime
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First Minister marks the opening of new university
WalesOnline - United Kingdom
These three colleges united in 1976 forming the West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education. In 1992, this title changed to Swansea Institute of Higher
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Wales ‘Must do better’ in education, says professor
WalesOnline - United Kingdom
It should also be noted that capacity within the Higher Education system to monitor, evaluate and develop new educational policies may also have been absent
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Higher education funding ‘is broken’
Public Servant Online - Staffordshire,UK
The system of funding higher education is broken and the government shouldn’t try to ignore that fact, the National Union of Students has said in a report.
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Students in colleges have no one to complain to – so is it time
Independent - London,England,UK
If higher education is anything to go by, an FE ombudsman will be kept busy. Last year, the number of complaints made to the OIA rose by 25 per cent to 734.
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Education Officer
The Engineer - London,UK
Educated to degree level, you will need direct experience of planning and delivering attractive student programmes and events at the Higher Education level.
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A morning’s learning: Google Alert -> EdTechie -> [HE2.0 -> SocialLearn] & [Ads fund HE -> Visual Gadgets]

Jan 18 / IMG_6351
Originally uploaded by tavopp

As I start to write this it is now 9.05am and I’ve been in work since 8.10am. After 10 minutes tidying paper away and trying to get my laptop to dock properly a couple of notifications came in from my Gmail account. Since starting at the RSC I’ve created a number of Google Alerts (email updates of user defined Google search results). My ‘”Higher Education”’ alerts picked up the news that in Crewe they will be showing school pupils what university life is like, that Eastwood has been named as the new head of the University of Birmingham and ‘Blackburn College open day will be a class act‘. The alert also returned 5 blog entries from Policy Futures in Education (2), The Ed Techie (2) and Job Vacancies at Liverpool John Moores University (1).

The two posts that intrigued me the most were from Ed Techie, Technology as metaphor (or I’m on e-Literate) and Ads won’t fund learning (as we know it) (I’d never come across this blog by Martin Weller before but it immediately went into my RSS reader and recommend it to anyone else interested in educational technology, VLEs, web 2.0 etc.). The ‘technology as metaphor’ post was highlighting Martin’s guest contribution on e-Literate on SocialLearn: Bridging the Gap Between Web 2.0 and Higher Education. In this article Martin lays the foundation for exploring the relationship between technology and traditional educational frameworks. He argues that technology is facilitating ‘social change’, students adopting new tools for learning and socialising and that “the monolithic LMSs will be deserted, digital tumbleweed blowing down their forums. Students will abandon these in favour of their tools.”

The full article is well worth a read even only if you want an example of how the OUUK’s SocialLearn project is changing the way education is approached (if I get a chance I might post a summary of SocialLearn, so watch this space).

The Ads won’t fund learning post by Martin was in response to a post by Tony Hirst on The Cost of Learning (it appears the OU boys have been discussing business models for HE over a number of posts). While the discussion of education service models will be of interest to some, something else caught my eye. On the The Cost of Learning post Tony mentioned that he was “taking a break yesterday from blitzing a whole set of posts to the Visual Gadgets course un-unit (sic) blog experiment, …”. Tony has been experimenting with using blog for collecting material for an online course about visualising data in a graphical way. In an era of information overload this blog highlights a huge range of examples of how data can be visualised in different and succinct ways, well worth a browse.

So what have we learned from all this. Well apart from Eastwood (presumably not Clint) being named the new head of UoB hopefully this post demonstrates the power of ‘push’ technology. How a simple email alert, which took less than a minute to setup, started a chain of information which has highlighted some potentially useful sites and ongoing projects.

[Update -- This post was picked up by my own Google Alert:

A morning’s learning: Google Alert -> EdTechie -> [HE2.0 ...
By Martin Hawksey
My ‘"Higher Education"’ alerts picked up the news that in Crewe they will be showing school pupils what university life is like, that Eastwood has been named as the new head of the University of Birmingham and ‘Blackburn ...

Which guarantees I'll be in the inbox of anyone else using the search term '"Higher Education"' ;-)]


This blog is authored by Martin Hawksey e-Learning Advisor (Higher Education) at the JISC RSC Scotland N&E.

mhawksey [at] | 0131 559 4112 | @mhawksey

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