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Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus Empowering Learning a UK perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus Empowering Learning a UK perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus Empowering Learning a UK perspective

2 What is European Culture ?

3 European Culture is… Physical Tangible Enriching Inclusive National For us Finite Valuable Digital Ephemeral Uncomfortable Divisive International For our children Ever-expanding Expensive

4 European Culture is…

5 Valuing Culture…? Cultural memory, which is documented in the collections of museums, libraries and archives throughout the world, is a vital part of the human endeavour. It represents the knowledge accumulated through the generations, and enables humanity to build on the achievements of those who have gone before us. Cultural memory: Benefits individuals, by promoting a sense of identity through shared cultural values and by supporting the quest for lifelong learning; Benefits communities, by promoting economic prosperity and fostering the understanding that leads to a civil and just society; and Benefits humanity as a whole, by promoting the values we share as global citizens and by increasing our capacity to connect with one another to meet universal challenges. Museums, libraries and archivesoften called memory institutionsare trusted organizations that collectively document the entire range of human experience and expression. Memory institutions are engaged in the important work of: Capturing, authenticating, and making sense of cultural memory; Preserving the human record for future generations; and Sharing knowledge to support education and learning. See

6 The UK perspective

7 See

8 England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland Different funding Different rules Different curricula Increasing linguistic diversity A United Kingdom

9 Education in the UK

10 A United Kingdom - England A National Curriculum for 5-16 Governments Department for Education & Skills (DfES) setting overall agenda Learning & Skills Council (LSC) driving and funding post-16 (non-HE) education Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) driving and funding university education.

11 A United Kingdom - Scotland No real national curriculum for schools Governments Department for Education setting overall agenda Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) driving and funding further education Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) driving and funding university education.

12 General trends A Joint Information Systems Committee funded by all of the funding councils, and supporting IT infrastructure, content, and use for Further and Higher Education Increasing university attendance, and targets to improve further A general emphasis upon Lifelong Learning, Widening Participation, Social Inclusion, and delivery of e-Services.

13 Memory Institutions in the UK

14 Memory Institutions Museums & Galleries, Libraries, Archives… Hold the memory of the Nation in trust Actively interpret (Usually) under sell themselves Possibly perpetuate organisational structures irrelevant to the user Offer a human side of Government ?

15 Some facts In the UK, more people visit museums than go to theme parks and pop concerts Visiting libraries is more popular than going to the cinema There are over 4,000 public library branches in the UK The vast majority will be connected to the Peoples Network by 2003 70% already are.

16 Moving Online

17 Culture Online Placed online, large parts of our Culture can become: available to the Nation/Continent/World, 24/7 accessible democratised, and available equally to the inhabitants of Maastricht, and of a small village on the Outer Hebrides a powerful advert for Europe comparable to similar resources from elsewhere viable as enablers and facilitators of Learning, both formal and lifelong.

18 Some assumptions Having access to digital surrogates of cultural heritage material is useful and desirable The public sector has a role to play in this, beyond simply granting digitisation rights to Microsoft Availability of regional/national/international corpora of material is more useful to the user than hundreds or thousands of individual sites Metadata is key to making the vision reality.

19 What is Metadata?

20 –meaningless jargon –or a fashionable, and terribly misused, term for what weve always done –or a means of turning data into information –and data about data –and the name of a person (Tony Blair) –and the title of a book (The Name of the Rose).

21 What is Metadata? Metadata may be applied to almost anything; People Places Objects Concepts Web pages Databases.

22 What is Metadata? Resource Discovery Metadata fulfils three main functions; Description of resource content –What is it? Description of resource form –How is it constructed? Description of resource use –Can I afford it?.

23 Metadata is Cataloguing made cool But still a bit geeky? An important driver for the information economy ? A panacea in the battle against information overload ? Potentially useful as an affordable and cost–effective means of unlocking a wealth of resources ?.

24 Some assumptions Having access to digital surrogates of cultural heritage material is useful and desirable The public sector has a role to play in this, beyond simply granting digitisation rights to Microsoft Availability of regional/national/international corpora of material is more useful to the user than hundreds or thousands of individual sites Metadata is key to making the vision reality.

25 Some more assumptions Distribution is better than centralisation Portals are good Thick portals are better A single portal is bad Shared middleware services play a key role The problem is bigger than the UK or Europe.

26 Internationalisation

27 Level 7 An activity in need of a name! Organised with support from CIMI and Resource Recognised growing synergies between content creation activities globally Gathered funders and programme managers in London Reported in issue 5 of Cultivate Interactive. See

28 The Cultural Content Forum ! Met in Washington in March around 40 representatives from Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan Clear interest in a user focus new work item to gather and explore existing user evaluation work, in order to develop a better picture of what users want Reported in issue 7 of Cultivate Interactive. See

29 Standardisation

30 Common Standards Commonality of approach enables interoperability, and facilitates access. Good standardisation is a foundation for good service, not a straitjacket to innovation Increasing moves towards common standards and guidelines NOF-digi JISC Canadian Cultural Content Initiative e-GIF RLG Cultural Materials Initiative NINCH G2GP etc.

31 Common Standards Work underway to standardise/harmonise Resource capture/creation Resource description Resource discovery Resource use Resource reuse Resource preservation etc Best/Good Practice and Community Building as important… if not more…

32 Metadata for Education Metadata for Education Group (MEG) open forum for debating the description and provision of educational resources at all educational levels across the United Kingdom Founded upon a set of fundamental principles enshrined in the MEG Concord intends to establish itself as an authority in the application of descriptive metadata to predominantly UK educational resources seeks to become the first point of call for policy questions. See

33 The MEG Concord

34 See concord.html

35 Discovering Content

36 Web Content (local and remote) End-user Many different services Each has own user interface Each has a learning curve The current picture Slide by Andy Powell of UKOLN

37 Towards an Architecture Need for contextualisation What are people doing And what are the best technologies to help them? How can we move towards the appearance of seamless service? No one-fit solution. See

38 Towards an architecture Search Z39.50 and the Bath Profile Harvest OAI Alert RSS Shared Middleware Services Authenticate, Authorise, Collection Description, User Preference, Institutional Preference… See

39 JISCs Information Environment Broker/Aggregator Portal Content providers End-user Portal Broker/Aggregator Authentication Authorisation Collectn Desc Service Desc Resolver Instn Profile Shared services Provision layer Fusion layer Presentation layer Slide by Andy Powell of UKOLN

40 publishing tools shared services portals content brokers and aggregators Architectural summary provision fusioninfrastructure presentation registries terminology indexing resolution authentication authorisation citation linking m2m Slide by Andy Powell of UKOLN

41 Building the IE Construction of various Portals in the Presentation Layer JISC Portal ? Data Centre Portals (EDINA, MIMAS…) Subject Portals (the RDN, ADS, etc.) Data Type Portals (images, movies, sound…) Institutional Portals Personal Portals (Pauls web!) Also providing other access to discrete resources. See

42 National or Local? JISC building various national services, including portals Institutions also building portals, Managed/Virtual Learning Environments, myLibrary services, etc. Where do we see the role for all?

43 See

44 See soon!

45 Networks for Cultural Content

46 See

47 See

48 See

49 See

50 Generalising a model…

51 A premise We want to provide useful services to our users. These should be –Usable –Functional –Fit-for-purpose –yet cool and attractive –Sustainable –Interoperable And could be –Informational –Transactional Technical standards are the dull but necessary reality for making this happen.

52 In search of solutions… A common approach Mandated as a condition of grant? –nof–digi technical standards and guidelines –Although evidence of voluntary adoption… –DNER Learning & Teaching Programme technical guidelines –Canadian Digital Cultural Content Initiative technical guidelines –e–GIF An open approach –Avoidance of proprietary solutions –Based on emerging or established standards –XML based. Mappable to Dublin Core….

53 A consensus–based approach Need community adoption and understanding Data creators and providers need a sense of ownership An evolutionary approach Channels New standards New user requirements Remember preservation. In search of solutions…

54 An architecture Integrated information environment is complex An overarching architecture helps to place individual features in context –searching –harvesting –alerting –Shared middleware –Common identifiers, etc. See

55 Part of a model Placing detailed descriptions of all cultural artefacts online infeasible? Expensive A big job! Leads to information overload Collection Level Description a way forward Pointers into collections Easier to harmonise across domains Achievable. See

56 The Big Issue(s) Language Whether technical or vernacular Terminological control Shared subject terms Certification/ Authenticity How do I know its an authoritative description of the Mona Lisa ? Infrastructure How to enable cross–search? Meeting the requirements of new users Largely let down by our current offerings. See

57 Conclusions

58 The Heritage matters a digitised Heritage may be exploited in new ways, by new and old markets Effective exploitation requires Cooperation, collaboration, and consensus building shared vision new ways of working institutional and organisational change –is library a meaningful concept to the learner? –is museum? an interoperable technical base We need to be responsive to the needs of our users cultural tourist, student, lifelong learner, professional….

59 Dr Paul Miller Interoperability Focus Empowering Learning a UK perspective

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