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A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk What Can Internet Technologies Offer? Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath.

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Presentation on theme: "A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk What Can Internet Technologies Offer? Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath."— Presentation transcript:

1 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk What Can Internet Technologies Offer? Brian Kelly UKOLN University of Bath Bath Email B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk URL http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/ UKOLN is supported by: How can Internet technologies help us to support communications with & by students? How should IT & Library Services respond to use of Internet technologies driven by students? How can Internet technologies help us to support communications with & by students? How should IT & Library Services respond to use of Internet technologies driven by students?

2 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 2 Contents About The Speaker How Times Have Changed Mobile Devices Technologies: Instant Messaging Integrated environments Blogging Wikis Mobile phones Semantic Web / FOAF Strategic Challenges: Open source Support Preservation Deployment Conclusions

3 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 3 About The Speaker Brian Kelly: UK Web Focus – funded by JISC and the MLA to support the HE/FE and museums, libraries & archives sector on Web standards & best practices Based at UKOLN – a national centre of expertise in digital information management Located at the University of Bath Formerly worked in user support in Computing Service departments at Universities of Loughborough (1984-90), Liverpool (1990-91) and Leeds (1991-95) and for Netskills (1995-6)

4 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 4 How Times Have Changed IT Strategy 1980-1990s IT Skills Training Lotus / Excel WordPerfect / Word User Groups, Committees Mainframe / Unix PC / Mac Centralised / Distributed Users Research / Teaching IT Strategy Today Users IT applications Free software Home use Hotmail accounts, MSN IDs User Groups, Committees Major funding decisions Responding to autonomy Security Responding to Internet environment Interoperability, standards, preservation Open source

5 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 5 Mobile Devices What are the implications of mobile devices? Challenges What do these devices have in common? Consumer devices, networks & digital memory

6 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 6 New Devices What are the implications of, say, Web / email clients on digital TV? Cost about £120 (or £65 on offer from BT Shop) http:// www.netgem.com / Challenges Scenario Students will want to watch digital TV (music, etc.) This box provides a cheap easily maintained thin client Unlike ITVDigital no licensing restrictions Email/ Web use at home reduces demand on PC clusters So encourage purchase!

7 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 7 WiFi WiFi technologies make mobile devices even more appealing. Imagine scenario: WiFi access in all lecture rooms, teaching spaces, … WiFi access in all halls of residences, flats, etc. WiFi access in all social spaces, such as bars, fields, etc WiFi access in town centre, pubs, Starbucks, … and with Zeroconf you can walk into a room & it's all available How will this change the dynamics of teaching & learning? How will this affect purchasing patterns? How will this affect social activities? How will this affect the role of IT Services? How will this change the dynamics of teaching & learning? How will this affect purchasing patterns? How will this affect social activities? How will this affect the role of IT Services? Thought Experiment Let's imagine you all have networked mobile devices. Challenges

8 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 8 Challenges Commercial Providers Bathstudent.com provides: Personalised portal Diary & calendar News alerts by email & SMS Advice … http://www.bathstudent.com/ Challenges: Shouldn't we be doing this? Who owns the company & data (and why do they want my personal details)? What if ownership changes? Does their advice on academic issues conflict with the University's? Challenges: Shouldn't we be doing this? Who owns the company & data (and why do they want my personal details)? What if ownership changes? Does their advice on academic issues conflict with the University's? We are now faced with increasing numbers of commercial providers of IT services

9 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 9 Instant Messaging Instant Messaging: Nothing new – Unix talk anyone? New user communities driving its use: Young people Overseas students Comments from recent UCISA poll: "IM... is 'here to stay' – an 'unstoppable tide'. Seen as part of youth culture, along with … SMS" Liverpool JMU "Students will arrive familiar with, and expecting to.. use such tools. Email seen by younger people to be 'boring', 'full of spam', IM and SMS immediacy preferred" Bath But: "Complaints raised regarding students hogging PCs.. Also case with email some time ago" Liverpool JMU "APIs are known and therefore targets for hackers" London Met "Some challenges in interoperability …" Bath Technologies

10 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 10 IM - Tools Popular IM tools include: MSN Messenger Yahoo Messenger AOL Instant Messenger Typically choosing a supported application involved looking at functionality, cost, support, security,.. Technologies

11 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 11 IM Functionality (1) MSN Messenger provides groupware & IM functionality: Sharing desktop applications File transfer Webcams Games Warning – this could be a virus Has potential in user support & collaborative working Technologies

12 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 12 IM Functionality (2) Yahoo Messenger is integrated with My.Yahoo: Calender (which can be synced with Outlook) Personalised new, weather, etc. SMS (but not in UK) Technologies

13 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 13 Integrating IM You can have IM bots Scenario Users with mobile devices (which may be slow) Require access to information Rather than surfing Web sites why shouldn't they simply type a simple command? This approach is used with SMS To im-info@university.ac.uk info address … acrobot@buddyspace.org

14 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 14 IM Guidelines (1) Guidelines developed for QA Focus (UKOLN/AHDS project): Scheduled virtual meeting with home worker and with project partner Formal agenda used and meeting chaired Use of Webcam planned (nb privacy issues) Transcript archived (confidentiality issues flagged) IM also used for informal purposes e.g. short term tasks such as agreeing on pub to meet in Recognition of dangers of interruption, privacy, etc. (similar to divulging personal phone no.) Need for guidelines to be implemented in protocols Guidelines

15 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 15 IM Guidelines (2) The JISC-funded QA Focus project has developed a quality assurance framework for JISC's digital library programmes We also have support materials such as briefing documents, example policies and procedures documents, etc. http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/qa-focus/ documents/briefings/briefing-56/ http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/qa-focus/ documents/briefings/briefing-56/ See Guidelines

16 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 16 Security Issues "I've asked our IT bods to open up the port, but have been met (so far) with a stony silence." Tensions: Users want the rich functionality IT Services also need to address security, privacy, support, etc. issues IM is an example of an edge service: Name given to P2P programs such as instant messaging, file sharing, etc. Programs are located at the edge of the network, travelling through desktop PCs rather than a central server IETF working on "Open Pluggable Edge Services" standard, which will address security issues Technologies

17 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 17 Interoperability Lack of interoperability: Mainstream IM world is currently closed Multi-protocol clients exist (e.g. Trillian, IM+) but don't support value-added features ( ) XMPP - open protocol of IM Jabber provides open source clients & servers which support XMPP Value-added services being developed e.g. BuddySpace at OU (note interesting movie) Technologies

18 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 18 Policy Issues For IM: Functionality / support aren't main issues IM exists to facilitate communications the users' peers Should we: Provide multiple clients to support users (Liverpool approach)? Chose client and manage the ids, so we can use to communicate IM students? Provide clients but support separate IM facility (e.g. as part of portal, VLE, …)? Wait for standards & applications to arrive which solve the problems? Policies

19 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 19 In Summary MSN AOL Yahoo AOL Messenger MSN Messenger Yahoo Messenger Local VLE VLE IM tool Additional functionality Additional problems? Remote IM databases are populated by individuals and managed remotely Finding people, managing groups of students, etc. is difficult Do we need a national IM databases managed by the sector (along Athens lines)? Or leave this to commercial sector? 'Athens' IM (cf OU) Local (Jabber) Jabber Trillian, IM+ Potential functionality

20 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 20 Integrating Environments (1) Services such as YahooGroups integrate: Mailing lists IM Voting Calendars … Useful to get committee together at same time – buts ads are disliked Very effective way of reaching a decision – avoids long discursive discussions Useful to view shared calendar with remote staff. Can integrate with local calendar, but not yet fully. Technologies

21 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 21 Integrating Environments (2) JISCMail is extending its facilities to include a voting system and a chat room (currently being tested) Being part of our community it doesnt have adverts and is responsive to needs of the community Technologies

22 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 22 IM can be integrated with other facilities within VLEs, portals, etc. For example: Univ of Delaware (looking to integrate IM as a channel in uPortal) VLS Integrating Environments (3) Preamble Formal start, with date stamp for transcript People arrive late & miss guidelines Data protection, privacy, libel, …! Preamble Formal start, with date stamp for transcript People arrive late & miss guidelines Data protection, privacy, libel, …!

23 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 23 Let's Kill E-Mail! E-mail has its role but: Why send messages which time-out when many users will read them too late? Why not use delivery channels which are spam-free? Why not use delivery channels which are more suited to receiving information (as opposed to discussions)? Why not allow users to select their preferred channels? Technologies RSS: Syndication of content A light-weight standard used in the JISC IE View on Web or using dedicated RSS viewer Shouldn't RSS viewers be standard on desktops? Shouldn't we be creating RSS feed for news alerts? Shouldn't RSS viewers be standard on desktops? Shouldn't we be creating RSS feed for news alerts?

24 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 24 Blogging (1) Blogging: cult fashion or significant developing in publishing / communications? Technologies Student's learning diary. Created by student and hosted on remote Blogger Web site. No longer maintained? A more sustainable approach is likely when used as part of a course. This example also provides shared experiences

25 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 25 Blogging (2) But: I want new information to be pushed to me I want to create information using tools other than a Web browser I prefer an email interface (fewer images, …) Technologies

26 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 26 Wikis Wiki: An open shared space for collaborative editing Emerging Technologies Wikipedia – a example of shared encyclopaedia. Yes, trust is an issue! Wikipedia – a example of shared encyclopaedia. Yes, trust is an issue! QUB provide an environment for IT & Society students to collectively edit Web pages.

27 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 27 The Potential For SMS SMS: Over 100 million SMS txts sent over New Year 2004 – why don't we send exam results, library alerts, …? A small number of institutions are using SMS : "SHU used SMS during clearing - potential students texted in UCAS code of course of interest. The system sent back text saying whether places were still available - alleviating pressure on our call centre." "I believe Edinburgh student union uses SMS for their elections." "I believe there are plans afoot in our university at a high level to develop a method of 'bulk sending' SMS messages out to students." Birkbeck are "hoping to pilot an SMS alert system soon for one of our Schools that they can use (via a simple Web interface) to send lecture cancellation messages etc to their students" Technologies

28 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 28 From SMS 3G WAP: Failed to take off, but some experimentation talking place 3G: The SMS or the WAP of the future? Will developments be driven by: Research interests – e.g. Consumers? Will the killer app be: Publishing information? Communications? Something else: competition for WiFi competition e.g. Google for the pub quiz Nothing Technologies

29 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 29 FOAF FOAF (Friends-of-a-Friend): A Semantic Web application (SW – creation of a distributed global database without central control) Allows structured information about people to be brought together Great potential for building online communities Featured in Guardian Online column – 19 Feb 2004 Paper at IADIS Web Based Communities 2004 on "Using FOAF To Support Community-Building" by Kelly & Dodds Emerging Technologies

30 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 30 FOAF Example (1) FOAF Explorer - A view of my FOAF file, showing links to my friends Further information in my FOAF file Leigh's FOAF file, showing his additional information Emerging Technologies

31 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 31 FOAF Example (2) FOAFNaut - Emerging Technologies

32 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 32 Creating FOAF Several types of FOAF authoring tools are available: Do it by hand Web-based tools Dedicated tools Using a Wiki Emerging Technologies Authoring tools and viewers available – it's time to experiment!

33 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 33 Creating Online Communities Students (and staff) want to be part of communities - as shown by success of FriendsReunited and (since Jan 2004) Orkut But online communities come and go and the data needs to be re-entered, relationships re- established, … The Tribe.net online community has stated that it will support FOAF, which could provide a solution to such concerns. FOAF has recently started to gain some momentum, as indicated by the Guardian Online feature. These Social Networks can provide: Mailing lists Instant messaging Links to partners & potential partners These Social Networks can provide: Mailing lists Instant messaging Links to partners & potential partners

34 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 34 Strategic Challenges Challenges we face: AUPs Open Source vs Commercial Solutions Departmental & Individual Autonomy Interoperability, Preservation, etc. People Issues Privacy, Data Protection, … Sustainable Communities How we go about deploying such facilities … Challenges Note: ran out of time for this section at UCISA Management Conference

35 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 35 Open Source Software Many Web/Internet -based tools described (Wikis, Blogs, Jabber, …): Are available as open source software (OSS) Act as demonstrators of emerging new open standards Options for an institutional OSS strategy: Replace MS Office products by Open Office Deploy new services using open source applications Note the JISC-funded OSS Watch service can provide advice on OSS strategies. See Challenges

36 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 36 Interoperability & Sustainability Current position: Lots of interesting application areas and application software In the future: Software products will fade away, be taken over,.. There will be a need to integrate areas (VLEs, with IM with Blogging) to provide seamless interface There will be a need for data to migrate There will be a need for data to be preserved (records of dialogue, group memory, FoI, …) The use of open standards will be important. Challenges

37 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 37 Deployment How should we go about deploying more open and innovative collaborative systems? "Eat your own dogfood" – use the tools to discuss the tools IM tools were used to discuss issues with staff evaluating IM at Edinburgh Small scale experiments Address local & regional issues Sharing experiences Learn from the users – and your children! Challenges

38 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 38 Experiment! "IM, WiFi, Blogs. Wikis, …These are the future. We need to experiment - let's try them at UCISA 2005" Brian Kelly, UCISAS 2004 19 March 2004 Colston Research Symposium: Annual event supported and sponsored by the University of Bristol & Colston Research Society Hosted by ILRT, Graduate School of Education and the Computer Science, University of Bristol on 22-23 March 2004 Included real-time IM commentaries, Blog reports, … See

39 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 39 Realtime IM-ing Paul Shabajee gave a talk about use of IRC and Blogs There was a realtime display of the IRC dialogue alongside the PowerPoint slides http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/news/conferences/colston2004/programme

40 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 40 Colston Conference Blog Blogs were used to report on all of the talks. http://blog.ilrt.org/colston/

41 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 41 Wikis For Shared Notekeeping The free, externally hosted Seedwiki (and Swiki) Wikis used to support workshop in Trieste They were used to note students areas of interests (Notepad normally used) This approach allowed students to contribute http://www.seedwiki.com/page.cfm?doc=ictp-2004&wikiid=4970

42 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 42 What If Things Go Wrong? Things do go wrong! So plan accordingly! Two Wikis had been setup. One became unavailable during workshop, so used other One student overwrote Wiki content – so used version option to retrieve previous version It all goes wrong? Tell students they are taking part in an experiment – they might find this exciting!

43 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 43 Non-Technical Issues Sustainability of online communities (IADIS WBC 2004 paper on "Building Online Communities - The Barriers And The Bruises") Support Issues: Technical support: "How do I …?", "Why can't I …?" Support in use of the technologies (is this our job?) Policy Issues: We should support students in their social & networking activities in cyberspace as well as in real life We don't patrol student bedrooms so let's not patrol the PC in their bedroom IT facilities and networks are for teaching / research. We'll ban other use, especially if security's an issue Such policy decisions may be influenced by bigger HE funding issues Challenges

44 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 44 Where Does This Leave Us? Can we afford not to have: An Institutional Wiki A managed, easy-to-use collaborative workspace An Institutional Blog A managing and interoperable diary and annotation environment Institutional IM Facilities Supported IM software and managed directory facilities Before the environments, we should have a policy in these areas. The policy could, for example, leave provision of such services to the market place.

45 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 45 Conclusions Internet and Web collaborative technologies: Provide a range of interesting new application areas of use in a teaching context Students will increasingly be familiar with such technologies and expect to continue to use them Many technologies are free/open source and will be deployed by individuals / in departments Issues of ongoing, security, interoperability, etc. will need to be addressed by IT Services Issues of sustainable communities, guidelines, etc. also need addressing – but by whom? Many challenges – but also great potential

46 A centre of expertise in digital information managementwww.ukoln.ac.uk 46 Questions Any questions?


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