Posts Tagged ‘Student as Producer’

Latest steps in defining the business case for resource discovery

Posted on April 12th, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp

A quote from me on p.1 of the latest Discovery newsletter (April 2012), after the recent ‘Better Resource Discovery – Is there a business case?‘ workshop.

A similar user-centred approach is the driver at University of Lincoln, as explained by Paul Stainthorp, Electronic Resources Librarian: “We see the role of the student as collaborator in the production of knowledge and focus on improving the student experience through their active engagement.” Lincoln has an open development group which is committed to exposing library and other institutional data through APIs as the basis for agile and innovative development. “We are starting to see the results in terms of new cataloguing workflows, knowledge share, staff development, and new partnerships.”

LNCD funding available: Technology for Education

Posted on January 31st, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp

From today’s internal communications email to University of Lincoln staff:

Small grants and student bursaries are available to [University of Lincoln] staff and students to support research, teaching and learning initiatives that explore, develop or critique the use of technology for education.

LNCD is a progressive group that includes educational developers, technologists, teachers, researchers and students, and was set up to support the objectives of Student as Producer through the research and development of technology for education.

Small grants and student bursaries are available from LNCD to support work that relates to the use of technology for education. For more details, see the LNCD funding page. The next deadline is February 28th.

RT @josswinn LNCD: Web Developer Intern

Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

Last month, [Joss Winn] wrote about LNCD, a new progressive new group that includes educational developers, technologists, teachers, researchers and students and was set up to support the objectives of Student as Producer through the research and development of technology for education. With the formation of LNCD, we’re also looking to employ a recent graduate (or an MComp student on their placement year). The job is advertised from today and more details can be found on our Careers website.

This Internship is designed to help recent graduates develop the skills and experience required for a number of potential roles in web development and open source hacking. We’re looking to work with, support and mentor an enthusiastic developer with a genuine interest in the use of the open, data-driven web in higher education. We’re looking for someone who enjoys working both face-to-face and in a distributed online environment and who is keen to share their work with others across the university.

Based in the Centre for Educational Research and Development (CERD) but working across the university, you’ll be a member of LNCD, a progressive group that was recently set up to support the research and development of technology for education and includes educational developers, technologists, teachers, researchers and students. This graduate Internship is a new 12-month position, designed to provide you with the relevant mentoring, experience and skills for working in a cutting-edge web development and research environment. The role will require significant interaction with students and academic staff and you will be encouraged and supported to write about your work and present your work to peers across the university sector.

I really want this to be a rewarding 12 month Internship for someone, who’ll be working alongside colleagues in CERD, ICT (i.e. Nick and Alex) and the Library (i.e. Paul), as well as with academic staff and students. We’re asking for a lot, but you’ll get a lot back in return and you should end the year with experience working on several internal and externally funded projects, producing and contributing to publicly hosted open source code, attending and presenting at workshops and conferences and being a named contributor to at least one published academic paper.

If you’re interested in the Internship and wondering what you might be getting into, please do read about the LNCD group, its remit and the tools we use, and take a look at some of the work we’ve been doing over the  last year, too. Read about Student as Producer and what its objectives are and think about how you want to contribute to the work we’re doing at Lincoln.  Thanks.

A LNCD booklist

Posted on June 14th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

We have been able to buy a number of useful books on agile software development / rapid innovation of technology for education, aimed particularly at developing student skills and participation in institution-wide projects: they’re all in the GCW University Library now.

  • Allamaraju, S. (2010) RESTful web services cookbook. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.
  • Chacon, S. (2009) Pro Git. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.
  • Chodorow, K. and Dirolf, M. (2010) MongoDB: the definitive guide. Farnham: O’Reilly.
  • Cohn, M. (2010) Succeeding with agile software development using Scrum. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.
  • Flanagan, D. and Matsumoto, Y. (2008) The Ruby programming language. 1st edition. Beijing; Farnham: O’Reilly.
  • Lawson, B. and Sharp, R. (2010) Introducing HTML5. Berkeley, CA; London: New Riders.
  • Lutz, M. and Ascher, D. (2004) Learning Python. 2nd edition. Beijing; Cambridge: O’Reilly.
  • Plugge, E., Membrey, P., and Hawkins, T. (2010) The definitive guide to MongoDB: the NoSQL database for cloud and desktop computing. New York, NY: Apress.
  • Powers, S. (2003) Practical RDF. Beijing; Cambridge: O’Reilly.
  • Richardson, L. and Ruby, S. (2007) RESTful web services. Beijing; Farnham: O’Reilly.
  • Segaran, T., Evans, C., and Taylor, J. (2009) Programming the Semantic Web. Beijing; Farnham: O’Reilly.

There’s a live copy of the same booklist on RefShare, available to download/export:

This little collection of books is designed to support the work of the new cross-University technology-for-education group, the existence of which Joss Winn announced last month. Since then, the group has been given a name: LNCD (it’s a partial pun on “linked”, suggesting “Lincoln”, and also a recursive acronym: see below and at:


LNCD’s Not a Central Development group

LNCD is a progressive group that includes educational developers, technologists, teachers, researchers and students and was set up to support the objectives of Student as Producer through the research and development of technology for education. The work of LNCD is informed by the progressive pedagogy of Student as Producer so as to engender critical, digitally literate staff and students. Core principles of the group are that we recognise students and staff have much to learn from each other and that students can be agents of change in the use of technology in education.

New edutech group: what we are and how we’ll work

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

From a recent post on Joss Winn’s blog; with no apologies for the cut-and-paste job:

“In January, I [Joss] wrote about how I had written a paper for the university about the role of technology in the context of Student as Producer. The paper included a recommendation that a new team be convened to “further the research, development and support of technology” at the university [...] This was approved.

“I was pleased with the outcome as it means that our current work is being recognised as well as the strategic direction we wish to go in. In terms of resourcing, we will have at least one more full-time (Intern) post and hold a £20K annual budget which will be used to provide grants and bursaries to staff and students, pay for hardware and software as needed and pay for participants to go to conferences to discuss their work and learn from the EdTech community at large. This doesn’t include any external income that we hope to generate.”

The new, as yet unnamed group will include staff from CERD, ICT, the Library, and elsewhere, and will act as a locus for development and support for the use of technology in teaching and learning. We have a timetable for development over this summer (I’ll be writing about that development here). By September…

“…we’ll have a website that offers clear information on what we do, what we’re working on, how to get involved and the ways we can support staff and students at the university. The site will allow you to review all aspects of our projects as well as propose new projects which can be voted up and down according to staff and students’ priority. There will be an application form for you to apply for funding from us and a number of ways for you discuss your ideas on and offline. We’ll be continuing our current provision of staff training, but will be looking to re-develop the sessions into short courses that are useful to both staff and students.”

An important(ish) aspect of the work of the new group will be the way we organise our own work, and the tools we’ll use to plan, manage and document projects in a distributed environment where most of us work in different parts of the university campuses.

“For the Geeks, you might be interested to know that we’ve decided upon a set of tools for managing our work online in a distributed environment where most of us work in different parts of the university campuses [...] We won’t be prescriptive with the tools we adopt, using whatever is appropriate, but with an emphasis on those that offer decent APIs, data portability and good usability.”

Disruptive influence

Posted on November 27th, 2010 by Paul Stainthorp

This week we launched our long-awaited strategic review of the Library’s ICT systems, with a day’s discussion and planning with library-technology consultant Ken Chad.

Anti-cuts protest in GloucesterJoss Winn (who was there on the day) has already blogged about the love he thinks we can build between us and our users if we get beyond the impersonal ‘survey’ mentality and build a lasting, resilient and genuine relationship out of shared activity…

“By creating a library system that learns from every person who uses it and adapts over time to the environment it is part of, we create a resilient and therefore a sustainable library system that its users fall in love with.”

I’m not very good at self-reflection (see what I did there?), so I’m not here to respond to Joss’s post. Instead, knowing where our systems and processes are at, I’ve been contemplating Ken’s ideas about disruptive technologies in HE libraries, and where we are on the cycle of accepting that our existing model has already been disrupted.

Here are a few reasons why Lincoln is perfectly poised for a bit of disruption:

  • Because we don’t have too much history. Lincoln is a young institution (in its current incarnation, at least), and we’ve been through a lot of changes. (We must have opened—and sadly, closed—more libraries than some institutions have had hot dinners.) We’re pretty good at coping with change; change is our only constant, etc.
  • Because, if we’re being honest, we probably don’t have as much at stake as some older, richer, universities. We’re more than used to doing things on a shoestring and looking for free solutions to our problems, ideally to supplement, but as often as not instead of investment in commercial systems (poverty breeding experimentation). As a result, our systems are not too overdeveloped, and we should be able to make quick changes of direction without too much pain.
  • Because we have the Student as Producer agenda; we have a Library Innovation Group; we have projects such as Jerome, Nucleus, Total ReCal, and so on. In short, we’re surrounded by the academic theory, the administrative machinery, and the working examples to justify an actively disruptive approach to systems development.
  • Because of where we are: I’m convinced there’s a benefit to living on the periphery.
  • Because (like the countryside, ho ho) the Library staff structure is relatively ‘flat’. No-one’s going to be strung up for speaking out of turn; nobody’s ideas are beyond the Pale; there’s not too much store placed in hierarchy. I sincerely hope this to be true.
  • Finally, because of our vice-chancellor’s attitude. Professor Mary Stuart has mentioned (at least twice, in presentations I’ve attended) the imperative to—for want of a better phrase—mash things up. Assuming she really means it—and I’ve no reason to doubt that she does—we’re much better off than if we had to work under the disapproving gaze of a University executive unhappy with experimentation. There are perhaps fewer techno-reactionary voices in the Lincoln establishment than at some other, older universities.

I’m intrigued now by the idea of disruptive technologies in the library, so I’m going to see if I can dig out a few of Clayton Christensen’s books and have a read. Thanks, Ken. (I’ve been following the Disruptive Library Technology Jester for a while now, but I hadn’t realised it was anything other than a clever name.)

Kindred spirits (the computing student as critical friend)

Posted on November 19th, 2010 by Paul Stainthorp

I’ve just finished the second of two Friday afternoon demo-lectures for third-year students in the computing school (covering for my colleague, the subject librarian for Computer Science).

I used to be the point of contact for technology subjects (before I made the move to my current e-resources post), and I’d half-forgotten how enjoyable it can be to talk to a body of students who [in general] understand data and the web, can put forward coherent ideas about improving the University’s online services, and in front of whom I’m more prepared to admit the shortcomings of [insert name of any given library or resource discovery tool here] because I’m less afraid of my words being taken out of context.

I’m not (definitely not) trying to imply that there aren’t students of every stripe and subject who possess this attitude and this level of understanding. Just that computing/technology courses naturally attract a higher concentration of them.

Now, if only we could convince the computing lot to borrow a book from time to time… (I joke! I joke!!!)

I’m sure this relates to the Student as Producer agenda somehow, but pardon me if—this late in the working week—I can’t quite articulate how.