UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Talk at Edspace Event, University of Southampton

Posted by Brian Kelly on 3 Nov 2009

I have been invited by the JISC-funded Edspace project, based at the University of Southampton to give a talk at an event on “Traditional educational repositories v. Web 2.0 resource sharing” to be held on Wednesday 4 November 2009. I have been asked speak on “the future for educational resources and services on the Web” – a rather grandiose topic, I think! I’ve entitled the talk “The Future for Educational Resource Repositories and Services in a Web 2.0 World” as its the Web 2.0 aspect I feel is important (and reflects my area of expertise – I don’t claim to have anything particularly significant to say on the repository side of things).

I’ll be saying that many of the technical aspects of Web 2.0 are now mainstream – and indeed the Edspace’s Edshare service provides RSS feeds, tag clouds, embed functionality and ‘cool URIs’.

But the term Web 2.0 also  covers the network as the platform and a culture of openness. The issue of openness of educational resources is being addressed in, for example, the JISC OER programme and although I personally seek to ensure that my content (such as blog posts, slides and papers) are available under a Creative Commons licence I know that there are added complexities in the area of educational resources – so I’ll not focus on the openness issue.

Instead I’ll raise the question of the network as the platform in the context of the futures for educational resource repositories.  I’ll suggest that as experts predict further cuts in the public sector, including higher education, wouldn’t it be appropriate for our repository services to be hosted in the cloud?  And the concerns which tend to be raised (sustainability, reliability, legal issues, etc.) are implementation details which do need to be addressed – but these aren’t the important policy issues.

The slides I’ll be using are available on Slideshare (in the Cloud(!) although a master copy is also held locally) and is embedded below.

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