Can you help with the RSE Spreading the Benefits of Digital Participation Inquiry?

Hi all,

I am part of the current Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Spreading the Benefit of Digital Participation Inquiry – we are looking to understand how those who do not already use the internet might be motivated and supported to go online, but also how those who do use the internet could be reaping the maximum benefit from it.  And I was wondering whether you might be able to help us by sharing your own thoughts and experiences, informed by being an online distance learner and/or educator?

You can find out more about the Inquiry and our questions here:

Our blog (including event schedule, if you fancy coming along in person):

And the form for submitting your response online (we also welcome them by email in any format, by post, etc. if you would prefer):

In terms of timing the Inquiry is still taking evidence for the next month or so (in fact my colleagues are up in the highlands and islands running evidence gathering sessions this week) before beginning the writing up process ready for a launch of our findings in October. 

It would be absolutely brilliant to get your input into the inquiry as people who, I think it’s fair to say, really maximise the benefits of participating in the digital world – but also are uniquely placed to understand the challenges and support needed to motivate and make the most of the internet.

We’d also really appreciate it if you helped us get word out to others who may wish to participate whether by sharing the above links, telling friends, family or colleagues, or by tweeting about the Inquiry (we are @digiscot and the hashtag is #digiscot also)

Huge thanks in advance,


Beta Launch of New Geospatial Technology Tools – London, Monday 28th November 2011 – Book Now!

I wanted to share news of an upcoming event – free to attend – as it is a chance to see the outputs of 12 UK Higher Education projects of which at least 3 relate to elearning and mobile learning directly and I think that we have a fourth project that will have some fantastic applications in eLearning. All are welcome but you do need to book –  here’s the official blurb:

“Because everyone will eventually have ‘an App’ in their pocket that uses GPS!”

JISC is pleased to announce the launch of several new BETA products and tools centred around geospatial technology and aimed at Universities, Colleges and Schools. Come along and experiment with these soon-to-be-released products at a special one day event on Monday November 28th at Ravensborough College (next door to the Milennium Dome) in London. We encourage students, researchers and teaching staff from all disciplines to attend and sample these fantastic new tools so that we can further their usefulness to everyone in Academia. Come along and discover how Geo really is part of everyday work and play 🙂

So, what can you expect?

Well, we have a fantastic set of geospatial tools and projects including these highlights:

Are you a student? You’ll want to see the #Gemma project (University College London) and their cool new Android and iPhone apps that help collect data for research projects and assignments and then present your data as colourful maps. Want to impress your teachers and get a better grade on your next assignment? Want to use your smartphone for data collection? Then you need to check this event out.

Are you a researcher? You’ll want to see how the Halogen2 (University of Leicester) project have build cross-disciplinary geo links between DNA data and other scholarly datasets: archaeology, genealogy, history…. Welcome to the future of cross-disciplinary research!

Are you a teacher? You’ll want to see the new handbook that GeoSciTeach? (Institute of Education) is producing on how to integrate geospatial tools into class activities. See how they used mobile phones to conduct a lesson at Kew Gardens, making the great outdoors into an interactive teaching and learning space. In short, you’re not cool unless you’ve got geospatial in school!

Best of all the day is finished up with an evening Awards party (in the Millenium Dome!) for the projects and all their hard work. Come shake hands with these projects, toast their success and find out who will win Geospatial project of the Year!

For a Draft Agenda for the event please see:

Please use the hashtag “#jiscGEO” to talk about this event on your favourite social network.

To register for this event please use the following link (Day 1 is the ‘Show and Tell’ Day described above for these projects – though you are welcome to stay on and learn more about geo on the other event days):

See you there!

Nicola Osborne

JISC GECO Project Team

JISC GECO Website:

Follow us: @jiscGECO

Social Media Week (#SMW) Next Week

I thought you might be interested to know that Social Media Week (#SMW) takes place in 12 cities across the globe next week and includes various events that will be streaming online, tweeting and will (in some cases) include events that take place virtually over Skype and in other spaces. There is a huge and varied programme and I think they’ll be of interest to many on the MSc. Full information is on the Social Media Week website:

Glasgow is one of the cities hosting Social Media Week events (#SMWgla) and the other reason I am posting here is that I am helping to organise a joint EDINA/Edinburgh Beltane Beacon for Public Engagement event on Social Media and Academia (#socac) on 21st September including an appearance from this MSc’s very own Jen Ross!  It’s a free event open to all and I’ve love to see fellow MSc students (current, past or future) along asking our panel extra tricky questions!

Please do let anyone you think might be interested know about Social Media Week and this event (listed here: and do keep an eye on the hashtag on the day.



Two Upcoming Free Events: RepoFringe11 and #GECOhealth

This is a bit of slightly shameless promotion! I’m involved in organising two events in Edinburgh in August that may well be of interest to many here as both relate to collaboration, technology and learning in different ways:

The first is an event on open source, geo and health and the ways in which these areas overlap. Anyone working in health or health education will realise how important geography can be in health education and promotion work, epidemiology, etc. Myself and colleagues on the #jiscGECO project are keen to see how open source and open geo data in particular connects to health and are therefore holding a free workshop in Edinburgh on 9th August to explore these issues. More information on our blog and booking form here:

We’ll also be holding some further geo related events for the GECO project across the UK – if you’d like more info on these as they are announced do drop me an email:

The second event is the Repository Fringe 2011 unconference (#rfringe11) and takes place in Edinburgh from 3rd-5th August 2011 at the Informatics Forum of the University of Edinburgh. This is always a really fun look at all ideas and issues around repositories and how repositories are in use in the academic sector – for teaching and learning materials, for research materials, for publications, etc. It is free to attend (booking form here) and there are always opportunities to contribute to the programme so if you’d like to take part (in person or virtually) then please get in touch. You can email myself or the official email address for the event:

Both events will include a lively amount of blogging, tweeting and repofringe should also be videoed for viewing online afterwards so I’d be excited to see any fellow MSc-ers along in person or online to join in the discussions.

Huge thanks for reading this far and have a super summer all! 😉

– Nicola.

Social Media Guidelines – Please comment/reuse if useful

I’ve been working on some Social Media Guidelines for my employer, EDINA, and we’ve just published them this week on our website (available for use/remixing/etc under a CC attribution sharealike license). I thought they might be of interest to fellow MSc students but I also wanted to share them here as I would welcome any comments you may have or pointers to other HE/SE social media guidelines you may be aware of as we are hoping to iterate and improve these guidelines on an ongoing basis.