The closing keynote is from Ewan McIntosh, who is Digital Commissioner for 4iP – Channel 4′s Innovation for the Public Fund.
Ewan mentioning The Guardian’s Datastore (and reflecting that he wished ‘they’ (presumably Channel 4) had done it first!) – this is a collection data which the Guardian compiles, and is now making available in ways that encourage reuse (although you have to understand the data to make sensible mashups) – you can see some examples from Tony Hirst on OUseful.info
Now mentioning ‘MySociety‘ and ‘Theyworkforyou‘ – noting how making data reusable opens up ways of allowing interacting with the data and combining it to uncover new information. However, opening up data is difficult – example of European newspapers accusing Google of ‘stealing’ their information because they use headlines from their websites – but Ewan noting that Google is driving traffic to the newspapers via the route.
“Free is a hard price to beat”
Mentioning John Houghton and Charles Oppenheim report on economic impact of Open Access – if you rethink the model then there are savings to be made.
4iP funding lots of projects. But lots of proposals start “X is a site which…” – they are thinking in terms of ‘destinations’ – and Universities are the ‘ultimate destination’. But most people visit only about 6 websites in a day – if you see your website as a destination, then you are saying you are going to compete with those 6 top websites – you are really going to struggle with this.
The VLE is a destination. The only reason students go there is because Universities ‘compel’ them to – it is the only place they can get the information they need. However, this results in students visiting and leaving as soon as they can.
Higher Education is not a participatory culture. On the web the current ‘top’ participatory environment is probably Facebook. Example of ‘Who has the biggest brain?’ – like brain training – but you play against others. 50 million players (in 6 months)
iMob – iPhone game a text based strategy game.
Battlefront – a Channel 4 education project – via MySpace and Beebo – encourages young people to get involved in campaigning on issues they care about.
Ewan just said “Hands up if you are not currently twittering” (most of the room) – “you are doing nothing!”. Those twittering are participating – being much more cognitively active.
Ewan describing different ‘spaces’:
- Watching spaces (tv, theatre, gigs)
- Participation spaces (marches, meetings, markets)
- Performing spaces (Second Life, WoW, Home)
- Publishing spaces (Blogging, Flickr)
- Group spaces (Bebo, Facebook)
- Secret Spaces (Mobile, SMS, IM) – sounds like the ‘backchannel’?
The mobile phone is one of the most exciting developments in learning – Google Android and iPhone incredible platforms. But Universities not realising that students are leapfrogging tethered screens to go for mobile. Ewan suggests that the vast majority of students have mobile devices that access the internet – but does your university provide mobile services?
Ewan showing how if you represent his Facebook contacts graphically you can see how the contacts in Academia tend only to be connected to each other – it is a closed world.
“People don’t just do stuff because it’s in your business plan”
Ewan says “I don’t buy the Gen-Y stuff – the Google Generation, the Digital Natives”. It has nothing to do with being ‘young’ – but being ‘youthful’.
Parents think that young people spend about 18.8 hours per week online – but actually they spend an average 43.5 hours per week online – where is this missing time?
Don’t romanticise creativity – it isn’t easy. 90% of the a-v output that people consume comes from LA based corporations – this is not ‘building on the shoulders of giants’.
Access to creative technology comes far too late for most children. Higher Education and JISC can apply pressure to the school sector to give access to, and make use of creative technology.
Ewan says Anonymity is not a bad thing. Some examples where Anonymity does not work – School of Everything, Landshare (both with money from Channel 4). However, some services only work with anonymity – e.g. Embarassing Teenage illnesses (also C4)
Ewan showing a grid that helps thinks about startups – but he suggests it could also be used for University web services, or even other activites:.
|Visitor (just looks at stuff)||Fan (will sign up but not create content)||Contributor (uploads content, comments etc.)|
|Grab the attention|
|Keep the attention again and again|
|Turn the value into a tangible assett|
Ewan encourages us to think about applying the grid to your own online offerings (wonder what this would look like for an OPAC?)