Tag Archives: Delicious


#BYOD4L Day 3: Curating, preserving, and adding value

Day three of the Bring Your Own Device for Learning #BYOD4L learning ‘architecture’ (I’m trying out some other terms for the course / module) was all about our curation of digital content.

Firstly, and before we get into the Twitter chat from last night .. curation can be defined as “maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.” (Digital Curation Centre).

The storify archive from the tweet chat last night is already available (thanks Sue and Chrissi again) and include some great chat and interesting questions on curation, including: Continue reading


Learning resources: Photos, images, icons, etc.


There are always great lists and resources available if you take the time to hunt and search form them. I have a fair few saved and bookmarked. But, if you’re like me, I often lose or forget them. So here are a few of the ones I like, use, reuse, and recommend for learning or educational uses (including creative commons):

  • PhotoPin: http://photopin.com/ – “Search millions of Creative Commons photos from Flickr and add them to your blog posts easily.”
  • Flickr Creative Commons: http://flickr.com/search/advanced/? – I only ever use the ‘advanced search’ options as this enables to search only creative commons images. Sometimes I find it easier/quicker to use Photopin, but the direct Flickr search sometimes brings up more meaningful responses.
  • Stock.xchnghttp://sxc.hu/– good quality images and illustrations available, just check with ownership and/or rights before using.
  • IconFinderhttp://iconfinder.com/ – High quality icons for use by/for web designers with associated creative commons attribution.
  • FreeVectorhttp://freevector.com/ – Great website for backgrounds, characters, etc. in vector image formats for editing.

While the JISC Digital Media website is not a source for images like the above it is still and important resources for finding, editing, and managing digital resources, and one you should be aware of and visiting on a (semi) regular basis.

As with all lists it’s worth mentioning that while you found something really good using services like Google image search it is not necessarily OK to use in your materials. You could check with the image owner but it’s just easier to use the above services from the start to avoid a lengthy hunt for the legitimate owner.

Where do you go, how do you find ‘the’ image for your project, learning package, etc? Share your tips, tricks, and resources by leaving a comment below.

Note: Thanks to Fred Riley for helping me remember some of these I had forgotten!

Image Source: Brief Encounter by sharkbait  (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Presentation: Social Media & how (students) can survive online

I’ve been lucky enough so far this term to be involved with two sets of students, both under-graduate first years (one unit called ‘Professional Studies’ even), and with both sets I have been surprised and slightly worried about the level of understanding they have about their use of Social Media, and how the little things can make a difference.

What surprised me, from a couple of informal questions to a few vocal and enthusiastic Facebook users, is that they have never considered what is viewable online, their ‘digital foot print’.

So, I asked around about what we do for the students to alert them to the risks, and how this could potentially affect their future employment prospects. I had some good answers but the one that made me groan was simply “why don’t you talk to them about it?” Me and my big mouth!

Social Media & Networks: How to survive online (or “your [next] employer is watching you”).
View more presentations from David Hopkins.

Update, 17 November 2010: I’ve been researching the United Airlines ‘breaks guitars’ example I use in the presentation above and have found some interesting figures. Not only has the original YouTube video been viewed/accessed over 9.5 million times since it was loaded last year, but it is reportedly the cause of a 10% drop in share price for United airlines, costing shareholders a whopping $180 million!

I took the class list (190+ students) and randomly searched for 10 students. I found 6 of them in Facebook easily and the other 4 had names that matched to 300+ other Facebook users, so I didn’t search for them. I used my personal Facebook account, which is not connected to my work or work colleagues in any way. This is important as I wanted to be sure there was no way I could have access through a friend of mine or theirs … this is the kind of set-up a future employer would have when searching.

What I found reaffirmed my belief that they don’t understand what they do, or how the privacy settings worked. I can say that all users had photos they’d uploaded that depicted some very good nights out, drunken behaviour, in one case smoking possibly dubious material, lots of holiday and beach pictures, and also photos they’d been tagged in by friends, so content they had had nothing to do with, but it appeared on their profile!

Naturally when I present this I can’t show them the exact photos or say who I searched (I do not have the list of names saved anywhere!) but I hope this will at least raise the awareness of their online activity and, if nothing else, these students think about their use of Social Media, their privacy settings, as well as the kind of people they befriend online.

It is also very difficult to talk about Social Media or Social Networks without concentrating on Facebook; it seems that’s all they’re interested in, and the majority of news stories I researched all concentrated on it too.

Have you got, or had, a Social Media (horror) story or have you taken a similar approach with your students? Please leave all comments below.


WordPress Plugin #25: Delicious Social Bookmarking

Bringing other social networks and social media into your blog is a great way to increase your digital footprint and your network reach.

Note: In this series I’ll delve into some of the better plugins available for WordPress that I am already using, or about to start using. I’m aiming to highlight 30 of the better plugins.

While Delicious is a great way to take your browser bookmarks with you, I think it is also a great way to share links and resources. This is why I include Delicious bookmarks in my blog.

The Plugin del.icio.us for WordPress handles this perfectly, giving you the control over how many links you want to display and how you display them.

And this is how they are displayed, in my theme anyway!

If you use Delicious then this is a great way to expand your network and linking capabilities.

Presentation: Creating a Personal Learning Network #PLN

Thank you to Gabriela Grosseck for bring this presentation to my attention, “Creating a Personal Learning Network”.

Creating a Personal Learning Network by Corinne Weisgerber.

Infographic: CMO’s Guide to the Social Media Landscape

Infographic: The Social Landscape

If, like me, you like the simplicity of information presented in graphical form (Infographic) then this might interest you: CMO’s Guide to the Social Media Landscape

Infographic: CMO’s Guide to the Social Media LandscapeWith the impact of the (limited) list of social media outlets / social networks broken down into key marketing objectives, it wouldn’t take too much imagination to use the information for the education sector(s), and how the social network can be used for, and what impact it can have:

  • Customer Information
  • Brand Exposure
  • Website Traffic
  • Search Engine Optimization

If you have any more infographics (either one you’ve created yourself or something you’ve found elsewhere) then please share by using the ‘comment’ field on this post.


Social Media and Social Network Educational Infographics

I am seeing and reading so many blog posts and tweets with someone trying to explain what is a Social Network, or what is a PLN/PLE.

Which is why I couldn’t resist showing you these Educational Social Media Diagrams from the HubSpot Blog;

This first one highlights, for those slightly confused about what exactly is Web 2.0, that we’re no longer in a broadcast medium where the big corporations tell us what is going on but rather that each of us is capable of finding out from our network (be they people or tools like Twitter or Facebook) about the world around us.

Social Media Participation Chart by Oversocialized
“Social Media Participation Chart” by Oversocialized

This next one is another really good and simple way of showing the uninitiated  about, in my mind, how Generation Y or the Millennials think about the digital world they inhabit. If, like me, you are not from the Gen-Y era (but either want to be or work with them) then this could help you understand their world – this is especially important for those of us who work in education, as this is what they want and expect from us, so we have to deliver on it .. yes?

Digital Mindsets by David Armano

Again, this is another very good and graphic way to produce the same information – in-roads and barriers to the network and information, nicely laid out like a city plan.

Welcome to Social Town by E Factor Media

David Hopkins

Policies for Staff use of Social Media and Social Networks

Does your employer / Institution have a policy for the accepted use, by staff, for how they can use Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare, YouTube, WordPress, etc)? Is it limited to how you can use it for work, or in work, or does it cover your usage outside of work and how you talk/post about what you do at work? Are you allowed to use images/logo of your employer/Institution in your work?

Here a are a few I found;

  • DePaul UniversitySocial Media Guidelines: Social Media Working Group. There are some good resources here, especially interesting to me is the section on ‘personal site guidelines’ that outlines what an employee can do in their personal space, but based on work at the Institution.
  • SAP – Social Media Guidelines 2009. Again, some great resources, and well worded reasoning, on what and staff members can do on networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc in a professional manner about their work, but not linked or attributed officially to their employer.
  • Colorado State University[Draft] Social Media Policy.This covers all official accounts on Social Networks that represent CSU rather than covering staff use of Social media for personal reasons based on what they work on.
  • Law Schools on NingSocial Media Best Practices for Law Schools. This Ning site has a good draft/example policy for Law Schools to use as a starting point as well as a link to The Legal Watercooler Blog post by Heather Morse-Milligan on whether you actually need a policy to cover social media use or not? Heather’s post is actually very good in that it outlines 5 reasons why you don’t need a policy to govern your staff and their use of Social Media and Social Networks.
  • Southeast Missouri State UniversitySocial Media Information. Why is it only US University’s that are open about their policies? Anyway, this really only covers Twitter, Facebook and Blogs for departmental uses.
  • Washington State UniversitySocial Networking Guidelines. A list of official Twitter and Facebook accounts and pages, but the link to the ‘Reference, Social Media & Web Tools’ page was unfortunately broken at the time I looked (June 9th, 2010).

In the corporate world it seems they are quicker to sort this out. The Online Database of Social Media Policies from large multi-national companies (including the BBC, Reuters, Microsoft, and Kodak, to name a few) has some very good (and some bad) examples. Check them out.

This list, produced by Michael Willits, is also a good place to start. He has broken the list into different categories based on the type of organisation. Again, take a look.

One thing I have found during my search for examples is that, as we all know, the world of  Social Media and Social Networks are constantly changing, so any ‘policy’ needs constant attention and updates and, in actual fact, should be thought of as a working document rather than a set-in-stone policy.

TwitterAbout the same time as writing this (I started it back in April 2010) Alan Cann (@AJCann) was asking for examples and links on Twitter. If you have any to share please post them as a comment below and I’ll alert Alan so we can share and share alike!

Post Updates:

A much larger list of these, and more, is available here thanks to David Fleet: 57 Social Media Policy Examples and Resources

QR Code Google Chrome

Browser extension creates QR Codes

For those who read this blog you’ll know that I’ve been interested in QR Codes, and how we could possibly use them in the classroom.

Here’s something new I found last week … an extension for the Google Chrome browser (which I use) that generates a QR Code for the current page/URL open in the browser. here’s what Google say about it;

Google Chrome Browser Extension – The tag can be scanned with a QR Code scanner/barcode scanner which could interpret the code and for instance launch the browser on a mobile phone jumping directly to the same URL. The extension comes very handy on for instance mobile phones to avoid typing long URL:s in order to go to a nice home page you found while browsing on your laptop.

I’m not sure it will work quite the way they suggest, I think most people who browse on a laptop will either read the link/page there or save it to either their browser favourite or something like Delicious. For those who want to browse on their smartphone … well, they’ll probably already be on it?

Reading through a few forums on the subject it seems that it is also not particularly reliable, but I’ll try it out and see how I find it. if you’ve experience with it, then please drop a comment and let us al know if it worked (or not), and whether you likes it (or not)!

Here are some of the other QR Code wonders I’ve found recently:

QR Code: Bit.ly web address

QR Codes: In the Classroom

I’ve written previously about QR Codes, what they are, and how we might use them. I’ve met and chatted with Andy Ramsden of Bath University and seen how they have integrated them into the assignment and feedback process.

I saw two links this morning on Twitter that sparked my interest again, both from @psychemedia which has made me realise that I need to brain-dump my thoughts on how these wonderful little codes can be utilised in the classroom.

But first … I have found that there is something about the QR Code generation we ought to know about; this is

Using a QR Code Generator (like qrcode.kaywa.com) means you can have the code store either a short URL or your contact details as text. Be warned: the more data you ask it to store the larger the final QR Code will be.

Example: The BIT.LY address for my blog is http://bit.ly/9iO6xz. The QR Code for this is:

If I used the whole address of http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk then I get this QR Code (ahh, it’s bigger!):

If I wanted to store my Bournemouth contact details (from my email signature) then it looks like this (click to enlarge … but ouch, that’s too big! Use your code reader to find out what it has stored):

So, you see, you have to be careful about, not only, what information you store, but how you generate the information BEFORE you convert it into a QR Code. I strongly recommend that, wherever possible you use limited amount of text/content when you generate your code. If you have access to your own webspace, blog, etc then create a page/post that will contain all the information you want to make available, then use a URL shortening service to generate the shortest possible link to use for the code (see first example above).

So, with that out of the way, I get on with my thoughts about using QR Codes.

How can we use them? They are an excellent way of directing students to content. Whether the content is a book in the Library, a YouTube video, a seminar room at a given time, it doesn’t matter. What matters is working out an appropriate use. So, where can we use them?

I know the limitations of these codes are highlighted if students don’t have smart phones, or a mobile device without a camera, but I’m not dealing with limitations here, I’ll cover that in another post.

Lecture Theatre and/or Presentation

  • Place the QR Code in a slide that links to a YouTube video you want the students to watch, but you don’t want them to take up your valuable time in your lecture by showing them there and then.
  • Generate QR Codes that refer to materials the students may want to explore, but you haven’t time to show them in the limited lecture/seminar times.
  • Place the QR Code in your slides that links to the information about the core text for the lecture, details of what it is and where in the Library it can be found (floor, section, shelf details, etc, or even link to eBook version if it’s available?).
  • Generate a QR Code that links to an online survey or question you want them to answer while they’re with you, and show them the results (like a CPS system?)
  • Put the QR Code at the end or your presentation for the students to scan as they exit the theatre, that links to an audio copy of the lecture, or to the activity you’ve asked them to do.

Books & Textbooks

  • As these wonderful codes are being used more and more, how about the publishers using them in their printed versions to link to publisher-generated, and user-generated, content? This opens up so much more content than a CD in the back cover could ever do! The following YouTube clip demonstrates how this is already being done.


  • Not every classroom has posters and things stuck to the wall, but what if you and your students worked on a poster about, for example, the San Andreas fault line? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to include audio and visual content in the 2-dimensional presentation? While we wait for video paper to come of age and be affordable, the inclusion of a QR Code on the poster means the person viewing it can still access the video content without typing a long complicated link.
  • If you have a name-plate why not put a QR Code on it which links to your online profile page on the Institutions website? Why not get your business card printed with one it the back; you can then put so much more on it (contact details, publications, research, readings, RSS feed, etc).


  • I originally found information on QR Codes last year when it was blogged about in relation to the codes being placed on conference badges and a useful way for people to collect and share contact details.


  • As I’ve already mentioned, Andy Ramsden and his team at Bath University are leading the way in this field and application of QR Codes, and he recently tweeted that they’d catalogued 1384 assignments. Please read about his work as it is not only a good example of using this technology, it is also a beacon for all of us learn from about bringing the various different departments and interested parties together to develop the system and working practice to make it work.

(finally) Blogging

  • I found this plugin for WordPress recently that sits as a widget in the side-bar that auto-generates a QR Code for each individual page/post. So now you can use a QR Code to save a link as well as browser systems like Delicious.