23ThingsEdUni: Thinking about things by doing things #23things

I’d heard about the 23Things course from various people and my boss Maren, who is in rhizo16 withdrawal, was keen that the ALT team got involved.   The course is described as:

The University of Edinburgh’s 23 Things for Digital Knowledge is a self-directed course, run by Information Services Group. The programme seeks to expose you to a range of digital tools for your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student, or professional. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week over the semester building up and expanding your skills. – http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/how-to-take-part/

Thing 1 is the introduction, thing 2 is blogging and there are many more other things the course covers. For thing 2  there is an introduction into blogging terminology and tools followed by some steps to complete including setting up a blog if you haven’t got one. The final step is:

A) what you hope to gain out of the 23 Things programme.

B) were you aware of the University’s Social Media Guidelines for Staff and Researchers or the student Social Media Student Handbook? What do you think of the guidelines/handbook?

B) is caveated in case you are not a University of Edinburgh bod to check your own employers social media policy. As a member of the ALT staff team we are governed by Oxford Brookes University’s Social media policy, which I was aware of and have no issues with.

A) is the more interesting question. The thing I’d like to gain from 23 Things is how 23 Things is designed. So here are my notes so far:

I landed here http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/how-to-take-part/ from a link in a tweet. The page is clean, laid out well with a simply mailing list signup form (looks like  WordPress Contact Form 7 plugin), followed by more information about the course. [Good to get that form in at the top of the page]. The page also has a slick course intro video… 

I’m interested to see which mailer is used, as I signed up late I’ll have to wait until next week to see. Next I’m drawn by the ‘Community Blog’ link. You get a nice ‘dialler’ page with syndicated posts. Nice to see someone is still interested in aggregation. If I was being picky I’d like to see author names in the post snippets just to make it easier to make those connections. Also interested to see how/if the aggregation is pushed out.

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Having missed the start of this week I didn’t get the course email so feeling a little lost (perhaps the email subscription text could be used for some late arrival signposting…)

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I hit the root at http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/ which has a nice overview of what’s active and things to come. So I land where this post began on week 1 http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/week-1/. Week 1 has some nice touches. I like that the first step is to have a blog. I like even more that the second step is to register your blog for the aggregator.  It’s also good to see the task to write about what you want to gain isn’t too demanding and hopefully participants will feel gently eased into the course.

Like similar courses there is the question of who else is out there. Fortunately on the Twitter front I’ve got an answer for that…

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