Later today I am giving a seminar on “Preparing Our Users For Digital Life Beyond The Institution
” for the iSchool at Northumbria University. As described on the iSchool web site
For nearly 70 years we [the Information Sciences department at Northumbria University which is a member of the iSchools Organisation] have been working closely with employers and professionals to develop and deliver programmes that respond to changing needs and technologies, and draw upon experience and expertise across the University.
Our programmes, research and staff activities span a range of applications from Information and Knowledge Management, Librarianship, and Records Management, through to Communication Management, Public Relations, and Engagement.
Across this spectrum, we maintain strong links with professional bodies and employers, and our graduates have been very successful in finding employment in commercial and public organisations, at home and abroad.
A question: does WordPress have anything like the Long Term Stability branches of Ubuntu?
The Cetis website is based on WordPress, we use it as a blogging platform for our blogs, as a content management system for our publications and as a bit of both for our main site. It’s important to us that our installation (that is the WordPress core plus a variety of plugins, widgets and themes) is stable and secure. To ensure security we should keep all the components updated, which not normally a problem, but occasionally an update of WordPress or one of the plugins causes a problem due an incompatibility or bug. So there is a fair amount of testing involved whenever I do an update on the publications site, and for that reason I tend to do updates periodically rather than as soon as a new version of each component is released.
Last month was fairly typical, I updated to the latest version of WordPress and updated several plugins. Many of the updates were adding new functionality which we don’t really need, but there were also security patches that we do need–you can’t have one without the other. One of the plugins had a new dependency that broke the site, David helped me fix that. Two days later I login and half the plugins want updating again, mostly with fixes to bugs in the new functionality that I didn’t really need.
I understand that there will always be updates required to fix bugs and security issues, but the plethora of updates could be mitigated in the same way that it is for Ubuntu. Every couple of years Ubuntu is released as a Long Term Stability version. For the next few years, no new features are added to this, it lags in functionality behind current version, but important bug fixes and security patches for existing features are back-ported from the current version.
So, my question: is there anything like the concept of LTS in the WordPress ecosystem?
Clearing the post-Christmas mail backlog is always a bit of a chore, but it was well worth it to find two emails from the OER15 committee saying the papers I submitted have been accepted for this year’s conference, which is taking place in Cardiff in April. I’ve had a paper at all but one of the OER conferences since they kicked off in 2010, though I believe John Robertson was on presenting duties first time round. OER is one of my favourite conferences and it’s been great to see it going from strength to strength, particularly when many predicted its demise after the UKOER programme came to an end in 2012.
Towards the end of last week Phil Barker and I completed and published our technical synthesis of the ten Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) implementation projects funded through Creative Commons by the Bill and Melinda Gates and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations during phase two of the LRMI project. As part of our work on LRMI for Creative Commons we have produced cases studies on each project and undertaken a synthesis of their experiences and outputs.
On Monday I gave a presentation on Open Scotland and the Scottish Open Education Declaration at a Scottish Higher Education Developers
event hosted by the inestimable Jisc RSC Scotland
. Vicki Dale was kind enough to tweet my presentation and Sheila MacNeill drew one of her fabulous visual notes, so I’ve collated them into a little Storify here
and embedded the presentation below.
Later this week my colleague Phil Barker and I will be giving a webinar on the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) as part of the ASIS&T DCMI webinar series. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 19th at 15.00 UTC and you can register here. Registration costs $25 and a recording of the webinar will be made freely available after the event.
The NMC Virtual Symposium on the Future of Libraries
Yesterday I took part in the NMC Virtual Symposium on the Future of Libraries
. I was invited to be a panel member following my participation in the group which took part in the development of the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition
The half-day symposium provided an opportunity for “library professionals, educators, and thought leaders will explore four major themes from the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Edition”
- Emphasis on Mobile
- Increasing Access and Discovery Opportunities
- Content Management and Technical Infrastructure
- Rethinking the Roles and Relationships of Librarians
More Personalised Learning Informed by Better Data
In a recent post on a Report on Modernisation of Higher Education
I described how the High Level Group’s report on the Modernisation of Higher Education
which covers New modes of learning and teaching in higher education
gave a high profile to the importance of learning analytics. The report includes a section entitled More personalised learning informed by better data
which explains how:
Last Friday I went along to the EduWiki Conference in the distractingly beautiful St Leonard’s Hall at the University of Edinburgh. I have to confess to being a bit of a Wikimedia fangirl; I’m not a Wikimedian myself, but I’m a huge fan of Wikimedia’s work in the education domain and I believe Wikimedia has an important role to play, not just in disseminating open educational resources, but also in developing open education practice. This was highlighted by the recent Wikimedia Deutschland OERde14 Conference I went to in Berlin, which brought together over 300* participants from all sectors of German education. This is the first time I’ve managed to get to the EduWiki Conference in the UK and it certainly lived up to expectations. I’m not going to attempt to summarise the entire conference, but I do want to pick out a few highlights