As the winter solstice approaches on the 21st, Monday will be the shortest day, and longest night of the year. Since the inception of the ‘SOLSTICE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’ at Edge Hill University in 2005, we have created a tradition of our own; to update colleagues on our progress by producing a newsletter that coincides with both the winter and summer solstices.
The latest issue can be viewed @ http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/solstice/aboutsolstice/publications/ we only hope you find the time to read it on the shortest day of the year, if not it could become bedtime reading for the longest night of the year!
Happy holidays and happy reading!
Three collections of high quality material of general interest and for researchers and students of history, poetry, literature, science, have recently been made freely available online and are worth exploring.
The First World War poetry digital archive and virtual trenches are the result of a JISC project. The resources include works by Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves and Vera Brittain and others, along with contextual primary source materials http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/digitisation/enrichingdigi/ww1poetry
The virtual trenches are an exciting new venture in the 3D virtual world Second Life to simulate areas of the Western Front 1914-18. Explore the virtual Western Front in Second Life at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Frideswide/219/199/646/
Shakespeare Quartos archive http://www.quartos.org holds the complete digital collection of rare early editions of Hamlet. This JISC project will eventually reunite all seventy-five pre-1641 quarto editions of Shakespeare’s plays into a single online collection http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/digitisation/jiscneh/shakespeare
Royal Society’s Trailblazing project is an interactive timeline for everybody with an interest in science http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org/ It showcases sixty fascinating and inspiring articles selected from their archives dating from 1665 to 2010. Scientific articles and commentary can be downloaded. Two examples are Edmund Halley’s article on the total eclipse of the sun in April 1715, and in 1788 Edward Jenner (of smallpox vaccination fame) wrote a paper on his observations of cuckoo chicks ejecting baby birds from the nest.
Just one week since the launch of the student survey and we’ve received over 500 responses. What a great start. Thanks to all of you who have already completed a survey. Keep them coming.
The survey aims to find out about your experience, expectations and use of technology in your learning and gives you the opportunity to share your good ideas, as well as your grumbles, with us. This year the survey will also feed into the VLE review, so this is your chance to have your say.
To put yourself in line for a £50 Amazon voucher complete the survey http://surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/student2009/
Last Christmas, SOLSTICE hosted a festively cheery, technology-enhanced learning networking event which brought together colleagues from across the University.
We’d like to do the same this year but focus a chunk of it onto the VLE Review as we’ve had some of your views, but would like to ensure we have obtained as many as humanly possible. I certainly know that staff and students have strong views about the current VLE, Blackboard, but getting a sense of what kind of VLE we could or should have is proving more challenging.
Many colleagues will be aware that we have been running a series of stakeholder engagement workshops with academics from each of our faculties. We want the views of a wide range of academic staff .. from those who have been VLE champions to staff who may not have had much interaction with the VLE.
We are proposing to run one further workshop with an open invitation to all academic staff. This workshop will take place on Friday 11th December 9.30 – 12.30. We’ve been using TurningPoint, (an electronic voting system with ‘clickers’ that work with PowerPoint) to capture staff views. If you like the look of the voting system, you can also talk to us about borrowing it for your own classroom use.
The workshop will conclude with a festive Christmas lunch..and mulled wine. If you’ve already attended a VLE Review workshop, please encourage colleagues to come along. You, of course, are welcome to come to the lunch!
There are a limited number so spaces for the workshop so its first come first served. Please contact Katherine Richardson, email@example.com ext 7754. Please also let her know if you are just coming to the luch so we can order enough food.
We look forward to seeing you.