My weeknotes are annotated lists of things I’ve been reading about, watching and doing over the last week. This one includes a new web2practice guide to QR codes, supporting the JISC Greening ICT programme and JIF

web2practice guide to QR codes

I did a quick and dirty video on QR codes as part of a new web2practice guide we’re producing. The video is a introduction to what they are and why you should care, with a more detailed printed guide to come on the how. I’d been keen to hear what you think of this before we polish it for release. On the topic, if you know of an interesting uses of QR codes in HE or elsewhere, please let me know in the comments.

Supporting the JISC Greening ICT programme

I’m leading on a Netskills project to provide support for the JISC greening ICT programme. This includes setting up a community site and encouraging conversations in and around it, facilitating events, online programme meetings (in elluminate) and helping to synthesize and amplify project findings and outputs.

The first priority is the community site, which aims to support projects in providing a single source of programme-related information and the ongoing work of other projects, as well as being a showcase for the work and a space where they can engage with each other and the wider community. In terms of features to help that happen we’re looking at providing access to news, information, documents & tools, user profiles (networking/connecting projects/matching people), asynchronous discussions (private/public), chat, user upload of documents/media, user blogs (in system and/or syndicated from elsewhere), wiki, feeds/syndication…

I’ve looked at a range of options like wetpaint, Ning, PBwiki, Elgg, but so far my favourite is a hosted WordPress installation with BuddyPress. I’ve heard good things about this from users and providers. I outlined out plans to the project teams in our first online programme meeting yesterday and am asking them for input, but if you know of or have experience of any other systems or approaches, please let me know.


Not sure if it’s cheating to include something from 2 weeks ago in a weeknote, but this is the first time I’ve mentioned the JISC innovation forum. This is a biannual event for people working on JISC innovation projects to get together to consider ways to do that more effectively. I ran a workshop on how projects can engage with their communities through social media/networking, which despite my feeling that I might not be telling them anything new, seemed to spark a pretty lively debate on the practicalities of this. I tried to blog this in more depth, but it quickly got out of hand for a Friday afternoon, so will have to revisit it next week.

As to the rest of the event, it was excellent. Some great speakers talking about some of the big issues affecting the web and education. It’s great to hear these people talk, but also to feel part of that community and conversation.

Online collaboration with the bloke next door

I’ve been doing a fair bit of real-time collaboration in gDocs with my colleague Chris (aka Electricchalk). He posted on his thoughts on it in his last chalknote (although he failed to mention his cunning approach to collaboration of him writing the headings and leaving me to fill in the rest!). For me, I think a paired programming style approach of one person writing while the other reviews and thinks can be really effective, far more so than working asynchronously in bursts then getting back together to review. We also reflected on this in a post on the web2practice blog.

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