ange fitzpatrick

A good man in a storm

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Pop-up teaching: a first go

I’ve been toying with the idea of pop-up teaching for a while now, but I’ve just recently had the opportunity to put it into practice.

I first mooted the idea of pop-up teaching in a pecha kucha presentation I gave to the libraries@cambridge conference in 2013. I argued that informal and pop-up teaching was an alternative to a longer programme of teaching at induction, when students were facing information overload. This method allows the teaching librarian to target sessions to the right students at the right point in term, rather than front loading all the teaching at the beginning of term. The traditional library induction can now be more of a welcome, allowing you to begin building a real relationship with your students, and thus, making those future sessions much more likely to happen.

Pop-up teaching is characterized by a responsive delivery style:

1. Being responsive to student needs

This means being able to deliver the training at a time that suits their need or their course structure.

2. Being responsive to your audience expectations

Teaching must be scalable, meaning it can be adapted from a 1-2-1 session, to a small group, to a lecture hall. The topic needs to have well defined parameters, and should not be exhaustive.

3. Being responsive to existing demands on teaching staff

The most important thing about pop-up teaching is that the staff member delivering the session should need minimal time to prepare. Ideally, sessions offered should be based around existing staff knowledge. The development of staff knowledge and teaching can then march on, hand-in-hand.

Essentially, we’re talking teaching that is: anytime, anywhere, anyhow.

I got the opportunity to test my model when a student approached me about a PowerPoint class for him and his project team. I asked my self:

  • Did I have the knowledge to deliver the session? Yes, I’ve taught a longer session on this before.
  • Was there a well-defined focus for the teaching? Yes, they wanted to know about using images.
  • Is there an existing teaching plan, or do I have time to put one together? A bit of both.

Between the initial request for training and the day of delivery, I kept in touch with the student organizer. We agreed on the focus of the session, and how long it would last. The idea caught on with his friends, and very quickly my group of 4 became a class of 20.

This single change means that we’re no longer sitting around a table- we’re now booking rooms with projectors, but I knew my stuff, and simply scaled up.

What needed to change? How did I scale up the session?

The focus shifts from one project team to how a range of project teams are working. This means we need additional examples, to cover a wider range of possibilities.

I expected audience interaction to be different, and included more questions on my slides and in my delivery, to ensure I was keeping them engaged.

I took pains to reference my sources, and made my slides available to them afterwards, as I could not take them through the websites and articles I’d used to support my ideas in the same way as I could with a small group.

I included a handout, with content from a previous teaching session that remained valid.

I stuck around afterwards and answered individual questions, this was my attempt to be true to the small group teaching session I’d initially planned.

Did it work?

First, students were happy -yay! I was also happy that I’d been able to put the session together in about 2 hours, and that it scaled up as well as it did.

Will it work as well with other topics? I’m confident that it will. This term I’ve pulled together a range of teaching resources and approaches to support an impromptu seminar for entrepreneurs studying at the School. With short notice, my colleague Georgina Cronin and I were able to discuss and group their concerns about using social media in an entrepreneurial way, and deliver a twitter best practice presentation, using Andy Priestner’s excellent 20 top tips and tricks slide-deck.

Twitter: 20 Top Tips & Tricks from Andy Priestner

Photo credit: Walt Jabsco via photopin cc

Filed under teaching pop-up teaching

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A little light comic research on Minutemen led me here.

Love the opening sequence of Watchmen!

via evilnol6:

.”Watchmen” directed by Zack Snyder


Filed under comics lgbt

13 notes &

Carlos, Smith, Norman and Balotelli: how sport should react to racism aka damn you, Platini. Reblogged from: intercourse with biscuits

A thought provoking piece from brokenbottleboy:

16 October 1968, the Olympic Stadium, Mexico City. Three athletes stand on the podium in their moment of triumph. Two of them, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raise their hands in what was recognised as the black power salute but which Smith later stated was a “human rights salute”.

The third, white Australian, Peter Norman, wears an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in solidarity. In that moment, in that gesture, Smith and Carlos derailed their careers for years. It was a moment of supreme bravery, a realisation that sport is not and cannot be above politics. Politics is in every action. 

When Smith and Carlos returned home they were cast out of the establishment, a stain on the US’s sporting history that will never be erased.

Time Magazine, which should also be deeply ashamed, showed the Olympic logo with the words Angrier, Nastier, Uglier beneath it rather than Faster, Higher, Stronger. The Smith and Carlos families suffered intense abuse and death threats not just to the athletes but to their partners and children. 

Norman was also punished for his solidarity. He was reprimanded by his country’s Olympic committee and castigated by the Australian media. Despite finishing third in the trials for the 1972 Olympics he was not selected to compete for his Australia again.

Though he was later praised for his efforts as a humanitarian and anti-racism campaigner, Norman’s pain and embarrassment could not be erased. In 2006, Smith and Carlos served as pallbearers at his funeral, a final act of solidarity between a trio of truly great champions. 

Why am I retelling this familiar history today? The comments of Michel Platini castigating Mario Balotelli were the catalyst. Poland and the Ukraine are hot beds of far-right activity and extreme racism is common at football matches in those countries.

Knowing that, FIFA still decided to award the Euro 2012 championships to those nations. Now black players face a serious threat and, even more exposed, black fans could be walking into an extremely volatile situation. 

Italian international and Manchester City jester Mario Balotelli has insisted he will walk off the pitch if he is subjected to racial taunts during Euro games. He is right to do so.

But Platini has said that any player doing so will be booked unless they are part of a mass walk-off sanctioned by the referee: “If a player left the field on his own, he would get a yellow card. It is not Mr Balotelli who is in charge of refereeing. It is the referee that makes these decisions.” 

Platini is wrong and he continues the trend of racist comments and comments that tacitly legitimise racism coming from UEFA and FIFA officials. Balotelli is a professional doing a job, entertaining a crowd with his skill and he should not be subjected to abuse while he goes about his business. It is his human right to remove himself from that situation.

Any player who is booked for absenting themselves from a threatening environment should not only leave the game but refuse to participate further in a tournament that is not willing to stand up to racism in the strongest terms. It is not 1968 any longer. We should have learned the lessons taught to us by Carlos, Smith and Norman by now.

Filed under sport racism

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Disorganised data, and other dastardly deeds

So I’m really pleased to be back in the Information Centre here at Judge Business School, and one of my first tasks was to attend a PhD research lunch: sandwiches on my first day? I think I can handle that!

The session was hosted by two former colleagues of mine at the University Library, and was centred around data management. Now librarians love the idea of data management, but we do understand that not everyone shares our passion.To counter this we have been known to resort to uber-professional dryness, or verge on the melodramatic: “when information goes wild- take cover or take control!” Thankfully the UL team did no such thing, they were professional, informative and, most of all, practical. Here’s a little of what I learnt.

1. Anyone can lose data. Even you. Even Pixar, who almost lost Woody and Buzz…

If there’s 50 ways to leave your lover, then there’s at least 50 ways to lose your data. Most of them are avoidable. Save regularly, especially if you’ve just finished something particularly tricky or time consuming. Make multiple copies: USB sticks are known to stray, CDs accidentally become coasters and external hard-drives, well, knowing your luck it’ll spontaneously combust. Consider a cloud storage solution, if the terms of your grant allow it and the data isn’t sensitive, then Dropbox is your friend.

2. We all ‘do’ data

Data conjures up images of code, figures and spreadsheets, but that’s not the whole story. Your PhD is data, so is your address-book or even your to-do list. It’s information that you need to perform a task, information that you rely upon, and in this context, information it would be impossible or tedious to recreate.

We all ‘do’ data, but we don’t all do it well. Consider your your computer filing system- would it make sense to someone else using it? does it even make sense to you? How do you name your files? Angefilev1.1, Angefilev1.2 is on the boring side, but far easier to understand than finaldraft, finaldraftaddtions, actualfinaldraft…

If you are sharing your data consider what software or operating systems you are all using, make sure they are compatible. Define your data from the outset, deciding what format, standards and capture methods you will use. Contextualizing information with the appropriate metadata will make it easier to find, cite and reuse.

Oh, and purge your data often, or expunge if that’s more your style.image

3. Intellectual Property and Copyright aren’t as scary as they sound

The UL team went into the complexities of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Copyright in a way that really took the sting out of them; IPR can be scary, but keeping your head in the sand is not an option. Much of this was new to me, but here’s food for thought:

  • Data includes interviews? the interviewee holds copyright on their contributions; interviews transcribed by a 3rd party? then they own the copyright of the transcription.
  • Print theses are unpublished, digital e-theses (available via the web) are published, raising questions on any 3rd party copyrighted material contained therein.
  • Employees of the University of Cambridge hold their own copyright, but those part of larger research projects or externally funded should check their contracts.

4. “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow” Patton

Whether you’re in the midst of research or just setting out, organising your data can be daunting. The key thing is to plan well, but to have realistic expectations of your plan. Your research will change as you evaluate sources, discuss queries with your supervisor, or just find that the first approach didn’t work out.

You’ll never develop a perfect strategy for data management, so don’t hold out for one- pick something workable, and remember that everything changes.

Data Management Plans, an outline of how you will create, manage, share and preserve your data throughout your research. Good data management will make your research more credible and discoverable; it will enhance your academic reputation and increase your citation rate. Most UK and European funding bodies will require a Data Management Plan.

5. There’s help at hand

The team from DSpace have amazing expertise in this area- ask them for help if you need it! Other useful places to check out are JISCLegal for IPR advice and DMPonline to create your Data Management Plan.

6. Remember that your data could have a life beyond you

You might think that that the audience for your data is very, well, niche, but you would be amazed what others can do with your data! There are some really interesting projects out there using second hand data, like Where Does my Money Go?

Research funded by public money may have to be made publicly available, so check the small print on your contract.

Filed under data management references copyright Intellectual Property Rights

32 notes &

Things to cut before closing libraries: Why not make the Queen's Diamond Jubilee really special?


I love the Queen. She’s great isn’t she? She’s like your gran. Like your incredibly rich gran who has a lovely range of brooches and hats. And this year is her Diamond Jubilee. Woohoo! Get that bunting out and have a street party. Or, as the government would have it“get that lady a new bloody great boat”.

Now, much as I love a good boat (who wouldn’t love that as a present), it strikes me as a little, er, over-the-top.  I mean, boats are lovely presents but is it really necessary in a time of austerity.  So here’s a suggestion.  Instead of a spanking new boat, why not buy one of these lovely Diamond Anniversary Gift Boxes.  Not only will the Queen be able to read the newspaper of her choice published on the day of her coronation (a great thing in itself as surely she wouldn’t have had time to do so on the day) but it’ll save £59,999,960. Bonus.  And as an extra bonus, why not invest some of that money in our public libraries?  Now that would be a legacy we can all appreciate.  God Save The Queen, The Queen Saves The Libraries. Nice.

Library saving rating: 5/5

(Source: Flickr / mbiskoping)

Filed under as seen on tumblr savelibraries

1 note &

An extra bite of the extra thing- CC images

Tim Hortons by Taekwonweirdo, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Taekwonweirdo 

I’m responding to my recent Cam23 2.0 post on using ImageCodr to smarten up your CC attributions for flickr images. It’s a neat tool, but not neat enough it seems. Some of you folk want to move things around and fiddle with the settings- more power to you!

We use ImageCodr to attribute our images on the Judge Business School Information Services website, but sometimes having the CC license and the flickr link right below the picture gets in the way of bullet points, or forces a big gap between image and content- not a great look, and a real problem when you use thumbnails.

To get round this at Judge we split the HTML that ImageCodr produces, and we do it like this.

Ok, so we’ve got our image and ImageCodr has generated the code:

If you don’t want the attribution to appear directly under the picture you can split the code into image and attribution. In the example above the image section is between the first two <a> </a> tags:

<a href=’’ target=’_blank’><img src=’’ alt=’Librarian Love! by TopatoCo, on Flickr’ title=’Librarian Love! by TopatoCo, on Flickr’ border=’0’/></a>

Paste this in at the top of your post (in the HTML tab), you then get just the image. Notice how it still links back to the original source.

Librarian Love! by TopatoCo, on Flickr

The accreditation is the rest of the code- one set of <a> </a> tags for the license image, and one for the flickr link:

<a href=’’ target=’_blank’><img src=’’ alt=’Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License’ title=’Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License’ border=’0’ align=’left’></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;by&nbsp;<a href=’’ target=’_blank’>&nbsp;TopatoCo</a><a href=’’ target=’_blank’>&nbsp;</a>

You can paste this at the end of your text (see the very bottom of the post). I like to add ‘Image credit’ to make it clear what’s going on.

This is also an opportunity to change the title and mouseover text associated with the image, simply alter the content within the quotation marks in the alt= and title= tags. Voila:

  Image credit Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  TopatoCo 

P.S. That’s a Tim Horton’s chocolate dip donut in the top picture. This is one of the very many things that makes Canada great.

Filed under copyright cam23 things Flickr imagecodr Canada baked goods