Open ICT tools project

Chris Turnock, Erik Bohemia, Jed Woodhouse, Neil Smith, Ben Lovatt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

The paper will introduce a project titled the ‘Open ICT Tools’ which aims to explore and trial out ICT tools to facilitate a global collaborative and secured engagement with external business and community partners. The challenge is to facilitate a communication and multimedia data exchange between Northumbria University and participating external educational and business organisations without compromising the security of either Northumbria University IT infrastructure or that of the partner organisations. This is one of eight projects funded by the JISC infoNet from across the country under its Trialling of Online Collaborative Tools for Business and Community Engagement programme. The Open ICT Tools project is directly connected with the Global Studio, an innovative model of research informed teaching and learning. The Global Studio is a cross-institutional collaboration between Northumbria University and international universities based in the USA, Australia, UK and Korea as well as industry partners such as Intel, Motorola and Inverness Medical. The Global Studio was initiated by the School of Design three years ago and since then it included nearly 300 students from six international universities such as Hong-ik in Korea and RMIT in Australia. The aim of the Global Studio is to equip design students with skills for working in globally networked organisations particularly development of skills in intercultural communication and collaboration. To achieve this aim, students from the participating universities work together on industry led projects. However, attempting to use existing university technical infrastructure has been problematic. A particular problem relates to software licence agreements, which limit use of certain software and/or the virtual learning environment to a particular institution’s students. Attempts to use open source software has not been straightforward, for example using Skype for synchronous cross – institutional communication has often failed as students cannot log into a university’s technical infrastructure, begin a Skype based dialogue with students in another institution and simultaneously view a PowerPoint presentation. Online file sharing has often failed, primarily due to the file size. Therefore the aim of the Global Studio project is to build on the excellent ICT infrastructure at Northumbria and to identify and trial a diverse range of collaborative Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools that: (a) could support engagement between the university and its external collaborative business and community partners and (b) be embedded with the current university IT infrastructure. This paper explores how various ICTs are being trialled in the Global Studio to facilitate information and data exchange between students, teachers and industry partners and how this enables/constrains collaboration. The paper will explore the technologies that have been chosen as well as the rationale underpinning their choice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009
EventiPED Conference 2009: 'Researching Beyond Boundaries', Academic Communities without Borders - Coventry TechnoCentre, Coventry University
Duration: 1 Sep 2009 → …

Conference

ConferenceiPED Conference 2009: 'Researching Beyond Boundaries', Academic Communities without Borders
Period1/09/09 → …

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