CALRG Conference

July 24, 2006

The annual CALRG conference took place on 27th and 28th June.As a member of this research group I try to play an active role but had to miss the first day as I was external examinining at Heriot-Watt University. On 28th I presented a talk about the Open Content Initiative “Transforming for Open Content”. In the talk I covered four aspects: background and examples; the overall research area and how open content links through to so many research issues; a look at the work we are now carrying out on using patterns to support the transformation process; and, how we need an environment to support this sort of research. I used ochre as the concept for the tool that are needed.The talk went very well and resonated with presentations that followed. Jonathan San diego was reviewing how to analyse use of simulations in Mathematics teaching and had mad good use of eye-tracking and video analysis while Andrew Brasher had updated his work on data gathering with portable devices. Andrew’s work could map to an experiment where we send mp3 recorders out and gather audio reflections. I mentioned using podzinger as automated transcription which raised a lot of interest though I am not sure of its capabilities. Tony Hirst put me on to looking at and its purpose is to build an index of podcasts by automated transcription of public audio sites. My suggestion is that if this is s good as it looks at first glance then we could carry out interviews, publish them via an open feed and then get back the transcipt from podzinger. Sounds too good to be true but I have a lot of respect for BBN who sre providing the technology behind the scenes. Mary Taylor from AEM spotted an even better application to generating transcripts to audio in our materials for accessibility reasons. Once these are on open content we can forget about the copyright issues and take advantage of these approaches. I think it was Mary who also suggested Amazon’s Mechanical Turk as an alternative where humans will do this sort of thing at low cost.

Other presentations at CALRG were also very good and deserve checking out.

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