Thursday, February 28, 2013

School of Open will launch during Open Education Week

The School of Open is launching during Open Education Week, March 11-15. A community of volunteers from P2PU, Creative Commons, Open.Michigan, and Wikimedia will offer free online courses on copyright, CC licenses, Wikipedia, open science, open data, open video formats, and more.

Get notified when it is open for sign-up here . Read more about the launch at the Creative Commons blog post.

You may also spread the word by retweeting the following tweet:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Organic.Lingua 5th Project Meeting

The 5th project meeting of Organic.Lingua took place between 20-22/2/2013 at the premises of University of Alcala, in the lovely Alcala de Henares, Spain. It was my second time there and I surely enjoyed it more than the first time. It was also my first time in the project to appear as a member of the UAH team, as I will be offering my services to UAH for the next months in the context of the Organic.Lingua project :-)

Strange to be on the other side of the lens!
The meeting took place some weeks before the 2nd review meeting of the project, so there were important things to be discussed and issues to be clarified before that. As usually, a lot of time was devoted to the technical aspects of the project (mostly machine translation components and CLIR services) along with the core software tools such as MoKi and UGC component. The main issue of the meeting were the revisions in the Organic.Edunet Web portal (which should be publicly available pretty soon), as it is the core component of the project.

I had the opportunity to present the revised Organic.Edunet IEEE LOM AP, the status of the content population (both topics are among my favorite ones!) as well as present the AgLR tool to the user partners, as a part of the user trials that they are going to host in various countries, such as France, UK, Estonia and Turkey.

This time we also had some free time (by limiting the number of hours for rest of course!), which we enjoyed with beers and tapas (in the evening), thanks to our good friend David. On top of that, we had some really nice time at a more classy restaurant, in a joint dinner which almost all partners joined. My evenings were also challenging as I had to fix my netbook, the performance of which suffered after upgrading Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 8 Pro... low memory issues rendered the netbook almost unusable, when I needed to prepare slides, respond to urgent emails and keep the minutes of the meeting at the same time. Installing various Linux distributions did not solve the problem...

The meeting ended with a lot of tasks to be taken care of in the next weeks. For me this includes deliverables, reports, work in AgLR, communication, deadlines etc. After all, these are the ingredients that keep the work interesting ;-)

Additional info about the meeting along with more photos can be found in the IERU blog of the UAH team.

Friday, February 15, 2013

New start for the new year

It seems that this year will be a really busy one: There have been some internal changes in AK, which are reflected on the tasks undertaken by each team member, the introduction of various tools in our workflows is expected to make things more organized and internal meetings are really frequent and lengthy. Things look (even) more professional now so we'd better keep in a good shape!

I have to admit that I was involved in a variety of tasks, which is not always a good thing as I tend to get distracted by that or to do several things at the same time. It seems that during the first weeks of 2013 I will start focusing on the writing of deliverables related to content population/aggregation, work on the corresponding workflows and contribute to the aggregation of new collections in existing and new pools. Apart from that, I am working closely with the AgLR team, bug hunting, working on revisions and creating metadata samples. But this is only a small sample again...

Another task is my involvement in various publications. There are some ideas about new papers to be submitted in journals and workshops/conferences, something that I really enjoy... when I have enough free time, which is rather uncommon during the last months! I also realized that I really enjoy analyzing collections and digital repositories based on the metadata used and how they are used by various content providers; the results are usually interesting and highlight differences in the approach followed by each content provider.

I realized that in 2012 I got involved in a wide variety of tasks that were not exactly in my area of expertise, such as administration of course management platforms, blogs and wikis, mailing lists, updating web sites using the Joomla interface etc. However, even though I love being involved with such tools, sometimes this was really time-consuming and kept me from doing my main work.

Flying all over Europe - photos taken with my LG Optimus 7
What I keep enjoying when working with EU projects is the diversity of tasks; analysis of collections, metadata quality evaluation sessions (I am not really fond of that, I have to admit), deliverables, reports, publications, participation in project meetings and workshops/conferences all over Europe, spending time in various cities, meeting people and getting around airports, flying all over Europe... the list could go on and on!