Our feasibility study for using cloud services for large-scale OER Publishing in the Arts has just been released under a Creative Commons Licence – see this link in the ALTO Filestore – makes interesting reading! It’s part of a study looking at the possibility of providing a shared service for the Art sector.
As part of the ALTO UK project we have been evaluating using the cloud as a publishing platform for large-scale OER projects. The rationale behind this is that our experience shows that many Art & Design Colleges are struggling to publish staff and student work on the web and many folk in the colleges now routinely go outside their college’s IT and web infrastructure to create websites to support projects and collaborations. They don’t always want to do this – its more of a necessity, one of the side effects of this is that digital stuff just withers and disappears as people move on or cannot keep up the payments. So in a way these institutions are digitally ‘bleeding’ lots of content that will be lost forever that could be used by others as learning reources. The other problem with this scenario is that the money involved in hiring external designers and developers and paying for web hosting is not sustainable in the long term and results in waste, duplication and lost opportunities. Here at the UAL I am seeing a number of projects wanting to ‘come in from the cold’ – trouble is that there is not always a way of accommodating them.
So the basic premise is that there is a large and increasingly urgent unmet need amongst A&D colleges to allow them to easily publish their content on-demand using a shared platform / infrastructure. The cloud study looks into the costs of providing such a service and the other advantages of using the cloud.