Introducing the Academic Technologists for the Digital Humanities

In a previous post I outlined the scope of the Academic Technologies Team at the University of Warwick.

Within the team we have two posts that focus their expertise on the Arts Faculty, with a particular theme of digital humanities.

What are the technologies important to digital humanities?

A huge amount has been written about the emergence of the digital humanities, but for me the short version is something like this:

  • digital, social, public, open
  • digitisation, annotation, presentation
  • text as data, data as images maps, timelines, social graphs
  • social media, participatory, crowdsourcing …
  • sometimes new tools, sometimes existing tools put to new uses
  • technologists and librarians as collaborators
  • digital not just as outputs but as a form of scholarship

The Arts Faculty, and Mark Knights and Simon Swain in particular, have identified the need for some dedicated academic technologists to work closely with these sorts of projects and make the technology side easier and better.

They are:

  • David Beck Academic Technologist Faculty of Arts (and History Lecturer)
  • Steve Ranford Academic Technologist Faculty of Arts (starts on 6th March, contact details will be available soon)

and some of my time is spent working in this area too.

What the digital humanities team can help the Warwick Arts Faculty with:

  • evaluate tools and technologies for your projects and academic practice
  • provide technical detail for your funding proposals
  • source the right technologists to collaborate with explore new opportunities in research for future bids
  • find and implement solutions for collecting, managing and presenting data
  • help design your research project or departmental website
  • ensure your content is accessible and sustainable
  • set up ways to track the impact and reach of your resources
  • explore the use of social media both to disseminate and conduct research
  • source and co-develop solutions where needed

… and more …

I’m personally really excited to be working with David and Steve on developing this area of work and look forward to bringing future updates.


Introducing the Academic Technologies Team to IT Colleagues

On Friday 8th February I had my slot at the IT Services departmental meeting, to give an update on what me and my team do.

ACADEMIC TECHNOLOGIES is an emerging term for the use of technology to support learning, teaching and research


TEACHING: eLearning / technology enhanced learning fairly familiar territory huge differences in use, uptake and support needs

RESEARCH: technology in research Includes e-science, e-research, digital research, digital humanities … fuzzy boundaries and pretty new for universities to address this in a coherent way

CONTEXT: context of academic technologies: we need to be aware of the drivers for outreach, engagement and “impact”

We work with Library, Learning Development Centre, Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, Research Support Services, IT services webteam, storage team, applications team … we are part of the network of support.

What the academic technologies team does:

  • work with services to promote and develop ITS provision for teaching and research
  • advise academics on technology selection, working closely with colleagues across university support services
  • run teaching-specific services: e.g Moodle
  • collaborate with services to integrate new capabilities: e.g Coursework Management
  • signpost good practices, support and training at Warwick
  • collaborate with projects doing new things
  • champion user requirements: e.g journal management

The presentation was aimed at IT colleagues, but I’m sharing it here for anyone else interested. It’s not very polished, so excuse the less-than-perfect presentation