Clearinghouses and a Fourth Age of Sport Institutes

I have had the good fortune to be included on the Australasian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN) mailing list for a decade. The network is hosted by the Clearinghouse for Sport (previously the National Sport Information Centre) at the Australian Sport Commission.

The Clearinghouse was established in 2012 as:

a central access point for the Australian sport sector, to serve the needs of users of a specific body of knowledge, and provide information in an audience appropriate manner to support the transfer and development of knowledge.

I received an alert this week that saddened me. It signalled a change in the work of the Clearinghouse. The email header was Discontinuation of the Clearinghouse for Sport, Daily Sports News (DSN).

The email shared this news:

DSN will not continue in 2018. The Australian Sports Commission’s new strategic direction and re-prioritisation of its existing resources were key considerations in the decision to cease the service.
I’d like to thank all who have supported and promoted DSN over the past 10 years. We’re very sad to see it go, but I know many here will not miss those early morning starts.

A colleague replied:

Very disappointed to read this news. This service has played an important role in informing the Australian sport sector of results, news and issues. There is no such service in Australia that covers the breadth of sports and issues in a consolidated way. It was also an important way of informing the Australian sport sector of very worthwhile work of the NSIC/Clearinghouse in terms of ground breaking sport research in and outside AIS/ASC, Clearinghouse portfolios and the recording and availability of seminars and SMART Talks.

In particular, it has allowed me to keep up to date with developments in sport policy which helps my extensive voluntary work in creating and updating Clearinghouse for Sport portfolios in areas such as Australian Sport Policy, Sport in Rural and Regional Communities, Role Models in Sport, Funding for Sport, Country Profiles and new AIS Sport Alumni websites.

The Australian sport sector has been very well served by the NSIC since it was established in 1982 as the AIS Information Centre. It is still a world leading sport information service and one of the few advantages has in the world of high performance sport. Access to information and research has allowed Australia to punch above its weight in world sport since the 1980’s.

Well done to the NSIC staff in their commitment to delivering service to inboxes before 7am. The culture of the NSIC/Clearinghouse has always been about prompt service.

I understand that the Australian Sports Commission is considering how to structure its digital communications. Back in 2009, in a presentation titled A Fourth Age of Sport Institutes, I tried to articulate what such a communications structure might be.

My thinking about this fourth age was profoundly affected by the practices of the then National Sport Information Centre (NSIC). I had engaged with the NSIC from the mid 1990s and had the good fortune to meet them in person when I moved to work at the AIS in 2002.

I found their modesty, diligence, enthusiasm and energy to be a wonderful, infectious guide to my own work. From them I learned the power of invisible service.

I have always thought the NSIC Clearinghouse to be a jewel in the crown of the Australian Sports Commission’s service to national and global sport.

One of my regrets is that I left the AIS in 2007 and could only be an external advocate for the NSIC thereafter. I am hopeful there will be a role for the Clearinghouse staff in Australian sport’s digital future. They have been world-leading for a long time with a modesty that prevents them from saying this. Their world-leading activities are in their practice not in the rhetoric that goes with world-leading aspirations.

I revisited my 2009 presentation following the AUSPIN announcement. I thought these slides embody my concerns. (With my apologies for the red emphases.)

I do hope that the Clearinghouse’s custos role might enable them to be part of this opportunity:

Photo Credit

View towards Bruce, ACT from AIS grounds (1982) (ACT Archives, CC BY-NC 2.0)

A Flush of Openness around and at #AUSPIN16

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Introduction

I was delighted to attend the AUSPIN Conference in Canberra on Tuesday.

I had the opportunity to share some ideas about open educational resources. It was a brief presentation just before lunch.

The process of sharing the presentation led to some interesting exchanges on Twitter.

Before I discuss these exchanges and where they took me, I would like to note how I prepared my presentation.

Creating an Open Resource

I was keen to share my presentation in advance of the AUSPIN meeting. The steps I took were:

  1. Google Slides with my preferred presentation format of Simple Light.
  2. Search for Creative Commons images on Flickr.
  3. Use minimal text with hyperlinks to all materials shared.
  4. Confirm the presentation (unless otherwise indicated) as a CC BY 4.0 license.
  5. Ensure that anyone on the internet can find a view the presentation. (Link)
  6. Blog about the presentation on Clyde Street.
  7. News of blog post defaults to Facebook (I have not been using LinkedIn).
  8. Tweet about the post and presentation using #AUSPIN16.
  9. Add an Audacity recording as a brief audio statement in the Clyde Street blog post (and use LAME add on for .mp3 files).
  10. Use Ogg Vorbis Audio File (.ogg) and MP3 (mp3) audio formats. Share files through DropBox (.ogg) (.mp3).
  11. Confirm that Conference attendees had received an email alert from the organiser to the presentation link on Google Slides.

I find it fascinating just how many different platforms can be used to create a resource. Each of us makes choices about the platforms we use. My choices reflect my experiences. Some time ago, I did use Garage Band to record all my audio files but I now feel much happier using Audacity with a USB microphone rather than my Mac’s internal microphone.

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Sharing on Twitter

This was an early announcement about the presentation:

On the morning of the presentation, I tweeted this:

In late night England, Simon Nainby, and Sporticus started discussing open educational resources.

Jonbrim joined in:

and then the follow up conversation

The next day, Mark Upton shared this link:

This enabled me to follow up to find this workshop:

In twenty-four hours, these exchanges had created a micro-community that then went about other business.

I felt like this:

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As with open educational resources, this pole vaulter has no limits … there is no bar in this sculpture, just the sky.

Asynchronous and Synchronous Sharing

My aim in this post has been to make explicit my process in creating an open educational resource. Twitter allows us to cross time zones and occupational cultures. News of my presentation started a flush of conversation that spanned hemispheres and was asynchronous.

My physical presentation at AUSPIN gave a synchronous opportunity to share and discuss ideas with structured attention.

The delightful experience of a connectivist world was that a presentation about openness took me to Canberra, England and San Diego in the time constrained only by my access to bandwidth and a reliable car.

Photo Credits

AUSPIN Meeting and Pole Vaulter (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)

Presenting at AUSPIN 2016 (Edgar Crook, CC BY 4.0)

Discussing open educational resources at AUSPIN 2016

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I am attending the first day of the AUSPIN 2016 conference in Canberra today.

Just as I was about to write this post, I saw Simon Nainby’s tweet:

For some time now, I have flipped all my presentations in advance of real-time presentation in case anyone might be interested in exploring ideas at the presentation. The flip provides a record of the presentation for subsequent reflection and open sharing if it is of interest.

It is an approach that prioritises asynchronous reflection over synchronous revelation.

I think this flip is particularly important when discussing open educational resources. There are so many cloud based opportunities to do this. At present I am using a variety of Google tools.

I am using a picture of the Library at Celsus as the opening image in my presentation. It was built facing east to give early risers the opportunity to read the scrolls kept there in excellent light … 1900 years ago.

The presentation is here.

There is a published to the web version here on a 5 second auto advance.

I have a short ogg audio file to support the presentation and an MP3 audio file too.

I am hopeful that this open sharing transforms my presentation options at AUSPIN. It is a meeting of people who spend their professional lives sharing resources.

A perfect storm for flipping.

Photo Credit

Facade of the Library of Celsus (Carole Raddato, CC BY-SA 2.0)