University of Leicester students win more funding and support in edtech invention competition

Posted by er134 at Sep 12, 2016 11:35 AM |
Museum Studies Master’s students awarded further funding to develop innovative mobile app

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 12 September 2016

A team from the University of Leicester has been announced as Summer of Student Innovation winners, bagging funding and support develop their edtech idea in collaboration with Jisc – a UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions. The team had already secured £2,000 of funding at an earlier stage in the annual competition.

On 23 August 2016, seven of the 15 Summer of Student Innovation ‘Student Ideas’ winners beat the competition to secure further funding and support from Jisc to develop their ideas into real products ready for market.

The teams will also get first-hand experience of creative design, research, entrepreneurism and project management. The winning ideas all aim to solve big problems in the education sector that the students have experienced themselves.

Following a four day Jisc run ‘design sprint’ based on a technique developed by Google, the students went head-to-head to persuade the judges in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch, and a team from the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies came out on top.

The team, comprising four Master’s students, entered a proposed mobile app which creates an online crowdsourced archive and library to make documents more accessible to students, researchers and the wider public.

The app, called arHive: the collective archive, will help users take standardised high-quality scans of documents designed to support the digitisation process and to tie this wealth of digital content directly to the institution’s online presence.

Using camera technology compatible with modern smart phones and tablets, the app will allow users to take editable and enlargeable research images for future study.

Scans would be automatically uploaded to a cloud based content sharing platform which crowdsources digitising the collections, allowing users to search and share pages and books. arHive is designed to provide feedback to the institution, giving vital metrics and real-time meta-data to the institution to inform their further projects.

Not only will these high-quality scanned pages be available to the users, they will be paginated, catalogued and taggable following industry standard archive and library systems.

Kate Crossley, a Master’s student in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, said: “This win means a chance for us to access some incredible resources to really get our idea off the ground and into the app stores.

“It is such an exciting time for us- we went from creating something to finding that other people want to work with us to make it a reality.

“We are in talks with Jisc on how to implement the idea and will start a programme of customer research so we can understand how people will use the app and how we can best provide solutions to their digital archiving problems.”

Andy McGregor, deputy chief innovation officer at Jisc, who was on the judging panel said: “This year I was impressed by how the student teams had decided to take on big problems that students and the sector have faced for a long time, such as effective public engagement for research, testing via quizzes and effective induction. I was even more impressed that the solutions they were pursuing to these problems were so original. As ever with the competition, the entrants were all outstanding and incredibly innovative. The competition really does show that students are best placed to address education sector issues, and their innovative ideas are perfect for supporting learning, teaching or research. We look forward to seeing where the ideas go in the future!”

The Summer of Student Innovation is in its fourth year and is managed by Jisc. It is a co-design project with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Russell Universities’ Group of IT Directors (RUGIT), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) and the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information contact Robin Clarke at: rc293@leicester.ac.uk

About Jisc:

Jisc is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions.

We operate:

  • shared digital infrastructure and services
  • negotiate sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers and
  • provide trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers.

For more information please contact Georgie Myers - Press officer: georgie.myers@jisc.ac.uk

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