Using the OPAL cloudscapes

An overview of the Cloudworks site

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
10 May 2010

What is Cloudworks?

Cloudworks is a place for people interested in sharing, finding and discussing educational ideas and experiences. Cloudworks is for anyone with an interest either formally or informally in education.

You can use it for:

  • Discussing  or blogging a workshop or theme
  • Adding links and references
  • Sharing photos, videos and slides

Cloudworks is an open site; anyone can view, register and add to any of the Clouds.

Using Cloudworks

Step 1: Create an account. You can view everything on the site without registering but if you want to participate you will need to create an account. Go to Cloudworks and click on the red sign-up tab. You will be sent an activation email to your email account.

Step 2: Set up a profile. Once you have registered, you can set up a personal profile. Your profile page includes information about the things you are interested in, the Clouds you have added, the Cloudscapes and people you are following, and who is following you. All the Clouds created by the people and Cloudscapes you are following are also collected in your Cloudstream.

Step 3: Follow the OPAL consultation Cloudscape. The URL for the OPAL consulation Cloudscape is: http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape/view/2087 From this page  you can  show that you are attending, see who else is attending, view the Clouds added, add Clouds, see recent activity, see the Twitter stream and set up an RSS feed. From here there is a link to the Cloudscape of OER case studies and the Open Educational Practice dimensions that the OPAL team have derived from reviewing the OER case studies.

Step 4: Add to the Clouds. You can discuss ideas, add comments, links and academic references and embed rich media (videos, slideshows, images) in any Cloud. You can also ‘favourite’ Cloudscapes, Clouds and links that you find interesting or useful (these will then appear on your profile page).

How is 'favouriting' something different to 'following' it?

When you decide to follow a Cloud or Cloudscape you will receive cloudstream updates every time something new is added to ensure that you don't miss any new additions or activity. When you favourite a Cloud or Cloudscape you are indicating that you have found something interesting that you would like to flag up for others (and yourself). It is possible to both follow and favourite a Cloud or Cloudscape.

Marking myself as attending an event

You can show others that you are attending an event by clicking on the green ‘mark as attending’ tab at the top of the Cloudscape. This has a social function (we can see who else is attending an event we are going to) and a professional function (we can get an idea of who is interested in and participating in the consultation process). Organisers of open and virtual conferences or events may also use this function as a way of registering delegates.

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