The Bloomsbury Media Cloud Project

The Bloomsbury Colleges comprise six internationally renowned HE institutions within the University of London:
Birkbeck College, Institute of Education (IoE), School of Pharmacy (SoP), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Royal Veterinary College (RVC). The Colleges collectively have over 15,000 undergraduate and 14,000 postgraduate students.

In January 2010,
JISC awarded the Colleges £90,000 to
deliver a project - the Bloomsbury Media Cloud, which builds upon their portfolio of shared licenses and collaborative approaches to supporting learning, teaching and research. The project, running in partnership with the London International Development Centre (LIDC) aims to establish a shared media platform across the Colleges, including working with Apple iTunes U to create a consortium site with a focus on issues relating to international development.

This website will be updated with the project's progress and will provide a space to store project documentation.

Aims and objectives
The project’s aim is to create a shared digital media platform, which will provide the
facility to electronically distribute a range of media content through radio, podcast and
videocasts, with a focus on International Development.

The following five key areas describe the objectives that are planned to address the aim of this project:

Technical Research & Development
• Investigating and selecting a cloud-based content management system to store content
• Developing a portal to publish digital media online.
• Investigating and applying authentication methods.

Content Creation & Development
• Developing new content and re-purposing existing content to populate the
Bloomsbury Media Cloud platform.

• Launching the platform and communicating its launch to the Bloomsbury community.

Monitoring & Evaluation
• Evaluating the project and examining the establishment of a Bloomsbury Media

• Making available the processes involved in the project to the FSD Strategic
Technologies Group and the wider educational community
• Promoting the online materials generated by the project to the development community

Project methodology

The project will consist of three phases, which are detailed below:

Content Development
This project will develop a range of digital media with an International Development focus. The project work will include:
1. Cross-institutional audit and quality assessment of existing digital media sources;
2. Agreement on policies, systems and strategies for media formats, content and archiving;
3. Development of most efficient and cost effective recording and editing protocols;
4. Research to identify principle instructional media themes and topics required by the target audience;
5. Assessment of recruitment and publicity opportunities working with marketing
and recruitment departments of all Colleges.

Shared Media Platform
A common media platform is required across the consortium. This work will comprise:
1. Cross-institutional review of existing platforms and media repositories;
2. Research with external partners including Amazon S3, Google and ULCC to investigate the potential for cloud storage of media;
3. Explore open source options for digital media management and publication;
4. Work with iTunes to create a consortium iTunes U site which interfaces with consortium data architecture and systems;
5. Examine additional media distribution and broadcast systems including RSS feeds, YouTube and others.

Common Authentication for Media Resources
A standards-based and open source system is required for secure user authentication to the shared media platform. This project will therefore investigate:
1. Improving access to shared online resources across the consortium;
2. Enabling students and staff to contribute and access resources between institutions;
3. Developing a robust and integrated approach to applications, systems and content storage;
4. Exploring a Shibboleth-based federated approach to authentication enabling a cross consortium scalable and flexible solution.

Anticipated outputs and outcomes

The project will deliver the following specific outputs:

Project reports
o JISC Project Plan
o JISC Mid-Term Report
o JISC Final Report
o Analysis and evaluation report for Bloomsbury Heads of Colleges

o Bloomsbury Colleges Consortium agreement
o Financial procedures
o Best practice guides for creating audio content
o Training and support manuals
o Dissemination material
o Appointment of Media Officer and Technical Adviser

Technical infrastructure
o Repository for content
o iTunes U and YouTube sites established
o Authentication method established
o Building block installed on Blackboard

Content development
o 6 keynote interviews
o 6 flagship presentations
o Series of 40 podcasts

o Publicity flyers and e-flyers
o Portal and blog
o Project website

The following measurable outcomes have been identified as indicators of achievement:

Production of a comprehensive set of operating procedures outlining flexible approaches to digital media creation adopted by the project.
Shared best practice with the STG and other members who will be encouraged to adopt some of these approaches.
Creation of a portfolio of audio and video based media which is publicly and freely available.
Feedback from academic recruitment of increased student recruitment related to project.
Recommendations on the use of cloud based media storage facilities.
Identification of suitable open source data provision through a central repository linked to different distribution systems.
Investigation of common authentication between multiple systems to enable media sharing.

Technology / Standards used 

It is not expected that any developments will be created in this project requiring standards that deviate from JISC’s recommendations.
Any code produced will be patches or extensions to existing software. These produced will be published under an appropriate Open Source license.
All documentation and reports will be published under a Creative Commons license. Any code will be published as an Open Source BSD license.
Sarah Sherman,
15 Sept 2011, 08:41
Sarah Sherman,
5 Sept 2011, 03:48
Sarah Stone,
16 Mar 2010, 07:14
Sarah Stone,
22 Nov 2010, 08:00