Improving access to online resources

Over the last year the BBC, Jisc and the British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) have been working together on the Research and Education Space (RES), an exciting initiative that could transform the ways teachers get access to online educational resources.

RES will deliver a linked open data catalogue that aggregates records for millions of assets from a large number of open catalogues across the internet, and it is about to go public with a BBC Connected Studio that will encourage software developers and educational publishers to build prototype user-facing applications.

The project emerged from a growing realisation that teachers, researchers and students continue to have problems finding online resources that they can rely on, and that the current search engines and online tools were not up to the task of delivering properly licensed, authoritative and usable materials.

The RES team is building a data aggregator that will collect, index and organise rich structured data about archive collections from reputable sources including the British Library, National Museum of Wales, British Museum, Wellcome Trust, BBC and others, indexing documents, images, sound and video from collections of material that are freely available or licensed for use in education.

Crucially, it will include rights metadata for all the catalogue entries, allowing users to determine whether or not a particular item is licensed for use in teaching, and who the rights holder is. This should address one of the key problems facing education users today, which is the lack of clarity concerning permissible uses.

In order to assess progress to date and explore ways in which teachers might use RES, the BBC is holding one of its Connected Studios. A Connected Studio offers a structured process through which the BBC and its partners can engage digital agencies, technology startups, designers and developers who want to develop ideas for innovative features and formats.

The RES Connected Studio will take place over two days at the end of September, during which teams will develop ideas and prototypes. Selected prototypes will be taken forward as funded pilots that the BBC will evaluate and may be put into production during 2015.

Find out more

If you’d like to take part in the RES Connected Studio, you need to sign up as a BBC developer and complete a questionnaire about your previous accomplishments.

Further details can be found on the BBC Connected Studio website:

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