Short URLs for the university

Nick Jackson, a computing student and part-time member of ICT staff, has developed, a University of Lincoln branded service for shortening links. Read all about it here. Be sure to read the comments to get a good idea of how he intends to improve the service.

This little project was in response to reading Bernie’s blog post about how a student wanted to use short links in his dissertation.

I see that Nick’s in contact with the Internet Archive’s 301Works to guarantee long-term sustainability of the links, too.

Student timetables in iCal format

When I first set up the Learning Lab, ((it’s nothing fancy, just a Linux server and what goes on on that server is called ‘Learning Lab work’)) I had it in my mind that clever people might be able to use it as space to experiment with web applications that would benefit the university community. Until now, it’s just been me in my lab coat poking at things until they work. I didn’t really spread the word very well.

Anyway, Alex, who’s a 2nd year Computing student and working with me on the JISCPress project, tweeted this earlier…

Got bored so I wrote a script to convert your University of Lincoln timetable to an iCal.

…which seemed like a very clever and useful thing to do for his fellow students, so I asked if he’d like to host the script on the Learning Lab and here it is:

Click here! >> MyTimetable << Click here!

It’s nothing fancy to look at but it means that students can now grab their timetable in the .ics format that will import into Google Calendar and Apple’s iCal. Students are already using calendar applications like these so it easily integrates into whatever they’re using and, if it’s something like Google Calendar, it works well on their mobile phone, iPod Touch or similar gizmo, too.

Very handy.