Open Content Internship – Last Week!

Sunny view of Edinburgh

Looking back at my first blog post, it doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly three months at all! I applied for this role because out of all the internships I saw advertised I really believe in the motivation behind this job and the open education movement in general. It has been so good to have the chance to learn and meet new people while publishing content that can be shared and used for free by schools.

At a recent all staff meeting, individual staff members shared what they’ve been working on both in and out of work, from blogs and TikToks to mentoring and LEGO. I found it really interesting to see how passionate people were about their projects and interests and it inspired me to think about how I want to use my time. It was really helpful to find out more about what people do in their jobs too which you can’t always tell by job titles. I didn’t even really know that ISG existed before this summer!

One of the biggest projects we worked on was adapting web-based geoscience outreach materials created by the SatSchool Team, so that they are openly licensable, shareable and downloadable. The content created by current researchers is so interesting and relevant to the future, and there are some amazing satellite images included! I really hope they will be downloaded used many times! I’ve also worked on recources about trees, optical illusions, Greta Thunberg and got the opportunity to write a resource of my choice about machine learning and social media.

I have a much more positive association with the word ‘copyright’ now than I did at the start of summer. I had preconceptions about copyright law being used by big companies to target small creators, but I’ve learned about how creative commons licencing can be used by anyone to ensure their work can be freely shared but also protected to the level of their choice. It’s amazing to me that there are no complicated forms required and that CC licencing just requires one line of text.

Throughout the summer I’ve tried lots of new things and gained experience in licencing, content writing, the Scottish curriculum, blogging using wordpress, Wikipedia editing and social media writing. I’ve also had the chance to identify interpersonal skills and qualities that I wanted to improve in, and to track my progress through the Edinburgh Award.

The most important thing I think I’ve learned has actually been just to talk to people and ask questions. I’m generally worried about bothering people by asking, but everyone that I’ve spoken to about my questions and ideas has been really enthusiastic and set aside time to help.

Molly and I have also been able to find out what it’s like to work in an office and the permanent staff made a real effort to involve us in events. One of my favourite that I’ve attended was the ISG reading group which I wrote about in my last blog post. I’m hoping that I can keep going along even after I leave this job!

I’ve really settled in to full time work at this point. Having set hours on weekdays has kept me busy and motivated, but also my evenings and weekends are free to do other things. Throughout this summer our manager has really focused on our wellbeing. We’ve had lots of opportunities to take up training and projects of interest to us and to take regular breaks. In contrast to what I would have expected, I think that this has made me more productive because I feel more relaxed, interested and able to focus. I’m am going to make a real effort to take these ideas into my fourth year of uni, and I hope this will continue to have a good impact on my day-to-day life.

The hybrid working option has really made this opportunity accessible to me. Applying during the continued pandemic I was worried about starting a full time job again. The flexibility to work from home three days a week gave me the chance to experience working in a team and to meet colleagues in a low-pressure way.

This opportunity has done a lot to inform my future career choices through allowing me learn how I like to work. I’ll be able to take the skills I’ve picked up forward and I feel like I know more now about what I would like from a job after uni. Most importantly though I have met lots of brilliant people who have each impacted my ideas, taught me new things and made my summer here so enjoyable! I’m really glad that I have had this experience.

Header Image: Cropped version of ‘Edinburgh’ by Ryan Prince on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0,