Project 252

Project 252 is an innovative crowdsourcing initiative that is running during 2015. The project has been undertaken by Dr Enda Donlon who is a member of our Digital Learning Research Network.


The general premise of the project is simple. Every two weeks for the 52 weeks of the year (hence 252) the project focuses on a different letter of the alphabet – starting with A and going through to Z. For the two weeks that each letter is featured, participants are invited to contribute the details of an Ed Tech tool (for instance, an app, Web 2.0 service, software package, etc.) that begins with that letter. All submissions are currently grouped by letter and available via the project website. When the project reaches the halfway mark (letter M) a search facility will be opened that will allow visitors to search the directory using a number of criteria. There are also a number of additional features that will be unveiled in the coming weeks and months.

Project 252 invites contributions from those working at all levels of education (contributions are classified into a number of categories in this regard). Participants are invited to log in via their Twitter account to make a contribution or they can do so anonymously.

The project has just completed its focus on the letter ‘E’ and has (to date) compiled over 180 contributions from all levels of education and contributors from across the globe. With twenty-one letters of the alphabet and over nine months remaining, it is hoped that this number will continue to grow at a similar rate.

For further details and to contribute to the project please visit the Project 252. You can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #proj252 or by following @proj252.

Successful Student Laptop Loan Scheme

The success of Dublin City University’s Student Laptop Loan Scheme may be of wider interest to the sector. In October of 2013, as part of DCU’s commitment to innovation, digital learning and an inclusive student experience, Information Systems & Services (ISS)  in conjunction with the Library and Quality Promotion Office launched the Student Self-Service Laptop Loan Scheme. The scheme  allows students to take a loan of one of 24 laptops on offer for use in the Library for 3 hours per time. DCU was the first organisation in Ireland to introduce a self-service laptop loan service and this was done through Lapsafe.

This scheme has been hugely popular with students over the academic year from October 2013 to May 2014 as the following figures demonstrate:

  • Number of times laptops loaned – over 9000
  • Over 4500 loans per semester
  • Average loans per month – 1500
  • Hours of laptop use – over 23,000
  • Individual laptop loan per month – between 60 & 70 times

The demand for this service, evidenced by the above data, demonstrates how digital learning has increasingly become a core feature of the learning experience and that institutions need to plan for ways of ensuring that all students have access to appropriate enabling technologies. Well done to the DCU team for initiating and maintaining such a valuable scheme.