KINSHIP King's Social Harmonisation Project: Developing a pilot social network in medical education Bernadette. A. John1, Sophie. M. Strong1, Prof Patricia Reynolds2, Dominique Borel3, Catherine Brossard3, Dr Stylianos Hatzipanagos4, Elena Hernandez-Martin5, Prof Alan Read6 1School of Medicine, 2Dental Institute, 3Modern Languages Centre, 4 KingвЂ™s Learning Institute, 5 Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, 6 Department of English; Kings College London Background Platform evaluation Students entering Higher Education are increasingly ICT literate, although, as evidenced by the recent College Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) benchmarking review, they have some concerns about e-learning replacing faceto-face teaching (Hatzipanagos et al 2010). The informal use of social media for learning is becoming evident, and so there is scope to evaluate the impact of a custom made secure College-wide social network for education. The Kinship (Elgg) prototype platform was developed and supported with mentorship from Brighton University, who have an Elgg institutional social network with 90,000 registered users. Kinship is hosted on a commercial external, UK based cloud server (so UK Law applies to the content created), mindful of College regulations and the TEL strategy. It has been piloted with 700 medical students for 3 months.). Aims Suitable open source platforms were evaluated for relevance in (Elgg, Ning, Buddy Press, Mahara) . The core functional design of the 4 popular platforms is not identical. Mahara has comparatively high developmental costs. Elgg is primarily a social network whereas Mahara is primarily an eportfolio вЂ“ so whilst both have similar features, simply listing a set of functions doesnвЂ™t indicate how well each platform executes these functions. Ning, although popular is obviously different because it is a paid application hosted on a proprietary website. This College Teaching Fund project, led by students, aims to identify, customise, and evaluate a social networking platform, to meet the diverse educational needs in healthcare (Medicine and Dentistry) and the humanities (English and Modern Languages). This platform is initially being piloted, in the medical school, to establish if it can foster an improved sense of community, enhance communication and serve as a space to model digital professionalism. Specialist social networking platform Social Network Built in PHP and MYSQL code вЂў Popular code, easy to find developers вЂў Easy to integrate with other systems Active community of developers sharing plugins вЂў Cheap to develop вЂў Platforms built in Elgg can evolve quickly Open Source adjective Computing denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified (oxforddictionaries.com) Plug-in adjective Computing (of a module or software) able to be added to a system to give extra features or functions: a plug-in graphics card (oxforddictionaries.com) Established use by large organisations Preliminary Findings and Discussion A working social networking platform, built in Elgg has been developed in keeping with College guidelines. It enables secure authentication using studentsвЂ™ own College logins and is simply accessible via http://kinship.kcl.ac.uk. Early usage statistics and student feedback in Medicine have shown that the site has the potential to create and enhance a genuine sense of community for our students, who are more likely to be living off campus than ever before and studying at various sites, scattered across London. In order for an institutional social network to offer a viable alternative, it must have the ability to develop at a pace - this can be inexpensive if using an open source platform. Students have high expectations of the functionality within social networks and the long established, active community of Elgg developers, collaborating and sharing their extensive catalogue of plugins is a valuable characteristic of this platform. Elgg is written in a popular code termed вЂ�phpвЂ™, so it is a large number of developers. Noun A dedicated website or other application which enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages etc (oxforddictionaries.com) Next Steps: пЃ± Clarify what user preferences are with regard to functionality, privacy settings and access пЃ± Establish institutional support required to enable adoption of KINSHIP by KCL пЃ± Secure funding to enable roll out across the college References: Hatzipanagos, S. Warburton, S. Reedy, G. (2010) Technology-Enhanced Learning Benchmarking Report. KingвЂ™s College London. Hatzipanagos, S. Warburton, S., Blackmore, P. (2009) A review of e-learning at KingвЂ™s College. KingвЂ™s College London. Oxford Dictionary. 2012. Oxford Dictionaries. [ONLINE] Available at: http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/the-oxford-englishdictionary [Accessed 14 June 12] Stanier, S. 2009. Communty@Brighton : The Development of an Institutional Shared Learning Environment. In: OвЂ™Donoghue, J. ed., Technology Supported Environment for Personalised Learning: Methods and Case Studies. [s.l.]: IGB Global, 2009, pp. 5073.