Friday, 30 March 2012

Last Day of Term

I'm glad we've reached the end of term - it feels like an achievement. Today I tried to get all outstanding tasks done or at least sorted for two weeks as I don't intend to check my emails while I'm off.
We started the day with our department meeting. It's good to have an update and to let everyone know some of the new developments that are going to be introduced after Easter. These include changes to floor 2 including walk up bookings for computers and more roving and also a staff upskilling programme.
Then I went to a strategic issues briefing for managers by the principal and senior managers. This is quite a good idea and useful for updates on funding and financial information.
Other tasks were sorting out our web conferencing project, checking up on the situation regarding the transfer of data from Blackboard to SharePoint, chasing up outstanding technology equipment and lots of other bits and pieces.
I had a meeting with my line manager to let him know what's happening and what we've got planned. It's good to catch up.
Hopefully I've sent all the emails I need to and not left anything urgent outstanding.
I picked up some books ...... back in 2weeks :)

Monday, 26 March 2012

and on a more cheery note...things to look forward to

1. Kindles - although we've had them for a few months now we have been loaning them to staff and students within the LRC just to see what they think.  Although there has been some interest we have decided that we need to have a 'proper' pilot and promote their usage across the curriculum.  We are starting from today and have four lecturers / tutors who are interested in using them with their students.
2. Electronic Course File to SharePoint - we are moving our electronic course file from the content collection on our VLE to our Intranet on SharePoint.  Hopefully this will make it a bit easier to access for staff.
3. Online collaboration / virtual classroom - we are continuing to use Mizaru which is an Adobe Connect customised solution to train staff and a lot of this is part of our LSIS Leadership in Technology project.  The next session is on Wednesday and it will include some more interactivity on the part of participants with them becoming presenters and hosts and running some of the session (hopefully)
4. Inductions - it's that time of year when we have to plan what we are going to do for inductions in September.  Last year we had the 3D Induction experience plus interactive feedback - this year we are going to try and combine the successes of last year into an online experience.  It's still at the early planning stages so will be interesting to see what we can and can't do.  I also want to try and do something using Augmented Reality - a self directed familiarisation tour - don't know how yet but I'm sure it's a possibility.
5. Journals - it has been the dreaded J word for much of this year - some of our journals don't get used much but I'm not sure why, whether it's lack of demand or lack of awareness.  We are going to promote them both the paperbased and the electronic formats.
6. Mobile App - our mobile app that we launched in January has been successful.  The next phase with more fuctionality including a library app is planned for release in August.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Murky windows and misty hills

It's not been a great week - in fact it's been one of those weeks which, while not being a disaster, has been disappointing. I wish it could be re-run but more positively with maybe a bit of luck.
I was off work at the beginning of the week with cold/flu/virus. I don't like missing work and especially this week. There was lots happening and we hosted a Blackboard FE Day on Wed which went really well but I missed it. Yesterday was the JISC RSC Northern E-learning awards at Durham Castle. It was a great evening although we didn't win anything which was slightly disappointing. I would have liked the team / dept to win because we do great stuff and need a bit of a lift at the moment. It was great that we were nominated though so I shouldn't grumble :)
Today has been a catch up. Sorting out the online web conferencing sessions for next week. Checking on how some alterations at Easter elsewhere in the College will affect us. Organizing our Kindle pilot project which is something exciting to look forward to.
At the moment I'm checking out one of the T and L PCs on the 3rd floor of the LRC - it won't log on....
It's home time but I'm gazing out of the window - the windows are a bit murky on the outside and the Cleveland hills are misty, I can't make out Roseberry Topping. This is how it feels as far as work /education /learning resources / technology etc. is at the moment - the near future is slightly unclear although everything is carrying on, just more difficult. The long term future, like those hills, is shrouded in mist - can't make it out at all - it's there somewhere though - hopefully.

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