Departmental meeting today - about 160 of the department got together first thing this morning, and we were very lucky to have a visit from our Vice Chancellor. He spoke about a number of issues affecting the University at the moment including the financial climate, the effect a change of government might have, the possibility of changes to student fees and consequent changes to the funding mechanisms. As a University we're in a much better financial position now as we've saved a lot of staff costs over the past few weeks, but there are still challenging times ahead. He also (very kindly and with no prompting from me) told the staff what a good job he thought they were doing and how much our services are respected and appreciated. Excellent start to the day.
We also had presentations on CampusM (blogged about last week), and the use of Web 2.0 technologies. We're pushing the latter a bit at the moment because we're already starting to see the effects of the changing attitudes to using technologies that we don't supply. So for example, we've just launched a major collaborative space with blogs, wikis, discussion boards etc, and one of our research groups has just launched their own based on a piece of free open source software. What do we do? Ours is secure, authenticated, backed up, supported etc. There's doesn't link to any of our systems, and probably isn't as secure. How do we broach it with them? Should we?
We also looked at students' use of technology and how easy it is for them to create content using relatively simple tools, like this video which won a recent MMUBS Podcast Competition:
Of course another great example is the IC Girls video, filmed surreptitiously in the IC and edited in someone's bedroom on iMovie - a great piece of film!