Tuesday, 12 October 2010
In Anaheim at the moment for the EDUCAUSE conference. Just about got over the jet lag, but still waking up too early. Everything round here is Disney, and not just Disney at the moment, but Halloween, and Disney! Spent one day over the weekend in the park doing the rides, but now the conference has started. I'll try and post about as many sessions as possible, but they'll probably be in note form.
This morning I went to a partnership forum, an invitation only event looking at issues facing EDUCAUSE. There was a mixture of attendees, including EDUCAUSE members, sister organisations(including us, UCISA) and corporations.
Began with an overview of EDUCAUSE achievements for this year. One of their main activities is producing content, and their publication, the EDUCAUSE Review has won 8 national and international awards. Of their services, the Core Data Service which is an annual survey of campus IT, is very useful. Results go into a database and you can use it to do comparisons. This has bee redesigned so you can download data into spreadsheets and it's easier now to compare data internationally.
As well as content and services, EDUCAUSE do a lot of conferences. They're moving towards online and blended formats so that time zone differences and location are not so much of an issue. Of course this is not something we have to worry about so much, still think it must be strange having different time zones in the same country. This conference is hybrid, with an on-line track with talks streamed, and participation through chat, Twitter, discussion forums. On line attendees have to be able to participate, so it's important that the on-line track is interactive.
Then we had a discussion about corporate engagement and the importance of the relationship with corporate partners and vendors. EDUCAUSE is apparently considered to be conservative in its relationships with other organisations, and are looking to improve. Interesting that many of the issues they are facing, and the measures they're taking are very similar to what's going on in the UK with UCISA. For example, the conference schedule has been adjusted so each day has 2 hours where no meetings or sessions overlap with the exhibition. Meeting suites for vendors have been provided in hall. Prize stations are a new idea (looking forward to them...), and they are introducing more sponsorship opportunities eg for online sessions, podcasts etc.
Then we had a round table discussion, and on our table we had two UK reps, 1 from Australia, 2 vendors and 3 US EDUCAUSE members. A good selection, and a lot of interest in some of the initiatives we've been taking such as the Selling IT to HE course we run.
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