Monday, 12 September 2011

Projects progress and day trips for nerds!

Service Strategy Board today, and a chance to catch up on our projects and other developments. Always a tricky time of year, as new things tend to come to fruition at the beginning of the new academic year, as well as everything else we have to do.  There's a lot of work going on to upgrade teaching spaces, and our teaching and learning infrastructure team are working very hard alongside contractors to get all of the AV installed, often in very difficult circumstances. Hopefully it will all come together before teaching starts!  We're also installing 700 new PCs in various computer rooms, especially the IC, with all of the work that entails. Then of course there's the new students due to arrive this weekend...

Some of our projects are going really well - the Google apps implementation, and the VLE upgrade to name just two.  Others are undergoing some business process reviews using LEAN and are on hold until that's completed, some are just on hold because we haven't got the resource to complete them at the moment.  A lot of resource has been directed to improving the procedures for getting our new students registered and computer accounts, uCards etc generated quickly and efficiently by implementing new processes that can be accessed by the students before they arrive. Some of this has gone very well, and a much improved experience has been implemented, but not quite as far as we'd hoped using our new portal technology. But, it will happen soon, and then we're moving on to use it to develop a new portal for the rest of the University.

Last Friday I was in London again, this time for a meeting of the UCAS Admissions Process Review, where we had a a look at some proposals for change, to a process which hasn't really changed since I applied to University! I can't say much about them as they haven't gone out to consultation yet, but watch this space!

Finally a quick plug for a web site - this is mainly an IT blog, so it seems appropriate to mention one especially for nerds. Nerdy Day Trips grew out of an idea of Ben Goldacre's when he wanted ideas for a day out in London, and now it's grown into a web resource. As Ben says "We really want to gather as many as possible of the more obscure ones, the clearing with the abandoned factory, a strange earth feature of nerd interest, the terrifying power station, the water slide park, and so on. Our fantasy is that on any given road trip, you will be able to find a nerd stop somewhere along your route, or perhaps even plot out a nerd odyssey across the UK." So, have a look, and add your nerd destinations!

1 comment:

Chris W said...

Funnily enough the first one I clicked on was North Leverton Windmill submitted by yourself; I got stuck at the top when I was about 10 and have been scared of heights ever since.