Friday, 3 October 2014

EDUCAUSE round up

Final keynote session was from the President of SUNY, (State University of New York) on New Responsibilities for post secondary education in the 21st century.

A call to arms on the importance of higher education and how it has to change to educate more people and educate them better. However, it was very US centric, and I'm not sure the speaker realised that she was speaking to an international audience. Not an inspiring end to the conference, which was a shame because the rest of it has been excellent.

One of the hot topics here was " big data", how do we use the huge amount of data we're collecting all of the time. There was an excellent session on using wireless data which I've posted about, and several about learner analytics and looking at how we can spot students who might be having problems and intervene to help them. One of the best was from Purdue University which was entitled "Putting the I back into CIO", and looked at how we can turn the data we have into useful information. There was a great video to go with the talk, and I'm just waiting for it to go online and I'll post a link to it.

Wearables was another hot topic, and I saw a few pairs of Google glass around, as well as a narrative clip, the wearable camera which takes a picture every 30 seconds. Caused a bit of a Twitter storm when a delegate admitted to wearing one, with some people finding it too intrusive. Others couldn't see why it was a problem, comparing it to tiny cameras on smart phones. Will be interesting to see how things like this and Glass become socially acceptable.

So, that's the end of another great conference. Lots of good sessions. Some mediocre ones but no really bad ones, and lots of contacts made and networks strengthened. Always good to hear what other people are doing, and how they are responding to the challenges we all face. Also made some good contacts with vendors and saw some new, interesting products which we'll be keeping an eye on. Now to work out how to get all the freebies I've collected at the exhibition home....

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