Thursday, 4 June 2015

Media City and Digital Skills

For the last few days I've been in Manchester, based in Media City. It's a great place, a real buzz about the place. But, have been seriously hindered in blogging, as my iPad blogging app has stopped working after an upgrade, and I've struggled to find a replacement. Let's see how we get on with this one.

Yesterday I was involved in UCISA conference business. A couple of site visits to venues we'll be using including Manchester Central and the Museum of Science and Industry. It's important to get everything right at the venues, layout of rooms, organisation during the event, even menus, coffee etc and you can only really to do that by visiting and seeing the space and talking to the staff. Then we had a conference organising committee where we looked at the programme of speakers, and also some ways of modernising the event. Using video case studies of innovations from our members playing around the venue for example.

Today I'm at the UCISA Digital Capabilities conference, we're I'll be closing the event by talking about Dealing with Innovation. As always, I'll be interested to hear what I've got to say :-)

Opening session this morning has been on the digital capabilities needed by our staff, and reporting on some research currently being carried out by JISC. It is recognised that digitally capable students need digitally capable staff, but on the whole education providers do not reward or recognise digital activity related to learning and teaching. Digital capability is also not normally built into the strategic thinking of universities. The presenter also highlighted the importance of digital wellbeing, concerns over cybersecurity, cyber bullying, harassment, privacy of data, ethical issues, and issues of equality.

Other sessions this morning have been about what frameworks you can use to assess the digital competency of staff and students, and whether you can have a standards based approach. So, can you define a minimum standard of digital literacy which staff should have. If so, what is it, how do you measure it, and how do you up skill people. Interesting things on the list for staff. For example, teaching staff how to use google search for images. Not just in finding images, but in understanding the copyright implications on how you can use them. 

So, in finishing this post am going to include another photo from media city, the Blue Peter studio! Not because it's in any way relevant to this post, but half way through writing this I abandoned the app I was using and changed to a new one and I need to know how to post an image!
Looks like success!

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