After a brief absence, the JISC, sorry Jisc Conference, sorry Jisc Digital Festival is back. The last JISC Conference was a couple of years ago and it has evolved in the Jisc Digital Festival.
It was a two day event in Birmingham looking at many different aspects of technology enhanced learning. There was stuff for learning technologists, library people and IT managers. For someone in my role there was a lot of choice.
In some ways it was reminiscent of past JISC Conferences and in others it was very different and new. There was a lot happening and it can be challenging to find the stuff you want to see and listen to.
I did like the festival theme, which really gave the event a very different feel. Two days also made a difference to the rushed single day there use to be.
With such a packed programme it was inevitable that there would be some clashes. I was torn for example about going to the digital storytelling session or the one on visitors and residents.
I was pleased with the vast majority of the sessions I attended, they were stimulating, interesting, informative and made me think. There was a lot of stuff to take away. With recordings and resources online, there’s a substantial amount of stuff to refect on and take away.
One of the key benefits for me of attending a conference such as this is making contacts, talking and networking. There wasn’t a huge number of people from FE, but I certainly spoke to many of them. Finding out what they were doing, the issues they faced and what they were planning. Finding out what others are doing is a critical factor when implementing change, for benchmarking and aiding discovery.
It was also useful to speak to contacts at Jisc, Janet, TechDis, as well as some of the exhibitors. I have a bundle of business cards, flyers, web links and even the odd QR Code.
I got a lot out of the conference, I took a lot away and it has made me think. I am glad to see the return of the conference and in many ways I think it was much better than previous Jisc conferences. Now that’s back, I hope that Jisc will also bring back the online conference, as I really missed it this year.