The week started with a run through of an online event I was participating later in the week. I published a blog post called The second wave arrived in which I look at the impact of the second national (English) lockdown on the university sector. On Wonkhe, David Kernohan asked Is it really fair to blame universities for the second wave?
High case numbers in the early autumn have led some to conflate the second wave with students and universities. For David Kernohan, the data doesn’t show that.
This was an interesting article that looked at the data behind the second wave and how some people have been conflating the wave with university attendance and blaming students.
I spent a good part of Monday working on some internal documents for various projects, as well as some presentations for future events.
Tuesday I was on a panel session for the QAA looking at academic integrity. I don’t mind online events, but it can be really hard to read the audience compared to being on a panel at a live in-person face to face event.
On that note there was a discussion on Twitter about the term we use for that compared to online sessions.
I responded about how Jisc used the term in-person in their recent LTR report.
In the most recent Learning and teaching reimagined report https://t.co/jZZMtEOjxh we have been using the term "in-person". Language is always changing and we recognise that no single term fits all needs and practice. We try and ensure clarity in our communications.
— James Clay (@jamesclay) November 11, 2020
Personally looking back over my recent blog posts I have been using the (slightly clunky) term physical face to face For some it is a real issue and in some cases how it is interpreted by employers and the press. I personally think we might be spending a little too much time over thinking this.
Governments are looking at how they can allow university students home. I still don’t see how they can stop students from leaving? We saw in Manchester the impact of fencing them in!
Thursday I had an article published in University Business, How data can help universities prepare for uncertainty.
James Clay, head of higher education at Jisc, explains why we need data visions in higher education, and how we can work together to create them
This article was part of the promotion of the Data Matters Conference happening in January 2021.
There are stupid ideas and then there are really stupid ideas.
Staff who work from home after pandemic ‘should pay more tax’ was an article in The Guardian.
Economists at Deutsche Bank have proposed making staff pay a 5% tax for each day they choose to work remotely. They argue it would leave the average employee no worse off because of savings made by not commuting and not buying lunch on-the-go and fewer purchases of work clothing.
Most people I know who use to go to work use to take lunch with them, so no saving there. Also I knew quite a few people who cycled or walked to work (or did car share). No savings there either. Even those who are saving money, are now probably spending that money locally supporting local businesses and thereby supporting them who work there.
I am working from home now, so yes I am not buying coffee from coffee shops in the heart of Bristol, but I am buying coffee from my local coffee places, helping them to stay in business and pay their staff their wages. Once lockdown is over I am expecting to visit these coffee places again.
As I said there are stupid ideas and then there are really stupid ideas.
There were some better articles about the future of work and the city centre office culture.
After the first lockdown, surveys suggested that the office’s days were numbered. Since the 1990s, the internet has supposedly liberated white-collar workers from their desks, but it has taken a pandemic to truly break the ritual.
On Friday I got very annoyed, as an important and time-critical e-mail got stuck in my outbox and didn’t get sent. It should have been sent on Tuesday.
Did I get an error message?
Had to send it again.
My top tweet this week was this one.
I like this/
"To make your open wagons look even more realistic, construct a simple raised card platform to fit inside the body, smear with adhesive and sprinkle with sand, fine grit or coal dust."
Where am I going to find coal dust these days?
— James Clay (@jamesclay) November 11, 2020