Day 30: Showcase your EdTech Journey

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

The final day of the #JuneEdTechChallenge asks you to showcase your EdTech Journey so I created an infographic of some of the key moments in my personal EdTech journey.

Part of the series for the #JuneEdTechChallenge.

For those who prefer real text or require a screen reader here is the text from the infographic. Also with links and images.


Whilst my peers were messing about with computers I ignored the Commodore VIC-20 we got as a family Christmas present and was more interested in other stuff. Really didn’t see the point of computers, apart from playing the occasional game.


Clifford's Tower in York
Clifford’s Tower in York by James Clay CC BY-NC 2.0

When I was at the University of York there was a VAX system which I used now and again, and I t was in 1988 I worked out how I could send my friend at Brunel University an electronic mail. This I did with some instructions on how to reply. Only to receive an e-mail from the Brunel University e-mail administrator admonishing me (flaming) for sending the wrong kind of e-mail. I never sent e-mail again for nearly a decade.


Still at the University of York a friend programmed, what today we would call a social network, something akin to Facebook but on the VAX system. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was tolerated by the computer administrators and we would often get told not to use it using the day as it was too resource intensive for the system. This was also the year I discovered WordPerfect which we could use on the VAX system. Seemed little point in word processing my essays as in the final exam I would have to hand write them.


At the University of Huddersfield, I was doing a Graduate Enterprise Programme, I was introduced to the personal computer and a tool called Lotus 1-2-3. This I found was an amazing tool for working on cashflow forecasts and profit and loss accounts. 


Got introduced to PageMaker and DTP.


I bought a home PC, a machine from TIME which came with boxes of software and accessories and was probably the worst computer you could buy!


I was appointed as a Lecturer in Business Studies and Economics in the Faculty of Business, Food and Hairdressing at what was Brunel College in Bristol.

City of Bristol College Ashley Down Centre
City of Bristol College Ashley Down Centre by James Clay CC BY-NC 2.0

I had worked at other colleges and schools previously, but this was my first full time permanent teaching position. The entire faculty had access to one 286 computer and a dot matrix printer.

I bought my first laser printer and a scanner.


Whilst working as a Business Studies lecturer I was able to try out this thing called the World Wide Web. My first impression was that it was a) way too slow and b) not very good. I spent half an hour trying to load the CIA World Facebook and failing miserably. 


Too many people were asking me what my e-mail address was, I didn’t have one. So I initially signed up to AOL. That didn’t last long, as I didn’t realise that AOL wasn’t actually providing me with proper access to the web. So looking through a computer magazine I chose a an ISP almost at random Force 9 in Sheffield. I finally left Force 9 when I upgraded to FTTP and they (now as Plusnet) didn’t support FTTP products.

I bought a digital camera, the HP PhotosSmart Digital Camera. It didn’t have an LCD and only took VGA resolution picture and used a proprietary memory card.

Basically it was useless. I also later bought the printer and photo scanner which were excellent.


I would often bring in my PC to work to use with the data projector, as it had a decent graphics card, a Matrox Rainbow Runner card to play full screen video in my presentations.

I created a website for the HNC Business course I was delivering.


Was introduced to First Class as an online learning platform.

Waited patiently for the millennium bug, which didn’t happen.


I left teaching and joined at-Bristol as their ICT Education Officer. It was a great place to work, it was a Millennium project within the Harbourside of central Bristol.

at-Bristol by James Clay CC BY-NC 2.0

This was a job which involved delivering hands-on science education and designing educational websites on subjects as diverse as handheld learning experiences, via Antiguan racer snakes, through space science to the mummification process of ancient Egyptians.


I left at-Bristol and was appointed as the Director of the Western Colleges Consortium,

WCC Logo

A group of colleges in the county formerly known as Avon who shared a common learning platform, we called the Virtual Campus.

This was the year I was introduced to JISC through the Regional Support Centre South West and was asked to sit on their steering group.


Bought a G4 PowerBook this was the machine that converted me to the Mac platform.


Went to Bristol Zoo and too a photograph of a meerkat.

Bought a G5 PowerMac, now that was one powerful computer (for the time)

Went to the ALT Conference in Sheffield, was very disappointed.


I started blogging, though I had been doing websites since 1997.


Following mergers and migration to other platforms, the Western Colleges Consortium was planned to be dissolved, so I was looking for another job. I got the position of ILT & Learning Resources Manager, Gloucestershire College 

As well as e-learning, suddenly I was in charge of two libraries.

Went to the ALT Conference in Edinburgh and was one of the few people to use the conference wiki.


Started my e-Learning Stuff blog.

Joined Twitter.

Published the first of the 100 ways to use a VLE blog posts.

We secured some funding from the Learning and Skills Network (LSN) to do some research on mobile learning as part of MoLeNET (Mobile Learning Network).

At the ALT Conference we “discovered” blogging.


Of all the years I could attend the International mLearn conference was the year it was held in Dudley.

Published the first e-Learning Stuff Podcast.


I bought a Pogo printer.

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

At the ALT Conference was one of the main organisers and one of the panellists for the VLE is Dead debate. This session was so popular there was no room left in the room, it was packed, loads of people standing and we live streamed it as well.

This was the year I won the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year award.

In October I was at the ULCC Event, The Future of Technology in Education. I did a presentation called The Future of Learning. Little did I know the impact that this presentation would have on me, my future career and education in general. I felt a little intimidated to be invited to talk at the event, we wouldn’t have called it imposter syndrome back then, but I did wonder if I was the right person to talk at such an interesting conference. I spent a fair bit of time putting my presentation together, in the end it comprised 82 slides… and I only had twenty minutes to deliver my talk. A challenge that took some doing.

Appeared on Radio 4 talking about Facebook and impact on student retention.

I presented a keynote at the ASCILITE 2009 Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.


I delivered the keynote at EdTech 2010, at the 10th Annual Irish Learning Technology Association Conference.

I spoke at FOTE 10 about the future of reading, which resulted in me doing much more in the e-book space.


One of the things I really wanted to do at the ALT Conference was provide a video back channel. At this point many people were using the Twitter for a social media back channel, but with the live streaming of the keynotes and invited speakers, I felt that what ALT could do with was an informal backstage channel of behind the scenes interviews, follow up interviews with the keynote speakers and delegates. If you have ever watched Glastonbury, T4 on the beach or the Olympics, what I was trying to achieve was that back stage room with interviews, thought pieces and discussion. What the end result was ALT-C Live beta which for me will always be ALT Clive! 

ALT Live Beta at ALT-C 2011


Did an invited speaker session at the ALT Conference on tablets (and iPads).

Wrote and published a book, Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of Ebooks in Education.

As ebooks become mainstream and the percentage of academic publications delivered as ebooks rises steadily, this book is a primer to help academic librarians, managers and members of faculty prepare for the increasing adoption and use of ebooks in education. Specifically, this report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebook technologies; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future.


Got invited to apply for the position of Group Director of Learning Technologies and CIO at Activate Learning.

This was a senior management position with a real focus on IT, systems, learning resources and e-learning.


I presented at the FOTE 14 conference about the conflict between IT and e-Learning using a Star Wars theme.

It was a pity that this was to be the final FOTE.


Commuting to Oxford everyday was a pain and for that and various other reasons I left and joined Jisc as a Project Manager to work on digital capabilities. I had worked with Jisc for many years so was interesting to now work for them.

With Lawrie Phipps I jointly ran the Jisc Digital Leaders Programme pilots across FE and HE, across two residential in the heart of Bristol.


I delivered  one of the three keynotes at LILAC. LILAC is the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference and in 2016 took place in Dublin.

I delivered the keynote at the UCISA event on digital capabilities in Austin Court, Birmingham as part of Spotlight on Digital Capabilities.


At the CILIP Conference in Manchester, I  delivered a high level briefing session on technology, specifically looking at the intelligent library within the intelligent campus space. 

Got much more heavily into sketch noting on the iPad.


On the 26th January I was part of a panel discussing the Smart Campus at the BeTT Conference at the Excel Centre in London.

It was with a little trepidation on the 27th September I stood on the stage at the 48em ADBU Congrès to deliver a keynote on the intelligent campus and the student experience. The audience were all French library professionals attending the Congress. I delivered my presentation in English, and for those who needed it a translation service was available.

I even managed to get a few minutes in Paris.


Got new position at Jisc as Head of Higher Education Teaching and Learning and Student Experience.

On the 2nd April I spoke about the Intelligent Science Park at the UKSPA conference at the University of Birmingham.


On the 10th July I delivered an online keynote presentation at the University of Hertfordshire’s Teaching and Learning Conference.

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

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