I spent most of the week in our Bristol office. I had my regular monthly catch-up with my line manager.
Booked myself onto the WonkHE Festival of Higher Education which is taking place in November.
Started working on a presentation for a forthcoming event that is taking place later in July.
Reviewed a report on HE challenges, well actually just reviewed a section about some work I had done.
Had a meeting with Sarah Dunne on their work on AI and Libraries.
Said goodbye to Andy McGregor, who is leaving Jisc. I worked closely with Andy on the Intelligent Campus.
Spent time going through usage of our Dovetail licences, checking who still needed a licence and who didn’t.
Read through the Trend Report Future Campus from SURF.
What might the physical and virtual campus of vocational education and higher education look like in 2040? That is the central question of the SURF project ‘Future Campus’. The focus is on the Netherlands, specifically education (research is out of scope). This project brings together teachers, students, and experts at the national level who are involved in campus development from various perspectives. In collaboration with them, SURF is working towards different future scenarios, which are expected to be presented by the end of 2023.
Friday I went to Gloucester to shoot some video for a presentation I am doing at ALT-C in September.
My top tweet this week was this one.
I always say I saw Star Wars at the cinema when it came out in 1977.
I was wrong.
Though Star Wars was released in the US in May 1977, it didn't premiere in the UK until 27th December 1977.
In the world of the intelligent campus I wrote a student story to illustrate and add a personal touch of what the intelligent campus could mean for the student experience.
The bus arrived at the campus and Leda got off, she checked her app and started to walk to her first lecture. As she passed one of the campus coffee shops she was sent a notification that three of her friends from the course were in there, so she checked the time, she had the time, popped in and found her friends. Her app let her know that she had enough loyalty points for a free coffee, well why not, Leda thought to herself. She could check if there were any additional resources for the lectures today.
Dom Pates did a similar thing using ChatGPT to write a story.
As the day wore on, Marcel attended a variety of classes and workshops, each designed to challenge and inspire him. The smart campus was constantly adapting to his preferences and needs, and he felt like he was learning more in a day than he had in a week at his old university.
I have recently been using Bard for various things, so I thought I would get it to write me a story, using the same prompt that Dom used.
Write a short story in the style of speculative fiction about a university student who spends a day on a smart or intelligent campus some time in the future. Ensure that the campus is designed to address issues around sustainability and data privacy, yet is responsive to the student in a personalised (but not creepy) way. Ensure that the student is studying a course for a future-focused job, and that the campus is actually a desirable and ethically-designed environment. Make the short story go through different stages of the day, and comes to approximately 1,500 words in total. Include an ethical quandary that the central character faces during the course of their day.
This was the result.
The year is 2042. University student Anya wakes up in her dorm room, which is located in a smart campus that is designed to address issues around sustainability and data privacy. The campus uses solar panels to generate electricity, and it has a rainwater collection system that provides water for irrigation and flushing toilets. The campus also has a sophisticated data privacy system that protects students’ personal information.
Anya gets out of bed and walks over to her desk. Her computer screen lights up as she approaches, and a personalized greeting appears. The computer knows Anya’s name, her major, and her class schedule. It also knows her preferences for learning style and study environment.
Anya opens her textbook and starts reading. The computer automatically highlights the important passages and provides links to additional resources. Anya can also ask the computer questions about the material, and the computer will provide answers or generate practice problems.
After a few hours of studying, Anya takes a break. She walks over to the window and looks out at the campus. The buildings are all connected by a network of walkways and bike paths. There are solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles, and there are even a few self-driving cars that students can use to get around.
Anya decides to go for a walk. She walks through the quad, which is filled with students studying, chatting, and playing games. She walks past the library, the student union, and the gym. She even stops by the campus coffee shop for a cup of coffee.
As Anya walks, she thinks about her future. She is studying to be a data scientist, and she knows that she will be working with a lot of personal data. She is concerned about the ethical implications of her work, and she wants to make sure that she uses data in a responsible way.
Anya arrives at her next class, which is on artificial intelligence. The professor is talking about the potential for AI to be used for good or evil. Anya thinks about the ethical quandary she is facing, and she wonders how she will use her skills to make a positive impact on the world.
After class, Anya goes back to her dorm room. She logs onto her computer and starts working on a project for her data science class. She is using a dataset of social media posts to track the spread of misinformation. She wants to find out how to identify and counter misinformation before it can cause harm.
Anya works on her project for several hours. She is exhausted, but she is also excited about the potential of her work. She knows that she is making a difference, and she is confident that she is using her skills in a way that is ethical and responsible.
Anya goes to bed, knowing that she has made a good use of her day. She is confident that she is on the right track to a future-focused job that will allow her to use her skills to make a positive impact on the world.
I think this is an interesting interpretation of the prompt. I also think that much of what is mentioned or discussed is already here, or will be here in the next five years. What will the campus of 2042 look like, I think it will be very different to this story.
It was a really hot week this week again, weather wise again.
For the third week in a row, I was back in London. I also went to the Bristol office for a couple of days as well.
This time I was in London for the Intelligent Library session I was running. It was nice to focus in a specific use case for the Intelligent Campus looking at the use of data in the library. This workshop demonstrated that there is a real demand for support and help in this space. There are opportunities for more advanced Proof of Concepts, advice and guidance, vision and inspiration, and potential consultancy and training opportunities.
What was shown of value was the range of use cases for stimulating discussion and debate. We have published use cases for the intelligent campus; however, we never published the intelligent library use cases. I did create a series of use cases for various conference sessions I delivered. Something for next year, the key question is where? Also demand for a toolkit to support the use of use cases for both areas.
Working through notes and output captures across the various workshops over the last few weeks. The one consistent across these workshops (internal and external) was that the technical hurdles to the smart or intelligent campus (or library) are relatively simple and easy to deliver on. The challenge is the “so what”. How do institutions exploit the narrative the data is telling them. How does data informed decision making actually work in practice. Something to reflect and think about.
I visited our Harwell office as I returned from London. I often visit our other offices to work, partly for the change in routine, but also to meet other staff and be available for conversations about our HE strategy work.
Spent time developing and working on a new DPS document for student experience, to enable Jisc to utilise external expertise in our work.
Continued my research and analysis on personalisation.
Spent time working through my notes and image captures across the intelligent campus, intelligent library, and smart campus events and inputting them into our research analysis tool Dovetail.
I had my Senior Education and Student Experience Group meeting. Originally, I planned to have the meeting in Scotland, but in the end we had an online meeting.
Was in London for park of the week, where I attended Cisco and PTS The Smarter Campus event in Chancery Lane.
This event demonstrated that there is a real demand for support and help in this space. There are opportunities for more advanced Proof of Concepts, advice and guidance, vision and inspiration, and potential consultancy and training opportunities.
Went through my risks in the risk register and assessed them in light of recent changes.
I went through and updated and finalised my ALT-C submission.
Attended a few finance meetings.
Spent time planning and organising the Intelligent Library community event, which is now full, for next week, it’s taking place in London.
A full week back working after a week off. I nearly wrote a full week back in the office, but these days I rarely am physically in the office for the whole week.
Of course, the first day back was spent dealing with the bundle of email in my inbox. Though I use this approach to deal with my email, I also plan my work and communication, so that when I do get back from leave there is generally nothing urgent or critical to deal with. However, I did have one critical thing to do which was contribute a board report. As I have a range of smart objectives, use of JIRA, and these weeknotes, it was relatively simple to put a report together.
My submission for ALT-C this autumn was accepted. This is the first time since 2017 that I have presented at the conference. I didn’t submit a session in 2018, I didn’t attend in 2019, the conference was cancelled in 2020, it was online in 2021, I did attend in 2022. At this point the only thing I will say is that the session is not about dead VLEs.
I was totally impressed with Apple’s new Vision Pro, and totally disappointed that it will be US only in the first instance!
The more I hear and read about the Vision Pro, the more I am intrigued and impressed. Will it be a game changer? Don’t know, but I do see it more as a (remote) individual technology compared to say a class set of iPads.
I’ve blogged about AR quite a bit over the years, this post was 13 years ago in 2010. What I think Apple’s Vision Pro will do (in the future when it is cheaper) is make this a more engaging AR interaction. The key, will it be *better* than a flat screen?
Agreed with this comment from Alex Lindsay on the Twitter about the WWDC keynote.
The event video was so great… I can’t go back to watching stage events. The era of the “Keynote” has less than 3 years left before it’s gone everywhere.
Discovered Freeform for the Mac and the iPad. It looks like a great planning tool, I did wonder if it would be useful for sketch notes, it could be, but it is missing many of the functions that I use in Paper by WeTransfer.
Spent time organising the final Senior Education and Student Experience Group meeting for this year, which takes place next week. Originally planned to be in Scotland, it will not be happening online.
Did some work organising and planning Intelligent Library community event for the 21st June, which is now pretty much full, which is nice.
Got some feedback from the Intelligent Campus Community Event I ran a couple of weeks back. There was 100% satisfaction with over 66% very satisfied.
Small group forum worked well, good space for interactions, right duration.
Had an excellent meeting with a University about their current work in the smart and intelligent campus space. It was really refreshing to see an institution actually delivering on the theoretical and vision concepts we imagined in this space five years ago.
The thing that we keep confusing is that accessibility is not the same thing as inclusion. In reality, we have not moved beyond the traditional concept of accessibility, something that is measurable, something we can benchmark, such as web accessibility “regulations” to a broader notion of inclusion. Accessibility has been a crucial stepping stone in creating environments that accommodate individuals with disabilities, but its language and approach can sometimes inadvertently complicate the goal of achieving true inclusion.
Talking about with a colleague about physical spaces, we discussed how ramps can make a building accessible, but doesn’t mean that the building is inclusive.
I was supporting colleagues interviewing for a position within their team. I haven’t done interviewing for a while now, so was an interesting experience.
There was quite a bit happening in the intelligent campus space this week. On Wednesday I was running the Intelligent Campus Community Event in London. Over 15 delegates attended the event, and there was lots of positive feedback.
Just wanted to say thanks for running that event yesterday – I thought it was very useful, also I was glad to make some new friends with similar interests! You did a great job on running it!
On the same day, the Building the future intelligent library guide published on the web – bringing together existing systems with innovative applications to improve learning, support the research lifecycle, enhance physical environments, and maximise resources.
To support the guide an Intelligent Library blog post published on the Jisc blog – Libraries are the beating heart of every university and full of staff who are often proponents of digital-first thinking; so, they could take a leading role in exploring these exciting new avenues – deciding which technologies to adopt, how and why.
On the same day as the Intelligent Campus Community Event I was also delivering a presentation for the Advancing Blended Learning in Higher Education Event. I did a pre-recorded video for the event which was running at the same time as the community event.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for being part of the event yesterday. Thanks for preparing such an engaging video. It was a really great addition to the event.
Spent some time trying to resolve internal and external problems registering for ILTA EdTech Conference in Dublin next week, having had a paper accepted. The end result was, no resolution and no time, so had to withdraw my paper from the conference. The main problem for me was the short window from having my paper accepted and the date of the actual conference itself.
Have been writing up notes from the personalisation workshops I have been running over the last two weeks. Analysing content from workshops and formulating plan and next steps.
Started writing up notes from the intelligent campus community event as well.
Caught this tweet from Lawrie and responded with a GIF.
People have enough trouble having a shared understanding of terms such as hybrid we really don’t need to create new words such as phygital.
I have blogged about train wifi quite a bit in the past, I wrote this blog post in 2010.
I did wonder why CrossCountry Trains didn’t put in wifi as you find on the East Coast Main Line services and Virgin Trains Pendolino. Well it appears that providing wifi was part of their Franchise agreement with the Department of Transport. CrossCountry Trains was suppose to have wifi in place by November 11th 2009. They failed to meet this deadline!
I also asked about the lack of train wifi on First Great Western (now GWR).
My question though is much more, why isn’t there wifi on First Great Western services from the West Country to London and why wasn’t it in their franchise agreement? I travel with First Great Western much more than I do CrossCountry and would really like it if they had wifi.
Rail users could lose access to wi-fi on trains in England as part of cost cuts after the government said it was a low priority for passengers. The Department for Transport says cost pressures mean it will review whether the current wi-fi service “delivers the best possible value for money”.
Most times I travel by train these days I am more likely to use my own 4G or 5G connection as I still find train wifi unreliable. However I still think it should be on trains for those that don’t have their mobile connectivity.
A question for you to ponder this week.
What do you think is the difference between adaptive learning and responsive learning?
My top tweet this week was this one.
A1 #LTHEChat I was the IT Education Officer for a hands on science centre in Bristol and did more than just IT. One day I would be talking about urban regeneration to a local history group, the next I would be doing mummification with five year olds. pic.twitter.com/9qui50iqcx
A normal length week! What’s that all about then? A full week next week as well… Well at least the week after that we have another short week.
I reviewed the communication plan Intelligent Campus and Intelligent Library, as well as guides, there will be supporting blog posts and events. I wrote a draft blog post for the comms team.
I ran two personalisation workshops this week. One was a shorter online workshop, the second was an all day workshop in Bristol. In the first instance we were running the internal personalisation workshops to explore the following:
What do we mean and understand about personalisation?
What does personalisation mean in higher education?
What help and support do our higher education members need to deliver on personalised learning and the personalisation of the student experience?
What help and support can Jisc provide to our members in this space?
What was the past work Jisc has done in this space, what is the current work, and what future work is planned?
Following the workshops I spent some time writing up the notes.
On the 24th May I am running an Intelligent Campus Community Event in London. I spent some time planning and organising the event.
Also on the 24th I am presenting at an online event, Advancing Blended Learning in Higher Education. For that event I am doing a pre-recorded video, I spent time planning, recording and editing the video. I would like to have spent more time on this, but realised I needed more people to get the effect and impact I wanted.
#ALTC2016 was my first annual conference. It was held at the University of Warwick in September 2016. While I had been working in HE in IT Training and learning technology roles for ~6 years, I was not aware of ALT or the conference. My colleague introduced me to ALT and it remains a surprise (and source of shame) to me, all these years later, that I had not heard of the organisation at any of my previous institutions.
My first ALT conference was twenty years ago in 2003. I wrote about it in this blog post reflecting on my own ALT-C experiences.
The first Association for Learning Technology Conference (#altc) I attended was in 2003 in Sheffield. ALT was ten years old by now and well established in the world of what we called e-learning back then in the higher education sector, less so in further education. I was in the middle of a project called FAIR Enough part of the JISC FAIR programme and had been asked to deliver a short session on the issues of copyright that we had found as part of the project on sharing resources across our college consortium.
Alas my memory of the conference was one of disappointment, I found it overwhelming, very clique, way too much happening and spread too far across the Sheffield campus, lots of walking. Oh and the conference dinner In the Town Hall was a something of a disappointment.
I didn’t know many people and it was “quite hard” to get to know people without dropping into conversations over coffee, which can be challenging. What I did learn from this is this how other people, new to ALT-C must feel?
Pleased to see that my ILTA EdTech Conference submission was accepted.
Why does no one care about my digital strategy?
The pandemic gave universities challenges and required creative thinking to provide solutions. Universities have needed to act at pace and scale with restrictions. Digital gained more prominence during the emergency response. Now the question is what role will digital play in the post-pandemic strategic priorities of the university?
There are two key questions facing universities?
Does the strategy still meet the needs of the university in a changing and uncertain landscape?
What is the role of digital in the strategic aspirations of universities?
The digital lens approach can enable effective and transformational behaviours. There is a history of people talking about applying a lens to challenges, to look at things differently. (Phipps and Clay 2018) To give a different perspective on what has been written or talked about.
In this session we will reflect on the various ways in which universities can respond to these questions, you may want to create new strategic priorities, which reflect the new landscape in which universities will operate. Some universities will want to consider creating a digital strategy, or giving their existing one a major overhaul.
Another quarter goes pass that means another review meeting, so I did the paperwork last week, these blog posts are very useful for that.
It was with minimal disappointment to read in my inbox this from IFTTT.
Starting on May 23, all free users will be limited to 2 Applets and unable to access Twitter Applets. We hope you understand this change is designed to help us support our community and continue to focus on improving IFTTT. To ensure that your existing Applets continue without interruption, consider upgrading to Pro or manage your Applets via My Applets.
Though I like IFTTT I don’t use it enough to justify paying for it. So, expect less photos in my Twitter stream form May 23rd.
The pandemic changed the whole concept of the campus. From being a physical hub for staff and students, the campus is becoming more of a platform for extending teaching and learning. As a consequence, the importance of data analytics to enhance the learner experience is increasing.
I was in London this week running a personalisation workshop. I spent some time this week planning and organising the workshop. I decided to go for an open and conversational approach to the workshop. We did ramble now and then, but I got some real insights into what some colleagues think and feel about personalisation.
I was reviewing another draft of the Intelligent Library guide. This was originally written a few years ago, but last year we did some additional research and updated the guide. Even to I had to research some broken links and sources for the guide. It’s at times like this that I wish I had a date based search engine that could search like it was the past, so, search the web as though it was 2013.
I have been planning and writing Intelligent Library blogpost to supplement the publication of the guide.
On the 24th May I am running an Intelligent Campus community Event looking at the guide and providing feedback on what Jisc should do next.
This community of practice gives people a chance to network, share practice and hear what various institutions are doing. You will have the opportunity to discover more about intelligent campus projects and our work in this space. The focus of this community event will be where do we go next? You can read the new guide to the intelligent campus and reflect on your own journey in this space, and where you feel we can provide help and support. This will be an opportunity to discover more about the history of our past and current work in the intelligent campus space as well as hear from others about their work on this exciting topic. People working in the area of the intelligent campus who have an interest in the work being undertaken in this space.
Publishing an intro to generative AI is a challenge as things are moving so quickly. However, we think things have now settled down enough for us to bring together information in a single place, to create a short primer. We aim to publish this as a more formal guide that will be updated regularly, but we are posting an initial version as a blog post to get feedback on whether it is useful and if there is other information you would like included.
Given some of the recent media coverage of the rise of generative AI and its potential impact on universities, especially around assessment and academic misconduct, it would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that university leaders are running scared in the face of ChatGPT. However, when the Jisc-Emerge HE edtech board of higher education leaders met recently to discuss the potential and pitfalls of generative AI, instead of a discussion about the assessment arms race, there was real curiosity and enthusiasm to explore the potential of the technology and what it holds for universities and students.
I am more than likely going to attend ALT-C this September. I read this update from the conference co-chairs.
Many of you who engaged with us in putting in proposals will have noticed we avoided using terms such as digital transformation, and digital strategy. This is because even though we know that staff at the conference will undoubtedly influence and shape those things, we wanted to use the conference to take a step back and recognise that we can not build strategies and roadmaps without first understanding the topography of the digital landscape and the people it will affect. That landscape is still being carved, by the unyielding forces of things like generative AI, political pressures and ideologies, and even social justice, and climate change, which are forcing us to rethink our relationship to educational technology.