Monday I was off to London for a discussion about the Education 4.0 Roadmap I have been working on. I am having meetings with colleagues from various universities about their thoughts and feedback on the roadmap. Initial feedback has been positive and that the initial concept is on the right lines and could be useful for the sector.
After that meeting I headed off to our London office for some ad hoc meetings and working on the programme for Data Matters 2020.
On the train home I read this article from Wired Magazine, How Slack ruined work.
It was heralded as the product that would kill internal email chains. Instead, it’s changed how we behave while in the office
This does article does echo some of the feelings I have about IM style platforms (not just Slack, but also Teams and other platforms), that they can be a distraction if used badly. Slack doesn’t solve the problem of “doing e-mail” versus “work” as it is merely a platform and can replace e-mail, but doesn’t solve the problem of distraction of e-mail.
There were a couple of articles on grade inflation that caught my eye this week:
Universities UK (UUK) is asking higher education providers to take part in an online survey about their use of degree algorithms in an attempt to reduce the number of top-class degrees.The new survey will shed light on how degree classifications are decided. It is the latest stage in a sector-wide initiative led by UUK to tackle grade inflation and the perception that degrees are ‘dumbing down’.
The sharp increase in university students in the UK getting top degree grades seems to have stalled, according to annual official figures. It follows warnings from ministers of the need to prevent “grade inflation” devaluing degrees.
During the same period they asked universities to improve the quality of their teaching and learning which may have resulted in “higher” grades across the board. Many of the “unexplained” increased in grades were when some universities decided to align themselves with how other universities were grading their degrees.
It can be challenging to balance the need to improve the quality of education, and not to be seen to be dumbing down in the same breath.
Next week is Bett in London. My first Bett Conference was in 2000 and then I didn’t go again until 2007
Ten years ago I blogged that I wasn’t going to Bett in 2010.
I have been to BETT twice in my life and that was two times too many!
I had good reasons for not going.
The reason why I won’t be going is that the focus of BETT is too much on the technology rather than what people do with it. It is much more an event based on educational technology suppliers than educators using technology. It is this reason that I won’t be going.
Since then, though the focus is still on educational technology, there was more about how people were using technology.
I was kind of forced to go in 2013, partly against my will, but did see some interesting stuff. With a change in role I did go again in 2014 and saw a lovely VW Bus.
I know I went again in 2015, but then missed 2016, but did go in 2017, mainly for a team meeting, but due to train issues saw very little of the show itself!
I actually presented at BETT in 2018 on the Intelligent Campus, which was fun, but a little bit of a logistical nightmare, as I was in Leicester at the time running the Digital Leaders Programme, so I had to leave Leicester at lunchtime, catch a train to London, make my way across to the Excel Centre, before heading home, by way of Leicester again to collect my car.
Thursday I was travelling to Cheltenham for a meeting with a colleague. We recently merged with part of HESA and so we now have an office in Cheltenham where the former HESA, now Jisc, staff work. I worked in this area for seven years when I worked for Gloucestershire College, which had a campus in Cheltenham. Well though I was regularly in Cheltenham, two to three times a week, the campus was in the suburbs of Cheltenham (close to GCHQ) so I rarely if ever went into the heart of Cheltenham. So though familiar, it wasn’t that familiar.
Friday was another trip to London for a meeting between key staff from the University of Sussex and Jisc. We discussed a range of subjects and topics including the intelligent campus and intelligent libraries.
My top tweet this week was this one.
The importance of dull technology – eLearning Stuff https://t.co/LukOEehxqd
— James Clay (@jamesclay) January 10, 2020