A busy and unbusy week, in the sense, fewer events and meetings in my diary, but lots of things to get done.
According to a BBC report, digital cameras back in fashion after online revival.
Digital cameras from the early 2000s are becoming must-have gadgets for many young people because of a burgeoning trend online. And in the past 12 months, videos with the hashtag #digitalcamera have amassed more than 220 million views on TikTok.
…and to think I still consider this *new* technology!
One of my favourite photographs. Taken with a Sony Cybershot Digital Camera in 2004.
On Tuesday I headed off to the Bristol office by train. My usual train use to be a GWR Castle class HST train, but today it had been replaced by one of the newer GWR Intercity Express Trains (IET). I believe that the HSTs on GWR are being slowly withdrawn from the services they currently do as they are expensive to run, and also produce more emissions than the IETs.
Attended an Intelligent Campus guide launch and engagement planning meeting. We reviewed the complementary materials to go alongside the launch of the second edition of the Guide to the Intelligent Campus. We clarified that this was not a big launch. Also discussed potential sessions for Networkshop on the foundations required for the Intelligent Campus. I am doing a fireside chat at Digifest in March, and we will launch the guide there. I spent some time reviewing and proofing the Guide to the Intelligent Campus.
Had an interesting conversation in our office on issues around the concept of the Intelligent Campus including security of IoT devices and smart devices. There are lots of smart devices out there, and across many institutions, people are plugging them into the network, without necessarily thinking about the security implications. I am reminded of the chaos caused when a series of soda vending machines and lamp posts hijacked the network of an American university. In my own home I have a smart washing machine, have I attached it to my network, no I have not.
So Bard got one of its facts wrong on its public debut. It looked plausible so nobody at Google checked it. It was immediately obvious to an expert in the field.
The world of AI-generated text in nutshell.https://t.co/C872sRbbAn,
— Michael Webb (@michaeldwebb) February 9, 2023
Google’s AI search bot Bard made a $120bn error on day one. This does demonstrate that we are at early days with AI supported search. Also, this week Microsoft added AI search to Bing. This will make it easier and simpler for students to utilise AI when making (internet) searches for content related to their studies. I do think we need to start thinking about both academics and students understanding these tools, and the potential of these tools and what it means for teaching and learning. The essence of assessment is something else that will need to be rethought.
Read this article Block teaching advocates team up after ‘explosion’ of interest.
Advocates of “block teaching” are teaming up in an attempt to hasten its adoption by universities worldwide.
This isn’t new, as the article says, it has been around for fifty years.
Read this tweet responding to the article
However in other cases students do need time to build up their understanding & the conventional approach enables this. Unfortunately unis’ timetabling & other admin systems don’t handle a blend of conversational & block teaching v easily 2/2
— Martin Rich (@MartinRich106) February 6, 2023
I have to agree that this isn’t a one or the other situation, it’s about doing both, a spectrum of teaching. Back in the day when I was teaching at City of Bristol College (in the 1990s) we designed a GNVQ programme that was a combination of block and linear, for those very reasons. Some areas benefited from a deep dive and others were about building knowledge and skills over time. We had to design the whole programme to then fit the timetable. The main challenge was that we couldn’t devote one person to deliver each subject block, so we shared the teaching. The students had block learning, we had linear timetabled teaching.
Booking events and conferences for April. I am attending the UCISA Spotlight 2023 and LILAC 2023. Various issues with the LILAC booking, so had to redo the whole purchase order process for this conference. Spotlight 2023 is in Leeds, so will be nice to be back there. The last time I was in Leeds, was in January 2020 just before the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Also booked into an online event, UCISA Starting the year on the right foot happening next week.
Sent out information on next Senior Education and Student Experience to members of the group, and inviting new members to the group. The group in the main consists of PVCs in the Education and Student Experience space, but also has some DVCs and VCs (or equivalent) on the group as well.
On Thursday I attended a technology for teaching discussion meeting with the Department for Education. It reminded me that a research informed evidence base is critical for many conversations in this space.
IFTTT let me know that changes to the Twitter API means that some of my IFTTT applets will probably stop working.
Starting Monday, February 13th, 2023, Twitter will no longer support free access to their API. As a result, we expect that any Applet that connects with Twitter will stop working.
I am mainly using IFTTT at the moment to post native images from Instagram to Twitter. However in the past I have used IFTTT to collate tweets to specific hashtags.
We’ve not seen the complete collapse of Twitter as many were predicting a few weeks back, but we have seen problems this week and many other issues as well. I am still using Twitter, but also drop in on Mastodon as well.
Most Kipling cakes come in sixes. Why do the Battenberg cakes only have five in the box? Is someone at the Kipling factory eating that extra Battenberg cake?
My top tweet this week was this one.
— James Clay (@jamesclay) February 3, 2023