Tag Archives: glasgow

It was a really BIG Crane – Weeknote #246 – 17th November 2023

I spent the best part of the week in Glasgow where I was attending and presenting at Learning Places Scotland 2023. Next to the Scottish Event Campus Centre is the huge, okay BIG Finnieston Crane, which I walked past every time I went from my hotel to the conference centre and back again.

It was an interesting conference, though the focus was very much on schools and from the nature of the exhibitors, furniture.

My presentation was in a session on sustainability, and for me specifically on building the intelligent campus.

Universities and colleges spend billions on their campuses, yet they are frequently underutilised and are often a frustrating experience for students. In this session, James Clay will describe the campus of the future. How does a traditional campus become a smart campus? What are the steps to make a smart campus, an intelligent campus? The intelligent campus builds on the smart campus concept and aims to find effective ways to use data gathered from the physical estate and combine it with learning and student data from student records, library systems, the virtual learning environment (VLE) and other digital systems. This session will describe what data can be gathered, how it can be measured and explore the potential for enhancing the student experience, achieving net zero, improve efficiency, and space utilisation. It will demonstrate and explain to the delegates what the exciting future of the intelligent campus. James will also ask delegates to consider the ethical issues when implementing an intelligent campus as well as the legal requirements.

I was supposed to attend a pre-conference planning call, however my flight up to Glasgow was delayed by over ninety minutes, so the call took place whilst I was in the air. We eventually did the meeting in person over coffee.

I had various conversations with key SFC stakeholders, Jisc colleagues at the Learning Places Scotland 2023 conference. This kind of informal ad hoc conversation is much harder to undertake in an online conference, not impossible, just harder, or just different. In the past at an online conference I would probably have had these informal conversations on the Twitter. As I have now stopped using Twitter (or X) and though Threads and Bluesky are spaces I frequent now, they don’t yet have reached an optimal size as a viable community for online conferences.

Thursday, I had originally planned to be in our Bristol office for a meeting with the Office for Students. However last week the decision was made to have the meeting online, so I worked from home and attended the meeting online.

On Friday we had another meeting of our Research Evidence Advisory Group at Jisc. As more and more teams and staff across Jisc undertake and utilise research, we are ensuring that moving forward we have a more consistent way of working.

I had planned to attend the UCISA Enterprise Architecture: a culture, not a project webinar, but it clashed with my flight plans, but I now have access to a recording, which I aim to visit next week.

Did some preparation for Leadership Masterclass – Operationalising your Strategic Vision which I am delivering next week.

One reason why Twitter will eventually wither and die – Weeknote #194 – 18th November 2022


Back in 2009 I wrote a blog post about the relatively new micro-blogging service called Twitter. Having seen the demise of many Web 2.0 services and social media platforms, I wrote a piece called Ten reasons why Twitter will eventually wither and die…

It is a fact known to all that use Web 2.0 tools and services that one day they will no longer be flavour of the month, or will be swamped by spam, cons and hustlers. We have just seen the death of Geocities and services such as Friendster and Friends Reunited are not once what they were.

The same will, one day happen to Twitter!

Though I didn’t have mad billionaire will take over Twitter and kill it…. in that list. So eleven reasons why…

Image by David Schwarzenberg from Pixabay

I wrote a blog post on moving to Mastodon. Going (back to) Mastodon reminds me of Twitter in 2009 when there was a similar level of new users starting to use that service. Back in 2008 I wrote this blog post about how I used the Twitter. I basically said Twitter was all about the coffee. You can say pretty much the same about Mastodon.

Over the week I continued to use Mastodon to see how others were using it, who was using it and what was being posted.

I was up in Scotland for the first half of this week. I had flown up from Bristol to the Learning Places Scotland conference in Glasgow, where I was delivering a presentation: How will the growth in online learning shape the future design of learning spaces and our campuses?

 The physicality of online learning is an issue that will impact on university campuses as we move to a blended and hybrid programmes containing elements of online and digital learning and physical in-person learning.  This session will explore the challenges that growth in blended learning will bring to learning spaces and the university campus. What is required for, in terms of space for online learning, but will also consider the implications of delivering online teaching as well. Examples will be given of what universities are doing today to meet these challenges. The session will reflect on a possible future maximising the use of our space as students have the flexibility to learn online, in-person and across a spectrum of blended and hybrid possibilities.

The highlight for me at the Learning Places Scotland exhibition and conference was a workshop with Dundee and Strathclyde universities about their (estates) work on Net Zero and how they are working to the Scottish Government net zero target of 2045. Though I always find it amusing how a one hour session advertised as a workshop at a conference is just someone talking at me for 55 minutes and then five minutes for questions. That is not a workshop. Just be honest.

Impressed with the excellent talks from the young people here at Learning Places Scotland 2022. Takes something to stand up in front of such a large group of delegates.

Exhibition and other sessions were very school focussed, which wasn’t too surprising. I didn’t see or meet many people from HE. Across the exhibition I noticed a lot of stands for wood and sustainable materials.   There was some useful content for a future Intelligent Campus community event.

I had considered taking the train, but with seven to eight hour train journey each way I decided to save time and fly (it was also cheaper). However, upon reflection, though at the other end it had taken just an hour from disembarking to arriving at my hotel, having collected baggage from the carousel, a bus to the heart of Glasgow, a walk to the railway station, a train to Exhibition Centre and then a walk to the hotel. The fact that for an 11:30 one hour flight I had left home three hours earlier, meant that the overall journey time was in excess of five hours for that one hour flight. I think the next time I head to Scotland I might take the train.

Due to a range of factors I actually flew back from Edinburgh. So I had caught the train from Glasgow to Edinburgh and then took the tram to the airport. Caught the train to Haymarket. I then caught the tram to the airport. I had been told before that the bus was faster than the tram. Well as the tram arrived at the tram stop, there was a bus to the airport stopping alongside. I made a mental note of the bus number plate. There was only standing room on the tram.

Having arrived at the airport, I noted that the bus was already there, and the driver had gone off for a cup of tea. So, I think next time I will travel from the airport to Edinburgh by bus. Though to be honest as I said before, I am thinking about taking the train to Scotland the next time I have to come up here.

I had a meeting to provide advice on some internal strategy development. We had an excellent discussion and I think I supported the team in the development of their strategic operational plan, ensuring it was aligned to the Jisc corporate strategy and the sector strategies, whilst ensuring it provided a focus on the needs of universities.

I have been reviewing Digifest submissions through the lens of the HE sector strategy. Looking like there will be some interesting sessions at the conference which takes place on the 7th and 8th March 2023.

I also spent some time reviewing outputs from Sector Agency Widening Participation and Data working groups workshop I had attended

My IFTTT Instagram connection stopped working and needed to be fixed, well how else will my Instagram photographs of coffee get from there to Twitter.

I am still having issues with my MacBook doing “something” having closed the lid and placed in my bag. It seems to be still running even the lid is closed.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Goodbye Castlepark – Weeknote #39 – 29th November 2019

Ramsay Garden in Edinburgh
Ramsay Garden in Edinburgh

It was a much busier week this time, with a lot more travelling, including trams, planes, trains, buses, cars and walking. At least the weather wasn’t too bad, but there was certainly some rain and wind about.

University of South Wales
University of South Wales

Monday I was in Wales for one of Jisc’s Stakeholder Forums. It was interesting to talk to colleagues form universities and colleges about how they felt about Jisc and the services we provide them. I really enjoyed the session delivered by my colleague on big challenges and co-design and on my table we had a really insightful and interesting discussion about  a Netflix style model for education.

Landed at Edinburgh Airport
Landed at Edinburgh Airport

Tuesday I was off to Scotland, staying overnight in Edinburgh, before heading off to Glasgow for a meeting with QAA Scotland. Continue reading Goodbye Castlepark – Weeknote #39 – 29th November 2019