Tag Archives: the blended learning in higher education conference

Tulips from Amsterdam – Weeknote #241 – 13th October 2023

This week was all about Amsterdam, where I was attending the EDUTech conference at the Amsterdam RAI.

However, on Monday I was in our Bristol office. I had a planning catch up meeting about prospective communications and publications.

Tuesday I was off to Amsterdam. Having arrived and parked at Bristol Airport I had time for a coffee before boarding.

It was quite a quick flight, by the time we reached the Suffolk coast, we started our descent into Amsterdam. Having disembarked, I headed to passport control. There was a huge queue. Schiphol Airport had free WiFi, so I could use that in the airport whilst I had a long wait to get through passport control. Took over 90 minutes to get from the plane, through passport control, pick up my suitcase and then I could head to the railway station. It wasn’t long before I was at my hotel next to the RAI conference centre.

Following some issues with roaming in Spain in 2022 I have been a little concerned about travelling abroad and if I would have connectivity issues. However this time I had no issues.

The EDUTech Europe 2023 conference was over two days and covered a range of topics and subjects, but as you might have guessed AI was certainly up there being discussed across a range of sessions. As well as covering higher education, the conference also covers the schools sector, but the interactive programme made it very easy to filter out those sessions, so I could focus on the higher education topics.

I had been invited to participate in the Smart Campus panel session at EDUTech Europe 2023.

I had proposed that in the discussion I would chat about the following.

How do we move from a smart campus to a smarter or intelligent campus? Bringing in more data sources to get deeper insights and understanding.

What are the ethical and privacy considerations we need to be aware of before building a smart campus? Do we need to consider algorithmic bias in our planning?

A campus does not exist in isolation, how could we integrate the smart campus into the smart city (or smart community).

Across the rest of the day there were a range of sessions, I focused a lot on digital leadership. It was interesting to see the reliance on champions to deliver change. My own experience has shown that though champions can have an impact, generally the process of using enthusiasm to deliver effective change is inconsistent, and if you want to deliver holistic change across a whole organisation, then the use of enthusiastic champions generally won’t result in that change happening. Of course using champions as part of a portfolio of change levers, is certainly something that can work.

Thursday morning I attended HEAnet Group Advisory Forum via Teams. We discussed the HEAnet strategy as well as other topics related to technology and higher education in Ireland.

On Thursday I was invited to participate in the Assessment panel session at EDUTech Europe 2023, after someone had dropped out. This was an interesting session looking at the role of assessment.

Had a good discussion with a delegate from the University of Birmingham at the EDUTech Europe 2023, on various topics and issues. Have agreed to visit University of Birmingham.

Had an informative chat with a Principal Lecturer from Sheffield Hallam University on various topics and issues including smart campus and learning analytics.

Got some nice feedback from EDUTech Europe 2023:

I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for your invaluable contribution as a speaker to EDUtech Europe 2023. Your expertise and insights added immense value to our event. The feedback we received from our attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and your knowledge and passion resonated with the audience. We look forward to the possibility of working with you again in the future.

On Friday I attended Jisc’s Research Evidence Advisory Group meeting. As we discussed research at Jisc I realised there were some key ways in which I interact with research. It started initially as three Cs, but by the end of the meeting this had grown to six.

Consumption – in my role I consume research by others, both internally and external research. Having access to that research is critical to the work I do.

Creation – I also create research, sometimes this is for projects, other times it has been for consultancy, and now and then for publication or for events.

Communication – It is important that research undertaken by Jisc is communicated internally and externally.

Community – I want to be part of the internal (to Jisc) research community, but also to be part of the external research community

Credibility – When we do research, it adds credibility to what we say and recommend. Having the evidence (gained from research) gives us the credibility we need when talking to the sector.

Co-ordination – It’s important to avoid duplication, or repetition; that we co-ordinate our activities.

Got some nice feedback from The Blended Learning in HE Conference I presented at last week.

I would like to thank you very much for speaking at The Blended Learning in HE Conference. We really appreciate the time and effort that you took in preparing to present at the event. Your address was well received by the delegates and the conference has already received some great feedback.

Did some initial organisation of Senior Education and Student Experience Group meetings, format and timings.

I spent much of the day travelling back from Amsterdam on Friday. Spent less time at passport control this time.

Preparation – Weeknote #240 – 6th October 2023

A lot of this week was about preparation for stuff I was doing this week and next week.

I prepared my presentation for The Blended Learning in Higher Education Conference. I didn’t use slides, but still wrote some prompts and notes to support my presentation. When presenting online, I now try and avoid using slides, and focus on just speaking to the camera. I do that partly, as my usual practice with slides of using images, doesn’t always translate well to an online presentation, and mainly, as other speakers use slides, and I want to be different to that, okay so I can stand out a little.

Later in the week I delivered my keynote for The Blended Learning in Higher Education Conference: Integrating Blended Learning into Course Design to Make Maximum Use of Hybrid Learning Techniques.

I also took the time to listen to the other sessions at the conference. It was good to hear that the issues facing universities in the design of blended learning echoed much of what I have been saying and hearing from across the sector.

Next week I am off to Amsterdam for EDUTech Europe 2023 and spent time planning and organising my travel. I had considered going by train (to avoid flying) but couldn’t make the times work.

As I am part of a Smart Campus panel session at EDUTech Europe 2023 I spent time going through the discussion notes, and reminding myself of some of the core issues.

Image by 小亭 江 from Pixabay

In order to get ahead of myself I also booked travel and accommodation for November where I am travelling and attending events.

I did the pre-reading for HEAnet Group Advisory Forum which is happening next week.

I attended the JNC for Jisc and UCU in my capacity as deputy chair of the UCU branch at Jisc.

I have been involved in the design and delivery of shared services over the last twenty years, as well as being a key collaborator of shared services as well. I have been researching and reflecting on those personal experiences. Thinking about how the identification of blockers and challenges in relation to shared services. LAlso looking at the advantages and opportunities in relation to shared services.

Friday I made it into the office in Bristol.

Joined Bluesky, thanks to an invite code I got. Reminds me of the early days of the Twitter. I have noticed that with the slow demise of Twitter, how much Threads (which I am also using) is starting to morph into a Twitter clone. Not so much in terms of functionality, but more in terms of the types of posts and content I am now seeing on Threads.