The ‘Digitally Ready for the Future: Sharing Good Practice’ day celebrated some of the great work that is being done and the culture of innovation which enables it, in various areas across the University.
There was so much to get through in one day that we had to run parallel sessions, which has its pros and cons, of course. Importantly, there was time for discussions, and as I am sure others will provide summaries of the different sessions, I wanted to mention some of the conversations.
First up, there were at least a couple of instances of people discussing future collaborative work. For me, that justifies the event – bringing people together and providing something to help stimulate that sort of conversation is important stuff.
For me though, it was the mentions of some of the presenters and their work which hit home most. People saying, for instance, how inspiring they found Alastair Culham’s work with his students and their blogging. The chatter about Pete Castle’s session on conveying information through video and the conversations about Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell’s very supportive talk in the afternoon both brought home the idea that people want, and need, to be able to experiment, to try new things, and to have both the time to do so, and the space to fail on occasions. Mistakes happen – if you don’t make any, you aren’t trying hard enough. It will be interesting to see how well this is taken in to account in the new ‘behaviours’ being introduced by HR.
I heard several people saying how useful it was to hear from Chris Alexander, a recent graduate who shuns Facebook but uses Twitter and has his own blog. Chris presented without slides, and although this was partially enforced by failing technology (oh the irony!), his presentation style is such that he never needed them, to be honest. Several people mentioned the absence of presentation slides in both Sir David Bell and Paul Bailey’s talks in the afternoon. Paul is the programme manager for the JISC projects in the Developing Digital Literacies programme. Nobody was complaining about the lack of slides, by the way – and I think that emphasises that sometimes the technology is just a support, or an enhancement for what we do anyway.
What can you enhance today? Have you tried something new? Why not write up a review and share what you have tried with others?