How can you fault an event that starts with hot bacon rolls and ends with wine and chocolate? As ever the JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland know how to create an interesting, enjoyable and engaging event. Learning Services were well represented as David Findlay, Wilma Alexander and I all took the chance to attend this event which was particularly conveniently situated for us in Pollock halls in Edinburgh. In this blog post Wilma and I will share our highlights from the day (aside from the bacon and chocolate!).
I particularly enjoyed the Key Note from Professor Susannah Quinsee (City University London) who offered some helpful observations on Managing Change. She gave a very interactive presentation (unusually for a key note), including discussions post-it notes and an online poll and was remarkably upbeat when participants were reluctant to put post-it notes on the wall! She offered some thought provoking scenarios for ‘Universities of the Future’ and left us with the Challenge to Dream about possible futures.
1) Derek Law (Chair of the JISC Advance Board) set a useful tone for the day: “Change isn’t optional” but suggesting that those who support innovation in learning will continue to be relevant providing that we match what the sector wants and needs. I’m always happy to hear more arguments for putting users at the centre of things and making sure we have quality information about them before we make decisions on their services. It was clear from this, and from lots of networking throughout the day, that HE and FE have more in common than differences, and have a lot to learn from sharing experiences.
2) One of the parallel sessions I attended was led by Jason Miles-Campbell from JISCLegal. He discussed the growth of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and some of the joys and pitfalls of using sensitive data on phones, tablets and laptops in the educational context. These included BYOVRD (Bring your own virus-ridden device) and LYOD (Lose your own device) and left us all properly scared of our ignorance and carelessness. But it wasn’t a counsel of despair – more about helping individuals and organisations to recognise and manage the risks appropriately. And of course JISC Legal is on hand to provide neatly summarised information and appropriate advice as required.