What’s wrong with Hull?

I struggled to drag my arse out of bed on Monday but I’m glad I did. The New Year is off to a flying start. One of my main aims this year is to get my knee and ankle sorted, not the easiest when you’re missing a posterior cruciate ligament but I’ll give it a go. So it was an early start on Monday off to the physio at the University Hospital in Durham. My physio seems to have set himself a New Year’s resolution too, beast everyone. My legs have felt like lead weights all week. No pain, no gain I guess.

Monday was rather strange, I’d had a rubbish night sleep — Sunday night insomnia maybe?, and yet after returning from physio, I felt really energised and managed to get through quite a lot. I got caught up with a number of emails leftover from before Christmas, finalised a number of meetings, organised my travel for those meetings, handled a couple of customer queries, carried out some detective work for a colleague, and began to think through my objectives for the year ahead.

After a good night’s sleep, I felt horrendous on Tuesday. I was so tired but at the same time had a bit of a lie in. Am I a morning person, or was it the exercise? I believe it’s a bit of both. Physio early on Thursday morning bore the same results as Monday. Early starts FTW!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetTuesday, was predominantly preparation and travel. Off to Hull to support the University with it’s Learning and Teaching conference. I met the rest of the team in Hull where we ran through the activities for the day to make sure we were all on the same wavelength. All good, and so then it was a question of where to head for a quick drink and bite to eat. For some reason, the first reaction of most people when I said I was going to Hull was “rather you than me”. I’m not really sure why, because I’m glad to report we had a really nice meal in the Old Custom House, and an amazing pint in Ye Olde White Harte. The weirdest thing about Hull is the empty streets! There is no one about. We were half expecting a Zombie Apocolypse to reign down on us.

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We were up early the next day to get across to the University. The focus of the conference was Digital Capability and we’d agreed to give an update on Jisc’s Building digital capability project. We didn’t have long to explore that in detail, more of a head’s up before examining how different individual’s behave in different digital spaces using the Visitors and Residents model. The second activity explored existing good practice and areas for future development. It was a great day, with about 100 or so like-minded people actively debating their use of digital services and what it means more widely for the University. See Mike Ewen’s storify for more. Next steps? The University’s Technology Enhanced Learning team are exploring all of the outputs to inform future direction, which they’ll revisit in their Summer conference.

Digital literacy is about mastering ideas, not keystrokes — Gilster, P., 1997. Digital Literacy. New York: Wiley.

I blocked Thursday morning out to reflect on the conference but didn’t get a chance until later that afternoon. The morning was spent following up a couple of new opportunities to support the sector and then I got caught side tracked continuing to think through my objectives from earlier in the week. All good though because I certainly feel like I’ve got a better handle on what I need to be doing over the next month or so which is already looking extremely busy. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that for this week and wish you all a fantastic weekend!

Ps, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Hull. It made the rough guide’s list of best places to visit in 2016 and is the City of Culture for 2017. The Old Town is beautiful with fantastic pubs and the University campus is stunning. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

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Weeknote 9/2015

Pic of the week

My son has been so ill recently, as have the rest of the family. It was lovely to see him back into his reading. He’s been so tired of an evening he’s just crawled into his bed. No milk, no book, nothing daddy – haha.

My son, finally back into his reading!

What have I been up to?

It’s been a strange week. It’s been hectic but not a great deal to tell that would be of interest to anyone. Lots of organising travel, arranging meetings and preparing for future meetings. Perhaps of more interest will be the links below.

Things that caught my attention

Recipe of the week

Not quite the best ever but it was a pretty good macaroni and cheese!

Weeknote 8/2015

Pic of the week

Dad and son selfie

Mammy was away this weekend so things got messy!

What have I been up to?

As you may, or may not, know — last week’s weeknote was a little on the sombre side although it was the first poem I’ve written and made public. I’ve tried to catch-up on everything I missed out on in this post.

I attended Jisc DigiFest, helping out on the Digital Dream Wall where art students from Guildford College visualised attendees’ digital challenges and aspirations. There was a fantastic buzz around the place, if you couldn’t make it you can always catch-up with the recordings.

I was interviewed about Digital Leadership which will feed into a scoping report for Jisc. The discussion I had focused on what Jisc might be able to do, and for me I think it’s a bit of a no brainer. Simon Nelson (Futurelearn), at DigiFest, mentioned that they are being asked to run a course on digital skills. Every project I’ve been involved in, staff/student skills always comes up. I don’t understand why Jisc isn’t delivering this (maybe there are some conversations ongoing that I’m unaware of) but I think we have enough experience, background research, and contacts to make this happen. Let’s see what comes out of the scoping report.

Our team, Jisc North, held a team meeting at Leeds Beckett University to reflect on the first ten weeks in operation and plan for the next ten weeks ahead. It was also a great chance to meet new team members (we’ll soon be up to full strength), and an opportunity for sub-groups to share key information. I have to say that my new boss is doing an excellent job in bringing the team together — almost family-like which makes work an absolute pleasure.

We’re currently re-procuring the Yorkshire and the Humber regional network, currently in a consultation phase and so I sent out a request to all of my accounts in that region for information regarding their future requirements. We’ve had a positive response so far which has also resulted in a number of site visits being arranged.

I also had a couple of calls with colleges last week to introduce myself. It was interesting listening to their existing challenges and what they’re focusing on. Although there was a sense of need, in terms of what Jisc can offer, they struggled to answer the question “if Jisc could do anything for you, no restraints, what would that be?” I have a feeling that the Johari window model is going to be useful for Jisc Account Managers to bear in mind.

Things that caught my attention

Recipes of the week

Two recipes for you this week: