Thursday, June 08, 2017

JISC Connect More Scotland

On Tuesday I attended the JISC Connect More Scotland event at Glasgow Caledonian University. A significant theme of the event was digital literacy, and in particular, digital literacy of academic staff. In his introduction to the event, head of JISC Scotland, Jason Miles-Campbell, mentioned a job advert he had recently seen for an academic post which only mentioned familiarity with Microsoft Office as a required IT skill. Of course, many people might think this is an appropriate level of IT literacy for an academic, but if we are going to succeed in getting greater use of on-line and blended learning we need academics with a wide range of digital skills and confidence.

The keynote was from Martin Hamilton, JISC's 'Futurist' - that sound like a rather cool job! Martin's talk covered trends in artificial intelligence, robotics and space exploration. His AI examples included the rather wonderful edges2cats, and also more mundane things like self driving cars...

The workshops covered a range of things - you can see some of the slides on JISC's slideshare.

My personal takeaways:
  • Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies and JISC's Co-Design Playdeck might be useful planning tools.
  • Microsoft's HoloLens is really interesting, but rather uncomfortable with my glasses. The anatomy lesson that was being used as a demo was interesting, but a bit low resolution when I tried to look closely at internal organs. I wish I could justify the price to get one to play with.  
  • Small fun activities are a good approach for CPD to get staff to engage and improve their digital literacy. Chris Rowell's 12 Apps of Christmas is a rather nice example.