Tag: JISC Advance

Working for an Academy vs. working for JISC infoNet [visualisation]

Back in 2009 when I was Director of e-Learning of The Northumberland Church of England Academy I started tracking my own activities.

Using a private WordPress-powered blog with the P2 theme, I quickly logged what I was up to, adding tags as I went. Below is the tag cloud after one month of using the system as a Senior Leader in an newly-minted Academy:

Doug's work record - search for 'Google Apps'

As you can see, the following tags were prevalent (I don’t think I included teaching in there for some reason!):

  • Google Apps (I was responsible for deploying it across the 9-site Academy)
  • Elearning (obviously)
  • Meetings (lots and lots of these)
  • Email (a necessary evil)
  • Dan Brooks (an M.Ed. student from an Australian university whom I mentored during extended teaching practice)
  • Training (I led plenty of sessions)

Doug's work blog (2012)

The above screenshot is from yesterday, soon after finishing my two-year stint as Researcher/Analyst at JISC infoNet. Apart from changing my avatar and tweaking the colour scheme, what’s changed?

  • The email tag is much larger in this cloud. I was working in an office rather than a school, after all.
  • JISC, JISC Advance and JISC infoNet unsurprisingly figure a lot.
  • Google Apps remains there as I implemented and supported the system for the 19 JISC Advance services.
  • Mobile Learning infoKit is there as it was a major piece of work for me during my time at JISC infoNet.
  • Digital literacies features due to my work in the area and programme support for the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme.
  • Patrick Bellis was my boss at JISC infoNet and Sarah Knight the JISC programme manager with whom I had the most dealings.
  • Other people’s names feature as well – interestingly Dan Brooks (M.Ed. student at the Academy) is still there three years later. Just goes to show how intense that period was!

Finally, you can see that wiki and Skype are small but significant in the tag cloud. I’ve never worked for an organisation that had better knowledge management and procedures than JISC infoNet. The internal wiki had everything you needed to work effectively and was an active, living repository of information. Skype is used extensively throughout JISC, sometimes for calls, sometimes for ‘backchanneling’.

If you’d done something similar which tags would YOU expect to show up?

Weeknote #25

This week I have been mostly…

Reading mobile-related stuff

I’ve been reading some fantastic stuff this week, the highlights being the Proceedings of mLearn 2010 and Education in the Wild: contextual and location-based mobile learning in action. I shall be synthesizing them at On The Horizon next week and writing the draft of my JISC Mobile & Wireless Technologies Review the week after.

Playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2

I very rarely buy full-price video games but I was so impressed by the online, multiplayer Battlefield:1943 that when my brother-in-law and family came to visit this week I bought Battlefield: Bad Company 2 whilst it was on offer in the local supermarket. I’ve played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (albeit briefly) but prefer Bad Company 2 for some reason.

Demoing Google Apps for Education

JISC infoNet, for whom I work (via Northumbria University) is part of an umbrella organization called JISC Advance. The latter includes JISC’s Regional Support Centres, of which there are 13. One of these, RSC South West asked me to demo Google Apps for Education to IT managers as I’ve experience with it both in my previous position as Director of E-Learning at an Academy and in my current role within JISC Advance.

I decided to create a video for people to go back to. Here it is, for what it’s worth (bearing in mind someone else had already gone through the email and technical side of things…)

Thinking about emigrating

Previously, when it hasn’t been half-term, this week before the clocks go back to GMT has been the worst for me. It’s just so dark and depressing. I can guarantee that this time next year, in 2011, we’ll either be on holiday somewhere sunny or have moved abroad! :-p

Weeknote #12

This week I have been mostly…

Travelling
I flew to Cardiff for a JISC Advance internal comms meeting on Tuesday and then went to London and back (Wednesday-Friday) on the train. The thing that seemed to take longest was walking and getting the tube around London. I remain baffled as to why anyone would want to live or work there; I feel like I need to take a shower after travelling one stop on the Underground.

Being inspired
Google Teacher Academy UK more than met my expectations. I’m going to save my reflections for a series of blog posts over the next couple of weeks. Suffice to say, however, that from the first lesson on ‘Search’ I was challenged, inspired and enthused in equal measure. The team that organised #GTAUK were legendary: both friendly and awesome!

Watching Toy Story 3
My thoughts? Great film – probably my favourite action/jailbreak film actually. Still, not as good as Toy Story 2 and I found the attempt to make the audience cry at the end a bit cynical. It was Ben’s first trip to the cinema – he was tired by the end but enjoyed it!

Being reminded of the importance of sleep
I know how much I need to get a good night’s sleep to be productive. That has never been brought home to me more forcibly than this week. Man cannot live on caffeine, sugar and adrenaline alone…

The end of the beginning.

I suppose it’s a bit of a random day to start (April Fool’s Day, the last day before a public holiday…) but I begin a new job today that I’ve very excited about. I’m delighted to announce that I’ve signed a two-year contract (I sound like a professional footballer!) with JISC infoNet as Researcher/Analyst:

JISC infoNet aims to be the UK’s leading advisory service for managers in the post-compulsory education sector promoting the effective strategic planning, implementation and management of information and learning technology.

The team are a great bunch who I’ve already been in to meet since my successful interview a couple of months ago. I’m looking forward to extending my knowledge and experience in education up to FE and HE level!

JISC infoNet is one of eight sub-sections of JISC Advance, which is funded by the UK taxpayer through the Research Councils. I’ll be researching (duh!), putting together infoKits and helping facilitate workshops in colleges of further education and universities around the country. I’m based at, although not actually part of (despite the new @northumbria.ac.uk email address) Northumbria University.

I’m happy to answer any questions you’ve got about the move by email – use this contact form. I’ll reproduce the most commonly-asked questions over at Doug’s FAQ. 🙂

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