JISC Technology working for Wales conference 2012

Copies of presentations, project summaries and closing reports can be found at http://moodle.rsc-wales.ac.uk/twfw12

Similarly, Tweets from the day have been collated and Storified here http://storify.com/lisparcell/technology-working-for-wales-jisc-rsc-wales-confer

An excellent conference with some hard choices to be made about which strands to follow, which begs the question why the parallel sessions weren’t recorded. On the other hand the Cardiff Hilton, whilst a very pretty venue, had WiFi with many of the properties of damp string, so perhaps attempting to capture the sessions would have set everyone up for disappointment! Not the fault of the organisers certainly, who provided a balanced and interesting programme.

The keynote was given by Dr. Barrie Kennard from the Centre for Leadership and Management Skills Wales. Pragmatic and funny, he spoke of the support his organization, the only government sponsored centre in Europe, offers to leaders in the light of their necessity to be responsive and pro-active in our digital future. He asserted that risk aversion, common in our litigious society, gets in the way of leadership and encouraged leaders and managers to encourage working atmospheres in which mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, where leaders shoulder responsibility and where individual blame is never apportioned.

Smartphones for Doctors
iDoc is a project allowing hospital Drs access to an iPhone app which gives them the most up to date clinical info on any condition they search for  and examples were offered by two of those who took part in the pilot, citing examples where the app saved lives.  The app gives them just in time help, allows them to combine experience with available research and helps them be more confident when consulting more senior colleagues.

Tablet PC integration
Originally digital pen and paper, allowing assessors to fill in forms online to save carting portfolios (e.g NVQ) about with them, were welcomed as they allowed fast  processing of documentation, uploaded via fobile. Now they use tablets, document templates are processed live and checked on the hoof for errorsby the MIS processing centre in Cardiff.

Gwellaitec.WordPress.com. why apps?
Going wireless enhancing learner led assessment
Provided Android and ios devices in pilot. Apps provided all nearly free. Paid for evernote collaboration version. :£1.40.
Dropbox, seesmic, diigo,moodle, mahara etc. Main issues identified: mass charging of devices prior to loan, multiple individual users (created itec account to get round it) ,limited ports and “most schools are getting iPads”

Tablet assessment programme
EZ PDF reader app used on 3 android tablets by AU SELL staff to mark assessments. Worth looking at the .ppt for the engagement figures. Although marking time didn’t noticeably decrease, it was felt to be easier, there were logistical efficiencies and  more students consulted their assignment feedback.

Workstation Finder
Rob Stockton unable to attend, but would welcome links with others working on similar software, like rbj. Theirs allows WS  bookings. Others possibly working on integration with Google maps.

Thermography Llandrillo/Menai
Using mobiles to teach green issues spurred by Green Deal Initiative. Cameras used for monitoring electrical equipment

(working with Estates). Useful implications in health monitoring patient temperatures – bedsores.

Used for assessment of hairdressing students. Videos uploaded from iPod touches, though many students happy to use their own devices.

Access all areas
App developed using XCode on a Mac by a non-  (well, almost non- ) programmer, to create student portal accessing timetable, marks,student record etc. Issues with https. Also Apple developer status takes some weeks to establish.

Big Blue Button

Given by Matt Smith #twfw12
Coleg Gwent. Integrated with Moodle. They offer training sessions in institute meeting slots – like our training hour.
Minimizing dead time and making support more efficient.
Inspired by lunchtime bites to deliver virtual classrooms.
Skype being used to reduce travel due to lack of VC suites
Collaborate has more features than BBB. Set up virtual environmentfor ILT systems inc Mahara.
Can share desktop, you can switch presenters.
Coped with 100 users.
Number of users rising thought they haven’t marketed it. Newest version has recording capability. Tutors are setting up their own classrooms. Especially useful for PT tutors. Doesn’t deal with open mic. Separate audio and video streams cause lags. Can use independently of Moodle.

Developing Student Skills using E-guides
To support one another. E-guide project harnesses natural tendency of students to support each other. Staff nominate likely candidates in first few weeks. Learning is social.
Grants likely again this year.

Comments from plenary session
“We learn from mistakes. Innovation is successful disobedience.”


About shelleyupton

As iCoachHE: Leadership coach, facilitator, educator, communicator, staff developer. As Smu Upton Translation (http://www.uptontranslation.com/) translator from french to English As shelleyupton.co.uk: Artist in watercolour, pastel, acrylic, oil and ceramics
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