The briefest of moments

Today I uncovered a set of photos that were quite dated. It made me wonder just how long these brief moments linger. Will the many daft/silly/humiliating photos of us cross our paths in the future?

Who else will see them? and if these are physical prints just imagine how long these new-fangled photos will stick around. A year, a generation or more? Will your family hand your hard-drive like a trinket?

It blows my mind.

PELC 2011

Me on the stage

Photo Credit

It was fantastic to be in Plymouth again this year for the 6th Plymouth e-learning Conference. For a full run down check out Steve Wheeler’s blog.

After last years great event I was pleasantly surprised to be asked to be on the steering committee to give my 2p worth of thoughts which made me even keener to attend!

There are a whole bunch of conferences and events and what makes this stand out is twofold: great people and a diverse collection of talks.

The people

From the moment of landing in Plymouth by way of train I met follow #pelc11 gang members old and new which really I cannot stress enough is a highlight for me. Everybody is so open to geeking out whilst still gabbing on about personal interests that it really didn’t feel like work.

New folk who’s blogs, tweets and projects I look forward to include: @t3h_pablohunny,  @andyjb,  @Marie_S , @CraigTaylor74, @janeseale, @ethinking and @doctrus

As you’d imagine a special shout out goe’s to Steve Wheeler for being an excellent host and helping to bring the event to life.

Talking points

Unlike some events where my ‘stand’ prevents me from attending sessions, I was able to enjoy a talk per session. Highlights include Andy Black’s session on mobile and Matt Lingard’s session on writing for the web.

My session, in the photo above with with Doug Belshaw and went down very well according to the kind comments after the session. We got folk to consider their own uses of mobile which allowed the session to fork between topics nicely. In addition to this session I was chair for a enjoyable session.

I love the people and the chat that happens in and around sessions that you just don’t get at enough conferences so roll on 2012.

Oh and I got to revisit my student days with a Goodbody’s breakfast at stupid O’clock.


WordPress as the life buoy

I have just spent two inspiring and tiring days at OER Hackday in Manchester with around 40 people with the simple task of building ‘something’ around OER.
Our group gravitated together through our common interest in doing with pulling OER stuff together and using WordPress.
Not wordpress because we think it is ‘cool’ and certainly not because we were highly skilled in hacking it to pieces.. well Pat and Simon could. But because out of the zipped box it has the power to achieve all of the things we might need to do. Being safe in the knowledge that there is a technical solution allowed us to just think about solving our problems and not having to even consider the technical solution because we know that it will be possible.

Knowing this we were able to jump with both feet into the challenge of the event.

OER stuff, like many types of resources are stored all over the shop and my only vague method for finding this stuff is to use delicious. However mentally I have been struggling with this.

So liking Huffduffer’s approach (just audio podcasts) I was wondering if we could make a solution that takes the idea of tagging but with a more blog/ordered style.

By the end of the 2 days we ended up with a great proof of concept (links to come) that I hope can be developed further.

I often visit the grey area overlapping the problem and technical solution too early and get caught up worrying about parts of the solution and how to achieve it which puts my solutions into a tiny box heavily constrained.
So dear self, the next time your working on a problem, don’t sweat the technical solution, just keep refining the problem and sketching the possible solutions. Then take a deep breath and chuck it into wordpress.

JISC Conference 2011

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of speaking at the annual JISC Conference.

The theme of the conference was ‘Financial challenges – digital opportunities’ and I was teamed up with three other great folk- Stephen Gray, Doug Belshaw and Dr Jane Williams.

We had around 60 people in attendance and one hour to cover a range of topics including: what we mean by attendance, digital literacies, benefits of digital media processes and workflows, student as producer and examples in practice.

I was keen to harp on about using standard processes and workflows as this allows us to make our use of digital media flexible, scalable, affordable and measurable. Each of which can support good practice and therefore make your planning and usage as efficient as possible, thus making best use of the investment in time and cost. Plus when we make mistakes we can rollback to our last known good point and improve.

We purposefully designed the session to weave various key points together and then finish on some great examples so I hope that each member of the attendance took something useful out of the session – if they didn’t then please let me know as I’d love to fix that issue!

We used Google presenter and a wiki to gather our outline thoughts and slides.

Audio for those not present will be made available very soon.