Found day two a bit more difficult to find sessions at first as seemed a lot more technology focused and even the learning and teaching track sessions were around things like interoperability standards etc and the leadership track ones around infrastructure etc. Anyway I persevered and got into the session at 8am to hear more about the ELI initiative around measuring innovation and impact. This is something dear to my heart and was useful to find out more about what they are doing. More questions than answers at this stage but will watch this space. At least jetlag makes getting up for those 8am sessions a breeze.
The keynote was pretty full on but some interesting philosophical ideas about encouraging children into IT, getting them to own their own coding projects etc. Decided that the Internet had made me too stupid to understand this though as mostly was over my head 😉
Poster sessions again in the late morning, although I turned up an hour early to stand by mine due to a printing error in the programme. Oh well. Had a good chat with David Avery from the University of Connecticut about differences between the Brits and Americans (his wife is British) and the work they doing at UConn on QR tags and digital mapping.
Took some time out to do some general email catch-up and final tour of the exhibit hall before joining two more sessions. First one on academic partnerships between academic affairs and IT. Was a bit confused about why the structure and what they are doing is considered unique and innovative as this seemed to be similar to the way many ed deve/e-learning teams work in the UK – a pedagogic focus to the implementation of technology – and also the role of acting as a bridge between IT and faculty is something that we do in the LDC. Hmmm. Must be missing something so will find out more. One thing that did strike me was their use of data to support their purpose and validated their existence – for example this enabled them to escape some of the very draconian budget cuts by demonstrating their key role in improving the student experience and L&T generally. Again something dear to my heart. One of the things they do is use a system to record all staff interaction with the centre then on an annual basis they send a report to individual staff members reminding them of what they have done to improve their teaching. This can then be used in tenure applications for faculty. Wow. That was impressive.
One last tour of the exhibit hall to pick up some goodies, sadly didn’t win an ipad and exhibit hall wasn’t as freebie rich this year but did get some neat post it notes (always good!)
Finally went to a session on how to support women in IT roles in HE. Needless to say most of audience were men when actually the lack of a diversity is something that should concern us all. There were some good stories from the women on the panel around importance of mentoring and role models. But also more worryingly how girls are being turned off IT at school and don’t see it as a valid profession. There is a need to learn more about why women go into IT and what skills are needed. So many IT roles demand highly honed communication skills and the ability to build relationships which are skills that women have.
Then that was it for day two – back to hotel exhausted and attempting to squeeze everything into bag!