Wednesday, 1 April 2015

JISC Digifest

Image by +JD Hancock 
Earlier last month (9-10 March 15) I attended JISC's Annual Digital Festival in Birmingham. This 2 day conference, organised by JISC, brought together a wide audience that included librarians, IT professionals and Learning Technologists. The purpose of the event was to explore the power of technologies and explore ways to harness it for teaching and research. Sessions focused on the activity that has been undertaken by JISC, both by their employees and with external partners. There were also a number of suppliers around to speak to and a Technology Hub, that showcased a variety of innovations, from cableless chargers through to JISC also used the conference as an opportunity to share with delegates some of the changes to their organisation. Prof Martyn Harrow (JISC Chief Executive) explained that every partner will now have a dedicated support officer, to ensure that we make the most of services.

The full agenda, as well as links to slides and recordings can be found below:

Some of the sessions I enjoyed and would recommend looking out for:
Richard Watson ended Digifest by advising us to take some time away from technology, in order to be more productive. "We're bombarded with too much information" and" we're not working at our best" were some of his key messages. Richard's top tips included: cutting off entirely from your mobile for a day (e.g. on a Sunday), making sure that you have a good night's sleep (at least 7 hours) and selecting the right technology for the job (bearing in mind that a Pen is technology - goodbye gimmicks).

Overall I really enjoyed the variety of sessions on offer, the different ways in which they were delivered and the opportunity to connect with new colleagues from different institutions. The conference highlighted how diverse the range of JISC activities are (covering policy through to smaller scale innovation) as well the variety of resources that they have developed for institutions to re-purpose.

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