Update from JISC e-Learning programme meeting: open content call on the horizon

At the JISC e-Learning programme earlier this week, an outline of an exciting new call around open content was given by Tish Roberts (Programme Director, eLearning) and David Kernohan (Programme Manager, eLearning). A pilot phase will run next year (managed jointly by JISC and the HEA) and will investigate approaches for individual, disciplines and institutions towards making new (and existing) content open.

More information will be released in the coming weeks from JISC, so watch this space for more information. We are also running a session on open content at this year’s CETIS conference. So if you are interested, sign up for the session.

Bags of innovation

I should qualify that this post is not just an excuse for me to write about bags, but since the JISC conference on Tuesday bags (and not just the “it-bag” variety) have been on my mind. When I read Pete Johson’s post this morning about the Open Repositories Conference, I have to confess it was his description of the conference “man-bag” that resonated with me most. I felt that it was a sign that this post was justifiable and that bags are related to educational technology.

The theme of the JISC conference was “enabling innovation”, which is where the bag thang comes in. As ever, at registration delegates were presented with the obligatory conference bag and accompanying glossy brochures etc. I have to say I think this year JISC were quite innovative in giving out eco-friendly cotton, re-usable tote style bags. There may even be a chance that I will actually use mine again and not just chuck it onto the conference bag heap under my desk:-) So thumbs up there for the conference organisers. But do we really need to have bags at all at this kind of event? Do the JISC audience really need to have glossy programmes – wouldn’t one bit of paper with the agenda and layout suffice – or a USB stick? (Again this is something Pete mentions in his post, and in fact I think it was a previous post from Pete that was instrumental for us in CETIS to try and keep the paperwork at conference to a minimum). Or is the power of a glossy brochure really still greater than all the web-resources at our disposal?

Anyway today at lunch time I bought a pair of shoes – stick with me, this is relevant, not just an excuse to talk about my (minor) shoe obsession. When I was paying I was asked if I would like to buy a sustainable bag to support charity. Great idea I thought, nice bag and buying it helps my counter my (very brief) consumer guilt by doing my bit for “charidee”. Then I thought, why couldn’t this idea be extended to conferences? So, if you had a burning need for a conference bag, you could buy one and the proceeds could go to charity. Would work for me . . .

NB – for more information on all bag related matters I would recommend having a look here.