Tag Archives: SallyBogg

Preparing to Wear – this is the year of wearable technologies

sally_bogg

 

Sally Bogg
IT Help Desk Manager
University of Leeds
Member of UCISA-SSG

 

On Thursday morning I attended a session on wearable technology. There was much interest in this as a topic and there was standing room only. The aim of the session was to facilitate a general discussion on the ways in which wearable technology will reshape the teaching and learning environment and the potential impact of wearables on interactions between students and facilities.

What does wearable tech mean for universities? Whilst we continue to grapple with BYOD the new wave of wearable tech brings new meaning to BYOE –  Bring Your Own Environment, or even BYEB –  Bring Your Own Enhanced Body, as it is anticipated that within the next couple of years wearable tech will become invisible and be worn under the skin.

We are now a society that is obsessed with sharing and we are entering a period where there is a tidal wave of data and images, in fact we shared 1.8 billion images last year alone. 1.8 billion and with the majority of us using our smartphones for anything but making phone calls.

Technology cycles usually last about 10 years, wearable tech will be the next cycle and it is likely that it is going to land on our campuses whether we like it or not. Some of the devices that were discussed were familiar to me – Fitbit and Google Glass – but there were a few that I had never heard of, including Narrative Clip and Lechal Shoes (sat nav shoes that tell you where to go!).

However wearable tech such as Google Glass does throw up some issues around privacy.   A comment from someone at the conference wearing Narrative Clip opened up a very heated debate on Twitter. General consensus was that new social conventions will need to be adopted in order to make wearable tech accessible. I guess as organisations we must now decide what to do about wearables — ban it, allow its unfettered use, or allow its use in certain circumstances by certain people with specific guidelines.

There was then a short discussion on what some of this wearable tech could mean for future learning and teaching. Some good examples were given for augmented reality and virtual reality being used to support more traditional class room methods; and whilst only relatively small numbers were currently exploring use of wearable tech for teaching/learning, there was lots of interest.

There is no doubt that wearable tech will change education and change it soon. In the next couple of years it is expected that learning simulations using augmented reality could start to replace direct instruction and work place learning in some subjects. I found an interesting article about tech and education  which is worth a quick look.

This session didn’t really provide me with any conclusions but it did give me a bit more of an insight into the type of devices we can expect to be supporting very soon. I don’t think it will be long before we see our first Google Glass at the IT Help Desk.

Sally

 

A pre-conference takeaway

sally_bogg

 

Sally Bogg
IT Help Desk Manager
University of Leeds
Member of UCISA-SSG

 

I’ve been in Orlando for three days now and in that time I’ve managed to pack quite a lot in. I’ve taken a boat ride through the Everglades, visited Miami and eaten breakfast in an American diner.

Have A Nice Day  – putting customer experience at the heart of everything

Yesterday I was lucky enough spend some time in one of the Universal theme parks. It was great fun, lots of roller coasters, shows and experience rides. Thankfully it was an exceptionally quiet day and we were fortunate that the queues were short, the longest we waited was twenty minutes. However the twenty minutes didn’t feel like it was very long because the Americans put a lot of effort into making the queue part of the ride, the attention to detail is phenomenal and this is something that is consistent throughout the park. Each ride has its own staff, with their own uniforms, they pump particular smells out into the different areas of the park (smells of sweeties and popcorn in Dr Zuess Land) and each section has its own theme music. There were no queues for the toilets or food stations and there were plenty of taxis waiting at the exits to take people back to their hotels. It was all very slick. Another thing that has really stood out to me is that there is free wifi everywhere. There was free wifi available in the theme parks, in the service stations (which only had very basic amenities, not like our huge ones with Starbucks and Tescos etc.) and most surprisingly on the coach we took to Miami.

There is really a lot to learn from the American way of doing things. It’s not all “have a nice day”, they really do put customer experience at the heart of everything and I think I’ve found my first conference takeaway already!

Sally Bogg

Pre- Educause thoughts from a UCISA bursary award winner

sally_bogg

 

Sally Bogg
IT Help Desk Manager
University of Leeds
Member of UCISA-SSG

 

I was thrilled when I heard that, as part of the UCISA 21st birthday celebrations, I had been awarded a bursary to attend Educause, not only because it is in Orlando, Florida (what a fantastic venue!) but because the overall programme for this conference is jam packed with topics and sessions that I am really passionate about.  I generally find conferences and events useful and I always come back fully energised with loads of ideas and things to implement.

The topics on the Educause programme that have so far sparked my interest are those that align closely to the work of the UCISA Support Services Group and my own role as the IT Help Desk Manager at the University of Leeds. I am really keen to find out more about accessibility, the consumerisation of IT, mobile computing, IT Service management and support services.

Two specific areas have really jumped out at me, and that is because they were identified as key strategic challenges for IT in the UCISA Strategic Challenges for IT report that was published in September 2013:

Accessibility – the potential to make learning technologies more accessible to students living with disabilities and to support the widening participation agenda by supporting a range of other learners
This is a completely new topic for me and the Support Services Group. Support Services staff are on the front line and may often be the first point of call for students with specific access requirements and needs. I would love to be able to pull together a Best Practice Guide around the topic of accessibility and the widening participation agenda.

Consumerisation of IT – the need to fully understand student expectations, particularly those of a generation that has grown up with superfast broadband and ubiquitous IT
This area is of great interest to me as it was also a key challenge that we highlighted during the recent UK HE Benchmarking report. This is a great opportunity to seek out international contacts and broaden the scope of the Service Desk benchmarking exercise to include Universities from across the globe.

Hot topics for Support Services Conference

So what do I hope to get out of this conference? I want to be able to feed the hot topics from Educause into the programme for the UCISA Support Services Conference 2015 – the whole Support Services Group works tirelessly each year to keep the event fresh and interesting and this is a great opportunity to pick up some ‘hot topics’. I am also hoping to network and make new contacts with Service Desk support staff to see if we can expand on the benchmarking report and take it global!

I love tweeting at conferences! It makes the whole experience much more engaging and lively, so for those of you that follow me on Twitter expect to see a steady stream of Educause related tweets over the coming week or so. I have also made a commitment to UCISA and to my own organisation to regularly blog about my experiences and I am hoping that I can pull everything together at the end into an action plan so that I can implement some of the good practice that I get to learn about.

Sally