[:en]Inclusive Swansea[:cy]Abertawe Cynhwysol[:]

[:en]As a member of the ISS Inclusivity group, I have been working with colleagues on developing ways to promote and recognize the excellent work that Swansea staff is doing for Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI).4 different coloured semi-circles surrounding a circle, arranged in a square. Hoping to depict outward-facing unity and also representing round peg in a square hole!

We created an Icon, which we felt represented inclusion,  and have had badges made and t-shirts on the way with the logo on which you may see some staff wearing. If you do please ask about them!

We have begun developing a process for awarding badges, both digital and physical, it is in its early stages at the moment, but it is growing! To learn more about the badges ask someone wearing a badge or join the CPD Inclusivity Module on Blackboard (https://salt.swan.ac.uk/bite-size/inclusivity-cpd/).  To receive a badge you will need to evidence your engagement with Inclusivity here at Swansea Uni. It may be by participating in some CPD of your own, attending some EDI training or it could be by promoting awareness and supporting students or colleagues in some way.

You will need to evidence your engagement and by providing an overview of what you have been doing.  We ask that your writing is shared to that others may learn from your experiences. This can be on the Library Blog (please contact Library Services: customerservice@swansea.ac.uk), the SALT blog (contact salt@swansea.ac.uk) or on the CPD Inclusivity module in Blackboard (for Access https://salt.swan.ac.uk/bite-size/inclusivity-cpd/).

ISS Inclusivity Group[:cy]Fel aelod o grŵp Cynwysoldeb GGS, rydw i wedi bod yn gweithio gyda chyd-weithwyr ar ddatblygu ffyrdd i hybu ac adnabod y gwaith arbennig mae staff Abertawe yn gwneud ar gyfer Cydraddoldeb, Amrywiaeth a Chynhwysiad (EDI).

Rydym ni wedi creu eicon, roedden ni’n teimlo ei fod yn cynrychioli cynhwysiad. Rydym ni wedi cael bathodynnau i’w greu ac mae yna grysau t ar y ffordd gyda’r logo arnynt, efallai welwch rhai staff yn eu gwisgo. Os ydych, gofynnwch iddynt amdano!
Rydym wedi dechrau datblygu proses ar gyfer gwobrwyo bathodynnau, yn ddigidol ac mewn person, mae’n dechrau tyfu, ond mae o hyd yn y camau cynnar. I ddarganfod rhagor am y bathodynnau, gofynnwch i rywun sy’n gwisgo un neu ymunwch â’r Modiwl Datblygiad Proffesiynol Parhaus Cynwysoldeb ar Blackboard https://salt.swan.ac.uk/cy/bite-size/inclusivity-cpd. I gael bathodyn bydd angen i chi ddangos tystiolaeth o’ch ymrwymiad gyda Chynwysoldeb yma ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe. Efallai trwy gymryd rhan mewn Datblygiad Proffesiynol Parhaus eich hun, mynychu hyfforddiant EDI neu gall fod wrth hybu ymwybyddiaeth a chefnogi myfyrwyr neu gyd-weithwyr mewn rhyw ffordd.
Bydd angen i chi ddangos tystiolaeth o’ch ymrwymiad a darparu trosolwg o beth rydych wedi bod yn gwneud. Rydym yn gofyn bod eich tystiolaeth yn cael eu rhannu fel bod pobl eraill yn gallu dysgu o’ch profiadau. Gall hwn fod ar Blog y Llyfrgell (cysylltwch â Gwasanaethau’r Llyfrgell: customerservice@abertawe.ac.uk), Blog SALT (cysylltwch â salt@abertawe.ac.uk) neu ar fodiwl Datblygiad Proffesiynol Parhaus Cynwysoldeb ar Blackboard (am fynediad https://salt.swan.ac.uk/cy/bite-size/inclusivity-cpd)

Grŵp Cynwysoldeb GGS[:]

Learning Technology and Innovation

I recently attended a conference run by National Training Resources Limited on the subject of Learning Technology and Innovation.  One of the primary reasons for attending was to try and glean ideas for developing some purely online courses as part of the Work Based Learning Project in Engineering, but also with an additional SALT hat on.

The conference brought together an eclectic mix of people from education, Government and industry, from apprentices to managers and from all four corners of the UK.  That in itself illustrates that innovation is open to all!

I picked out some interesting points and ideas that I feel I can take forward with the Engineering project, but I was struck by how much of this “innovation” we already do here at Swansea University.  Some of the tools and methods were held up as excellent practice in their sector.  Things we do here in Swansea but we don’t think of them as innovative because they are almost commonplace.

A particular favourite presentation of mine from the day’s speakers was that delivered by Mark Griffiths from NESTA.  NESTA is an charity whose main aim is innovation.  They have since launched a project entitled ‘Make Things, Do Stuff’ aimed at getting children and young people people to become digital makers. On the site, you’ll find advice, support and tools to help code a website, create a game or even build a 3D robot.  This may not necessarily be relevant to Higher Education but personally I found the methods used to teach them really good, and with backing from Nominet, Mozilla and the Chancellor, it’s high on the Government’s priority list at the moment.  The video below shows some of the comments from young people as well as the sponsors at the Make Things, Do Stuff launch:

[iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/67463449″ width=”500″ height=”281″]

Dr Andrew Manches led one of the morning keynotes in talking about a report (commissioned by NESTA!) which was the culmination of extensive research into how technology has been used in the UK education systems, as well as lessons from around the world.  This report provides a whistle stop tour of different types of innovative use of technology and provides links to several innovations.

Decoding Learning

Social Media also played a key part throughout the conference, with references dotted in almost every presentation, participants encouraged to Tweet with the conference hashtag #learntechconf as well as being the focus on yet another keynote, this time from Nitin Thakrar, Director of elearning Studios.

The video below shows the impact of Social Media on the world:

[iframe src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/x0EnhXn5boM” width=”100%” height=”480″]

Digital Humanities

Rats, my watch is slow again ...
cc licensed flickr photo by Kaushal Karkhanis: http://flickr.com/photos/kaushal/2176851577/

It is always nice to know you are not alone isn’t it !

Some sterling work has been done in digital humanities here in Swansea – we even have a Masters level module on Digital Antiquity. Now, it appears that things are also happening in UCLA, in similar ways. Looking at using new technology for non-technological study.


I don't know the answer, but I know someone who does …

Eden Project Wee man - A head full of old computers

© Copyright Kenneth Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License

The journal Science (via the BBC) considers research that our memories are no longer so full of answers, but instead fuller of where those answers are kept – on-line.

Is this a good thing do you think ?  Do we need to retain all this information when instead we can just use the internet as “transactive memory” …

transactive memory

“An idea that there are external memory sources – really storage places that exist in other people”

“I really think the internet has become a form of this transactive memory, and I wanted to test it”

(Dr Betsy Sparrow of Columbia University – lead research author)

So … the internet isn’t making us stupid … it is just changing us into a walking indexing service !

Change the classroom, change the learning!

Just seen this from from Chris Jobling @cpjobling

Looks quite like PC Room 1 in the Library. I agree with Chris that it would be great for small classes but how could we make it work with larger ones. Perhaps the need is for much more flexible learning spaces and not traditional large theatres? Are those designing the second campus thinking along these lines?

What about using videoed lectures delivered though the VLE with some accompanying activities? The lectures could be of excellent and engaging staff here or by using things like this MIT OCW, as referred to in a previous post. There could be a set time for the initial delivery, so that they could be some synchronous interaction though chat, tweet etc but the lecture could also be accessed later with some asynchronous activity. Following the lecture there could be a number of breakout groups run in similar lines to the video, with the students working in groups to solve problems related to the lecture and a member of staff setting up the activities and monitoring the groups. Student get the contact hours they want but with high quality delivery. No more large lecture, no more large and expensive lecture theatres, no more boring lectures and no more bored students and staff. Or maybe I’m just woefully niaive?

Perhaps I am but what if private companies think along these lines and offer degrees this way in half the time we do. They could charge more per year but less overall for a degree. How will that affect us in the new market driven climate? Shouldn’t we get in there first?