Four score and seven hours ago I arrived at the NMC conference. I am learning a lot about maker spaces and how they are used by libraries and universities to support the development of digital skills.
The University of Edinburgh is committed to people development and digital skills. With apologies to Thomas Jefferson:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all members of the University are created equal, that the University is endowed by our benefactors to deliver certain unalienable acts, that among these are teaching, learning and the pursuit of research.–That to secure these activities, IT Services are instituted among (mostly)men, deriving their just powers from the consent of PSG –That whenever any form of IT services becomes disconnected from these ends, it is the Right of the directors to alter and restructure it, and to institute new IT/digital skills training laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect your Safety and Happiness online.
Actually, what our University’s people strategy 2012-16 says in relation to new technology is:
“The rapid technological developments in the modern world demonstrate the need to be able to review our approaches to teaching and research on an ongoing basis…… The challenge is not only to be able to invest in the continual costs and development of our technology, but to be aware of the potential of new and emerging technologies, so that we can exploit them effectively. Ensuring that staff know as much about these technologies and their capabilities as our students is vital.
We require the skills to use these technologies in new and differing ways, in order to maximise their benefits across our varied areas of work, significantly enhancing our efficiency. To this end, we need to embed digital literacy and digital wisdom across our workforce, to cover the breadth of our activities and functions.
The role of technology in undertaking research and delivering teaching will continue to change and may transform the manner in which teaching will be delivered in the future.
……. By increasing the skills of our workforce in the use of digital technologies, we will also embed good practice by ensuring good health and welfare is an essential consideration, in moving to new ways of working and learning”
Information Services currently has an IT skills training team of about 6 people, but the manager post is vacant. The plan for this summer is that that team will join LTW services division and we will begin the search for a new head.