Realtime Collaboration, Google Apps & Mobile Projects Manager,
Learning & Teaching Systems
I’m a client and project manager [for which read requirements, functionality and user experience] with an interest in how mobile, collaborative and cloud technologies converge to truly support learning anytime, anywhere. I’m an educational technologist with a background in Science teaching and Information Engineering – crossing the country to MK from rural Wales, via the South coast.
The projects managed by the Learning & Teaching Systems team are broad, but currently include a remit to cover areas for our learning systems [read VLE/LMS]. As such, I now have in my portfolio the following strands of the roadmap:
- Real-time collaboration – where I led the evaluation and procurement of a replacement for Elluminate – now provided by “OU Live”, powered by Blackboard Collaborate;
- Google Apps for Education – where I chaired the Steering Group and lead the student and curriculum pilots;
- Mobile – where I’m responsible for coordinating the Mobile Strategy and ‘mobisite‘, also championing the Mobile VLE (through Moodle), mobile services and support across the OU;
- [Student] User Interface – where I have a specific interest in user-generated content, annotation and in peer sharing of rich media.
My particular interests are in Mobile Learner support, where I coordinate a number of activities including Mobile VLE, mobile apps and special interest groups [which is what most of this blog is about], also working with Learnosity and previously on preparatory work for English in Action (Bangladesh). A related interest is in synchronous and cloud collaboration, where I also take the role of Lead Champion for Elluminate, and now OU Live. Finally I have a keen interest in staff development, where feasible including regional participation and hands-on activities made possible via the Digilab facilities.
Life before my current role
Most recently I have been on secondments to take forward Learning Innovation – developments, policy and strategy; Mobile Learner Support (evangelising, Offline Moodle, Podcasting and RSS) and Online Collaboration and Communication strands of the OUVLE – in particular to manage the launch, early adoption and cross-faculty uptake of the Elluminate synchronous collaboration environment, also within the Learning & Teaching Systems team.
My previous substantive post was in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies [FELS], latterly to support online delivery, production and marketing for the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa Programme. I was also the Educational and Mobile Technologist for the Digital Education Enhancement Project , responsible for mobile deployment of teaching resources (incl. eBooks) and training (laptops and PDAs). I was also involved in a UNESCO-funded project to enable teacher training in Iraq, primarily enabling audio-visual training.
Previously, I worked on TeachandLearn.net in FELS – an online CPD service for schools, and I was responsible for web build and development work including new applications, content management and audio-visual work. I managed a Primary and Secondary subject Curriculum Adviser team providing content for the subject/phase homepages of the site and I was also the technical contact for site operation including subscription management. TeachandLearn is currently a Resource Bank offered as part of CPLD Education courses.
Earlier still, my main responsibilities were as Learning Schools Programme webmaster and before that for the QA analysis process and for the ‘Celtic’ regions – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Life before the OU(!)
My education and training are in engineering [MEng Information Engineering (Southampton)] and subsequently in teaching [PGCE in Secondary Physics/Science (Southampton)] and then a stint as a Teacher of Physics, Science and IT in a school in the New Forest. Yes – IT – I left just at the point to be part of the massive ICT training programmes for teachers.
Life out of the office:
I’m involved in a number of knowledge-sharing activities across the University, so you’ll probably see me in the Digilab, or at eLearning Community or Mobile Technologies Special Interest Group sessions. Along with many colleagues I’m also part of Open Research Online.
Home life is interesting with a dynamic(!) mix of social events, choral work and more sporty activities, coupled with a lot of my family having moved over from West Wales.