09 October 2009

In Canberra - OpenUC

Its been a couple of days in my new job at the University of Canberra. I have been busy meeting people, and taking on my first task of planning a development of the Sports Studies web pages (update next post). My new boss Keith Lyons is a lovely man, full of energy and generosity, and we share a passion for new possibilities in this media age. I really appreciate Keith's effort to bring me over here. My new colleagues are all welcoming and friendly, with interesting research interests that will that will no doubt develop in me a new appreciation for sport - especially the social dimensions. The people in the UC support services I have met have been very helpful and responsive (so far nothing blocked, can install software, forwarding email, quick and human replies, happy as larry).

There is however a noticeable separation between traditional and contemporary practitioners at UC I think (as there has been everywhere I have worked), so I'm sure I will soon find challenges.

UC has a mixed bag of technologies that have been trying to get off the ground and woven through the culture here for quite a while. Jabber is used instead (and as well as) Twitter, and that has a handful of devotees. Confluence as a sort of social networking, content sharing platform - again with a handful of devotees (I'm trying to work out how to stream in a presence there without double handling from here). Moodle is the official learning management system, and the website is user generated to a degree, but with only 1 or 2 faculties taking ownership it seems. As usual I'm asking the questions - why reinvent wheels, just use (in a smart way) what's popular at the time. I haven't found any UC presence on Youtube, Flickr, or Blogger etc.. that's a worry - still looking.

Sunshine and I are still looking for a new home (we are close), we have a car, phones, bank accounts.. as soon as we have a home we can settle the other stuff about health, insurance, connectivity, and fly the dogs and cat over.

It was sad to leave Dunedin. We sold our house and a lot of our belongings. Already, looking at photos causes a pang of loss in the heart. The team in the Educational Development Centre bid me a lovely and prolonged farewell. I got to feel that some were sorry to see me leave. I think I can say that I caused some positive change there, prefaced by disruption. Veronique even read my books before I left and we had a nice conversation about that, I was very grateful to her for doing that :) I was pleased also to see that the idea of enrolling in courses at completion rather than at the beginning, was starting to take hold officially by some up in "Leadership", and on the day I left I even received the perfect email request from a staff member asking for advice on how to develop and market her courses and topic though social media. The wording was informed and enthusiastic. Sadly my Otago email has already been shelved and I can no longer access a copy of it, lost for ever.

I've been talking with a kiwi researcher here about what I might do for research. He was particularly encouraging about the idea of diarising and forming up a program for staff development in the use of media and communications in their work.. I'm thinking seriously about a PhD in it.. a DIY PhD of course ;)




13 comments:

Heike said...

Thanks for the update Leigh! I am very curious to see how things are really all that different (or not) from Dunedin.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hate to say it, Leigh...but you've got to get that PhD!! :)

botheredbybees said...

welcome back to the big island Leigh - good luck with your new gig

Carolyn said...

@Leigh, good to hear your news. Hope you have a bed and are not sleeping in the car. Surprised to hear you talking about doing the PhD thing but what a good idea :)
@ Sarah, look whose talking :)

Anonymous said...

Great to hear that you're settled. We miss you! Hope it's a lovely part of Canberra - there are a few odd places there!

willie campbell said...

as if University of Camberra is very like many other education al institutions- a mix of those close to your heasrt and a clutch of people ripe for converting. Go well leigh.You have good exeprience in working with both groups.

HD said...

Hi Leigh
You are missed! You added much to our EDC team and many of us will continue with what you taught us. It won't be lost.
Wishing you and Sunshine the very best. Hope that home comes through soon :)

Veronique said...

Good to hear that you and Sunshine are settling in. UC sounds like just the kind of challenge you are well used to, ... now the question is whether you will take a gentle mild-mannered approach or just get in there and kick some arse! (can I use words like that in blog comments?) :)

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Leigh see the sort of thing you have left me with! "Kick some arse" indeed! We may well be taking up some of your evangelism - aren't you glad your time was so well spent converting us! :)
As soon as I get back from leave, and Sarah starts we are going to start plotting - where to next? I can feel a Youtube video coming on gals.

It sounds like everything is going well for you both - good luck with the house hunting.

Anna Hughes said...

Ditto Leigh :)

Sarah Stewart said...

@carolyn...yes...well...the less said about my Phd the better!

@bronwyn...can't wait to start that plotting :)

Nancy White said...

Wow, you two are on the move! Hopefully we can meet up when I'm in Canberra next month (the 12th I think, but I'm not with calendar at the moment. )

Merrolee said...

Yes well what can I add - a bit slow of the mark here.. but anyway Leigh... just keep thinking of the pebble in the pond.. the ripples are always further reaching than you think - and you never know who will catch one of those ripples and when and what difference it makes ... look at how many of us are using the tools compared to when you came to OP! Sure the same will happen at ANU... oh.. and Phd??? hmm hard to find the DIY yet - maybe you have to go the hard route, to then create the DIY route for the rest of us :-)