Goodbye Castlepark – Weeknote #38 – 29th November 2019

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Ramsay Garden at EdinburghIt has been a more busy week this moment, using a lot more travelling, such as buses, airplanes, trains, trams, cars and walking. There was some rain and end, although the weather was not too awful.
University of South WalesMonday that I was in Wales for one of Jisc’s Stakeholder Forums. It was interesting to talk to coworkers form universities and colleges about how they felt we provide them. I truly enjoyed the session delivered with my buddy on challenges and co-design and for education we had a very insightful and fascinating discussion concerning a Netflix design model in my table.
Landed at Edinburgh AirportTuesday I was away staying overnight before going off to get a meeting with QAA Scotland to Glasgow.
I realised as I walked having checked into my hotel, which I have been to Edinburgh several times for work over the last twenty years, but have never actually visited the place at a personal capacity that was non-work. I go to London a lot but go there together with household to visit and explore. I am thinking about possibly visiting Edinburgh in the future.

Wednesday morning I attended the Digital Capabilities Community of Practice. It was a room filled with people talking, listening and thinking about electronic capabilities.
Digital Capability Community of Practice at opening keynote in the University of Edinburgh in their electronic transformation journey was interesting. One aspect that I had seen before was that the sense that the need to create their own framework and definitions introducing terms like digital competence, electronic fluency. Now I value the nuances of distinct words, and the importance of language, capability doesn’t mean the same as skill or fluency or competence. But is there a demand for every University in the UK when it comes to capabilities and digital skills to do their framework? Surely the effort could be off put into working and creating with staff?
This tweet out of Shelia MacNeill made me think

When transformation has occurred, how do we know? Is is when we cease using the word electronic? Asking for a buddy #digitalcapability

I think one of those challenges, is defining”electronic” it is not static and like technology is continuing to change. Transformation can indicate a change from one state to another. In reality I think we will need to be transforming, it is a journey not a destination.
I directed by train to Glasgow and left the assembly in Edinburgh early. I had never travelled by railway in Scotland and to be honest it is no different to travelling by railway in England. I then moved up to Scotland and was amused though to find some old First Great Western train carriages used, having been retired by the mainline down in Bristol. I was on the same day a couple of years previously I had also being in Glasgow.

I was in Glasgow to get a meeting with QAA and afterwards I was able to use the hotdesks before I made my way to the airport for residence and my trip back to Bristol. I like how the Glasgow Airport Bus has tables. A little hard for typing.
First Glasgow Airport BusThursday I was back at the Bristol office, his was the penultimate day before going on Portwall Lane, we were in Castlepark. I had to package the things in my locker. A few years ago we proceeded to hot-desking so that I didn’t have to clear a desk or package a pedestal. I know hot-desking is a sensitive and controversial issue for me, for many it is not an issue.

When you consider per week like this one, one working at home and one day two in Scotland, at Wales, I only needed a desk. If I had my own desk at the office then it’d be”unused” for four days. This isn’t an efficient use of funds. n’t used the desk during those 21, On that one day I was in meetings for 3 hours.
It didn’t have a computer on it, as we only (originally) had a single computer for the entire faculty! I remember it being a bit of a mess, though once I have actually organised in my teaching, it was a whole lot tidier. My desk was unused for most of the day, therefore did become more of a place as I was teaching. I remember the office that is shared was busy, so it was not conducive to working at a desk due to the noise and constant interruptions.

I had far more input when I worked at the Western Colleges Consortium. When we moved to our brand new office in Keynsham I remember, I had a massive desk complete with finish table for meetings. To be honest the desk was far too large for the size of this office, however I’d have two desktops in two and their (at the time) huge 17″ screens.

Gloucestershire College from James ClayIt was once I moved to Gloucestershire College, that my thinking about”with a desk” changed a long time. The office area we were allocated was a whole lot smaller than previously when we moved in the Gloucester Docks to the college building. I recall having a conversation with the staff about desking. Was that people wanted to get a desk in order that they could place their things and work somewhere. As the vast majority of the staff were client facing (working together with staff and students from the library and elsewhere at the college), some were part-time, so it was apparent to me that when I gave everybody a desk (also it’d be a small desk) that they would be empty most of the working week. We also had team members from different campuses coming to the Gloucester Campus and needing somewhere to work (and leave their things ).
So instead of have twelve small desks, we made a choice to get a few big closets that were fair along with only six desks. We would have a very clear desk policy and people would save their things in the cabinets. We then had the distance to really have a couch in the office as also a coffee table along with well.
It has to be said, partly to the C-shaped facet of the office, that I had a”separate” desk at a part of the office. I was very clear to the team that they could use my this desk and was equally clear, that they used the desk and when I arrived, they would stay at the desk and I’d find somewhere else to work.
I was quite clear that we would review the situation in six months and when it was not working the space would alter.
Well, what happened, following six months we actually gave two desks from the six away.

CastlePark at BristolWhen I started at Jisc at 2015, I was not allocated a desk since there was not one, but following an office re-shuffle, I’d get a desk. Though it was”my” desk, I kept it clear, so on those days when I was not in the office anybody could use it, and they did. I could tell since they re-adjusted my seat! A couple of years afterwards, the situation changed and at the Castlepark office we transferred entirely to hot-desking. My only gripe about that was we had to use a booking system and the truth is that it results in desks though I see why people think this is essential.
I wrote this post in 2016 on library PC booking systems, but the basis of the article stays the same for desk booking systems.

When requested, why you require a desk booking system, people often say that, I don’t wish to reach the office and then find I have nowhere to put my things… Desks ought to be about doing things, much less a place to store things.
On my visit on Thursday I discovered (clearly not been around Castlepark for some time ) that about the construction site next door the elevator shaft of this new construction was assembled, all twenty and floors of it.
Castle Park View elevator shaftI took an image of this artist’s belief and I was amused that the new tower block will block the sunlight, leaving a shadow round Castlepark, needing to get the lights on during the day…
Castle Park ViewThough we already have the lights on during the day…
Friday I couldn’t have gone to our Bristol office if I wanted to…. I could have gone for the morning. Until the one in Portwall Lane opens on the 9th December Then we have a week with no office.
One thing this week I learnt has been to obtain a transcript of a YouTube video. Really useful when you may not have enough opportunity to obey all of a video (or podcast) but wish to see if a particular term or phrase has been used.
Image out of PixabayI read a couple of interesting blog posts on technologies, one about mental health and Friday by Pexels
What does it take to acquire digital tools into use in mental health services, and what could researchers do to make this work?
The solution is straightforward. Do better search and study the right things. But how?
The other has been on Wonkhe about how universities can not afford to dismiss”confession” websites.
All this usually means that institutions will need to develop a greater understanding concerning the world if universities are serious about student behavior. “We can’t do anything” is not the scenario, but one does need a certain level of knowledge to be able to tackle these issues. Awareness could be a beginning. We wonder how many of those in senior management positions in universities are conscious of the occurrence of those pages, let alone the high publicity reputational harm that could result from a national news story concerning one of them – or even a failure to encourage victims who might feel unsafe or threatened as a consequence of what’s submitted?
There is a lesson here about electronic capability which often people think is all about using tools like the VLE or office suites, but electronic capability is also about understanding the issues (and risks) that could arise in using electronic technologies and services by staff and students.
My top tweet this week was this one.

Dad: *nudging methat should have been you
Me: Not today Dad
Dad: Not requesting a Thought Leader to assist, are they?
Me: Dad, there is a medical emergency happening

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