Many University units supported our proposal for Computer Club (now known as joinin) for consideration by the new IT Innovation Seed Fund. They added ‘thumbs up’ and comments and we were able to name more than one unit willing to be a test-bed for this. In particular there was some online discussion about this ‘idea’ on the Innovation Fund website. Here are some of the endorsements we received as we tried to gather momentum during the bidding process:
For the Bodleian Libraries:
The Bodleian Libraries are very interested in participating in a trial run of a computer club style project. A facet of our current strategy is the idea of ‘digital shift’, emphasising staff training in digital skills across the organisation – i.e. not just for those whose roles involve a great deal of higher level technical skills. This could provide a format for jump starting that training in a manageable and sustainable way – calling on expertise from within the organization but also from within the University more generally (IT Services, other departments) and perhaps further afield.
For the Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum:
Increasingly all the staff at the Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum are expected to contribute to the department’s on-line presence, social media, using digital technologies for outreach etc. There are varying degrees of digital literacy and also a need for some staff to increase their confidence in their own abilities. An informal, fun forum in which the less digitally literate staff could meet would be ideal. For those who are already digitally literate in the skills currently needed, it would would be a good forum for experiencing new skills that could be applied to the Department’s on line presence. The Botanic Garden supports this submission and would like to be involved in its trial.
For the History Faculty:
It is very easy to avoid learning about new technology, digital teaching methods, social media, etc., especially if you have been doing quite well without it for years. And it can be incredibly daunting! The IWM’s Computer Club has made learning easy, appealing, and relevant: the sessions clearly demonstrated how tech could help staff in their roles. This tailored approach, together with the non-traditional learning environment and informal teaching methods make it ideal for an adult audience. The History Faculty supports this submission, and we would very much like to take part in the trial.
For the Museums:
Agree this could be a great initiative. We are all increasingly being asked to integrate digital into how we work and communicate – it is up to us as organisations to ensure our colleagues have the skills to do this, and can’t say they don’t know how or have time. I’ve heard quite a bit about the IWM Computer Club and got the feeling it worked well because it was fun, and people learnt together as a group. It would be great if that could be replicated here.
For IT Services:
This is an exciting proposal. The Computer Club Engage talk (Nov 18th) arranged to kick-start discussions with staff from the wider university community worked well and attracted significant levels of enthusiasm and interest especially from representatives of the university museums. I agree with Dave- it would be excellent to utilise local IT knowledge where possible. This is in keeping with it being a collaborative and supportive scheme/forum rather than top-down i.e. staff helping other staff. Additionally this might inspire participants further if they see their colleagues getting involved and being creative with different forms of digital technology.
Computer Club is an initiative that will encourage innovative use with digital technologies across the University. All too often we focus on rewarding and supporting innovative practice without putting in place the stepping stones to enable our colleagues to reach the stage whereby they feel confident and supported in trialling new things in their academic practice. Computer club is an innovative model and will take IT Services out into the University units. It’s informal and fun approach will appeal to a lot of time-pressed University members, and provide opportunities for greater engagement with potential service users (e.g. relationships built through the club will lead to members coming on our courses, using our services, contributing to our initiatives, or collaborating on funding/ project proposals). Furthermore IT Services already has in place avenues to showcase resulting innovative practice developed through Computer Club e.g. lunchtime talks, the OxTALENT Awards, Case Studies. This is a proposal that fits solidly with IT Services mission statement to act as an ‘enabler’, be ‘responsive’ and ‘develop IT skills’, it is scaleable and responsive to the changing digital landscape, and as such I think it will be a great asset.”