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By Karen Howie (Head of Digital Learning Applications and Media in Information Services)
New job, new service

New job, new service

I joined IS three months ago, and have been lucky enough to join the Technology Enhanced Learning team, part of DLAM (Digital Learning Applications & Media) team, which sits in the LTW (Learning, Teaching and Web) Directorate.  When I arrived, the team were in the midst of the development of our new Academic Blogging System, which includes a new, centrally-managed WordPress blogging platform.

I swooped in just in-time to look like I did some of the hard-work on the platform and take the credit.

Joking aside, it’s been a pleasure to be involved with this project.  The project team have worked so hard, juggling their day-jobs with the development of this new service, and keeping all the plates spinning.  The project was such a positive working experience – utilising people (and skills) from across different parts of IS, everyone genuinely enthusiastic about what was being developed.

As L-Day (Launch-Day) approached, panic (mine) set in and I couldn’t understand where the time had all disappeared to but it launched on the 2nd of October as advertised with only a couple of minor wrinkles, which were ironed out impressively fast.

I’ve been working my way around different parts of University talking to people about the blogging service – and I don’t need to pretend to be enthusiastic about it.  I think it’s a great service (biased, who me? Nah!).  Effectively, we’ve repackaged tools we had before October with new documentation and guidance, launched our new WordPress platform, developed blogging specific policies, created new training courses and also a number of ways to help staff choose between the different blogging platforms and tools available.  You can find out more on our new Academic Blogging Service website.

So, is it time now to put our feet up and have a cuppa?  No! We have a lot more planned. Currently we have a bunch of new plugins and themes ear-marked for install, a process for blog deletion and archival to plan and we hope to integrate the service with our University search engine.  There are more workshops to develop and we’ll be piloting a student ‘Domain-Of-One’s-Own’ project in semester 2.  I’m also continuing to work my way around people to spread the word.

Coming from my previous life in a School (where I was a School IT Manager), I can see so many benefits of this service… and that’s what my next blog post will be about.

Until then…

(CC0 license @Free-Photos)


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