Martin Bean – Shaping the future together

Martin Bean is the OU’s vice chancellor. Today, he gave his Annual Address to the University, entitled “Shaping the Future Together”. This address is the kick-off for the Council Residential Weekend – Council being the main governing body of the University.

I liveblogged his address to the OU in January 2009, when he was VC-designate, and also a keynote he gave at ALT-C in September 2009 after he’d taken up the job.

I’ve always found Martin an inspiring speaker. He sends round regular video podcasts for staff (including transcripts, which as a video-skeptic I particularly appreciate – classic example of Access For All principles there). But it’s nice to have a chance to hear him in person. Back in January, he encouraged staff to sign up to attend one of our graduation ceremonies. I always used to do this once a year but had stopped for pressure of time. So I took his advice and went to the Milton Keynes graduation ceremony, and it was as moving as I remembered – and he was a fantastic presence on the stage.

We’re in a situation of enormous uncertainty and pressure, in general (the economic situation), in the HE sector (the economic situation), in the UK HE sector (fees, the rise of the private HE sector – e.g. BPP and NCH, and the economic situation), and at the OU (fees, ELQ, and the economic situation).

I think we could do with listening to an inspiring speaker about now.

These are my liveblog notes from his address. (The talk was also webcast, and should be available for replay shortly afterwards – if you’re coming to this long after 23 September 2011, you’ll need to navigate through the list to talks from that date.)

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Learning by tinkering

Liveblog notes from “Learning by tinkering”, an IET Technology Coffee Morning given by Marian Petre on 7 September 2011.

The talk is a mash-up of three related research strands:

  • First strand is with children in robotics, with Jeff Johnson. Robocup Junior, Robofest – rich research base.
  • Second is a long-term observational study of children as end-users at home pursuing their own objectives – children as unwitting programmers.
  • Third stream is her primary work – empirical studies of expert software developers.

Danboard Super Box
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