Recently, I attended the first, of hopefully many, Girl Geek (York) Dinners held at Grays Court, York. There was a full house of people from a range of backgrounds and, after an excellent supper and lots of time to network, we were treated to two inspiring presentations.
The first was from Helen Harrop of Sero (and a million other enterprises, as anyone who follows her of Twitter will tell you) entitled How I Learnt to Love Numbers. Helen took us through her early influences and experiences with numbers and how she caught the computing bug. Helen expertly weaves her affinity for logic with her passion for art, probably because she instinctively sees the overlap between them. You can find evidence of Helen’s artistry including her doodles (the word just doesn’t do them justice) on Flickr.
The second presentation was from Mary Vincent of Green Star Solution. We were given a whirlwind tour of her many business interests, with a discussion on a host of green ICT issues including thin clients, cloud computing (potentially greener?) and data centre design.
The tag for this meeting was #GirlGeekY so it’s worth looking for other blog posts and Tweets about this event.
After being immersed in our Skills for Scientists project for almost a year now, it was good to get a fuller picture of the other projects at this conference. Many were represented and I attended presentations from as many as I could, especially other Subject projects. Alex Fenlon and Rob Pearce spoke for the Engineering Subject Centre project, from the vital IPR aspect and meeting the challenge of searching for OER stored in a multitude of repositories. Megan Quentin-Baxter and Suzanne Hardy ran a workshop from MEDEV, illustrating how their project was supporting those creating and releasing OER in a complex area of ethical considerations and how much the project was promoting policy change. Alison Dickens and Kate Borthwick gave a presentation on the very impressive HUMBOX project and how keeping a group of disciplines together was promoting sharing and reuse of resources.
Several interesting themes emerged from the conference as a whole. These included the reasons for and the promotion of sharing (eg Ulrich Tiedau); building a business model (eg Charles Duncan); institutional/senior management backing (eg Andy Beggan and the BERLiN project); taking OER to the (re)user (eg Nancy Graham); digital content training (eg Neil Bruton and the 4C Initiative); and student involvement (eg Chris Follows).
Since the majority of presentations were held in parallel I only saw a fraction of what was available (always the way at larger events). This reflection represents only a part of the conference, I wish I could have seen and heard it all. The links below provide access to the programme and all the abstracts and presentations, plus Tweets, photographs and more.
A big Thank You must go to all the organisers for putting together such a stimulating event.
Skills for Scientists presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/traceymadden/skills-for-scientists-creating-and-supporting-a-sustainable-oer-environment#
Conference Website (including programme with links to abstracts and presentations): http://www.ucel.ac.uk/oer10/
Conference photographs: http://www.ucel.ac.uk/oer10/gallery.html