This new year sees a number of changes in Beyond Distance, the most significant being the departure of Gilly to take up her new post as Professor of Learning Futures and Executive Director of the Australian Digital Futures Institute at University of Southern Queensland.
(As an aside, Gilly is now living in flood-hit Towoomba, but has reported in safely, as has her new team.)
While we are sorry to see Gilly go, one silver lining to this particular cloud is the collaboration now underway between our two institutions on the Learning Futures Festival Online 2011, Follow the Sun. With its non-stop, 48-hour, global format, I’m certain this conference will further cement the institutions’ reputations as technology innovators.
Beyond Distance also continues its main work of researching new technologies and pedagogies. Just yesterday, a research pilot project called PELICANS was placed in the Breeding Area of the Media Zoo, and existing projects CALF, SPIDER, SWIFT, OSTRICH and TIGER progress well.
The Media Zoo continues to disseminate colleagues’ research and, importantly for University of Leicester colleagues, offer hands-on technical advice. The Friday Workshop, a new series of learning technology workshops held every Friday morning 10-12, has just been launched.
Our own Media Zoo will also be collaborating more with the Graduate School Media Zoo (based in the library on the main campus). With its focus on postgraduate students, the GSMZ offers us a chance to bring academics and PhD students together in a single environment to learn as much from each other as from the Zookeepers.
I’m always amazed by the achievements and knowledge of my colleagues, so I remain certain that 2011 will see everyone build upon Gilly’s hard work to keep Beyond Distance at the forefront of e-learning research in higher education.
Keeper of the Media Zoo