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From Buzzword to Baseline: Digital Transformation in action

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Debbie McVitty


Debbie McVitty introduced the panel with the following preamble. We would be reflecting on digital transformation: organisations, cultures and practices.

  • That technology imposes on every aspect of our lives.

  • What this means for university cultures and how we teach and communicate with students.

  • A warning that Covid has created a crisis condition that has forced us onto a testbed preemptively - not everyone was ready for it. 

  • And the difficulty of trying to add change to old platforms and practices. (The recommendation is to start again on an entirely different space and then fold the successes into the university online space). 

  • The first speakers were: 

  • Patrick Mullane, Executive Director, Harvard Business School Online

  • Rebecca Galley, Director, Learning Experience and Technology, Open University.

My own reflection on this is that it helps to have an understanding of the 'diffusion of innovations'. Going digital with has been a clear case of innovators and early adopters (The Open University, Coursera, Duke University, Coventry University ), as well as late adopters (Oxford and Cambridge University) and laggards (FE colleges and Secondary Schools?). 

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Blog It, VlogIt, Link it in and other Social Media : Digital Presence for Adult Learners

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I'm pushing this is a 7 week digital literacy class for late adopters = any age will do, but I suspect they will be over 50s. I've worked with this age group, more like over 70s for the last 5 years. I'm offering it to my age group because so many of us are resisters and deniers. 

The above from a May 2019 post. oops, not citation.

Just thinking about this, as I walk the dog and shouldn't be thinking about anything, I find myself taking the classic bell curve of Everett Rogers (2005) Diffusion of Innovations. A book that so impressed me that I bought copies for people. Looking around my shelves it would appear I have given them all away. These days, having gone through a period of digital online - a multitude of Kindle publications unread, I know dig out second hand hardback copies and treat them with a little more respect. The brain is still analogue after all and a pile of books by the bed, balanced on top of each other on a shelf or even in the glove compartment of the car is better than having it on a device that will distract you many times an hour with appeals to do something else.

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