Ultraversity Graduation 2008

I am as pleased as punch to have attended the graduation ceremony for the BA learning technology research degree run by Anglia Ruskin University. Not least because it is now three years old, and I was one of the team that helped devise the pathway and create the opportunity. However, it is more significant than that for me… this particular cohort included my brother who graduated with a first class honours degree.

The degree pathway allows you to stay in regular employment throughout the course. You actually study your work in a research sense and engage in a number of practical and innovative projects designed to help you get better at what you already do.

Codenamed ‘Ultraversity’ from inception, the degree was one of the first work based learning solutions in the UK that is designed to keep you in your job. Others may encourage you to study and seek promotion elsewhere after graduating, or take an extraordinarily long time to complete, but Ultraversity is designed to be completed in just three years, operates entirely online and doesn’t require any face to face sessions at all.

It might just be worth your while contacting Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford to find out more – it is a full quality British degree and remains one of the most innovative approaches to degree studies I have yet seen.

But it was the pride with which I watched my brother graduate that I shall remember, more than anything else. More than the speech about how good ARU is as a university, more than the procession of academics, more than the dank and cold weather…

A month without? BBC Blast, NHS, BETT

Ever tried going a whole month without? I wasn’t consioulsy trying to, but I looked at the date and was suitably taken aback that it is nearly a whole month since the last time. That’s not quite a record, but it really doesn’t feel so good.

Of course, I am talking about blog posting.

Cleveratom has been a really busy place to be around of late, with many things going on that are simply taking huge amounts of time. This is all good, but it does mean there isn’t enough time left to do things like write blog posts.

So what’s been taking the time away?

First up, BBC Blast are recomissioning their wonderful touring entourage, and extending it somewhat too. The amazingly innovative truck and marquee are to be joined by a further space on each location (where it is possible to fit it in) and have an advanced vehicle visiting locations in advance. It will all make sense when you see it, even if it doesn’t right now, but suffice to say the project continues to go from strength to strength and should be an astonishingly brilliant tour in 2009 – 2011.

Next, the NHS are developing a professional networking solution that should complement and extend the learning management systems, and provide greater opportunities for dialogue between all of the various parts that make up the health care provision we all enjoy. Creating a robust solution that meets everybody’s needs is quite a challenge, but with many years experience to call on, and colleagues from our old university too, we feel confident of getting it into shape by the deadline of 5th December.

The BETT show is fast approaching and as ever Cleveratom will be there, this time partnering with City Cllege Norwich to develop an excellent stand space and provide a rich insight into what happens in the college ‘RUGroom’ space which we helped develop. This development has been exceptiionally successful in providing a rich and creative experience for all of the RUGroom students. We are considerably proud of the fact that our involvement in Norwich has been over such a long time, and that one of the outcomes has been a ‘Beacon Award’ for CCN. Can we now say that we have helped develop an award winning space? I’d like to think so! In the mean time we have to prepare the space for BETT, design the stand, arrange for the hire of the necessary kit, organise merchandising and leaflets and generally get it all into a viable project. We will be on stand U130 (and U120) in the New Technology zone where we will be showing products such as ‘Spoke’, ‘Thought Park’ and ‘Mobi Stick’… all wonderful creations! There is more information about these tools on the Cleveratom Website.

All in all these things take time to get right, and with three major pieces of work like this it is no surprise to find a distinct lack of blogging going on. As soon as there is enough of a space I’ll report about each of these projects in turn.