On Friday 12th April, my colleague and I took a trip to the University of Birmingham for the HEaTED West Midlands Regional Networking Meeting. It was much better attended than the last one with around 30 technical staff from a variety of subject areas all getting together to talk about the issues and subtleties of being a member of technical staff in HE.
There were a number of interesting discussions that took place. One of the key functions of HEaTED is to provide professional development opportunities for technical staff so we spent some time looking at their course offerings and highlighted the courses that seemed most useful, suggested courses we would like to see and had the opportunity to offer to run some courses that didn’t already exist. I have a little idea for a course that I think might be popular given the current climate in universities but I’ll keep that under my hat for now until I’ve had a chance to think about it properly.
There was also a guest speaker from the University of Plymouth who is investigating the possibility of developing a professional registration programme for people working in the creative industries. I’m interested to see how this one develops . I probably wouldn’t undergo registration myself as I see myself as an elearning specialist who is a mutlimedia developer so CMALT is the most appropriate route for me and my career … however for colleagues in my team who see themselves as creative multimedia specialists who happen to be working in elearning at the moment, this registration could be really exciting.
The discussion around the use of the word “Technician” continues … for HEaTED it’s about thier marketing. Is the T Word a barrier for some technical staff joining HEaTED? I certainly don’t class myself as a technician and I wrote about why after the last meeting, so personally I would welcome a re-brand of HEaTED … but coming up with a suitable acronym might be puzzling!
Also, the HEaTED networking lunch did not disappoint. A tasty selection of wraps, chicken skewers and very sticky chocolate brownies were devoured along with some really interesting conversations with our west midlands colleagues. Looking forward to seeing some of them again at the next RNM in Staffordshire already!