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More than 100 TechLink members registered to join UIS Director, Prof. Ian Leslie's online TechLink Community event on Tuesday 20 October.

The year ahead – UIS Director's Update – TechLink Community Seminar

Ian highlighted UIS' organisational critical activities in response to Covid-19 and priorities for the academic year ahead including our current focus on supporting Teaching and Learning technology and protecting the wellbeing of staff while working under pressured circumstances. 

The event also included some brief updates from Barney Brown and Kate Livingstone on the Digital Presence Programme, from Gordon Ross on Hermes migration and EES licensing, and from Ronald Haynes on the TechLink programme.

A recording of the seminar was made available on the same day (now archived on the SMS), and overall has had nearly 100 views and many downloads.

TechLink Community programme and updates

There was an enthusiastic response to the COGEnT (Cambridge, Oxford, Glasgow, Edinburgh) pilot continuing professional development (CPD) project partnering with CompTIA <>, and we filled all our available free 'seats', while our waiting list of three were neatly accommodated by the other three Universities with some spare spaces.  Thank you to all who have been so supportive of this initiative, and for all the support for those on this pilot course.

Each University had a lead student who did especially well on the CompTIA Network+ course, and who will receive a free voucher for the certification exam. Congratulations go to Edward Allen from Corpus Christi College's IT team for being the lead student for Cambridge - well done, and thanks for all the dedication and commitment!  A follow up webinar and more information about the COGEnT pilot, CompTIA courses and favourable academic pricing, will be available in due course.

More immediately, a few 'COGEnT' colleagues from each of the other three Universities - Oxford, Glasgow, Edinburgh - will hopefully be joining us for some of our more generalised TechLink seminars this Term, starting with ones on cloud computing.  As we are approaching nearly 20 years of TechLink seminars, it is good that we now can more easily include and connect with some counterparts from other Higher Education institutions - to aid mutual understanding, support and collaboration between us all.

The TechLink Community seminar programme for this term has been taking shape, starting of course with the 'Year Ahead' seminar with Ian Leslie on 20 October (recording). We have two 'Clouds Ahead?' seminars scheduled - with back-to-back presentations and discussions concerning cloud computing. The first is on Wednesday, 4 November at 14:15, providing an overview of key aspects of cloud computing - with an overview of AWS, the Amazon Web Services, as well as an overview of Azure, the Microsoft cloud offerings, with their partners Phoenix Software.  The second is set for Wednesday, 25 November at 14:15, with an overview of the Google Cloud offerings, and hopefully an overview of the University's Cloud Strategy (TBC).

In addition, there will be an update on developments with the Digital Presence strategy, and an overview of the Digital Admissions project on Tuesday, 17 November at 14:15.  A work in progress is a Cyber Security redux, with UIS security colleagues hopefully providing some updates and reflections on 9th December – more on that soon.

The IT Induction for newer IT staff is being organised for Thursday 26 November from 14:00–16:30.  While we have more informal inductions and introductions throughout the year, as and when needed, we plan an annual induction session to focus on and clarify a bit more of the details involved with the IT world in and around the University.  Although aimed at those newer to the University, and/or to IT in the University, it is open to and encouraged for all IT staff (e.g. if you have missed them in the past, and naturally space permitting).  There will be further details and booking link soon – if interested, please mark the date, and get in touch with any questions.

Since the early days of the pandemic, we also have been meeting online nearly every fortnight, for a more informal catch-up - a TechLink Community discussion, or 'Peer Chat'.  We will be meeting again on Thursday, 5 November at 14:15 (via Zoom). Please do join with others to share ideas, thoughts or any news.

Ronald Haynes, IT Community Development Manager

UIS Service Desk

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