Updates – various

Piano teaching – good, now starting to read sheet music without lettering. I skipped over various notation so will find a practice quiz. Once they are happy with reading, will also work on fingering.

Taekwondo – practice fight day this Sunday, will probably be there and hopefully with a student I’ve teaching.

Russian – starting to see daylight with two of cases, pronunciation still dire but will focus more on once sentence structure more solidly engrained.

Now going at end of Aug / early Sept. Lovely Siberian eco project for part of it. My niece has asked me if I’m a near a bear, can I take photo. I asked if a closeup of its teeth before it bites my head off would be ok? Apparently yes because bear less likely to eat phone so she will still be able to see photo.

Also doing a bushcraft refresher – don’t want to be thinking – now how do I do this again when I’m on cooking duty and everyone tired and hungry. Have previously made fires on wet stones by a river in South Wales, so hopefully it will come back….in an age of firelighters….

Have been recommended a new spine exercise. Lie flat on back on floor with knees up and feet on floor. Turn palms up and lie for half an hour. Still continuing with yoga and structural practice.

Web, video conferencing with interactive screen software

After hearing about the Microsoft Surface interaction last week at the NHS-HE forum I decided to play around with one of our portable whiteboards which we use in the labs.We managed a successful test. This means that students can interact with someone or something remotely in another location in real time whilst using the whiteboard for image, drawing, text etc

We couldn’t display a a web conferencing call with video by overlaying one window on top of the other but we tiled it with the whiteboard and you can easily use Alt+Tab buttons to switch between if needed full screen on either. I used mobile phone to check that video call was good enough and provided you have wifi or data connection it was fine. You could use Zoom, Skype or any other web conferencing that has video.

Tile both windows side by side by hovering your mouse down the vertical side of the whiteboard software and e.g. the web conferencing software. Drag them so they both display side by side. The chat window is optional – if you need more space on the whiteboard press X next to Conversation to close it

screenshot of tiled interactive software and web conferencing software

Art Open Studios

The next two weekends are artists open studios where members of the public can wander into studios, see art, art in progress. Some artists do it to encourage people to join their classes or but art, others do for fun.

Carshalton – CAOS http://www.carshaltonartists.com

Richmond Art


Lavender update

Kids growing up fast.

Two random ones speeding into summer ahead of the rest.

Bees happy.

Close up of lavender and bee

young bushes

Universal healthcare – reading the small print

Baba presented at #KeepourNHSpublic AGM today with an informed international health policy overview.

A useful reminder that ‘universal health coverage’ is a term that’s useful in some ways but continues to be hijacked since the 1980s by those who want to profit from health rather than support publicly financed, accountable and publicly delivered healthcare.

So the small print is more explicit from the ideology of marketised healthcare including ballooning healthcare costs, regressive tax systems where the wealthy share less and less of the wealth with the less fortunate who may have unexpected and catastrophic health conditions.

Also small state governance, unregulated profiteering, lack of health equity in coverage i.e. everything about the US health system and why attempts to provide socialised, universal health care has failed:


Art Therapy end of year student exhibition

There was a mini internal end of year exhibition for students studying arts therapy on our campus yesterday. I know next to nothing about art therapy but doing some prep work with a colleague for a couple of projects at the mo

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Taekwondo update

I visited a club in South London tonight to resolve the insurance issue so that I can be more formal with the staff wellbeing programme.

So a positive step forward as my 8am staff session does not clash with his taekwondo students lives – the studentsare actually all higher dans than me anyway.

The instructor has excellent attitude and technique demonstration. The students are a mix of ITF and WTF.

The first student I spoke to was a Russian Nicola from Lithuania – she is only a white belt but is very flexible.

International Journal for Alternative Energy and Ecology – Russian and English


“The journal is intended for specialists in the area of physico-mathematical, engineering, and chemical sciences and is published twice a month. 4 new issues of the journal come out every two months.”

For example, searching under ‘renewable energy sources’ brings


For water sanitation:


I haven’t had time to check what is open access and what is not.

Roehampton, Kingston, Sheen loop via Richmond Park

If you want a peaceful stroll through Richmond Park on a sunny Sunday morning, don’t attempt to walk the Tamsin trail mid morning Roehampton gate – Kingston gate as I did. Have only cycled it before several years ago and it now appears to be the M1 for cyclists and runners.

Week days probably better…

You can cut to town centre via Kings & Acre roads from Kingston gate then 10 mins through towm centre to the Thames

Returning to the park, Kingston – meandering near Ham gate then past woods and Pen ponds was lovely – many paths and some peaceful surroundings.

Good excuse to learn irregular Russian nominative case nouns – берега, бечера, города, матери, метро…

Museum of Water and Steam

One day the water sanitation module will emerge but in the meantime some history collecting. It’s £12.50 adult entrance £16.50 for multiple entry over a year, but it’s steam engine heaven for those that like and lots to do.

Pipes made of wooden logs

Photos of laying pipes and London map

SEDA possible action plan

We had to write one for the portfolio, these are all going to be small projects if implemented.

Chatbots in education:
As an online learning specialist, I continue to investigate several aspects of blended learning. I am currently working with a researcher in Psychology to potentially pilot use of chatbot technologies and evaluate their effectiveness. Alongside this, we may be piloting within the Moodle support team, a Moodle chatbot that can answer student queries at the time and point of need which may help students around times when they need to study, but a traditional helpdesk may not available. We are analysing the queries from four years of call logs to build a conversation framework for a chatbot. [since writing this, they are developing a generic customer services bot for all of Roehampton support but we will monitor for usefulness]

Online Peer contributions and Online Assessment:
I will complete some additional research about student input into learning sessions outside of analytics, for example what students do if they feel that a lecturer is not making a topic clear enough or an assessment is not suitable enough. I will take this forward at both Life Sciences and Psychology Learning and Teaching Quality groups for further discussion.
We are currently reviewing in-class tests and exams using Moodle. We have discovered issues with provision of accessible formats and investigating options. We are in the process of setting up an accessibility and technologies working group within the university to address a number of issues and ensure that guidance is consistent. I attended an online assessment and digital exams conference and have written an online assessment project paper to initiate a project to investigate and develop online assessment and examinations including potential use of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) and remote examinations particularly for partnerships students. I will obtain feedback about whether use of a downloadable rubric library will be helpful for academic staff.

Digital Literacy & Multimedia:
Technology literacy sometimes called digital and data literacy continue to present challenges for especially mature learners. I will input into development of a digital literacy induction package for new and existing students at the university. National changes to disabilities services provision are continuing to impact students at Roehampton but involvement of students in any new projects will help ensure that we are being inclusive by design rather than reactive to challenges as they emerge. I am on a number of accessibility forums and regularly review software. If time permits, I will co-produce learning design guidelines in addition to Moodle templates. Psychology will be expanding a workshop I ran for students on creating multimedia podcasts and I will design and deliver a series of workshops for all undergraduate first year students. Use of Mac computers and video editing will be included to assist with technology and media literacies development.

We have portable interactive smartboards to be used in the labs so I will investigate use of web / video conferencing using the smartboard this summer.

Learning Technologies research projects:
I will research examples of what has worked – particularly for life sciences and psychology and Glion as these are the main areas that I support but I will ask other departments including Media, Culture, Language and Social Sciences for any projects they have tried or challenges they have faced including EU funded projects. I have released a first draft of a learning technologies journal and articles directory with an accompanying flow chart process to help academic staff complete learning technologies projects and submit journal articles, in addition to their current research interests.

NHS Higher Education forum

These are brief notes from an NHS in Higher Education forum that is organised by JISC. I have not attended before but the organisers are ok and know their tech. I also know a senior person who I believe is now at NHS Digital – was certainly at NHS Information, we had some joint links from the past and it’s a shame that we view things so differently politically as his tech knowledge is very comprehensive.

I’m just going to mostly post a few links, notes and a few opinions so the text is not necessarily what people said.

Health Research Data UK presentation was full of propaganda and marketing from Professor Andrew Morris of Health Research Data UK who is a brainy doctor by background and now his organisation is among many receiving government funding and other support – as long as the NHS continues to be torn apart by technology companies under the glowing smiles of anticipation of future profits from Simon Stevens. For example, one of the NEDs chairing is IBM Chief’s Technology Officer. However fwiw Health Research Data UK are based in Wellcome Trust. They have £27 million for 4 scientific priorities. Talk of Cerner and EPIC trying to open up their proprietary systems as well as Silicon Valley pushing into healthcare. Mentioned the Industrial Challenge fund.

Heather Cook, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust – also brainy, has worked in police intelligence and connectivity prior to returning to the NHS, now chairs North Yorkshire Directors of Informatics Forum. They have over 150 systems. MYHFT is at crossroads of motorways M1 and M62, has some of the lowest life expectancy, highest rates of diseases, highest rates of unemployed in the area. Working with multiple associations, shares technologies and systems with Leeds and also junior doctor rotations. They are under 80% of staffing levels and she is currently working on the IT logistics of the proposed wholly owned subsidiary companies. They have over 3000 computers which are older than five years old.

However they weren’t affected by Wannacry which she says was because their patches were all up to date. All their medical records are electronic but they don’t have an electronic patient record system. They can search unstructured data, they have a modern network with 95% wifi coverage.

They are using NHSroam and Govroam successfully. NHSroam being used primarily for healthcare and bioscience students to connect to their local stuff whilst in NHS facilities. Govroam is a further step allowing access across public sector facilities including blue lamp (fire, NHS, police), non emergency fire and police, councils etc. The business driver for Govroam linking has been the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs)




Their ePrescribing business case ready going to NHS digital.

Microsoft surface hub Martin Van Eker, Uni of Bristol

Project initated with an IT third party – Insight. Using onenote, classroom one note, 55 and 84 inch tv screen with Windows 10. SurfaceHub not currently available – 2.0 due in autumn. Very locked down. Some successful collaboration and teaching with clinical programmes – used video/web conference call to connect with a hospital.

He has an interesting review at his participation in the NHS in Higher Education forum over the last 13 years.

Alex from NHS Digital I missed the full name due to dealing with an external minor crisis at the time. NHS Digital director – Tom Denwood

NHS Digital data tools and services

Aiming to achieve paperless health and care 2020. Five year forward plan. Matthew Swindells of Cerner now pretending to be independent in the NHS calling it 5 pillars. NHS digital strategy – 5 components. Do they teach this at MBA and McKinsey school to market everything in 5s. I can see many similarities between Simon Stevens and Stalin.

NHS Digital now manage 30 billion of payments to NHS providers, NHS email, Spine

DSP aims to be a but not the national platform building for research. Complementary to local health data platforms (they have had to scale back down from the)

Life sciences direction – want to release data held on NHS spine and make available to customers. Data will move from national datasets monthly to more real time data. New processing platform.External version of environment available in July. Then everything live in December with national datasets. For processing – starting with diagnostic imaging. Also deidentification – firm called Privatar. All being built with live data in the cloud. Professor Andrew Morris sits on programme board.

Questions from attendees

  1. Access for researchers? will sign on – NHS Identity with 2 factor authentication. Being developed in parallel to DSP.
  2. Env looks very like Genomics England and 100000 genomes? No specific plans to converge. Also link with NHS England platform and NHS Improvement. Also HDRUK multi tenanted research environment. Local organisations also developing similar platforms with components.
  3. If got university credentials can access? No – in other areas of research trying to interfederate credentials, want to discuss.

Barriers to finding and using technology in learning – Dr Catherine Ebenezer

Research – qualitative, 3 types of different trusts in Yorkshire. Research governance approval was an issue in selection of trusts. 40 semi structured interviews with clinical and non clinical across Trusts incl IT. Collected documents including codes, standards, policies, reports, marketing materials. Used NVIVO for thematic analysis.


infrastructure, organisational cultures, elearning/training, informstin governance and security, communications policies.

Variations in availability of access when using remote access. Wifi coverage variable. IE browsers but staff could also use others. Cloud storage access variable. IT infrastructures – variable network bandwidth, variable pc specifications.

Variable mobile and tablet usage – elearning or lms supported by technology companies.

Clinical staff perceived as computer adverse even when not. Personal smartphones not considered acceptablein patient setting and for good reasons.

Heavy blocking of websites but not always reported to IT to unblock. IT didn’t have time to investigate unless reported.