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Introducing... Joanna Ball

As Digital Innovation Week draws near, we speak to Head of Library Content Delivery & Digital Strategy, Joanna Ball, about what staff and students can look forward to.

What is Digital Innovation Week (#DIWSUSSEX)?

Digital Innovation Week (DIW) is an exciting week of free events running from Monday 28 November to Friday 2 December which focuses on the development of digital skills and the use of digital technologies to support teaching, learning and research.

How are you involved in organising #DIWSUSSEX?

DIW is very much a collaboration between the teams in the Library, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and the Careers and Employability Centre (CEC). I've been responsible for co-ordinating our planning meetings, but everyone involved is very talented, enthusiastic and full of great ideas, so it's been a pretty easy job!

What are some of the highlights of the week for you?

We have a packed programme of events, bringing in visiting experts as well as drawing on some of the exciting initiatives that are running at Sussex. Some of the sessions offer opportunities to get hands on with the technology, such as our Pop-up MakerSpace that we're running with Pollie Barden from the Department of Informatics and a workshop on spherical photography.

There's also the chance to engage at a more strategic level in our seminar on the challenges and the opportunities of the post-digital age. For anyone who doesn't have time to make it to an event, we're also running an online course on digital notetaking, and there's the opportunity to contribute to the discussion via Twitter. We're hoping that all this will create a buzz on campus about the potential of new technologies.

What types of people should come along to Digital Innovation Week?

Everyone is welcome. You don't need to be a techie: anyone interested in the potential of technology for learning, teaching and research can participate. 

Is it just for teaching staff?

Absolutely not. Events are open to all staff and students, and as part of the week, we'll be launching the SkillsHub Digital Ideas Competition to offer students the opportunity to shape the development of digital skills at Sussex and to win an iPad.

What emerging digital technologies will have the biggest impact on universities over the next few years?

One of the areas that I'm particularly interested in is the potential of location intelligence to gather real-time data, and this is something that we've been experimenting with in the Library to understand how our building is used. This information has the potential to impact how we design our spaces, as well as being used to develop services to students, for example to let them know which parts of the building are busy or quiet.

Another trend we will see is the use of technology to support more open ways of learning and research, and this is a theme that we'll be exploring in our DIW seminar on the potential of Open Data.

What are your favourite apps?

I couldn't be without Evernote. I use it to organise my professional and personal life, to keep track of my 'to do' lists, shopping lists, and just somewhere to jot down thoughts and ideas.

Describe a good day out in Brighton?

A run over the south downs and along the seafront, brunch in a café in town, and then home again before the tourists arrive!

What would you do for a job if you weren’t doing this?

In another life I'd have been a professional long-distance runner, but in this one I'm sticking to running for health and am still able to enjoy the odd glass of wine and late night.

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Posted on behalf of: Library
Last updated: Monday, 28 November 2016

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