After working in Humanities at Avenue Campus in one way or another since 2003, tomorrow is my last day.
Another ISS person is down at Avenue, I’m going up to the main campus and hopefully everyone will miss me 🙂
It’s hard to work out which place is the best to be. They both have a lot of good points.
Avenue is quiet, air conditioned, independent (as managers are at highfield) and there is a very personal touch with everything with most people knowing me by name (and vice versa).
Highfield however has lots of things in it (Gym, shops, bars). Advice is closer and I’d meet more people within the team. Hopefully it would also be the first stage of better career progression.
But we’ll see how it goes. Nice drink tomorrow with some of the Avenue people, looking forward to it.
Colleagues may have noticed yesterday’s publication by the Guardian of league tables for particular disciplines.
Particular congratulations go to Film Studies, who figure at the top of the table for Media, Communications and Librarianship. Southampton appears as third in Modern Languages, behind Oxford and Cambridge. Archaeology (10) and Music (14) also appear in the top twenty for their subject area.
Congratulations to all concerned.
Professor Michael Kelly
Head of School
A few posts ago I was talking about the work we’ve been doing with Flash and the D-Day that was coming up. Well this is the update to it.
Everyone was pretty happy with the result. We had a bunch of people connect from other universities and (more than I thought) bosses at ISS either had a look at the live stream or came down for the actual conference. I’ve also had to put together a flow chart for the institutions that have emailed the llas and asked how they did it as they want to do it too.
I’ve personally learnt a few lessons from it, the main one being sound. If you have a listen to the presentations (below or on the LLAS website) you can hear some distortion in the voices when they raise their voice. Of course we did all of the sound checks and everything sounded good, then they presented. Of course the voice of a presenter doing a sound check to one person and their voice when presenting to 100 is slightly different. Hell it’s a lot different. And because of the live encoding we’re stuck with what we’ve got.
Have a listen to it and see what you think, and maybe more importantly what you think of the Flash player; because that’s my work*
(I can’t seem to embed the video on this site, look at it here http://streaming.lang.soton.ac.uk/video/index.php?vidid=90a0d16&start=370)
* The bit that plays the video isn’t, that’s someone cleverer than me, but all the stuff around it is mine. Trouble is you can’t really see it as most of the application is security and this video doesn’t have much as it is public.
Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day. The LLAS have one of there sympodiums tomorrow that they are streaming live on the internet.
They are using Flash and the Flash Media Server to do this and it is the culmination of ideas from the subject centre, designs from their graphics people and a lot of programming in Flash from me. I mentioned that I did a lot of ActionScripting over Christmas, well this is the first big project that will use the things I’ve written.
The Flash movie has been tweaked, the Server has had 77 out of 150 people on it in the tests and hopefully there will be a good number on it. The live stream looks good and we’ve even sorted out some synchronised presentations to go with it (so the powerpoint is in crystal clear vector and the video can concentrate on the speaker).
This sort of thing has been done before, but I haven’t seen much of it done by the academic institutions. Most of the stuff I see is presenting one lecture theatre into another one when there isn’t enough chairs.
I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. You might even want to watch it… but I don’t think many language teachers read this. Shame.
It’s GCSE results day and the BBC have made a bar graph of results for all subjects. What I find very interesting is that you can go through just about every subject in the entire drop down list except music and history and find that the average is a C. On music / history the average appears to be a B, and it’s a close one.
I can just about see how an average C can turn into an average B. They are pretty close, but this is a very clear A*. So how does it happen? My guess is that it would only be the top, private, expensive schools that have the ability to offer a language that isn’t on the list; so they are expected to be clever. I might be right, I might be wrong, or it might be that the Japanese exam is on Pokamon rather than grammar.
In any case I’d need an expert and they’re all on holiday.