“The original idea for the Skype Booth came from the Digital Campus Scoping Project, part of the University Digital Campus Initiative, which looked at how our students make use of technology in their day-to-day lives on campus. One finding that really stood out for me was the basic need for students to connect with friends and family at home – especially our international students.
The idea stayed with me; could we use our IT skills and services to offer students the ultimate ‘Skype’ experience: a private booth, large screen, comfy seats and great sound so they really felt the person was in the same room?
After further discussions with colleagues, the idea started to grow. I’d heard about the Newcastle University MOOC: The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen and the free online course seemed like the perfect place to share my thoughts and discover how to turn ideas into action.
After sharing the idea in a blog post, I was overwhelmed by the support from the Shed community and mentors. My post was picked up by colleagues in LTDS, who passed it to colleagues in the University Library; they loved the idea, saw its potential and decided the new Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms would provide the ideal opportunity to give it a go. NUIT Audio Visual Services and the Estate Support Service came onboard too and the ‘Chatterbox’ was born.
I couldn’t have done this on my own. The Enterprise Shed helped me to make the connections I needed to turn an idea into reality and I’m thrilled with the results.”
Sign ups are open for The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen which starts on 15 February 2016 and lasts 4 weeks.
I’d really encourage you to sign up and take part whilst the course is running though, as this course is a little different to the two we have developed and run previously. The Enterprise Shed is almost entirely dependent on learners interactions and participation.
It’s you that will make or break this course, and it has been really encouraging to see how readily people are connecting, sharing experiences, helping each other, and sharing ideas so freely and openly.
After only a day it’s turning out to be a really inspirational space to be in.
If you haven’t signed up, there’s still plenty of time. Come and join us in The Enterprise Shed, and help others make their ideas happen, as well as get support to develop and refine your own.
You never know, it might be the start or something new for you….
We had a really productive meeting yesterday morning when the Lead Sheducator, Sheducators and Mentors met to familiarise themselves with The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen and how it will run when it starts next Monday on FutureLearn.
Jane Nolan, MBE is a Teaching Fellow in Enterprise with the International Centre for Music Studies in the School of Arts and Cultures and a Visiting Entrepreneur supporting the work of Newcastle University Careers Service. She was awarded the MBE in 2000 for services to UK exports.
Dr Victoria Mountford is an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial and people-focused individual with a range of experience in (enterprise & employability) higher education, (academic & commercial) research & business development. She works as a Development Officer in the Newcastle University Careers Service.
There will be other enterprising individuals popping up throughout this highly participatory course:
Professor Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University and was given the $1m TED Prize in 2013 in recognition of his work and to help build a School in the Cloud – he tells us more about that.