A year of work in progress – day 132

Day 132 – 28 July 2014

The berries on the rowan out front are turning red and the Tour is over for another year (Thomas was 22nd by the way and he’s re-signed for Sky for another two years). The seasons are turning once again and I need to make the most of what is left of what in England we call the summer.

The word of the day on Dictionary.com was euthenics which is a science concerned with bettering the condition of human beings through the improvement of their environment. This was a little portentous as I started my day off in North Tyneside. They are now part of the Digital Durham programme and Ian and I have had this appointment in our diaries for some time to meet with the Chief Executive to take him through our plans. North Tyneside was where my interest (love affair?) with broadband started with the development of the now defunct but perhaps to be resurrected Connected Borough project. This must have been eleven years ago now and the aim was free broadband for every resident. Still, I was young and naïve then. I’m old now.

We had a good meeting. The open market review (OMR) has been completed for Phase 2 of Broadband Delivery UK’s investment plans, which used to be known as the Superfast Extension Programme. North Tyneside was included and so we can now work across the ten authorities to define the areas in which public money can be invested. These are known as white areas. We still need to know how much North Tyneside Council is prepared to invest and they won’t know this until they have seen the outcome of the OMR. To do this they need to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Such is the twisted and tortuous world of public sector investment.

We also had the opportunity to talk about Dynamo and the development of the North East as a centre of excellence for public sector ICT and data. Any opportunity I get I talk about these things as that is how I hope to build a consensus.

After that I went down to see Janet at BT in South Tyneside (I’m hugging the coast today). I was a little early and so was able to catch up overlooking the Tyne outside the Customer House. Agile working anyone? We talked about big data and analytics along with tele-care and tele-health. I feel another meeting coming on.

From there I went to Spectrum. In the afternoon I worked alongside Mark, Paula, Sophie and Sam who showed me what went on within the world of the Durham Learning Gateway, our original virtual learning environment. We’re in the throes of migrating schools over from an old architecture to the new and I was unleashed on two schools, Hardwick and Forest. Hopefully everything will have transferred across as required. Sophie also managed to show me some useful tricks for when I’m using SharePoint.

I’m off tomorrow.

Learning points for today: There’s a village in Cornwall called Pies (there might not be); a Jedi Knight should know the difference between knowledge and wisdom; you can get eight flavours of WiFi on South Shields quayside; it sort of wasn’t our fault and; a watched SharePoint always goes slowly.

Today’s enjoyment rating 10/10 – really interesting day.

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