Freshers

Freshers fortnight is here! I started working for the SU this week. I spent the weekend helping out at the Welcome Hub in Grand Parade. It was good fun and my new colleagues are a really nice bunch of people.

Today is my last day off before becoming a post-grad student! Tomorrow I enrol and go to the welcome programme. I’m not sure what a welcome programme is, I just know it’s on my timetable.

Before I can even acknowledge my nervousness, I need to get my head around my disbelief. I don’t know when I’ll be able to do that. I felt excited and ready for my undergraduate degree last year. I figured I’d eventually graduate in 2020ish and then I’d need to take some time out before working up the confidence to apply for a Masters. But, here I am a year later, a university drop-out about to start a PG Cert. This feels like something that doesn’t normally happen.

I took today off because I’d been working a lot lately (trying to save some money) and I wanted to prepare for tomorrow. I didn’t prepare. I just loitered around my favourite Brighton places and felt sick for drinking milkshakes too fast. I felt super-tired but I wasn’t able to get any sleep.

My head is swimming with questions about what I am going to do next. Shall I complete my Masters the following year? Shall I go back to working fulltime? Shall I start looking for museum jobs out of Brighton? But I know I shouldn’t be thinking that far ahead because this year is going to be a challenge and my priority is facing that.

Delve

Delve looks useful. I don’t know what it is exactly but it’s only viewable to University of Brighton students. I thought it was just a profile page but when I looked for some articles about it I saw that you can see what people you are following are up to. My Delve page is pretty empty – probably due to my friends/classmates not using Sharepoint or OneNote often. The only people who I ever see activity for are members of the Elearning team.

I don’t like the inability to edit the layout of the page – I can change the background image but that’s all. As it currently stands, I would prefer if it was a basic layout like Mysite (more detail below).

I just use it as a profile page, at the moment (because no other content is being recommended to me). If you were to use it like a profile page, you could put all the usual information like contact details, interests, skills and previous projects you worked on.

In the edit page mode you have the option to change your newsfeed settings. This seems like a odd place to have this option.

I think Delve would be more enjoyable to use on an app (I can only see it available to use on iOS and Android). And, from what I’ve read/seen, it appears to get more interesting when you follow other people who use it. I’d love to collaborate with more users. I think it would be great for project work. Now I just need to find like-minded Delve enthusiasts…

More information about Delve is available on the Office website products.office.com/en-us/business/explore-office-delve

Mysite is not aimed at students – so much so, that you cannot even login on the main page. There is only a couple of places and things you can do with it. But it does have it’s uses.

You have a basic profile that you can update. I have a link to my profile in my email signature, the reason I use it is because it is accessible to both staff and students. I update my interests and skills on it. I also use the contacts function because I can add both staff and students.

Groups

I couple of months ago I tweeted that I thought our university’s student Yammer was more user-friendly than Outlook Groups. In true, internet-style someone pointed out that they both fulfill different collaboration needs.

After discovering the Outlook Groups app (download on Itunes, Android and Windows), I’m growing to appreciate Outlook Groups.

Access
You might be wondering how to access Outlook Groups. I cannot find a direct link (hence, my user-friendly comment). You can find the groups in the bottom left-hand column of Outlook, under your inbox and other folders. There are two options when you get there; Discover (browse the groups made by other students) or Create (make your own).

Discover
During my early days at University of Brighton I looked here for a social group. If there is one, I’ve yet to find it. I also found that many of the generically titled groups were private.

Create
I’ve created three groups during my time at university. I made a group for my degree course, but subsequently deleted it. Firstly, I found that nobody really seemed to read their emails prior to induction week. Secondly, there was no option to invite people to your group. If you put their name in the member section they are automatically added (I can understand why some people have issues with this!) Thirdly, I filled the group calendar with events I thought my classmates would find interesting – this just caused confusion. My other two groups are empty.

Functions
When you make a group or join a group, the things you can do with it are kinda neat. In no particularly order:

  • Unique email address (which you can allow outsiders to email) – it takes the format of yourgroupname@unibrightonac.onmicrosoft.com
  • Sharepoint site – at https://unibrightonac.sharepoint.com/sites/yourgroupname
  • If you use OneNote, you get a notebook (I haven’t used this feature though I reckon it’s probably a notebook that all members can edit and access anywhere)
  • Connectors
  • You can automatically subscribe new members to the email list – so whenever someone comments, everyone sees it in the email inbox
  • You can also unsubscribe from the email list – you will still be a group member, but you’ll only see conversations on the group page

App
As always, some screenshots of the app (showing home, conversation and Sharepoint files)
oghomeogconversation ogfile

Newsfeed

I’ll just put it out there that I love Sharepoint. I have friends and colleagues who just don’t see the sharepoint of it. Although I agree with all their criticisms of it, it just seems to cooperate nicely with me. (This may be due to me having a Windows Phone. I could spend hours talking about the weird things my Windows Phone does but all apps on it just seem to work harmoniously with eachother and my OCD-brain likes the uniformity and collaboration parts.)

The student Sharepoint takes a while to navigate, so I’ll blog about it in various parts to avoid overwhelming.

I’ll start off by talking about the Newsfeed. Students (with @uni.brighton.ac.uk email addresses) can view the newsfeed here https://unibrightonac-my.sharepoint.com/default.aspx

If you’ve looked at this page recently you’ll see me. In all the time I’ve used the newsfeed I have never seen activity from anyone else. It only seems to show activity from the past couple of weeks. I like it because it has the potential to reach all students (something that doesn’t seem to happen anywhere else – unless a general forum could be created in StudentCentral).

I view the newsfeed in the Sharepoint Newsfeed app. I recommend it for anyone interested in using the newsfeed. You can get it on Itunes and in the Windows Store (I don’t know if there’s an android app).

logginginnewsfeedIt’s easy to set up once installed and, I just think, it’s smooth.

You can also follow classmates and friends on the MyPeople page. I just like saying My people – it makes me feel like Marky Mark.

I also like that if you click on someone’s name it takes you to their Delve (but Delve’s a post for another day).

Accepted

I only seem to blog when I’m off ill or on holiday. I’m kinda doing both at the moment. I had unused TOIL from last academic year and I woke up this  morning with a case of burn out and ongoing backache.

I feel like a lot has happened but newer things push the older memories out. Oh well. I hope I don’t miss anything important.

Offer
I had my interview two weeks ago and was offered a place on MAIAP. I haven’t had time to take it in and, occasionally, when I remind myself I was offered the place I start to panic. I wish I had some time off before it starts so I can prepare a bit. But, nope. When I went into the interview I was expecting them to say they like me but I just don’t have enough experience yet. It turns out that I do have the experience. Wow.

Manifesto
When I was a student last academic year, I stood for part-time rep. After withdrawing from my course the position remained vacant. I’m not sure if it is still vacant but if it is I’m going to see if I can get co-opted in. It’s weird reading the manifesto now. It feels like a lifetime ago. brightonsu.com/elections/manifesto/639/

Year
It has been just over a year since there were two bereavements in my family. I regret not taking better care of myself at the time but that’s easy to say in hindsight. Looking back has been therapeutic, though. I vividly remember the grief at the time and feeling like I was in a fog. I remember the stress of dealing with various official bodies and the administration of death. I remember the days visiting back home that dragged like months. I am so relieved that those days have passed.

Collage
Lately I’ve been practicing art again. I had to put a portfolio together for my interview and I made some pieces to show my museum mentee. I enjoyed making an alumni themed collage.

Minecraft
Minecraft: Education Edition is free to try for those of you with an academic email address. I’m hoping to set up a collaborative build. At the moment, it’s just hard getting the word out to the student population.

Pens
I’ve got another photo up on StudentCentral this month.

Anxiety
My museum mentee sessions so far have been done with the assistance of the museum volunteer coordinator (who is brilliant and very supportive). Next month, I start sessions without her assistance and I’m a little bit nervous. Well, actually more than a little bit nervous. It feels unprofessional vocalising my feelings about being afraid to do something alone. I know these feelings will pass. But the meantime is difficult.