Virtual introductions replaced traditional meet-and-greet at annual SCHOMS conference

SCHOMS – a professional body for senior HE managers delivering a diverse set of educational, technological, media and institutional development and support services – had hoped to be staging a memorable 2020 conference in Edinburgh to mark its 20th anniversary. Because of Covid-19 clampdowns, however, a different landmark was achieved when SCHOMS moved the conference onto an online platform for the first time on 14 August.

During this online event, AETM’s Nathan Ashmore spoke on what ICT/AV professionals could do to create sustainable opportunities in the face of growing e-waste and energy efficiency problems. CCUMC’s Willie Franklin spelled out the benefits that emotional intelligence can bring to classroom design. Delegates logging on to the conference also heard from US-based AVIXA senior staff instructor Chuck Espinoza on the technical and mental challenges to newcomers of all the latest advances in digital communications; SCHOMS bursary award winner Adam Chapman on a study he did into the effects of new cross-campus communication applications at the University of Essex; and Mark Hayter of the North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium on the launch of a new Audio Visual Framework Agreement helping institutions to find the most appropriate suppliers.

Sally Reynolds from the Media & learning Association also donned her headphones and microphone to give delegates a detailed background to the Media and Learning Association, explaining how it promotes and stimulates media in teaching and learning with a particular interest in HE. She also took part in a question-and-answer session at the end of the afternoon conference with other speakers including representatives of SCHOMS’ respective sister organisations in Australia and the United States – the Association for Audiovisual & Education Technology Management (AETM) and the Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC).

The SCHOMS annual conference enables members to exchange good practice and discuss developments in emerging technologies, pedagogic direction and the innovative design of teaching spaces. Ordinarily, it also hosts one of the UK’s largest AV/IT suppliers exhibitions with an HE focus.

SCHOMS also promotes continuing professional development across the full range of staff roles, offering leadership and management development in addition to training and certification opportunities for technical staff in partnership with InfoComm. Find out more about SCHOMS here.