The Netskills Context

Previous page: The wider context

The subject of this study, Jisc Netskills,  is a training and development organisation based at Newcastle University in the North East of England. It’s mission, according to its website is:

“…to be a centre of expertise and knowledge – supporting and enabling the education community to make effective, sustainable and innovative use of technology.”

Its traditional purpose has been to run workshops on a wide range of topics relating to the use of web technologies in the education sector. These can be technical subjects (CSS, HTML5) or conceptual and skills based (Better Blogging, Writing for the Web).

Much of its other work comes either from bidding for and running projects or services, or partnering other institutions in projects that they themselves have bid for. These projects usually relate to organisational change and have a large technological component to them.

Netskills also host the Jisc Business and Community Engagement Team, a small group who manage the Jisc programme that “is designed to support institutions in their strategic management of relationships with commercial, public sector (including charities and trusts), cultural, social and civic organisations, in order to deliver services which benefit the economy and society.”

Netskills works closely with other organisations in the Jisc family, particularly Jisc Infonet, also based in Newcastle at Northumbria University. There is much crossover and collaboration between the two organisations. One Infonet employee is contracted part time to the Jisc BCE team.

As a result, Netskills isn’t a clearly defined entity so for simplicity, in this research “Netskills” is used to refer to a broader collection of individuals and operations  than just those who have Netskills written on their business cards.

Next page: Netskills’ journey with storytelling