A Smart Cities Index Report – the first of its kind – commissioned and released earlier this week by Huawei UK has listed Birmingham as the 3rd smartest city in Britain ahead of the likes of Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds!
To be listed as a ‘contender’ in this report goes to show that the collaborative work we have undertaken with Birmingham’s Smart City Commission and with partners since the launch of the Birmingham Smart City Vision statement in 2013 has come a long way and it’s a great boost to be given this recognition on a national scale! Particular highlights in the report include the work being established around the East Birmingham Demonstrator and forthcoming HS2 related activities.
Net Squared Midlands, the local branch of the global Net Squared network which organises events for anyone interested in the connection of technology and social impact, held its first event in the Midlands at the Impact Hub Birmingham on Wed May 6 2015 as part of the Hub’s launch festival Demo B.
Members and guests heard about Net Squared and its global mission, and the other local branches in the UK. Immy Kaur, Hub co-founder, also gave an insight into how the Hub was started and the success of their crowdfunding campaign.
Local Birmingham techy members recommended that the organisers publicise Net Squared Midlands on the new Birmingham discussion forum for all techy people Birmingham IO which Pauline has done. Her post there has had 41 views already.
Paul and Pauline explain that whether you are a not for personal profit organisation in the traditional sense, a venture capitalist, a programmer, an individual with a great idea, or a social changemaker, NetSquared Midlands is here to help you make connections and add to the community around innovating for good in the Midlands.
They say that these events are great opportunities to learn what others are trying, see successful projects and platforms, hear about developing technologies, make new friends and collaborate on new projects.
The next event is being planned for September 2015 but in the meantime, members and others are being encouraged to use the Net Squared Midlands meetup page for dialogue and suggestions.
Stuart Lester from Digital Birmingham blogs about his first day at the Spaghetti Jam where a group discussed ways in which Birmingham City Council can overcome issues by innovative and collaborative working.
A consortium led by Birmingham City Council has secured funding from the Cabinet Office to support the development of a Birmingham Data & Skills Hub.
It is hoped the hub will act as a catalyst to encourage citizens, communities and third sector organisations to understand the value of open data analysis to help address community issues that matter most to them. The consortium, including partners from Aston University, Boilerhouse Media, Podnosh and RAWM (Regional Action West Midlands), has received £124,000 from the Cabinet Office’s Release of Data Fund that will help accelerate and automate open data extraction and publication processes from Birmingham City Council’s systems and others onto Birmingham’s new Open Data Hub that is currently under development.
Students live in a world with anytime, anywhere access to information at their fingertips. Harnessing technology that they are at ease with, can change each and every lesson and promote self-learning outside the classroom. The opportunity for learners to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) can help today’s students prepare for the future by building collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking. BYOD recognises that students live in a multimedia world where they prioritise visual learning, demand creativity, learn through trial and error, and constantly connect and collaborate using information that is live and linked. Promoting initiatives to ensure no child is disadvantaged (socially or educationally) via access to personal connected devices in and out of the classroom will support new learning models and ubiquitous virtual learning. The aim is to explore and where feasible to move to a BYOD approach.
Birmingham City Council Education & Skills
Birmingham City Learning Centre
Birmingham e-Learning Foundation
What makes this approach smart?
Future learning models based on integrated technology and interoperability
Identify models and consensus to ensure every learner has access to a personal connected device inside and outside the classroom
Pilot a BYOD programme in schools to develop appropriate policies and network controls
Extend and promote to other learning providers
A place to share ideas and developments for a Smarter Birmingham