Last week we held our annual learning and teaching conference, around the theme of Digital Capability. What a success!
We had more attendees than ever before, and a real buzz around the building, as people moved between keynote lectures, the parallel breakout sessions and the fringe stands.
The day started off with a welcome from our VC, Prof Liz Barnes before our first keynote speaker, Helen Beetham introduced the subject for the day with her talk on “Digital Capability, Beyond Digital Capability”
My key takeaway from the talk was on the need to develop digital capability to provide a “capacity to thrive” and that students will awlays want what we can uniquely offer, namely:
- Learning relationships
- Sense of belonging
- Security – walled gardens with pathways out
Following this, our first breakout sessions looked at: Innovative use of technology to enhance teaching; Digital support for student learning; Digital insights to improve learning, and Digital identity and capability. These provided a chance for staff from across the institution to showcase their work, and prompt discussion of how digital tools can be used to improve how we deliver our courses.
Lunchtime saw us run a fringe event for the first time – a chance to talk to university suppliers such as BlackBoard, lynda.com, and to some of our support teams.
The keynote after lunch was by Steve Wheeler, on Learning in the Age of Remix
Steve challenged us about how digital tools change the way we teach, how physical and digital spaces are blurring in a hyper-connected world, how technology is not a silver bullet – it should be used wisely or not at all, and most importanty reminded us th it’s a fabulous time to be an academic.
Following further breakout sessions, we returned for final plenary and Q&A session
So what next?
Some great feedback has already appeared across social media using the hashtag #StaffsLT16
If you attended, you’ll be asked to complete a qualtrics survey
All of the presentations are now available on our conference blog here. Videos of the keynote presentations will be available as soon they have gone through post-production and editing
All attendees were asked to fill in a pledge card asking, what will you do differently? We’ll be sending these back to you in due course as a reminder, and also so that we can provide the development and support you need.
We’re already looking at what we can do to improve the conference expereicne further, and how we start to plan next year’s event.
We’ll be building our digital strategy to help all our staff and students get the most out of the technology we have to make us the Connected University – this conference was just the starting point – it’s going to be an exciting year!