Digifest is the UK’s leading edtech conference. 2021 is about reconnecting as an industry to understand how learning and teaching, alongside libraries are at the heart of the transformed student experience.
Join us for a virtual, reimagined Digifest.
Taking place in an innovative and interactive online environment across four days, Digifest 2021 will focus on learning and teaching and libraries.
An informative and interactive conference like no other, we'll be building a community of the industry's brightest leaders and practitioners. Each day will focus on one of our four key themes, with additional sessions for relevant industry topics.
Reimagining education and the student experience
Conversation and debate will be at the centre of Digifest 2021, providing a space to share best practice, learnings and experiences from 2020.
We're working with senior leadership representatives across the sector responsible for learning and teaching, libraries and IT, alongside sector agencies and partners.
Together, we’ll explore and reconnect as an industry, discussing future challenges, opportunities and solutions.
Digifest 2021's steering groups are made up of educators and leaders from across the industry, representing a cross-section of roles and experience. They have been a sounding board for ideas to make sure the programme meets the needs of the education community.
Members of the learning and teaching steering group
The learning and teaching experts who are helping to shape the event programme include:
Alex Butler, chief digital and information officer, University of Bath
Alex is a specialist in digital capability and transformation, working across a number of industries. She championed the strategic use of technology by government, helping the UK Government to collaborate with the tech industry and entrepreneurs and led the transformation of the UK government's digital profession.
Debbie Holley, professor of learning innovation, Bournemouth University
Debbie leads innovation in research, teaching and professional practice within the faculty of health and social sciences. Her expertise lies with blending learning to motivate and engage students with their learning inside and outside the formal classroom. She's a National Teaching Fellow and has served on the Association of Learning Developers in Higher Education national steering group for the past six years.
Sarah Jones, deputy dean in the faculty of computing, engineering and media, De Montfort University
Sarah's practice and research sits within emerging technologies and the development of immersive experiential films. She holds a PhD in this area and hasrecently advised the UK Government on immersive technologies. She is committed to transforming the student experience through engagement opportunities, whilst promoting inclusive learning strategies.
Cameron Mirza, chief of party, USAID Pre-Service Teacher Education in Jordan (PRESTIJ)
Previously, Cameron was UAE director for Nottingham Trent University and spent several years reforming the HE sector of Kingdom of Bahrain. He was first head of strategy at the ministry of higher education, then director of strategy for the University of Bahrain, where he was one of the first education leaders globally to use blockchain technology to issue credentials to students.
John Robinson, pro-vice-chancellor for learning, teaching and students, University of York
John is an electronic engineer with research and design contributions in image processing. He became PVC in 2012 after four years as head of department of electronics at York where he's been a professor since 2000. John is a principal fellow of the HEA and has previously held an industrial research chair at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Anna Wood, executive director for online, professional and executive education at King's College London
Anna is responsible for the design and production of fully-online masters programmes and short courses, as well as business development for professional education and education consultancy. With over fifteen years’ experience as a university leader, previous roles have included leading on diversity and inclusion, governance and heading up education policy for a health professional body.
Steven Hope, head of independent learning, Leeds City College (and FE colleges in the Luminate Education Group)
One of Steven's focuses in his current role is to increase staff and learners' use of technology and their digital capabilities - no mean feat with over 1,000 staff and 20,000 learners at the colleges. Previously, Steven has been technology enhanced learning manager at Leeds City College and has 12 years experience teaching sport and PE. He is a Google trainer and innovator and also a co-host of the Edufuturists podcast.
Members of the libraries steering group
The library steering group who will help make sure the programme meets your needs includes:
Rosie Jones, director of student and library services, Teesside University
Rosie has worked in academic libraries since 2001, taking a particular interest in games and learning, information literacy and learning space development. Rosie currently co-chairs the LILAC information literacy conference and is deputy chair for CILIP Information Literacy Group.
Masud Khokhar, director of library and archives, University of York
Masud oversees all developments for the library and archives as well as contributing to overall governance. He is passionate about digital leadership and innovation in the changing library and archive environments. Masud is a member of the board of directors of Research Libraries UK (RLUK) where he leads the digital scholarship and digital shift themes.
David Parkes, director of library and learning services, De Montfort University
David heads the libraries as well as the centres for student success, enhanced learning, and maths learning. A chartered librarian, technologist and national teaching fellow of the Higher Education Academy, he writes and speaks widely on emerging technologies, smart buildings, learning technologies, future libraries, the provision of information and digital literacy.
Our reimagined Digifest programme spans four days, with a focus on learning and teaching and libraries, but student experience at its heart.
Each day focuses on one of the four event themes:
Day one: reframing the student experience
Expect sessions that explore:
- Personalising the student experience
- How to demonstrate value and secure positive career outcomes
- Understanding the role of libraries at the heart of the digital experience
- How to meet and exceed student expectations
- How to best support students to create an engaged community online and offline
- Closing the digital divide to ensure no one falls behind in today’s digital world
Day two: tomorrow's technology in today's education
Explore sessions around:
- Transforming digital infrastructure
- The opportunities of a hybrid and blended model approach
- Harnessing the power of data
- Taking advantage and making the most of opportunities with AI
- Building the bridge between AR, VR and mixed reality
- Looking beyond the VLE - affordances of technologies and how we can push boundaries
- Learning analytics and the personalised learner experience
Day three: digital leadership
Expect sessions that cover:
- Strategic approaches on how to get more value out of the technology
- Bricks to click- transitioning the teacher experience
- Shifting from transactional to transformational leadership
- How to foster a digital culture
- Closing the digital skills gap and the role of libraries
- The role of libraries of digital literacy
- How to prepare for an uncertain future ahead
Day four: culture and resilience
You will find sessions that explore:
- How to heighten the appeal of online learning for students
- How culture can reimagine education
- Always inclusive: learning accessible by design, responding to the needs of a diverse student population
- Understanding the duty of care around cyber security
- The importance of teacher wellbeing
- Supporting student mental health and wellbeing
- Technologies available to build a sense of belonging
- Resilience in a world of remote working
- How will higher education be different in 2030?
- Benefits, barriers, and incentives for improved resilience to disruption in teaching
In addition, we’ll be exploring and discussing assessment, employability and security within learning and teaching, as well as hosting sessions for libraries about data-driven decision making and more.
Who should attend?
- Leaders, decision makers, managers and practitioners in HE and FE institutions and libraries who are looking to develop digital strategies and approaches
- Middle and senior managers from HE, FE, libraries and other education-focused organisations
- Those leading change from within, or working across, a university, college or skills organisation
- Those in a managerial capacity across many demographics including libraries, business support, IT, curriculum and academic department
Tickets are now available to book.