Digifest, 12-13 March 2019
This year's programme has a new format, putting you in front of thought leaders and industry experts from a series of institutions and companies and providing you with practical, take-home advice.
- Day one aims to inspire you with thought provoking panels and challenging debate. Hear from a number of external speakers on topics linking into the theme and strands of this year's event
- Day two looks to showcase practical solutions, workshops, demo sessions and case studies - sharing changes and strategies and tactics to help to provide solutions that can be actively implemented back at your institution
Opening performance and welcome (recordings available)
A short journey into folded space
Performers located across Europe will take part in a remarkable, synchronised performance of dance and music thanks to the power of the Janet Network.
Jisc chief executive, Paul Feldman, will open Digifest.
Opening keynote - educating for the future, now
Speaker: Anne-Marie Imafidon, CEO of the Stemettes.
What kind of world are we educating for? How do we ensure that educators are able to take advantage of technological advances?
Anne-Marie will spend some time looking at the past, present and future of STEM and innovation with some practical tips on creativity, altruism, collaboration and entrepreneurship.
Student mental health; what is happening, why it’s happening, and how we can best support students
Speaker: Dr Dominique Thompson, director, Buzz Consultancy.
Dominique Thompson, a leading UK student mental health expert will discuss the rise in student wellbeing issues and mental health distress, which 21st century factors might be causing it, and what we can do to help our future generation.
Taking to a digital approach to organisational strategy (slides available)
Innovative approaches to cross-campus delivery of learning
Speaker: Dan Pearson, principal and chief executive, USP College
USP College was formed in 2017 following the merger of Seevic College in Benfleet and Palmers College in Grays. The college provides career focussed learning giving students the skills employers need, with students not only gaining formal qualifications but developing professional skills desired by businesses.
Dan Pearson, principal and chief executive, explains how the merger has given rise to new opportunities to create a network of expert teachers. Using cutting edge technology, the college crafted a strategy to provide group learning over distance, providing solutions to teacher shortages and small class sizes.
Transforming learning, teaching and assessment through reflective practice - our digital journey at Harlow College
Speaker: Kelly Edwards, director of professional development, Harlow College.
Hear how Harlow College have embedded the use of digital through their learning, teaching and assessment. This session will give examples of how technology is supporting learners across the curriculum, discuss how it was implemented and how staff buy in was achieved and provide evidence of impact.
DigiReady: preparing learners for a digital workplace (slides available)
- Andrew Sprake, lecturer in physical education, University of Central Lancashire
- Neesha Ridley, senior lecturer in midwifery, University of Central Lancashire
- Chris Melia , senior learning technologist, University of Central Lancashire
It has never been more important to prepare our learners for the modern workplace, through equipping them with future facing, digital skills.
The University of Central Lancashire’s technology enabled learning and teaching (TELT) team have worked closely with the academic community to address this vital concern. They have identified digital skills demonstrated by students across numerous disciplines, which were not formally recognised but could aid their employability.
The approach has been to develop ‘DigiReady’, a new student certification which is underpinned by the Jisc digital capabilities framework.
Building the intelligent campus (slides available)
Speaker: James Clay, head of HE and student experience, Jisc.
Universities and colleges spend billions on their campuses, yet they are frequently underutilised and are often a frustrating experience for students. In this session, James Clay will describe the campus of the future. How does a traditional campus become a smart campus? What are the steps to make a smart campus, an intelligent campus? We have an opportunity to provide our members with a service that can help them address that problem. If we extend our learning analytics infrastructure to collect data from a wider range of institutional software and devices then we can deliver novel insights to institutional managers to help them make their campuses more efficient, improve student experience and deliver higher quality teaching.
The future intelligent campus service aims to find effective ways to use data gathered from the physical estate and combine it with learning and student data from student records, library systems, the virtual learning environment (VLE) and other digital systems. This session will describe what data can be gathered, how it can be measured and explore the potential for enhancing the student experience. It will demonstrate and explain to the delegates what the exciting future of the intelligent campus. James will also ask delegates to consider the ethical issues when implementing an intelligent campus as well as the legal requirements.
How digital video innovates pedagogical methods (slides available)
- Dan Beale, vice principal, Havant and South Downs College
- Kevin Bradshaw, digital learner designer, Havant and South Downs College.
- Lizz Cook, digital learning design apprentice, Havant and South Downs College
The session will provide demonstrations and information regarding various strategies using digital video as part of your teaching and learning practice.
These areas will include:
- Embracing digital technology to enhance pedagogical practice and delivery methods
- Inclusive learning for all students to engage and improve skills and knowledge, whilst empowering them to create their own learning resources
- Using online storage and shared video platforms for improved accessibility for all users
- Embracing digital technologies such as; smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. to improve interactivity with subjects and provision of a flexible approach for creating engaging video content
- Adopting a flipped/blended learning approach for advanced teaching/learning in the classroom.
At the end of the presentation, delegates will be upskilled and informed in how to implement such strategies if they wish.
Excellence from analytics (recording and slides available)
Chair: Niles Newberry, group head of business development, Jisc.
- Ed Foster, student engagement manager, Nottingham Trent University
- Karl Molden, senior planning analyst, University of Greenwich
- Nick Moore, director of IT services, University of Gloucestershire
- Leon Doughty, planning change manager, University of East Anglia
- Martin Lynch, learning systems manager, University Of South Wales
Learning analytics holds the potential for reduced student attrition, enhanced student experience and the reduction of harm however achieving these benefits requires an institution to undertake a journey of technology, policy and behavioural change.
By answering your questions on issues such as ethics, unintended consequences and observed benefits, this session explores the views of institutions at various stages of the learning analytics journey and the impact it is having to their students' lives.
Developing digital skills for libraries and learning resource centres (slides available)
Speaker: Tracey Totty, library services manager, Middlesbrough College.
Having identified digital and IT skills as a weak area for most of the learning resource centre staff, last academic year Middlesbrough College developed a CPD programme.
It covered revising the basics of Office programs and learning new functions in them, looking at CreativeCommons and copyright-free resources, VLE training to help answer learner queries, screencasting, social media updates, doing MOOCs to help us understand what digital skills employers want, increasing their own skills, learning what to include in blended learning and to giving them an idea of what might be in their blended learning initiative and making better use of their OPAC and e-resources.
What can a MOOC do for you? An academic perspective (slides available)
Speaker: Momna Hejmadi, director of studies, University of Bath.
In this session you will learn about the unforeseen benefits, challenges and potential opportunities of leading a MOOC - ‘Inside Cancer’ - from an academic perspective.
The course, designed as a beginner’s guide to cancer genetics is open to anyone interested in understanding cancer without having studied biology at school or university. The course was adapted from a second year, campus-based undergraduate course that Momna Hejmadi teaches on, so it offered a perfect opportunity for students to gain real-life perspectives from the public. It also extended the learning space to a global community of learners from school pupils, health professionals to cancer-survivors.
In this session, Momna will share data on the impact of this course on learners and course developers.
Edtech startups competition live pitches (recording and slides available)
Host: Sue Attewell, head of change - further education (FE) and skills, Jisc
- Priyanka Agarwal, founder, Connect2Teach
- Claudia Stankler, chief operating officer, Tlero
- Jonathan Haralamabakis, co-founder, Pinboard.me
- Andrew Markwick, director, Third Floor Systems Ltd
- Rachel Burgon, co-founder, UNI4U
- Isla Reddin, founder, PocketConfidant AI SAS
- Alexander Young, CEO, Virti
- Daniel Hinkley, founder and director, CampusConnect
- Gemma Hallett, founder, miFuture App
- Phil Gooch, founder, Scholarcy
This year’s startup competition entries will pitch their new and innovative early-stage ideas that could go on to improve, evolve and change UK education and research. Listen to the ideas and vote for your favourite.
The prizegiving will take place at 15:50 in Hall 1.
Alexa, Siri and female robots: can education help women to fight sexist stereotypes? (recording and slides available)
Chair: Rosie Niven, content editor, Jisc.
- Serrie Chapman, founder, Women Tech Hub Bristol
- Miranda Mowbray, lecturer faculty of engineering, University of Bristol
- Suhad Aljundi, future technologies developer, Jisc
With female voices and, in some cases, names, many consumer artificial-intelligence products can reinforce stereotypes about a woman’s role. These stereotypes help to maintain long-term problems of a gender imbalance in the tech workforce. The UK has one of the biggest gender pay gaps in Europe – currently 21% and women are often concentrated in lower paying administrative roles. Women make up 23% of those in core STEM occupations in the UK and 24% of those working in core STEM industries.
There are more long-term factors too - women tend to have less advanced technology skills than men from early in their education. And the effects of these imbalances could be devastating - women are tipped to lose out disproportionately because of AI as roles in which they are over-represented disappear. So what do we need to do to tackle gender bias in technology and how can the education sector help women to move beyond the stereotypes into a glittering career in tech?
This panel - made up mostly or entirely by women in tech and education - will discuss these issues, why they matter, and what we should be doing to tackle them.
Why students think digital skills are important for the workplace? (recording and slides available)
Chair: Sarah Knight, head of change - student experience, Jisc.
- Laura Alina Marshall, A-level student, City of Wolverhampton College
- Reece Ellis David Guy, A-level student, City of Wolverhampton College
- Eli Heathfield, student, Gloucestershire College
- Katy Brown, student, Gloucestershire College
- Brad Miller, student, Ravensbourne University
- Sam Jenkins, student, University of Winchester
- Callum Hibberd, student, Harlow College
- Jack Edwards, student, Harlow College
Universities and colleges are increasingly working in partnership with their students on the development of their digital environment. As a result, students experience a digitally enabled learning experience which better meets their needs and offers them the digital skills they require for the workplace. But do we really know how students are using technology and how are their expectations changing?
In this panel debate you will hear from students on why they are developing their digital skills with the support of their colleges and universities and how this will prepare them for a digital workplace.
The Great Transformation and the role of technology
Speaker: Joel Bloomfield, business manager, Microsoft.
In this session Joel will address the journey that we have been on with technology, the benefits that we have gained as society and the role that it plays in education in 2019 and beyond.
He will discuss and explore how to maximise digital as a vehicle for both institutional good as well as addressing the important question around the rising concerns of student experience.
Engage students through virtual reality
Speaker: Mike Boyce, senior business developer, VR Education Holdings.
Take a look at VR Education Holdings's virtual reality education platform, Engage, and gain a better understanding to how lessons can become more interactive by using this technology. Mike Boyce will walk you through how easy to use IFX objects to make learning more engaging and how desktop streaming, cloud media playback including 360 video can allow you to have 36 students present in the same room for a lecture.
Engage uses embodied avatars, users can feel physically present with each other, regardless of their real-world geophysical location, to communicate, collaborate, learn and receive ‘hands-on’ training. Engage allows any interactive virtual environment to be created, whether it be a replication of a real-world workspace or a place in which it would be impossible, dangerous or cost prohibitive to visit in real life for example the ancient Rome or a disaster zone.
Delivering RARPA: a college-wide digital approach (slides available)
- Matthew Bowler, service leader technology, Wiltshire College
- Michelle Capes, online learning development officer, Wiltshire College
- Simon Bowler, learning technologies and resources manager, Wiltshire College
- Clive Carey, learning and skills development coach, Wiltshire College
Supporting all learners to progress and achieve is at the heart of what Wiltshire College do, and for those who support learners on non-accredited programmes with Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA), ensuring this is evidenced and monitored accurately is all the more important.
Tasked with developing a digital solution that learners could own, that was intuitive for support staff to manage and provided managers with instant access to insightful data, the Wiltshire College learning technologies team settled on an open source solution which is already delivering positive results since being been introduced across the college.
This session will demonstrate the Wiltshire College RARPA system from the perspective of each group of users; the students managing their own progress, the staff using the system to support their learners and the managers now with a college-wide visibility of progress. In addition the developers will also explain how all of this was achieved, and their ideas for the future.
Mega-metacognition - learning how to learn in a digital age (slides available)
- Penny Langford, head of learning, Milton Keynes College
- Paula Han, teacher training Manager, Milton Keynes College
- Mel Villa-Buil, iLearn support coach, Milton Keynes College
- Melanie Gibbard , iLearn coordinator, Milton Keynes College
- Aniesa Shah, teaching and learning manager, Milton Keynes College
This is an interactive, participatory session which allows delegates to experience how technology can support a project-based, enquiry-led, collaborative approach. It will demonstrate how different types of technology can support students to develop wider skills.
We will discuss how metacognition is an important skill for students to develop alongside independent and collaborative learning. Delegates will develop ideas for how to use technology to support project-based, enquiry and active learning.
Teaching, not tech-ing: how Google technology enables learning in FE (slides available)
- Steve Hope, head of independent learning, Leeds City College
- Kirri Gooch, regional education manager, Google.
Join this hands-on session, where you’ll discover how the range of Google education products enhances learning in FE colleges, without causing IT headaches for the students and staff using them.
Hear about FE success stories, where colleges have made a huge difference to student engagement, academic results and the lives of teachers to provide inspiration and guidance on how your college can do the same.
You will leave this session with: a working knowledge of Google’s tools for education, including Classroom, G Suite and Chromebooks for learning, anytime, anywhere; practical ideas for engaging activities and methods of assessments designed specifically for an FE environment and the inspiration and motivation you need to empower key staff to drive digital transformation in your college.
Lightning talks (slides available)
A semi-synchronous approach to critical thinking
- Ninna Makrinov, skills programme coordinator, University of Warwick
- Susan Vollmer, learning and digital content officer, University of Warwick
This session will look at the results of a pilot online critical thinking Moodle course offered to students at the University of Warwick. The university adopted an innovative approach to online learning which included the use of H5P interactive presentations and semi-synchronous delivery. Students interacted with the course for around 20 minutes each day over five days and received daily feedback on their reflections.
This session will reflect upon student and practitioner feedback and outline further developments.
Eyes wide open! The invisible restraints affecting youth digital practice in HE
Speaker: Caroline Kuhn, PhD student and part time lecturer, University of Bath.
The session will reflect upon the findings of Caroline's PhD research study that looked into how, why and to what extent do undergraduates engage with (open and participatory) tools.
Deconstructing the digital self: using creative curriculum to critically engage with social media
Speaker: Tom Poultney, head of higher education and creative arts, Leeds City College
This session will share how we have used creative curriculum at Level 4 to explore the mechanisms of social media platforms, and the fluctuating relationship between the student’s physical and digital selves. This curriculum was developed to address emerging issues within the students, such as mental health problems, polarised political opinions, and distraction.
A key method to developing this curriculum was to investigate the translation of activities from the internet to a physical environment and vice versa. We are spending an increasing amount of our time on social media, and there are emerging links to a rise in mental health problems, addiction to social media, and the increasing polarisation of political opinion. These have affected our students in many ways, including incidents of far right ideology.
Engaging the students in practical creative activities to deconstruct social media by exploring the algorithms, and deconstructing communication tropes has given students a critical understanding social media. By enabling students to step outside of the echo chamber they were able to consider how social media is shaping their opinions and relationships.
Case studies: inspire learners, drive attainment – make FE learning resource services front and centre (recording and slides available)
- Angela Leavens, head of learning resources and e-learning, Strode College
- Audrey Stranders, head of learning resources, Havering College of Further and Higher Education
- Lis Parcell, subject specialist (libraries and digital resources), Jisc
- Karla Youngs, head of digital content services for further education and skills, Jisc
Hear from two very different colleges where heads of learning resources share their real and inspiring examples of how they have respectively driven learner engagement and attainment via library and learning resource services, to become the beating heart of a college.
Many teaching practitioners, curriculum leads are time poor as well as being challenged to do more with less. What's more, embedding learning resources is not just the responsibility of learning resources team, it also needs buy-in and support from IT.
Jisc experts will also share how you can gain more content and interactive learning resources, use less of your budget, and save time sourcing titles. You will also hear how to overcome internal challenges to drive adoption and usage of resources and have a positive impact on your learners.
Academics and engagement data - learner analytics in the real world (slides available)
Speaker: Linda Hanna, interim head of strategic projects, University of Essex.
Rolling out an institution-wide learner analytics system presents many challenges. System and data challenges abound, legal and ethical issues arise, and stakeholder engagement can feel like an uphill struggle.
The University of Essex is in the third year of a four-year project to introduce staff and student dashboards across all its departments and is ready to share some insights and experiences. Following a year-long pilot, the Learner Engagement Activity Portal (LEAP) is now being used by staff and students across multiple campuses. Now that student engagement information is at their fingertips, academic staff are being asked to understand and use this data to inform decisions about how to best support students and different models for using student engagement data in academic departments are emerging.
This session will give an overview of the Essex project, discuss how some of the many challenges have been overcome and highlight the need for developing the digital skills of academic staff to take advantage of the richer set of student data available via a learner analytics solution.
Chatbots: the future is conversational (recording available)
- Aftab Hussain, ILT manager, Bolton College
- Dean Baggaley, systems development leader, Bolton College
The session will explore the use of conversational services or chatbots. It will showcase how colleagues at Bolton College have created and used their Ada chatbot.
Delegates will see how chatbots can be deployed and used to support day-to-day enquiries that are made by students, teachers and support teams across a campus. There will also be an opportunity to learn how chatbots can be used to support teaching learning and assessment activities in a learning management system and see numerous demos on Bolton College's chatbot service.
How to teach data ethics in the digital age (slides available)
Speaker: Dr. Miranda Mowbray, lecturer faculty of engineering, University of Bristol
In the hyper-connected world, data can be a company's greatest asset. Computer scientists now sit in corporate boardrooms, and their decisions fundamentally affect the workings of our society. Scandals in recent years over the misuse of data have increased calls for the inclusion of ethics in the training of computer scientists.
This talk will give suggestions for content and teaching style for an ethics course for computer scientists. In addition to the educational literature and the design of previous courses on this topic, and Miranda's experience of giving undergraduate lectures on it, she will draw on her own personal experiences as a data science practitioner in industry.
Her approach is practical: what practices can computer science education teach, to assist students in handling the ethical dilemmas that they will encounter in their subsequent industrial careers? She will advocate using real examples from industry involving computer scientists; having a practical exercise in analysis of an example using different ethical frameworks; and discussing practical options open to computer scientists who find themselves involved in something that they are ethically uncomfortable with.
Mindset, skillset, toolset: transforming the digital landscape (slides available)
- Paula Philpott, head of learning academy, South Eastern Regional College (SERC).
- Stefanie Campbell, deputy head of learning academy, South Eastern Regional College (SERC).
Through a clear digital strategy which integrates systems, technology, people and data, SERC has transformed its digital landscape. Integrated, centralised systems aggregate and disseminate data, enhancing efficiency whilst informing and shaping the curriculum and wider college strategy.
This presentation will explore a systematic approach which integrates systems, technology, people, and data; identify ways in which data analytics has transformed and shaped the curriculum and digital strategy; and explore how organisational culture can be shaped through strategic investment in technology, systems and people.
Digital storytelling for all (slides available)
Speaker: Gordon Duffy-McGhie, director - teaching, learning and student development, Middlesbrough College.
This session will explore how digital stories can be used to create dynamic learning, teaching and assessment resources that can more actively engage students in learning through increased participation.
You will get to examine some practical examples of ‘the seven elements of digital storytelling’, and evaluate the role digital stories can play in creating ubiquitous learning experiences.
Not a VLE, but a virtual learning environment (slides available)
Speaker: Dale Munday, digital learning facilitator, University of Lancaster.
Enhancing the idea of the VLE to provide an engaging experience is is key for sustaining progression with education technology. Creating rich, persistent conversations makes learning more visible and accessible to the entire class. Teachers can engage students in project-based learning with text, video, and voice using integrations. Harnessing student social interactions allows educators to enhance the learning and provide an engaging space to assess and feedback.
This session will demonstrate opportunities to empower students while helping them develop the skills they'll need to be successful in the future.
Edtech startups competition prizegiving (recording available)
Speaker: Sue Attewell, head of change - further education (FE) and skills, Jisc
Day one closing keynote - the rise of the humans
Speaker: Dave Coplin, CEO, The Envisioners.
We continue to think about skills and work with a mindset that was forged in the industrial fires of the 19th century and as a result we are in danger of preparing students for a world that actually no longer exists. Unless we fundamentally change the way we think about, engage and educate students in further and higher education we risk being derelict in our duty as the guardians of their future as we are sending them out into a world for which they are simply not prepared.
Through his talk on the “rise of the humans”, technology luminary Dave Coplin seeks to re-dress this balance by helping the next generation of workers embrace the incredible opportunity technology offers us, and in so doing, enables them to live up to the potential of evolving technology rather than be constrained by it.
Drinks reception for all delegates.
Welcome and opening keynote - how to create a broader, fairer and smarter education system? (recording and slides available)
Speaker: Joysy John, director of education, Nesta.
In a world that is rapidly changing, how do we create an education system that prepares all learners to thrive in the future world of work?
Nesta's research on the future of skills shows that skills like creativity, communication, problem-solving and resilience will be more important than ever. Making more effective use of technology and data can help make education more convenient, accessible and effective. Businesses, academia and government will need to work in partnership to ensure that the education system is fit for the future.
Listening to teachers: implications for education and digital (slides available)
Chair: Lawrie Phipps, senior co-design manager, Jisc.
- Donna Lanclos, anthropologist consultant
- Nikki Rivers, lecturer in English literature, University of Gloucestershire
- Sarah Davies, director of education innovation, University of Bristol
If we are to bring about lasting changes around the use of technology in teaching and learning in colleges and universities, we need to understand the practices that staff undertake and the challenges they face. Effective and sustained change comes from a place of working in service to pedagogies, and practices that support and surround learning and teaching.
This session discusses how teaching behaviours impact on digital and how digital is impacting on teaching behaviours. This session is the culmination of a 12-month Jisc study around teaching and next generation digital learning environments.
Digital capability as a strategic priority (slides available)
Speaker: Dr. Ross Parry, associate professor and deputy pro-vice-chancellor (digital), University of Leicester
Developing digital capability is a strategic priority for the University of Leicester as it works towards the ambition of becoming a "discovery-led university” that is “ever more focused on innovation" (University of Leicester 2015 Strategic Plan). The role of digital technologies in achieving this vision is articulated in greater detail in the university's digital strategy: Discovery-Enabling Digital 2016-2020 digital is at the core of how the university operates and the journey towards achieving its teaching, learning and research ambitions.
The university is taking a whole-organisation view of what this will involve (teaching and research, students and staff, academic and professional services) and is working on several co-ordinated and interlinked strands that contribute to the overall implementation plan. The university has adopted a customised digital literacy framework which is based on the Jisc building digital capability framework, and this provides a consistent framework through which digital training and skills development across the university can be delivered.
The university is also using the Jisc building digital capability discovery tool to support staff and students with their understanding of what digital skills they require to support their professional practice and future careers. Senior leadership support for such a large-scale digital initiative is vital and the university has recognised this by appointing a deputy pro-vice-chancellor to lead the work on the digital campus.
In this presentation Ross will share his experiences of leading this initiative and how he is working with teams across the university to achieve this vision for a digitally capable organisation.
Accessibility, e-books and investment: a guide for better results (slides available)
Speaker: Alistair McNaught, subject specialist (accessibility and inclusion), Jisc.
HE and FE providers spend significant resources on digital content. They also spend significant resources on assistive technologies to support disabled student access to reading materials. In both cases, organisations usually fail to capitalise on their investments. Text in digital format has accessibility benefits. Different reading options (on-screen reading or downloading PDF, EPUB or HTML) have different benefits for print disabled students but they may also have barriers. These may be due to accessibility issues in the e-books or the interface through which they are viewed.
Many barriers can be reduced by effective use of technology; for example assistive technologies, browser plug-ins and productivity features of mainstream tools such as Microsoft OneNote and Google Drive. But most organisations miss opportunities to make genuine impacts. Disability teams are unaware of the accessibility benefits/barriers of e-books. Libraries may be unaware of assistive technologies. Study skills teams may be unaware of both. Whilst these knowledge gaps exist, the advice and guidance disabled students receive is fragmented and incomplete.
This workshop explores the issues, demonstrates hidden accessibility features of different formats and helps organisations explore and improve their own guidance on assistive technology, digital content and study skills.
A connected approach to digital skills development (slides available)
- Lydia Fazakerley, IT trainer and support advisor, Lancaster University
- Ben Gill, faculty change manager, Lancaster University
Lydia Fazakerley, IT trainer and support advisor, and Ben Gill, faculty change manager in the faculty of science and technology, will facilitate an interactive session about the connected approach to digital skills development at Lancaster University.
The faculty has recently been working closely with the IT department to understand and prioritise digital skills requirements across its seven departments, and have devised several unique initiatives, taking an iterative approach to trialling new methods for upskilling both academic and professional services staff. In this session, participants can expect a fully interactive workshop.
You will work in teams and progress around the room to discover how the faculty-IT department relationship has blossomed at Lancaster. Key takeaways include understanding the importance of a connected institutional approach, how Lancaster has engaged academics with key initiatives and the significance of our iterative approach to managing digital skills projects.
The Career Explorer: helping young people with educational choices and career aspirations (slides available)
Chair: James Jackson, head of system development and integration, Bishop Grosseteste University.
- Lorna Eden, senior data and visualisation officer, Jisc
- Richard Sandell, director of IT, Graduate Prospects
- Fraser Nicoll, lead strategic product manager, UCAS
UCAS, HESA, Jisc and Prospects have joined forces to collaborate on a new service called the Career Explorer. This highly innovative analytical tool will be designed to improve the student experience. It will guide prospective university students with personalised information, to help inform and empower their life changing choices about their future studies and careers.
The Career Explorer will demystify the multitude of possible pathways to take from pre-16 subject choice, through their higher education journeys and into careers. This will allow universities to work closely with well-informed students to help shape rewarding careers thus improving the outcomes of graduates.
Join us at this interactive session to contribute to and hear first-hand from the Career Explorer product designers and analysts.
Learning from the finalists of the AoC Beacon Award for effective use of technology (recording available)
Chair: Paul McKean, head of further education and skills, Jisc
- Deborah Millar, group director of digital learning and technology, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
- Aftab Hussein, strategic ILT lead, Bolton College
- Angela Hayles, head of faculty, Abingdon & Witney College
- Stephen Smith, project manager – outside of the classroom learning, Preston's College
Find out about the technology projects from this years' AoC Beacon Award finalists. Learn what worked, what didn't and how you could replicate their practice. Find out how the projects have impacted on the colleges and learners involved and discover what's next for the finalists and why.
Swimming with sharks - don't be phish food (slides available)
- Mark Siddle, chief security analyst (cyber threat intelligence), Jisc
- Imayon Pragadish, business development manager, KHIPU Networks
- Donald Dyer, senior consultant and instructor, KHIPU Networks
- Julian Fort, security analyst, Jisc
Phishing is an epidemic cyber security threat to all parts of society. The academic sector contains valuable assets and knowledge in many forms that can attract threat-actors at a nation-state level and criminal groups.
Jisc security analysts from the Computer Security and Incident Response Team (CSIRT) handle live incidents and deal with a variety of attacks every day. The team support all members of the Jisc community in responding to incidents and advise on containing threats and reducing the risk to cyber security.
Hear about some recent high-level examples of attacks from the academic sector and learn about best practice for how to reduce the risk for your organisation and yourself. Learn about how the community has raised awareness of the threat with users by using simulated phishing via a Jisc framework with Khipu.
Approaches to developing staff and student digital capability (slides available)
- Lisa Gray, senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Sarah Knight, head of change - student experience, Jisc
- Shri Footring, senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Clare Killen, content curation manager, Jisc
- Heather Price , senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Trevor Bezzina, co-founder, Potential.ly
- Alicja Shah, co-design manager, Jisc
This workshop will share approaches on how to develop staff and students’ digital capabilities. This will include a carousel of activities:
Activity 1 - Game of organisational digital capabilities
Wherever you are in your journey towards organisational digital capability this interactive session is designed to facilitate problem solving and the sharing of ideas and best practice. Based around Jisc’s four step model of strategic steps for organisational digital capability, the game activity offers something for people at every stage of the journey.
Activity 2 - designing for digital capabilities in the curriculum
Delegates will have the opportunity to consider materials which will support staff with designing in opportunities for students to develop relevant digital capabilities into their course, module or unit of learning. These will include a guide on digital learning activities and learning activity design cards.
Activity 3 - getting to know the digital capability framework
Delegates will have the opportunity of exploring resources which consider the digital capability framework in their own context and also consider how they might use the role profiles to support staff and students’ digital capability
Activity 4 - using the discovery tool to support the development of staff and students' digital capabilities
Enhance - the ETF's digital teaching platform (slides available)
- Vikki Liogier, head of learning technologies, Education and Training Foundation
- Dawn Buzzard, e-learning adviser, Education and Training Foundation
Pedagogy not technology has been the guiding light in developing the Digital Teaching Framework (DTPF) in collaboration with Jisc. The focus has been on how technology can help teachers and trainers in their existing professional practice, as well as helping them to develop new professional practice. In addition, the needs of the FE sector have been addressed with extensive input from representatives of all parts of the sector.
In this session, Vikki and Dawn will:
- Give an overview of the Enhance Digital Enhance Digital Teaching Professional Platform and the Digital Teaching Professional Framework
- Discuss the rationale leading to this model of programme development
- Show you how to optimise the use Enhance and DTPF for your personal professional development
- Discuss building digital capability and know-how to better embed edtech in teaching learning and assessment
A look over the horizon (recording and slides available)
Chair: Andy McGregor, deputy chief innovation officer, Jisc.
- Sarah Davies, director of education innovation, University of Bristol
- Nick Brazil, deputy principal, Gower College
- Rachel Hall, university editor, The Guardian
- Gwyneth Sweatman, president, NUS Wales
An expert panel will discuss which emerging technologies offer the most promise in helping with the challenge’s universities and colleges face, including an in depth look at the mental health and wellbeing challenge.
The session will be based on Jisc's first horizon report, which is aimed at helping managers prioritise which emerging technologies they should be working within their institutional strategies.
How can we measure our staff and students’ digital experience? (slides available)
Lead: Sarah Knight, head of change student experience, Jisc
- Conrad Taylor, e-learning manager, City of Wolverhampton College
- Stephen Webb, head of technology enhanced learning, University of Portsmouth
- Mark Langer-Crame, senior digital experience insights analyst, Jisc
- Ruth Drysdale, senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Clare Killen, content curation manager, Jisc
- Darren Colquhorn, BOS client support officer, Jisc
In this hands-on workshop, delegates will have the opportunity of using resources to support them with gathering evidence and measuring their staff and students’ digital experience. As colleges and universities are investing large sums of money into their digital environment, how do they know that this investment is being realised by staff and students using the technology effectively?
This workshop will offer resources to support those leading or managing their digital provision and show how these are being used by colleges and universities across the UK.
Attendees will have the opportunity of selecting three out of the four activities:
- Hands on opportunity to use digital experience insights surveys for staff and students
- Using the newly updated Jisc NUS Roadmap for supporting students to improve their digital experience and university or college
- Using the enabling an excellent digital experience guidance for engaging senior leaders and informing digital strategy
- Sharing institutional stories. Opportunities for delegates to speak to staff from Portsmouth University and City of Wolverhampton College on how they are measuring their students’ digital experience
Staying relevant in a technology-driven world (slides available)
- Reza Mosavian, student experience product owner, Tribal
- Ken Barrett, student experience product manager, Tribal
Students want more choice and flexibility, but technology moves so quickly. What can institutions do to offer the best possible student experience through technology whilst remaining relevant and cost-effective? Rather than investing in ‘the latest innovation’, a student engagement platform that continuously updates with the latest technology (such as voice activation digital assistants or AI) means you don’t have to back a single tool that could become outdated within a couple of years.
This interactive workshop discusses the links between students’ digital expectations vs reality and what universities and colleges are doing about it. There will be contributions from student experience directors, sharing their experience of creating the conditions necessary to enrich the digital lives of students through open, integrated and future-proof technologies.
Most importantly, please share your experiences and the strategies you’re employing or looking to employ to ensure you remain in touch with your current students and those thinking of studying with you.
Addressing and enhancing student wellbeing through engagement (slides available)
- Tom Lowe, centre for student engagement manager, University of Winchester
- Rosie Tressler, CEO, Student Minds
Students’ wellbeing and mental health is a challenge for the entire education sector, both online and on campuses. The hierarchy of success students place upon themselves to perform, thrive and adapt to an ever-changing world is a challenge all students face, and it is up to our education institutions to ensure that we are appropriately supporting students throughout their studies.
This session will begin with a facilitated a discussion led by Rosie Tressler (CEO of Student Minds) on how education institutions need to ensure they are supporting students’ educational journeys and fostering an environment where students can access help both online and on campus. The workshop will then showcase several practices and strategies delegates can begin to action to engage their student body through student engagement practices to explore their students’ experiences and identify areas for development.
Tom Lowe (centre for student engagement manager, University of Winchester) will ask questions surrounding where our institutions engage with students and how Student Engagement practices can be used to enhance our learning environments. This workshop will offer delegates new perspectives to begin working together to address student wellbeing through staff-student and cross departmental collaboration.
Lightning talks (recordings and slides available)
Closing the technology gap
Speaker: Patrick McGrath, education technology specialist, Texthelp.
The digital age we live in brings expectations from our students. Their daily interactions with technology are highly personalised, collaborative, communicative and full of potential learning opportunities. The challenge for educators is not about ability or access, it’s about context. How can we leverage these tools, and grab the opportunities that technology provide us all, but in a way that has a positive, measurable impact on teaching and learning?
In this short lightning session Patrick McGrath will work through recent research that highlights where technology gaps exist between practitioners and students. Attendees will leave with a proven, practical framework template that's evidenced by best practice example which can be adopted to help embrace technology as an integrated part of learning.
Harnessing digital transformation trends
Speaker: Luke Parry, business development manager, Collabco.
Digitalisation is connecting people, universities and countries in ways that vastly increase our potential. But in equal measure is making the world volatile, complex and uncertain.
While there are differing views on the role that digital technology can and should play in universities, we cannot ignore how digital tools have fundamentally transformed the world outside of the lecture hall and how preparing students needs to start with university practices.
Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership: the first local Digital Skills Partnership
- Kerry Harrison, digital skills coordinator, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
- Dominic Martinez, project officer, Lancashire County Council
The Digital Skills Partnership, coordinated from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), works to extend commitments within the UK Digital Strategy which sets out the government’s ambition to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.
Local Digital Skills Partnerships aim to tackle local digital skills challenges and build thriving and inclusive local economies through increased collaboration and coherence between public, private and charity sector organisations and help address local digital skills needs in more targeted and innovative ways.
How to live in a 24 hour social media world
Speaker: Daniel Hopkins, course director of media production, Coventry University.
This session will look at how to develop curfews, and professional ways of working around our use of the internet and social media and how to promote good practices and stick to them.
This session lead, Coventry University senior lecturer Daniel Hopkins, will give you a guide from the point of view of a university lecturer in media and film production.
Digital expectations and the student lifecycle: is engaging with students on mobile essential? (slides available)
Speaker: Jack Tattersall, senior account manager, Guidebook.
Student expectations now demand their institutions offer a full mobile experience. This 60 minute session will map out the student lifecycle in detail and demonstrate how a mobile app can drive engagement at every stage. We'll discuss the challenges that face universities as they attempt to engage with students during the prospective, onboarding and support stages of the student lifecycle.
Attendees will walk away from this session with ideas on how to drive engagement and improve support through mobile. We'll offer a self-assessment of the university's current engagement performance and an action plan of how they could boost this through mobile technology.
Blooming analytics! The germination of a new Jisc/HESA service for data-driven decision making (slides available)
- Myles Danson, product owner – business intelligence, Jisc
- Adam Green, senior data and visualisation officer, Jisc
- Victoria Atherstone, head of sales and marketing, HESA
Who remembers planting the very first seed in the nurturing eco-system of Jisc Analytics Labs? Four years ago, Jisc, HESA and universities nationwide joined forces to develop interactive, data-derived visualisation dashboards to offer insights to the most prevalent and topical issues facing HEIs through shared intelligence and data expertise.
The seedlings have been cross-pollinated by other additional activity and are now maturing into an array of powerful analytical dashboard suites to help you troubleshoot your most pressing institutional demands.
Responding to the digital accessibility regulations (slides available)
Chair: Alistair McNaught, subject specialist (accessibility and inclusion), Jisc
- Abi James, senior accessibility and usability consultant, Ability Net
- Anthony Ilona, policy engagement manager, Government Digital Service, Cabinet Office
- Julia Taylor, subject specialist (accessibility and inclusion), Jisc
FE and HE providers are subject to new regulation in respect of their websites, intranets and digital platforms. The legislation clarifies the entitlements of disabled students, puts new obligations on providers and is subject to auditing.
This session with input from Jisc, AbilityNet and the Government Digital Service (GDS) will provide:
- A brief introduction to the key points of the legislation
- An overview of the potential benefits for organisations in terms of improved service join up, quality assurance and digital competency agendas
- An overview of how to create and test accessible platforms
- A summary of how GDS are working with the sector to ensure guidance is contextualised, avoiding unintended consequences
Education 4.0 - the fourth education revolution? (recording available)
Chair: Sophie Bailey, founder, The Edtech Podcast.
- Dave Sherwood, co-founder and CEO, Bibliotech
- Kathryn Skelton, chief strategy officer, FutureLearn
- Dr James Gupta, founder and CEO, Synap
- Sue Attewell, head of change - further education (FE) and skills, Jisc
This panel discussion led by Sophie Bailey of The Edtech Podcast will look at the opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning presented by fourth industrial revolution technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
The session will be live streamed and edited highlights will be included in a special Digifest 2019 edition of The Edtech Podcast, part of a series on Education 4.0 co-curated with Jisc.
Developing a more inclusive student experience (slides available)
Supporting autistic students at university - academically, socially and through technology
Speaker: Dr. Marc Fabri, senior lecturer, Leeds Beckett University.
This talk will introduce the challenges and opportunities many young autistic students encounter during their higher education journey. Details and findings will be presented from two EU-funded research projects: Autism&Uni which focused on the transition into university, and IMAGE which is currently ongoing and focuses on the transition out of university, into the workplace. Both projects have a strong digital angle with the design of online toolkits specifically aimed at autistic students.
Through a participatory design approach, students were directly involved in conception and production of these digital tools. Leeds- Beckett University have learnt a lot about the skills and preferences autistic students have, and how technology can help them fulfil their aspirations. Along the way pre-conceptions were thoroughly challenged.
Both projects champion two important principles: Firstly, a strength-based view of autism that focuses on skills and abilities rather than deficits. And secondly a universal design approach to learning that provides choices, depending on an individual's preferences and abilities. This puts the onus on universities to consider how established practices and technologies must change to fully support autistic students in an inclusive way - and any other group of students.
Digital archives and inclusive histories
Speaker: Owen Barden, senior lecturer, Liverpool Hope University
This session will report on an ongoing British Academy/Jisc funded project investigating historical representations of what are now often called 'learning difficulties'. Disabled people in general, and people labelled with learning difficulties in particular, have too often been excluded from their own histories.
This project attempts to address such exclusions, analysing material from the UK Medical Heritage Library using a bespoke methodology combining digital archival research with participatory workshops. These workshops bring together an academic researcher, people labelled with learning difficulties, support workers and a graphic illustrator. We explore digitized 19th-century medical texts on ‘idiocy’, analyse the representations we found, and respond to them creatively, using them as the starting point to tell stories about the realities of living with a label of learning disability today.
The session will encourage delegates to consider the accessibility of digital material, and how to develop more inclusive, collaborative approaches to learning.
How YouTube revolutionised learning and nobody noticed (slides available)
Speaker: Dominik Lukes, digital learning technologist, University of Oxford.
We are living through a video revolution. Thomas Edison predicted that most educational content would be in video form by the 1920s. It took almost another 100 years before the technology of video production, distribution and consumption got us to a place where almost anything can be taught with and learned from video.
Understanding why it took so long for the power of video to take over is essential for understanding its future. But it is now clear that video is the future and its role is only going to expand. The impact is cropping up in unforeseen places and has not been fully appreciated.
This talk will outline the current state of educational video: consumption patterns, production technologies, business models and emerging pedagogies. It will also challenge the narrative that video is reinforcing traditional methods of delivery. Finally, the presentation will then sketch out what all of this means for the future of education and what a modern educator and educational leader should know in order to make the most of this phenomenon and adapt to the coming future.
Access to content: meeting the needs of FE (slides available)
- Karla Youngs, head of digital content services for further education and skills, Jisc
- James Lafferty, licensing manager, Jisc
- Pete Collins, FE and skills services manager, Jisc
The recent digital experience survey findings from students was published in November 2018. The survey results have highlighted some unmet needs around learning resource centre (LRC) provision and support regarding access and use of content, particularly from those who are studying at FE colleges.
This session proposes to review the survey results and map how LRC managers can make some subtle changes to current working practices and embed new ways of working to address these needs, and provide the digital services and support that learners are asking for. This session hopes to inspire LRC managers and staff in order to meet these digital requirements, that learners have said will make a big difference to them.
Engineering excellence meets academic resources: the Jisc geospatial data service (slides available)
Speaker: Cam Swift, geospatial data service development manager, Jisc.
Learn about the Jisc geospatial data service and some of the features which make it a service worth considering for use by your university or college.
After a very short introduction, most the of time during the workshop will be spent exploring several features including projects. Laptops are provided for attendees to use, but as the service runs on a range of devices, it is possible to try out the service on your own technology.
Attendees will be supported by both Airbus and the service manager to carry out a variety of simple tasks, which will allow you to experience the service for yourselves.
Digital wellbeing sprint session (slides available)
Lead: Alicja Shah, co-design manager, Jisc.
- Sarah Knight, head of change - student experience, Jisc
- Lisa Gray, senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Clare Killen, content curation manager, Jisc
- Shri Footring, senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Heather Price, senior co-design manager, Jisc
This interactive workshop will introduce delegates to sprint methodology and will take them from defining a problem statement to working on ideas for a solution within short space of time. Attendees will be looking at problems and ideas within the digital wellbeing space.
How is iDEA developing digital citizens? (slides available)
Chair: Kerensa Jennings, director, The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA).
- Ben Pilkington, project manager, employment and skills, Tameside Council
- Shauna Burns, careers advisor, Manchester Metropolitan University
- Commander Paul Haines, commander public relations, Royal Navy
- Karen Sheppard, director, People First Mobility
Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) is an international programme aiming to help address the digital skills gap. The programme provides free digital skills education in the form of engaging online modules (badges). The iDEA curriculum has been curated to help inspire people all over the world to become Digital Citizens, Workers, Makers, Entrepreneurs and Gamers to enhance their employability; and to help them become economically active.
iDEA is about lifelong learning, for anyone who wants to develop their skills. iDEA learners include school pupils, apprentices, business leaders, pensioners, students and community groups. Colleges and universities are using iDEA to support the development of digital skills of their students and staff.
The Bronze Award launched in 2017 and the Silver Award in 2018. Since then, a quarter of a million learners have signed up, 1.4 million badges have been won, and more than 15,000 people have achieved the Bronze Award. Almost 2,000 learners have already achieved the Silver Award, and iDEA is being used to help people develop skills in more than100 countries.
The Jisc digital capability discovery tool has linked to the Bronze resources and colleges and universities are using these materials to support their staff and students. The Jisc digital capability discovery tool has linked to the bronze resources and colleges and universities are using these materials to support their staff and students.
In this session, Kerensa will chair a panel of speakers who will share their experiences of using iDEA to support digital skills of the communities they support. Representatives from all areas of the education sector will be represented as well as small businesses who are realising the benefits of iDEA and how this is changing lives of those within their communities.
How you are embracing the change of technological capability, and the needs of the students of the future, not the past? (slides available)
Speaker: Andrew Proctor, director of digital services, Staffordshire University.
With the ever changing needs of students, Staffordshire University will share how they approached the opportunity to positively impact student experience at the University, using data, AI and the cloud.
Facilitating your registration with the Office for Students using the Jisc student voter registration service (slides available)
Speaker: Josh Howlett, head of trust and identity, Jisc
Experience the interface and tech behind the student voter registration app, a community developed to ensure your students have registered to vote. See the portal in action and how easy it is to use!
Hackathon showcase - launch of next competition (recording available)
- Paul Bailey, senior co-design manager, Jisc
- Peter Cliff , senior innovation developer, Jisc
Across the two days of the event, student teams will design, develop and build “something” that would benefit students. The students will be set the challenge of working to develop ideas, build and test tools that can enhance the student experience.
The topics will be:
- Groupwork assessment
- VLE of the future
- Intelligent campus
- Curriculum enhancement
This session will hear from the students and look at what they have produced over the two days.
Closing keynote - an intelligent education: the future of machine learning in our schools, colleges and universities
Speaker: Liz Sproat, head of Google education for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Google
This session will explain how the creation of machines that learn will soon transform the education sector. You’ll discover the huge potential of machine learning in education so your institution can be one of the first to benefit from a more personalised, inspiring and intelligent approach to using technology.
You’ll hear case studies of education institutions that are already embracing machine learning to unleash student potential. And you’ll come away with ideas and practical advice regarding how your institution can use machine learning to engage with information more effectively, support collaborative learning and prepare students for the age of machine learning that they’ll find in the working world of tomorrow.
Digifest 2019 closes.
All timings are indicative and subject to change.
Keynote speakers will set out their aspirations for the digital revolution of learning and teaching, and why that is so essential and not that far away.
Through our discussions, we will be looking to answer the critical questions. In a provocative and challenging way, as well as listening to differing perspectives, you will have an opportunity to share your views and thoughts, and question those of others.
Presentations will provide an opportunity to dig deeper into a particular issue or approach, presenting evidence and experience, which will equip you with insights, ideas and information.
Workshops will highlight how digital is transforming learning and teaching across the UK. These sessions will provide you with experience and evidence, demonstrate digital in action and offer you the chance to learn from peers and their practices.
These are quick-fire 15 minute back-to-back sessions showcasing and sharing best practice and innovation, there will be opportunities to take away ideas and inspiration for your own organisation.
Session locations and venue accessibility
All locations for sessions in our programme will have seating available.
Full details about ICC accessibility and information for disabled visitors can be found on their website.
If you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.