Digitally Ready for the Future: Sharing Good Practice

This one-day event took place on 19 July and brought together staff with an interest in using digital technologies in innovative ways, to share good practice and encourage discussion around digital issues (full programme).

Organised by the Digitally Ready project team, the day comprised plenary and parallel sessions of ‘show & tell’ talks and workshops and was very well attended by over 90 staff from around the University, including Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, FDTL Professor Julian Park, a number of NTFs as well as other colleagues from academic and service departments. JISC Programme Manager Paul Bailey was on hand to put the event into a broader national context. Representatives from Oxford Brookes’ InStEPP, one of Digitally Ready’s partner projects, were also in attendance.

The opening talk by Professor Shirley Williams (Systems Engineering) in the morning, and the afternoon’s single stream of short presentations by Alastair Culham (Biological Sciences), Gerry Leonidas (Typography & Graphic Communication), and Matthew Nicholls (Classics) allowed for a common experience and debate.

The Vice-Chancellor’s talk was an enthusiastic opening to the afternoon session and offered a promising outlook, suggesting that HE could lead the way in using digital technologies to truly transform teaching and learning.

The parallel sessions covered a broad range of innovative technologies, including mobile technologies, social media, video, visualization technologies, e-Portfolios, and audience response systems.

Extended breaks offered more opportunities for networking, with staff who are expert users of particular technologies acting as ‘badgewearers’, showcasing new technologies (such as Blackboard Mobile), and offering inspiration and practical advice.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, showing that staff felt stimulated and encouraged by hearing from the early adopters and forward thinkers among their colleagues, with many staff wishing for more of such opportunities to exchange ideas, practical guidance and support, and discuss how digital technology can augment teaching and learning experiences.

Here are some highlights:

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