Friday, 16 January 2015

Winter TELFest - Day Three

Sorry for the late report this time - I was busy at a PebblePad training day in Birmingham yesterday - but here are the highlights of the closing day of another successful TELFest.

The day began with an App Swap Breakfast, hosted by Andy Tattersall of ScHARR and Graham McElearney of CiCS. This saw colleagues sharing a wide range of mobile apps that they use in Learning & Teaching, fortified by a selection of Danish pastries. This revealed a host of apps that people are using, including organisation apps such as WunderlistTrello and Ideas Catylist, collaboration tools such as Skitch, and media creation tools such as YouTube Capture, Adobe Voice and Voice Recorder HD. The session ended with Andy giving 12 Apps we really should be using in 2015 (many of which also feature in this post from the ScHARR Library blog).

This was followed by a double-header of Turnitin Training by Zafer Ali, with the first session covering the basics of setting up assignments, and the second looking at marking on the iPad using the Turnitin app.

Next, the lunchtime session looked at different ways colleagues have used mobile technology to enhance learning and teaching. Bob Johnston and Graham McElearney began, telling of the development of mobile systems for field work in Archaeology. Beginning in 2006, developing for PDA technology, this work was rendered more or less obsolete with the launch of smartphones, with the same video material now delivered to students' own devices such as iPads via iTunesU for offline viewing, and same devices running GIS and other data collection software. One important tip was to consider the use of whatever system is used with students, to ensure the skills are relevant once they have graduated.

This was followed by a short talk by Nik Reeves-McLaren, of Material Science and Engineering, who told of his use of LectureTools. Inspired by theories of why traditional face-to-face lectures are often an inadequate teaching format, Nik used the system in two new modules, to allow students to interact with the lecture. This was done by allowing the lecturer to pose questions and polls, as well as providing a system for questions and flags of confusion to be asked electronically. Feedback from students was generally positive, with students giving indication they found it enhanced their enjoyment, and would like to see its use expanded. Nik was followed by the School of Law's Claire McGourlay, who was using LectureTools in a similar way, and reiterated the positive feedback from students.

The festival ended with Pete Mella and James Slack giving a talk on the uses for Lecture Recording and Personal Capture, using the University's MyEcho system. The talk gave a practical demonstration of how the software is used, discussion of different ways it can be used, and an exploration of some of the concerns of its use, such as lecture attendance.

And that's it for another festival! Thanks to all delegates and speakers, and we hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. Keep your eyes on our newly-launched TELHub for announcements for what's coming up at the next TELFest, later in the year, as well as case studies, how-to guides and much more.

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