Monday, 20 March 2017

Digifest 2017

Last week I attended Digifest at the ICC in Birmingham. There was a packed programme spanning over 2 days, and also a DigiLab area where you could try out new technologies.

The first day began with a debate on what a digital revolution of learning and teaching means. Questions were asked of the delegates before the session and the panel discussed the findings. 
Jisc Digifest 2017 - Day one plenary and welcome from Jisc

Next came a session on Robots and AI - "Loving the Alien" by Jisc Futurist Martin Hamilton. This was an interesting presentation packed full of different uses of Robots and what this could mean for us 
The other highlights from day one included a session by Lab Skills on their media rich resource for Science students, and a presentation from Mark Clements (University of Lincoln)on how virtual lab simulations can be used in practice. After this I had a conversation with Labster who provided the platform for these VR lab pre-sessions to take place, and there were some interesting ideas on how VR sessions and online resources could prepare students better for lab work, allowing them more quality time in the labs.
Trying the HoloLens
There are a couple of ideas and technology that I hope to be able to bring to this years this space

Loving the alien - robots and AI in education from Jisc

Day 2 began for me with a talk by Earle Abrahamson about different ways in engaging staff and students with Turnitin, and ways that more student interaction with Turnitin can improve their work. He also gave away a couple of his tricks - including using music in his audio feedback.

I then visited the DigiLab, and tried out the HoloLens.
This was an interesting merge of AR and your environment - the ability to have an AR experience, whilst also being able to see the environment around you. This could potentially allow users to wear these headsets for longer, and they can freely walk around and interact with their surroundings. It also has a great use for looking at historical sites, and using AR to see what it was like before. 


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