Monday, 3 July 2017

TELFest 2017- Day 1

TELFest 2017 has arrived! The Technology Enhanced Learning Festival is back once again with five days of exciting events hitting the Diamond. This year has seen a record 400 people from the University of Sheffield and now numerous other institutions sign up for an action packed week of lectures, sessions and discussions. And more, there are competitions and prizes for attendees throughout the week.

Farzana Latif, Technology Enhanced Learning Manager at the University of Sheffield, warmly welcomed everyone to the opening day of TELFest:



First up was Graham McElearney who got the festival underway with the launch of the Kaltura Digital Media Hub, a new platform that allows students to submit assessments via video and allows staff to submit video and audio feedback. The launch aims to encourage the increased use of video across teaching and learning, enabling students to engage more directly and discursively with feedback. We were shown a glimpse of what Kaltura can do for learning as academics from Journalism, Law and Architecture gave presentations about their experiences piloting the platform.

After lunch, Vice President for Education Wyn Morgan officially launched TELFest before successfully donning the persona of Les Dennis for the Faculty Fortunes competition. A team of staff and a team of students faced off, trying to guess the results of a survey asking staff and students how they use technology in learning and the audience being invited to guess too. In the end, the student team won a decisive victory three rounds to one, and the session highlighted some of the major differences between how students and staff use technology to enhance their learning.



The Digital Commons Retreat held a session run by Chris Stokes where academic staff are encouraged to propose a digital problem and a team of technicians, other academics and more work together to solve the problem. This is a full two day event and allows the team to check in on the progress of previous projects.
Mr Stokes explained more of what the Digital Commons Retreat is about:


The final event of day one was a session targeting the problems of engaging learners in large classes. There were three presentations offering examples and ideas of the best way to engage large numbers of students through technology. The interactive session discussed many promising ideas, from the innovative use of apps such as the word cloud AnswerGarden to Explain Everything which allows students to control an interactive Whiteboard.
We spoke to an attendee at the session about what ideas she took away:

That was day one, and we'll see you all again tomorrow for day two of TELFest.

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