As we polish off the remains of the Ed. Tech Turkey/Vegetarian Option and the brussel sprouts in a mashed up concoction of Bubble and Squeak, our thoughts turn to the upcoming Hogmany and a bright and shining New Year. Through the sherry induced haze, our sticky, chocolate covered fingers reach out to bring you what we believe will be the game changers this year.
Collaborative tools in the classroom
Following the recent JISC agreement to facilitate the introduction of Google Apps in Higher Education, an added layer of functionality makes this suite of already awesome productivity apps more accessible to all. Use of Google’s suite of tools in the learning environment, can facilitate the development of essential and transferable 21st century life skills for students using technology that is already familiar.
Bring Your Own Device / Mobile Learning
With mobile access to our primary VLE up 137% compared to this term last year, use of mobile devices amongst staff and students proliferates the learning environment at Falmouth. Most of our users are coming to us on iOS; iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, so we need to be ready to facilitate these technologies in Learning and Teaching. We also need to ensure we don’t isolate those that don’t have easy access to mobile technology and through ET Workshops and Consulations, nurture the development of digital literacies amongst staff and students.
Big and Meaningful Data
Increasing awareness of the capabilities of the systems we deploy to support education and the wider movement towards openness and transparency in data (Open Government, Datahub.io), mean that we have easy access to massive amounts of information. In education, we can interpret this data to aid us with recruiting and retaining students.
In order to make this wealth of data meaningful the systems themselves must be transparent in the way they collect and output data, using open formats and easy to access interfaces that we can reuse in real time visualisations.
The other key factor to meaningful data is that we have good data to begin with. One authority on data with procedures in place as to what we collect and how we use it.
Social Media and Reputation Management
With increasing awareness of our own Digital Identity and Social Networks becoming mainstream news sources, the buzz in the business world around social media is about ’Reputation Management’. It’s not just the one person Tweeting through the company Twitter account anymore, it’s the departments and the individuals and what they are saying about the brand.
Our blog series on recruitment considers how this applies to HE. We have to be visible online and we have to consider in what ways we are doing that. For students in the arts based HE environment, it’s about helping them consider how they build their own Social Media ecosystem. Not just to support their learning, but also connect them to their peers, contemporaries and potential customers as they move through and beyond their time University.