The beginning of July is synonymous with Falmouth University’s PGCHE Summer School; this week long event marks the final stage of the course and is an enjoyable few days for those taking part.

Workshops, practical sessions and activities make up the timetable for the week, visits to Tate St Ives and the Foundation Art Studios were included as part of this years programme.

Mark and I were fortunate enough to be asked to contribute from a learning technology perspective, in partnership with course lecturer Elfréa Lockley we contributed to two of the five days.

The first session focused mainly on theories of learning technologies and how these can be applied as part of every day teaching. Participants were asked to Google each other as an introduction exercise which in turn produced lively debate around digital footprint and online identity.

Participants were also introduced to David White’s Visitors and Residents model and invited to map how they engage with digital tools. Comparing where individuals felt they resided proved for some engaging debate and allowed the group to compare fluency with different apps and tools in relation to professional practice.

The day concluded with a quiz to gauge understanding and the promise of something a little different come Friday’s session…

Fréa had previously used a Hunger Games style activity to engage her Creative Writing students and wanted to adapt the concept with a digital twist for the PGCHE group. This game worked on a similar premise as the books/film in that you had teams scavenging in an ‘arena’ and others in the ‘control’ with an overview of where the prizes lay.

Mark and I had been working with Fréa to find a way to introduce a digital element to this scenario, finally settling on using tools as a means of communication between those in the arena and those in the control. Once a prize was found, claim could only be made by means of a photo, uploaded to a dedicated District1 twitter account.

The Hunger Games activity used technology in a more immersive engaging way, with participants choosing their own apps to compete in the hunt for prizes. Reporting back at the end of the game there were comments on app functionality and the reliability of wifi on campus; worthwhile contributions and very relevant to student expectations of a connected HE environment.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed being part of this years Summer School and will look forward to 2016!

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