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Developing our digital literacy is vital for preparing students for the workplace

Published: 20 September 2019 at 13:39

DigiFest 2019 highlighted the importance we place on the effective use of digital technologies to enhance our teaching and transform our students’ learning experience.

Held over four days in Cambridge and Chelmsford, DigiFest 2019 offered a full programme of keynotes, workshops and lightning strikes aligned with our Digital Literacy Framework and  Education Strategy, providing over 200 colleagues from across ARU with the opportunity to explore media-enhanced pedagogies and resources.  An inspiring start to the new academic year. 

In Cambridge, keynote Jitse van Ameijde from the Open University shared outcomes from the ICEBERG project which identified seven key design principles that can enhance student retention.  Jitse concluded his presentation with 10 action tips on how to effectively design for retention including making resources easily accessible and manageable, building in sufficient opportunities for self-assessment, formative assessment as well as time for reflection and revision to consolidate learning. 

In Chelmsford, Richard Windle from the University of Nottingham focused on the benefits of involving students in the production of ‘reusable learning objects’ (RLOs), from the initial consultation on curriculum design to the co-creation of these multimedia resources.  Drawing on nearly 20 years of experience in developing RLOs, Richard’s keynote highlighted how digital approaches to learning teaching had the potential to be transformative by opening up new ways of working, collaborating and sharing with students as partners.  As a consequence of this approach the resources themselves are highly aligned to learners’ needs resulting in increased student attainment, overall satisfaction and lifelong learning skills.  

Colleagues from across our faculties and professional services led well-attended workshops and lightning strikes, introducing and sharing their experiences of a range of digital technologies including Canvas, Zoom, MyShowcase, Poll Everywhere, Topdesk and e-textbooks – making the case for the effective use of digital media to create active learning and teaching opportunities. These presentations are available to download as PDFs and/or watch online. 

“DigiFest was an inspiring opportunity to become more confident with the technologies available to us and share useful tips for what does and doesn’t work, the barriers to using them and the benefits they bring to us as teachers and our students,” said Jason Williams (Digital Media Specialist, AL&T).

Colleagues who are new to using digital learning technologies, as well as those who are already experienced, will find the DigiFest 2019 presentations a great help as well as a source of inspiration for exploring new ways of teaching with technology.

Additional resources and guidance together with digital literacy-focused CPD opportunities are available on the Anglia Learning & Teaching website