A rather sunny Newcastle was the destination for this year’s Blackboard European Teaching and Learning Conference. The 4 day event, which was split into the DevCon and main TLC conference, took place in Northumbria University Business School. We will be looking at some of the highlights from both events.
Welcome & No REST for the Wicked: The Latest on REST APIs in Blackboard Learn
DevCon 2019 kicked off with a welcome from Mark O’Neil and Scott Hurrey, they discuss the outline of this year’s DevCon, including events and tasks scheduled for the day and how they have had to improve the Developer Community to meet the demands of its users.
For most, January might be a month of quiet consolation, with that weary post-Christmas feeling hanging heavy…
But not for the nation’s E-learning teams however: each coming January means the Durham Blackboard Users Conference!
The focus for the 19th Durham Blackboard User conference was “Fail, Fad or Future”, asking users of Blackboard to be honest with their experiences with Blackboard, acknowledging that some ideas will fail – some are just a passing fad – but some will be integral to the future of how we support and use e-learning systems.
The conference was opened by Rosie Jones, the Director of Library Services at the Open University.
The E-learning team recently attended the Panopto EMEA Conference in Euston Square. The conference opened with an abundance of coffee and pastries (and weirdly rose water on tap) – before heading into the auditorium for an opening talk from Dave Cormier. Cormier is best known for the coining the term MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), and seemed to be somewhat of a celebrity in the teaching and learning sphere.
Cormier spoke about the best way to utilise video for learning. He emphasised that basic, simple tasks could be taught using high budget, high interest videos because they are unlikely to change.
Imperial College London are the number one user of the Panopto Lecture Capture Cloud system worldwide, with over 100,000 lectures recorded since the system was introduced in 2011. With over 5 million student views recorded and the majority of lecture theatres now equipped with Panopto recording hardware, revising lecture recordings has become an established part of the learning experience for many Imperial students.
This volume and breadth of Panopto coverage entails significant administrative work behind the scenes, the majority of which is carried out by faculty learning technologists who liaise with their departmental teams to schedule upcoming recordings, set up folders linked to the correct courses and grant access permissions through the Panopto user interface.
This spring, the E-learning Team let Lee and Dev jet off to sunny Manchester to attend the TFL Europe 2018 Blackboard Conference.
Hosted at the prestigious Manchester University, the conference kicked off with the 2 day DevCon on Monday 9th April with the 3 day event starting on the Tuesday. Over the the five days, a busy schedule of talks, workshops and events was arranged for the avid attendees from across the globe.
The city of Manchester itself was a joy to visit and a great place to host the conference. Manchester University was a short walk from the city centre and the conference was well facilitated thanks to TLC and the use of the extremely useful AttendeeHub App, which let you organise your schedule really easily.
In January I attended the Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference. This was the 18th running of the event by Durham University and the first I have attended. Each conference has a unique theme and this years was based on the classic Spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and The Ugly. The two day conference featured a number of talks, demos and presentations highlighting what is good bad and ugly with Blackboard.
Before I cover some of the sessions, I have to say it was an exceptionally well run conference. The team at Durham have put a great deal of work into not only the event, but the social aspect following the conference.
On Thursday 6th October, I attended the Turnitin User Summit in Newcastle. The one day event consisted of short presentations from Turnitin representatives, guest speakers from UK HE institutions, a group workshop and a ‘knowledge bar’ which provided an opportunity to speak to a variety of people working at Turnitin. Before I discuss the event, here are some pictures from my time in Newcastle.
Newcastle, for those who have not been, is a Northern city (closer to Edinburgh than London) dominated by a number of bridges over the Tyne, a plethora of bars and clubs, an average football club and two very central universities (Newcastle and Northumbria).
By Mimi Weiss Johnson
On the 20th July I attended the M25 Learning Technology meeting at the University of Westminster. As always, it was a lovely event attended by representatives from Universities in and around the M25 area. I wanted to highlight three of the presentations that I enjoyed.
Presenter:Janina Dewitz from UCL
Janina has been involved in organising Hackathons for UCL. These are friendly, competitive events for UCL staff and students that usually take place over a whole weekend at venues like the O2. Attendees are divided into groups where they are asked to raise a challenge or a problem to solve.
This is a short blog post on the potential of using virtual reality (VR) content in e-learning courses. I recently attended the Learning Technologies Summer Forum at Olympia in London. This was the second Learning Technologies event that I have attended this year, following the conference & exhibition that took place in January. Although I found the event slightly disappointing due to the lack of seminars, one area that stood out was the growing number of exhibitors demonstrating e-learning content through virtual reality headsets. Furthermore, the exhibitors from Kallidus managed to win over the crowd by giving away free Google Cardboard before their seminar entitled ‘Getting started with VR: myths, realities and practicalities’ which you can download from this page.
Groningen in the Netherlands recently hosted the 2016 Blackboard EMEA conference. The three day conference was the biggest that Blackboard have held in Europe and featured over 420 delegates from 19 different countries. Before discussing the conference, I must say that Groningen was a great location to hold the event. It is a small picturesque town dominated by University of Groningen and surrounded by canals and ‘car free’ streets full of cyclists. Furthermore, the town also hosted the fantastic ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition and Blackboard delegates were given free access to this after hours.
I’ll now focus on some of the key events from the conference.