Last month, Jane and I attended the Higher Education conference at Aston University and the Academic Practice and Technology conference at the University of Greenwich, to talk about the SADL project. This was the first time I’d presented a paper at a conference, and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect (by APT however, Jane was already on her sixth conference of the year!)

Looking back, I think attending these conferences was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had working in technology enhanced learning and digital literacy.

These conferences were a great opportunity to find out what other institutions were up to in technology enhanced learning and digital literacy, and there were some great ideas which could be used in future SADL projects. Highlights for me were:

HEA conference (#HEAConf14)

  • The excellent keynote presentation on the first day by Anne Morrison on the importance of new technologies and collaboration between universities and industry, “geeks” (STEM students) and “loveys” (humanities students) to ensure graduates have the right skills to navigate their future careers
  • A collaborative gamification project between the universities in Southampton on using Twitter for negotiation in International Relations
  • The second keynote by Shirley Alexander from the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS) on how the UTS campus was transformed by innovative learning spaces

APT conference (#UOGAPT)

  • Stephen Downes’ thought provoking keynote on what open learning means and it’s implications for universities (part of a series of presentations, the second of which was the inaugural LSE NetworkEdge seminar).
  • UCL’s Making History in the Digital Age project, which got students to improve their collaborative, historical research and digital literacy skills

Networking can be a daunting word to someone new to conference circuit, but I was amazed at how easy it was to strike up conversation because of the passion and enthusiasm of the attendees.

I felt our presentations were well received at both conferences,  and other institutions seemed keen to use some of the resources we’d produced with their own students which was fantastic. I hope we can incorporate some of these exciting ideas into SADL (and indeed our other projects), and I’m definitely looking forward to my next conference!

You can view our presentations, as well as all the other presentations our team have given on SADL here.

Arun Karnad

About Arun Karnad

Arun Karnad is the Research Officer with the Learning Technology and Innovation. He has published several research papers on Digital Literacy in Higher Education and Education Technology for LSE Research Online and is responsible for managing recruitment, student liaison, web content and communications for the SADL project. He would like to find out how undergraduates are using digital literacy skills in their studies at the LSE, and the kinds of skills that would be useful to students in their future careers.