So this week I have had the pleasure of attending the 2 day event, which is Digifest. This event is held annually by Jisc and takes place at the ICC in Birmingham. For those people who are not familiar Jisc is an organisation which supports FE and HE with everything edtech and digital, and has recently shifted from being government funded to a paid for service.
My journey started with firstly a drive down and then for the first time seeing first hand the effort it takes to set up the space for large events and it was lovely seeing it all come together, as before now I thought this happened by magic and that elves did it.
Anyway this year I attended the festival invited to deliver a joint presentation by Google but also spend the 2 days supporting two brilliant companies in C-Learning and BenQ on their stand, which Leeds City College works closely with. The best thing about it was I got to showcase the Google Jamboard which is an amazing tool and also share the experiences and ways in which Leeds City College and Keighley College staff are using it throughout the campuses. The interest in the Jamboard was huge and so many people were coming up already knowing it from videos they had seen on social media and the web but wanting to get hands on and learn how it come help their educators and learners - and of course as a #Jambassador I obliged.
As always spending time at conferences and events allows me to do what I love and that is connecting with people, sharing ideas and doing a lot of magpieing (to take back to the college nest). This year was brilliant and I met so many people and made many more new connections to add to my growing PLN (personal learning network). It was also great to catch up friends and people I know from local colleges and around the UK to chat everything edtech, and teaching and learning. It still does surprise me the amount of people who do not see the value in attending these kind of events, even if not for anything else but to meet up, chat and collaborate with others. I think that we are often trying to solve the same types of issues and collectively working through these is the way we should go rather than reinventing the wheel each time.
The event also had so many sessions taking place and myself managed over the 2 days attend sessions on building an intelligent campus, developing digital skills for libraries and LRCs, innovative approaches to cross-campus delivery, and the closing presentation on the future of machine learning in schools, colleges and universities. All of these sessions may have differed in topic but all shared a great theme of passion of their deliverer and also that technology is the enabler to improve staff and learners learning and their skill development. I won’t offend anyone by saying which was my favourite but that I have left with so many more ideas buzzing around my brain and now other people I can reach out to for support.
I will be attending some more events in the coming weeks and months hosted by C-learning at BCOT and then BMET, as well as presenting at the coming Blended learning consortium regional events in Nottingham and Grimsby. Hope to see some of you there and please reach out via social media or come say hello.