Google Expeditions in HE

We had a great day yesterday using Google Expedition virtual reality here at Regent’s Uni. Over the course of the day we had 22 half hour sessions introducing Google Expedition to staff and students. We had three facilitators from Google who gave us some training in the morning and then introduced the sessions throughout the day.

Although the format remained the same for each session it was really interesting to see how each group (and lecturer) reacted to the VR experience (will try and do another blog post on this – time permitting)

Other universities are doing some interesting work too in this area:

Leeds University are using virtual worlds to teach field trip skills –

Chris Skinner has blogged about his work using VR to build demonstrations of flood risks:

Birmingham Business School are using a 3D social learning environment called ALiS at the moment – or

Sarah Jones at Coventry University is doing a lot of interesting work in this area using 360 video, virtual reality, and gamification and bringing them all together to create learning scenarios across the Coventry University campus- details of her Facebook group are here:







Using @polleverywhere to teach Global Perspectives


pe-photo-1 pe-photo-2

Great session using Poll Everywhere (classroom voting system) on the Global perspectives module here at Regent’s Uni. We had over 200 first year students in the room studying a variety of courses (Business, Fashion, Languages, Film etc) and the course they are studying is compulsory module in their first year. They had already had a small tutorial last week this is the first time they are all together in one room.


Before the session started I gave them a short reminder on how to vote – either using the app, texting or the browser. We had a couple of introductory questions – these were multiple-choice and gave them a gentle reminder of what the course was all about but its also useful for getting the students used to voting using their devices. This worked really smoothly and then Rob Johnson moved onto his dilemmas which was really the main learning activity of the session. The fourth option above was asking the audience if they learnt best in large lectures (like the one they were in!) – interestingly enough only 3% voted for this option.

Below are the 4 dilemmas that the students discussed. Rob explained the dilemma and then gave them 5 minutes to discuss the issue with their neighbors and then they voted.






PE photo 7.png



Using this ‘dilemma technique’ really make the session interactive. Students were willing to pick up the microphones and make contributions and they really seemed interested in seeing the results of their voting revealed.

From my own perspectives I was really interested in what the lecturers in the room thought of the activity. Twenty or so lecturers had a short de-briefing session once the students had left. There were loads of positive comments about the session (and a few negatives) but what I found interesting was that there was little or no talk about the technology – it was all about the pedagogy and the students engagement – this is when tech works best, when lecturers don’t even see it as a n issue worth mentioning!

Using Poll Everywhere for student inductions



I’ve had a good couple of days meeting new students and doing induction sessions on how to use our university VLE. Working closely with the library team here at Regent’s we give ALL new students a 10 minute tour of Blackboard and a 10 minute overview of the library services. After the talks they get to do 4 short 5 minute activities. Our one was to download the Poll Everywhere app and then answer a quick question on the talk:


This was a quick and simple task which they really enjoyed doing!

This morning I also helped a couple of lecturers on the Global Management course use Poll Everywhere in a slightly different way. They wanted the student to discuss some typical scenarios and how students should respond to them.


I liked the idea of giving the scenario – its gives the students plenty of opportunity to discuss the issue before they start voting.

We have got another week of inductions and will carry on using the PE app – it certainly gets away from the students being ‘talked at’ all the time in the induction week!




Webinars: examples of good practice



There was useful discussion on the ALT email list recently – here are some the links I found useful:

Thanks to Darren Gash, Sally Burr, Matt Cornock and  Tom Smith

Accessibility Toolkit


Accessibility ToolKit

This was recommended to me by Anna Williams (LT Trainer at Regent’s Uni) and is definitely worth a read:

BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit

Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, and Tara Robertson

“The Accessibility Toolkit is a collaboration between BCcampus and CAPER-BC. The goal of the Accessibility Toolkit is to provide the resources needed so that each content creator, instructional designer, educational technologist, librarian, administrator, teaching assistant, etc. has the opportunity to create a truly open and accessible textbook. An open textbook that is free and accessible for all students”.

Pokemon GO and EdTech



Here’s a brief list of some of the recent blog posts on PokemonGo and learning technology (in no particular order):

My ALT Trustee election statement


ALT member

Voting for two new trustees of ALT is now open so if you are a eligible member to vote you will probably have already received an email with voting instructions. Here is my election statement:

“I am standing for the position of ALT Trustee because of my commitment to education and learning technology. As a trustee I will try to influence and shape the future work of the association by bringing my own expertise to the role:

  • Promotion of Open Online CPD. Over the last few years I have run and developed a number of open online course for those involved in the ALT community such as The 10 Days of Twitter and 12 Apps of Christmas.
  • Closer collaboration with other Professional Associations. In the past I have served on the Staff and Educational Development Association’s (SEDA) national executive and Conference Committee as well as working closely with CILIP and ARLG. I would like to see closer links with these organisations.

Over the last 30 years I have had extensive experience of working in Further and Higher Education as a FE/HE lecturer and more recently as a Learning Technology manager. In all of these roles I have pioneered the use of new and innovative uses of technology to enhance the students learning experience. I have completed my Certified Member of the ALT (CMALT) in 2011 and I’m currently an Assistant Editor of the ALT blog.”

For more details and the other candidates election statements visit the ALT  website.



#TdeB Certificate


Cetificate TdeB

#TdeB is now up on the wall

Evaluating #TdeB week 2


User Activity

User activity at the end of week 2 (and end of the course)…full analysis to come at a later date

Building Digital Capabilities


I went to an excellent talk by James Clay on Building Digital Capabilities at the London Region Staff Development Network this afternoon.James described the skills needed by staff in a wide range of academic, administrative and professional roles to thrive in a modern University environment.

He gave an outline JISC’s Digital Capability Framwork and the discovery, diagnostic and reflective tools that will help university staff in a range of roles identify and reflect on current skills levels and digital capability, and make plans for how these can be improved.


He also highlighted the Digital Leader Programme starting in October – which I would love top go to but at over £2000 this will have to wait a awhile – or maybe JISC could offer a cheaper online version?

On a side note the meeting was held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – they had some fabulous lighting in the basement, as you walked down a corridor a sensor triggered images of bugs (they looked liked cockroaches on the floor):