Teaching Forum Launch: Virtual Reality & Education at Regent’s



Regent’s Teaching Forum started today with a presentation by myself and Zoe Sujon on using Google Expeditions at Regents University. We finished the session using Poll Everywhere to ask the audience how they could use GE with their classes….above is a screen shot of their responses.


Meet the team for 12AoC 2016



Meet the team for this year’s 12 Apps of Christmas:

Chris Rowell – Deputy LT Manager – Regent’s University London @chri5rowell

Anna Williams – LT Trainer – Regent’s University London @annasonit

James Leahy – LT Content Developer – Regent’s University London @witterquick

Steve Dawes – LT Content Developer – Regent’s University London @malkatraz

Helen Ghodbane – LT Content Developer – Regent’s University London @helghodora

Helen Caldwell – Senior Lecturer in Education – Northampton University @helencaldwel

Zoe Sujon – Senior Lecturer in Media Theory – Regent’s University London @jetsumgerl

Ellie Hannan – Multi-media Resource Developer – Manchester Metropolitan University @EHannon14

Dave Musson – Senior Online Communications Officer (Social Media) – Warwick University @davemusson

Andy Horton – Library Manager – BPP University @fechtbuch

Belinda Green – Learning Technologist – Northampton University @bjgreen25

Jean Edwards –  Senior Lecturer in Education – Northampton University @jeanEd70

Jim –  Northampton University


#bjorkdigital and Learning Technology


I went to the #BjorkDigital exhibition yesterday at Somerset House and really enjoyed the experience. The exhibition is in several different rooms and starts with a film called Black Lake. This consisted of two films projected on opposite sides of the room. As you’d expect from Bjork this was a bit arty and I was really impressed with the sound set in the room. It was a good introduction for what came next.

We then went into four other rooms and saw four different Virtual Reality films that Bjork had made and viewed them through the VR headsets. The first one was her singing on an Icelandic landscape, the second was being in the singer’s mouth and the third about quicksand and the final one was her literally growing in front of our eyes! These are amazing pieces of art and are really something different and new but I had also come to what potential they had for learning technology.

The first thing that I was really impressed with was how immersive the whole VR experience can be. Previously I had only used the Google cardboard headsets which are cheap and cheerful but the sets we used at the exhibition are in a different class. We used Oculus Rift the Samsung Gear sets with top quality headsets for the sound. Wearing the sets shuts out all background noise or vision so that you are totally unaware of the other 24 people in the room. At times it literally felt like you could reach out and touch the objects or images in front of you!

The potential for VR in Learning technology is incredible – there are so many 2D experience that lecturers can only describe or hint at that could be addressed with this type of technology…but that’s a topic of a future post..watch this space…




Educational Developers’ Cookbook


Great new resource from York University in Canada – the Educational Developers’ Cookbook:


Regent’s Teaching Exchange Launching 21st Oct….


Launching Friday 21 October, 13:00 – 14:00 – Acland 201

Drinks provided, bring your own lunch!

New for 2016-17: The Regent’s Teaching Forum
The Teaching Forum will provide a monthly time and space dedicated to teaching and learning and improving our practice. It will include both short, pre-planned ‘show-and-tell’ sessions, showcasing good ideas, but also an opportunity for staff to bring teaching problems and have them brainstormed by the group. Technology-enhanced learning staff and members of the Academic Practice Hub will be present to offer advice and/or facilitate the conversations.

Teaching Forum Launch: Virtual Reality & Education at Regent’s
Last month, Google Expeditions came to Regent’s allowing just under 400 staff and students to try out their Virtual Reality toolkit designed for the classroom. The Google Expeditions team were impressed with our passion and enthusiasm. It is certainly clear that our staff are keen to explore new opportunities and interested in the ways that new technologies can enhance teaching and learning.
Amidst all the excitement, we were doing our research. First, we asked staff and students to share their views in a survey, and we carefully observed how staff and students use and respond to virtual reality – all to understand how VR can fit with blended learning and changing digital literacies.
Drawing from the results of this research, there are some findings worth looking at more closely. For example, although everyone was struck by a great variety of vibrant teaching and learning styles, it was clear that different stakeholders identified very different examples of success – students, technologists and academics pointed to different sometimes contradictory examples. What does this mean for blended learning and successful teaching? And how we can harness the excitement of VR and other technologies to enrich the classroom?
Come along, hear more and share your view.

Coming soon…#OER17: The Politics of Open



Yey! just got my email from Marem Deepwell to join the Conference Committee for OER17. Here is a bit more about the conference:

“OER17 presents an opportunity for open practitioners, activists, educators and policy makers to come together as a community to reflect on The Politics of Open. What are our current key challenges and strengths  – locally, nationally, and  internationally?  What are our priorities – in terms of political governance, organisational and personal politics?  What are the changes that we want to effect together? The conference will be chaired by social and educational technologist and Wikimedia UK Trustee Josie Fraser, and Alek Tarkowski, Director of Centrum Cyfrowe, co-founder and coordinator of Creative Commons Poland”

Conference proposals are not open yet but this will happen soon – Nov/Dec this year.

One person I would like to see do a presentation is Lesley Gourlay based around her recent paper:

Gourlay, L. (2015). Open education as a ‘heterotopia of desire’. Learning, Media and Technology, 40 (3), 310-327.

@JISC Student digital tracker …has anyone else applied?


On Friday I applied to JISC to use their student digital tracker:

“The tracker is a short survey to gather students’ expectations and experiences of technology, based on a concise set of questions which have been intensively tested with higher and further education students for readability and ease of response.

It builds on resources such as the Jisc/NUS digital student experience benchmarking tool, and our guide to enhancing the digital student experience: a strategic approach. The questions cover issues that are important to learners and/or to staff with a focus on the learning experience.”
….has anyone else applied?

Virtual Reality comes to Regent’s University

ME/CO: Media and Communications

Last Tuesday about 20 classes or 366 students went to explore Google Expeditions, an educational virtual reality (VR) platform built for the classroom, instead of going to their regular classes.

View original post 392 more words

Reflections on Google Expeditions (Videos)


Here are a couple of interviews I did with lecturers on using Google Expeditions with their students:

Philip Hughes – Course Leader – Screenwriting & Producing and MA Writing for Screen and Stage – Regent’s University London.



Ash Snijder-Majumder- Lecturer in Business and Marketing – Regent’s University London.



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 –  http://mirrador.com or http://mirrador.com/alis

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:


VR in the Classroom: Early lessons learned from Google Expeditions: