Workshop: designing Internet of Things technologies for the future ‘smart’ campus

6We’ve rescheduled a previously advertised workshop, and are once again looking for some ‘distance’ students to participate (via video link) in an upcoming workshop on the design of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for education at the University of Edinburgh.

The event takes place on the 5th of February 2018 at 14:00-16:00 GMT

What is the university ‘campus’ where students watch video lectures from the local cafe, communicate over social networks, and study and a distance?

What if we could use real ‘things’– buildings, classrooms, chairs, everyday objects – to connect people in new ways across educational distances?

Join us to design the future ‘smart’ university, for a world where more people and ‘things’ are connected. In this workshop, you will get the chance to learn about IoT technologies, and let rip with some creative designs. No practical work with technologies is involved, and no previous experience with coding or making is required – just bring along some imagination.

You will be joining a group of campus-based students, who will be tasked with designing ways of connecting with ‘distance’ students. You, as a ‘distance’ student, will be tasked with designing ways of connecting with ‘campus’ activity.

Let your creative genius loose as we imagine technologies that can turn data-streams into real ‘things’ in our educational environments: design a soundscape that gives you a ‘sense’ of the Edinburgh campus; invent some lighting that shows you how busy the campus is at lunchtime; dream up a library space that broadcasts what your fellow students are reading!

This workshop is about pushing the boundaries about what is possible with technology, but it is also about asking what data should be collected and broadcast. Come and share your views on issues of privacy and surveillance: what kinds of student data should remain private? How can we protect students in a future of increased data collection?

The best ideas and designs will get prizes!

For more information, email: or

The Sonic Spaces of Online Distance Learners Tuesday 25 April

micro-1494436_640Alerting Digital Education students to an internal event at the University of Edinburgh…

Online Learning Network: The Sonic Spaces of Online Distance Learners
25-Apr-2017 12:00 – 13:00
Online (via Collaborate Ultra)

While much has been written about the digital environments where online learning takes place, there has been relatively little critical interest in the material spaces that online distance students occupy while learning. In this session we will describe research where we gathered aural, visual and textual data in the form of ‘digital postcards’ as a way of gaining insights into the spaces where online distance learning takes place. In particular we will discuss how student-generated field recordings encouraged us to think newly about the ways that online distance learners negotiate space for learning. This session will be of interest to colleagues involved in the design and delivery of online programmes and courses.

James Lamb and Michael Sean Gallagher are located in the Centre for Research in Digital Education within the Moray House School of Education. The research described here was conducted with their colleague Professor Sian Bayne and other members of the Digital Education team, and was funded by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme.

Gallagher, M., Lamb, J. & Bayne, S. (2016). The sounded spaces of online, distance learners. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear & M. de Laat (Eds.) Place-based Spaces for Networked Learning. Sydney: Routledge.

Bayne, S., Gallagher, M. and Lamb, J. (2013) Being ‘at’ University: the social topologies of distance students. Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-013-9662-4

Booking information can be found here.

Critical pedagogy in the age of digital education

Thursday 23 March

Professor Petar Jandric, University of Applied Science, Zagreb, CroatiaPetar

Petar will introduce the tradition of critical pedagogy through three generations, starting with the work of Freire, then writers such as Giroux and McLaren, and finally considering the latest generation of contemporary authors.   He traces their changing perspectives on the use of technology in relation to issues in digital scholarship and social justice.

Petar is a visiting ERASMUS scholar with us for a couple of weeks at the University of Edinburgh.  Petar is an educator, researcher and activist. He has published three books, dozens of scholarly articles and chapters, and numerous popular articles. Petar’s background is in physics, education and information science, and his research interests are situated at the post-disciplinary intersections between technologies, pedagogies and society. See more at his website:

Here is a link to Petar’s talk on Collaborate Ultra.  We had some technical problems with sound and had to swap laptops, so Hamish’s photo appears while Petar is talking.  (It is a lovely photo though!)  Thanks to everyone who attended – a great discussion.

Mental Health & Wellbeing Services

Notice of a meeting on 16 March, 12.30-13.30 UK time

We have been asked to publicise the following message from Anne Marie O’Mullane in Academic Services.

A Thematic Review of Mental Health Services at the University will take place on the 15 and 16 March 2016. The Review will also cover the provision of wellbeing services at the University. Thematic Reviews form part of the University’s Student Support Service Quality Assurance Framework.

The Review Team has asked for a meeting with two – three ODL students who would be interested in providing feedback on the delivery of student mental health services and well-being services across the student journey at University of Edinburgh.

The meeting will be conducted via skype and will take place on the 16 March at 12.30 – 13.30.

The meeting is intended to be a “safe space” to have a conversation with students on their experiences of mental health and well-being services at the University.  Conversations will be confidential and general themes/findings will be drawn from conversations for inclusion in the final report. Sheila Lodge, Head of Academic Administration in MVM will convene the meeting.

The Review Team is made up of internal staff, external members from other institutions with direct experience in delivering mental health services and students.  See below for information on the membership of the Review Team.

If you are interested in participating you can sign up by emailing


Membership of the Review
Mark Ames Director of Student Services, University of Bristol Mr Sam Dale, Deputy Academic Registrar, Durham University

Professor Allan Cumming, Dean of Students, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Thematic Review Administrator
Anne Marie O’Mullane, Academic Policy Officer, Academic Services

Dr Lisa Kendall, Director of Professional Services, School of Law Mark Wilkinson, Student Experience Project Manager Professor Judy Hardy, Professor of Physics Education Sheila Lodge, CMVM Head of Academic Administration

Andy Peel, Vice President Societies and Activities EUSA Jess Killeen

An invitation from Dublin Institute of Technology

We have been sent the following invitation from colleagues from the MSc in Applied E-learning at DIT.  They would be very happy for our students to join in their webinars.

Are you thinking of starting doctoral research any time in the future?

image001You are invited to a series of short Monday webinars [45 mins] from academic staff to hear about some new exciting pedagogic doctoral research happening in DIT – the second one is coming up shortly! You can listen to how various academic staff members are getting started on the road to doctoral research and engage in a Q&A about their research and the process.

“Evaluating the effect of a student peer mentoring approach for mature students undertaking computer programming at foundation level”

Presented by:             Nevan Bermingham, Lecturer in Hospitality Management & Tourism, DIT

Date & Time:              Monday 29th February 2016, 1:00-1.45pm

Venue:                        ONLINE at

Registration:              online at or email

About the webinar – This webinar will discuss a new study which investigates if a peer mentoring structure of mature students at Foundation Level has an effect on their understanding of programming threshold concepts compared to traditional class only teaching approaches. Mature students undertaking the coding module on DIT’s Access foundation Programme traditionally have difficulty understanding the computer science material, including threshold concepts in programming. Mature students tend to have lower levels of prior technology familiarity and tend not to have a prior educational background where they would have encountered programming before.

The traditional face-to-face method usually involves a step-by-step approach whereby the teacher demonstrates the task, students observe and then practice. The aim of this doctoral research is to explore if a peer mentoring approach will build student confidence in programming by providing structured peer mentoring supports that can run in tandem with the lab environment and outside the class.

If you have any further enquiries please contact