Sunday, 30 July 2017

Celebrating innovative scholarship through social media #ESLTIS17

In July I presented at the Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference which was hosted by the University of Sheffield and organised by Dr Sam Nolan and team. 


The focus of my paper considers the increasing relevance of digital and social scholarship, and why this should be encouraged. Teaching focused academics who practice the scholarship of teaching, share reflective practice in order to enhance the teaching and learning of others. Traditionally this may be shared through publications and conference presentations. However, digital technology and social media has the potential to extend the reach of these outputs enabling the dissemination of an individual's work to reach a much wider audience. 

Open reflective practice through social media allows scholars to make their work more visible, findable and easily shared. Whilst the ripple effect may be far reaching, in order to enhance learning it is important to also provide forums for discussion and question asking, inquiry and investigation, which are subjected to critical evaluation. Engagement in this scholarly process can encourage innovation and changes in practice that span different disciplines and geographical locations. 

The very nature of social media as an open space also serves to celebrate teaching excellence – both the scholarship and practice – in a variety of formats.

Digital Scholarship

Drawing upon Smith Rumsey's work I shared this quote to define digital scholarship and gave examples of esteemed colleagues and Digital Scholars Catherine Cronin and Laura Pasquini. Both utilise a variety of social media to share their work openly. For example through blogging, Twitter, SlideShare, YouTube, Google+, and ResearchGate. 

We are seeing a shift away from disseminating scholarly work via mass 'all staff' emails to open blogging where it can be tagged and searched by topic. A ripple effect ensues as it can easily be shared through automated dissemination via Twitter and other social media channels, and also by those who read the posts. 

From my own personal perspective I value the opportunity to learn from other academics. Those that share their scholarly activity and the work of others though social media help me find this work. Often serendipity comes to lay and I come across fascinating work that I would have not found otherwise, simply because I wouldn't have been looking for it. I've extended my informal learning through digital scholars from a wide range of disciplines in this way. In turn I share my own work through social media and hope this is helpful to others. I give my work a Creative Commons licence so that other educators can use it as they wish to. 

Celebrating innovative scholarship through social media #ESLTIS17 from Sue Beckingham


To raise the profile of teaching only academics in the research intensive climate, it is vital to shine a spotlight on the innovative learning and teaching they undertake. The best way to achieve this is through the promotion of the innovative scholarship of learning and teaching being driven by this subset of the academic community. This third meeting of a national teaching fellow network is therefore a forum to share innovative scholarship across disciplinary boundaries and to develop a national voice for teaching focussed academics.

The programme of abstracts can be found here.

Dr Luisa Wakeling has written a great post about the conference

The associated journal is Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PESTLHE)

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Visiting Fellow at Edge Hill University

I was delighted to receive a letter from Edge Hill University to confirm that the Standing Professorial Conferment Panel of Edge Hill University has agreed to offer me the title of Visiting Fellow within the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University.

This is is a wonderful opportunity to work with Professor Mark Schofield and others at the University. 

In addition I am looking forward to attending the SOLSTICE Conference as a guest speaker June 4-5 2017. 

My presentation is titled: The Project Based Learning (PjBL) Toolkit: Integrating digital and social media to enhance meaningful reflective practice in project based learning.

Projects may be carried out by both individuals and within groups. The outputs might include a report, presentation, poster, artefact or prototype (physical or digital). Project based learning is “a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.” (BIE 2015).

When undertaking a project, seven distinct stages have been identified that the project owner(s) go through. These are: the question, plan, research, produce, improve, present and evaluate. At each stage students may engage in a variety of activities. This multifaceted form of learning presents opportunities to participate in authentic and meaningful problems and to develop a range of skills along the journey. Reflecting upon these experiences, can encourage students to reconstruct what they have learned, and go on to confidently articulate the skills they have developed (or have yet to develop), and how they can apply these in other situations. Learning how to self-reflect on these experiences and developing a habit of doing so, can have a profound impact on learning. However for some this does not come easily and is often undervalued.

In my talk I will share the Project Based Learning (PjBL) Toolkit and how resources within this can be used to scaffold effective and meaningful multimedia reflective practice, develop confident communication skills and digital capabilities.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The LearningWheel: A Model of Digital Pedagogy

I was delighted to be invited by Deborah Kellsey and Amanda Taylor to write the Foreword for their book The LearningWheel: A Model of Digital Pedagogy. Having been a LearningWheel contributor on a number of occasions I was familiar with and a great admirer of Deborah's work (and have written about this previously).

The pair met through the inaugural Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference in December 2015 at Sheffield Hallam University. Deborah was there presenting a paper on the 'LearningWheel' and Amanda a paper on 'When Actual Met Virtual' which was about the use of book groups in Social Work education. A serendipitous mix-up in train journeys on their way home led to further conversations and the successful collaboration leading to this book. 


Given the influence of digital technologies on the world at large education and educators are yet again being forced to consider their educational practices.  Not all educators have been socialised professionally to use technologies and therefore knowledge gaps exist.  This book adds to emerging conversations about the use of technologies to support and indeed replace traditional teaching methodologies in a range of educational settings.  It offers an example of innovative approach ‘LearningWheel’ to bridge the aforementioned knowledge gap and provides an opportunity for readers to engage with technologies for teaching and learning purposes.

Beginning with an outline of how technologies are shaping the learning landscape more broadly each subsequent chapter takes on a layer of the LearningWheel and sets it in context from a theoretical position. An example wheel is included in each chapter, as are stop and pause questions to prompt educators to engage with the content in a very real sense.  By the end of the book, readers will have had the opportunity to connect with the LearningWheel (VCoP) in the development of a Learning Wheel unique to this book.


Denise Turner has written a review of the book in Social Work Education. Amanda alerted me to the mention of my Foreword contribution. A welcome addition to my 'happy file'.  


You can purchase a copy of the book from Critical Publishing here:

Thursday, 9 March 2017

International Women's Day #IWD2017 #BeBoldForChange #IWDSheff17

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

This year the theme for International Women's Day 2017 is #BeBoldForChange. I was invited to contribute a workshop to the event led by Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield with Kirsty Bowen. We'd never met before but hit it off straight away, both sharing a passion for using social media as a communication channel and a means of developing valued learning networks. 

Our workshop focused on using social media to create a professional online presence. Kirsty and I shared our own experiences and some good practice tips. The workshop element provided an opportunity for participants to explore a variety of social media tools and discuss how these can be used to connect, communicate, curate, collaborate and create. The session was delivered twice (as were the other options) so it was interesting to see the different questions that emerged. Feedback was positive via the post-it notes collected and demonstrated that staff development sessions like these are valued. Not just from what you can learn in a workshop, but the rich conversations that emerge as a result of bringing people together. 


At the event there were two truly inspiring keynote speakers. Both shared their career paths in an honest and open way. Unsurprisingly their progression took grit and resilience. Being a leader is with any doubts hard, and with the role comes the responsibility to make hard decisions. Hard because they involve people - and people matter, people's lives matter. 

I wish the keynotes had been recorded. I'd love to listen to them both again. Below are just a few quotes from both Natalie and Christina. 

Natalie Bennet - Former Leader of the Green Party

My favourite quote from Natalie was taken from the sash she brought with her, which said: 
"Well behaved women seldom make history"  

Professor Christina Hughes - Pro Vice Chancellor Student Experience at Sheffield Hallam University

Christina's advice to us all was:

"Be the brightest shade of you that you can possibly be" 

International Women's Day website

I recommend taking a look at the International Women's Day website and follow @womensday on Twitter to read about the many inspiring stories. 

The ethos is to work together to help forge a better working world - a more gender inclusive world. Consider how you might contribute. Suggestions made include challenge bias and inequality, campaign against violence, forge women's advancement, celebrate women's achievements, and champion women's education. 

At my own university there were also events going for students and a rich collection of stories of inspiring women At the University of Sheffield take at look at 


Follow on Twitter @womensday #IWD2017 #BeBoldForChange

Make a pledge for parity

Note: Responses are captured by

Saturday, 4 March 2017

#EdTechRations Emergency Rations: What's so important we can't leave it at home?


Another wonderful opportunity to work with David Hopkins has resulted in contributing a chapter to his latest book. I just received my copy today!

My challenge along with the others who also wrote a piece was to write between 800-1200 words in response to this: 

"What is the technology you find yourself turning around and going home for if you forget it. What can't you leave at home or work, what do you feel naked without? (in your bag, in your pocket, wearable, etc.)? What connects your personal and professional lives to the extent you need to alter your plans to return back to the office to 'rescue'? It would be fantastic to hear your experiences and thoughts on this."
The response to the call was amazing and I feel proud to have had my chapter accepted alongside people like Steve Wheeler, Maha Bali, Amy Burvall, Simon Lancaster, Eric Stoller, Jane Bozarth, Sarah Knight, Julian Stodd, Alec Couros and many more. 

It's fascinating to see the different takes on the challenge and all make for a wonderful read. I know I'm biased but I recommend you get a copy! 

Many of the authors who have contributed to this book are already valued members of my personal network. However some are new and I am certain will add further value going forward. Whilst many of us may not have met face to face, the contributions they make to the edtech community have helped me develop my own learning in this area and all things related to learning and teaching and more! 

Thanks must go to David Hopkins @hopkinsdavid who has worked so hard to pull this all together. I can't wait to see what the next challenge will be!

Find out more about options for buying the book here:

Below is an infographic of my emergency tech rations and gives you a 
flavour of the tech I can't be without. To hear the full story you'll have to go and buy a copy of the book!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Call for papers: Influence of Social Media on Online Education stream (IJIOE)

Dear Colleague,
Whitney Kilgore and I would like to invite you to consider submitting an expression of interest to the ‘Influence of Social Media on Online Education' stream within the International Journal on Innovations in Online Education (IJIOE)
Our plan for this stream is to feature innovative ways that social media is being used in both formal and informal learning settings. At this point in time, we are looking for extended abstracts of 500 – 1000 words. If you would like to contribute please complete the Google Form via this link:

We look forward to hearing from you,
Sue and Whitney
Whitney Kilgore PhD, University of North Texas, CAO, iDesign @whitneykilgore
Sue Beckingham MA MSc SFHEA, FSEDA, CMALT, Sheffield Hallam University, UK @suebecks

Sunday, 26 February 2017

STACK Careers Event in Digital Technology #SHUSTACK2017

The Department of Computing at Sheffield Hallam University held its inaugural STACK Careers Event on 22nd February. STACK is a careers fair; a student showcase; and an employability event. The aim of the event was to provide students across Computing the opportunity to: 

  • explore a career in digital technology
  • network with a range of employers
  • talk to students from other course
  • learn from industry experts
  • develop networking skills 
  • or simply see what has been happening over the year in the Department of Computing.

Our students demonstrated: Games and VR development - Software development projects - Hacking and cyber security - Business enterprise projects - Internet of Things - Arduinos, Scratch games, LEGO Mindstorm and Beacon technology.

In the Employer Marketplace there were representatives form a wide range of companies offering graduate roles and placement opportunities.


Summary using Storify