Sunday 9 June 2019

Edge Hill University SOLSTICE Conference #SOLSTICE19

One of the highlights of my year as a Visiting Fellow at Edge Hill University is being invited to speak the annual two day SOLSTICE Conference. I feel so priviliged to be speaking alongside the other Visiting Professors and Fellows, as well as other international guests speakers sharing their practice. I can't thank the EHU CLT team enough for the warm welcome we received on arrival.  

2019 Guest Speakers:
  • Sue Beckingham – Sheffield Hallam University and Visiting Fellow
  • Professor Sally Brown – Visiting Professor
  • Dr. Mark Childs – The Open University and Visiting Fellow
  • Professor Keith Smyth – University of the Highlands and Islands and Visiting Professor
  • Simon Thomson – University of Liverpool and Visiting Fellow
  • Professor Peter Hartley – Visiting Professor
  • Professor Phil Race – Visiting Professor
  • Professor Pauline Kneale – University of Plymouth and Visiting Professor

The Programme

There was a rich and varied programme over the two days which included a great session led by Prof Sally Brown who asked us "Who are you and who do you want to be?" Sally reminded us that professional identity is not a fixed entity: we are likely to have a number over the course of our careers and often hold several simultaneously, so how can we manage these and maintain balance in our lives? It was a both a fun session (which involved designing our identities on a t-shirt) and an opportuity to explore these questions. Keith Smythe presented his work on the Digitally Distributed Curriculum which is based on the values of praxis, participation and public pedagogy, and which is constructed around the four dimensions of co-location, porosity, co-production and open scholarship. 

The wonderfully creative Sarah Wright led an active session on the creative deployment of technologies to enhance the student experience; Dawne Irving-Bell a hands on beginners guide to sketchnoting; Sarah Mersic a session on AR learning; and Suzanne Faulkner on the use of Snapchat for student tutorials. They all got me thinking about new ways to enhance my teaching with alternative approaches. That's why these events bring so much value to educators. It's not just hearing about new or different ways to do things, it is also the time to ask questions, reflect and consider how you might adopt something different. Making conections with people outside of your subject group or immediate teaching team allows you to learn from others, share your own innovations and potential develop new collaborations.  

This year I presented with my colleague Prof Peter Hartley a workshop on 'Communication revisited – new perspectives and their implications for our practice in learning and teaching.' More to come on this topic as we have been accumulating evidence and research findings to inform our revision of a text on interpersonal communication which was published before the avalanche of new technology and social media (Hartley, 1999). 

This is Your Life

A favourite part of the event was surprising Prof Phil Race with a 'This is Your Life' to celebrate his 75th birthday. The tweets during and after the event are captured in this Wakelet.