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Speaker abstracts and profiles

Helen Beetham 
Looking behind: looking ahead: reflections on digital capability in UK HE
In 2016, digital capability has become a mainstream concern.  It is a recognised graduate attribute at many universities, a theme for QAA review, and the focus of new professional roles across the sector.  But how confident can we be that our students - and our organisations - are able to thrive in the digital age?

Helen Beetham is a writer, researcher and adviser on e-learning and a regular keynote speaker.  As a long standing consultant to Jisc she has written influential reports on e-learning, digital literacy, open education and digital organisations.  Most recently she has completed a study of digital students and produced a digital capabilities framework for UK HE and FE.

helen beetham
James Clay
Building digital capability for new digital leadership, pedagogy and efficiency
What does it mean to be digitally capable? Not just for an individual, but from an organisational perspective. How will you lead using the plethora of digital tools and channels available to you? The Jisc building digital capability project has been addressing these issues for institutional leaders, for those on the front line of teaching and research, and those who support them.

James Clay is the project manager for the building digital capability R&D project. He has worked in the further education (FE) sector since 1993 and has extensive experience in the use of technology to enhance and enrich learning. He has been a teacher, a consortium director, an ILT Manager and an IT Director.
Fiona Handley
An Institutional Digital Literacies Framework

This presentation explores the University of Brighton’s experiences in developing, rolling out and evaluating a Digital Literacies Framework for its academic staff, which was launched in July 2014 and contains 39 literacies organised into 4 categories. It highlights challenges and successes, and considers some next steps.

Dr Fiona Handley is a Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at the University of Brighton with a remit for digital literacies, electronic management of assessment and blended learning. She has previously worked in learning and teaching, quality assurance and as an archaeologist in universities in the UK.
Sarah Knight and Ellie Russell
Benchmarking your students’ digital experience
Digital systems play an increasingly central role in the student experience. But how well are students represented in decisions about the digital environment and the digital curriculum? This session introduces the Jisc NUS Benchmarking the student digital experience tool, which is the latest in a series of resources Jisc has produced to help you improve the student digital experience at your institution.
Sarah Knight
Sarah Knight is a Senior Co-design Manager in the Student Experience team in the Jisc Digital Futures directorate. Sarah currently manages the Digital Student project which is researching students’ expectations and experiences of the digital environment in further and higher education. Sarah also has responsibility for supporting the Jisc Change Agents’ Network, a national network to support staff-student partnership working on technology enhanced curriculum projects. Blog: and Twitter: @Sarahknight #digitalstudent
 Sarah Knight
Ellie Russell
Ellie is the Student Engagement and Partnership Manager for The Student Engagement Partnership. Ellie joined NUS in 2011 after graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Politics and Parliamentary Studies, which involved placements in MP’s offices in Westminster and the Canadian Parliament.
Hamish Loveday
Amber Miro Award winner 2015: Lessons from a Learners’ Toolkit

The Learners’ Toolkit is an ongoing project at the University of Aberdeen that seeks to improve digital support for staff and students. This is the story of the project from grassroots initiative to stable, forward looking service and the lessons learned along the way.

Starting at Robert Gordon University, my HE career has seen me gradually transition from assistive technology expert to broader TEL themes at the University of Aberdeen. By the time of this presentation, I will have taken up a new role as Senior Education Technologist at the University of Dundee.

Fiona MacNeill, and Farzana Latif
DigCap Play Track: Groups for Capabilities

There are smart people in the room at this Conference.  Yet a traditional conference celebrates the knowledge of those on stage, rather than harnessing the collective creativity of those in seats.  We have used gamification as a counteragent; to stimulate engagement, develop shared knowledge and to problem solve mutual challenges.

Fiona McNeill
Fiona MacNeill is a Learning Technologist at the University of Brighton and a member of the digital capabilities group.  Her specialisms include mobile learning and UX design.  Fiona’s ongoing mission is to understand and support the experience of anyone who resides between keyboard/touchscreen and chair.
Fiona McNeill

Farzana Latif
Farzana Latif is Technology Enhanced Learning Manager at the University of Sheffield. Her role involves identifying strategies and techniques to mainstream the adoption of technology to support learning across her institution. A technology enthusiast, she loves the challenge of exploring emerging technologies and understanding the value to support learning. 

Alistair McNaught
Supporting staff to embed inclusivity and accessibility in their practice
Traditional teaching methods can create barriers for students with disabilities. As academics develop their digital capabilities a wealth of new accessibility opportunities evolve. Unfortunately, new barriers can also be inadvertently created. This session will explore how small changes to practice can maximise benefits and minimise barriers for all learners.

Alistair McNaught was a senior adviser at the Jisc TechDis service for 11 years and is now a subject specialist for accessibility and inclusion with Jisc. He taught for 20 years before moving into staff development in e-learning. An exploration of e-learning led to a growing awareness of accessibility opportunities.
Jane Secker
Developing digital scholarship and information literate staff
The presentation reflects on 10 years of running a digital literacy programme for staff at LSE, including the evolving nature of the programme, challenges, lessons learnt and the impact of the programme. It will discuss the benefits of running this programme collaboratively with Learning Technology and Library staff.

Dr Jane Secker FHEA, FCLIP is the Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at London School of Economics. She coordinates training and support for staff on all aspects of digital literacy, including copyright advice. She is Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and published on digital literacy, copyright and new technologies.
Fiona Strawbridge

Fiona Strawbridge is Head of Digital Education at UCL. Her team – which is based in UCL’s Information Services Division - runs UCL’s e-learning services and leads on digital capability development staff and students.  Until this year Fiona chaired UCISA’s Digital Skills and Development group; she is now a member of the Academic Support Group.

Fiona Strawbridge

Ellen de Vries
A Content Strategist's role in decision making for digital design
Content Strategists care a great deal about how you define and communicate your concept throughout the process of designing and building a product.  Ellen will talk about strategic benchmarks you can use to make decisions and how your language influences everything from the IA, to metadata, to the tiniest bit of micro-copy.

Ellen is a Content Strategist at Clearleft, a digital studio in Brighton.  Over the last 10 years she’s worked with brands like English Heritage, UNISON and Penguin.  At the moment she’s working in collaboration with the UX team on messaging for a charity promoting awareness of human rights for children


David Walker
Technology, Digital Capabilities and the Language of Change
The discourse of transformation frequently frames discussions around the role of technology in learning and teaching.  Change initiatives are often pitched as seeking to ‘transform the staff/student experience’ yet the process of change can feel far from transformative, even if the outcomes represents a marked shift from the previous state.  This presentation will consider the impact of our communication strategies on digital initiatives and how, through our use of language and approach to engagement, we can reduce perceived levels of threat and resistance when seeking to deliver changes in practice and/or capability.

Dr David Walker is Head of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Sussex where he established the Technology Enhanced Learning Office and leads strategic institutional approaches and developments in the use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment.  David is a founding Editor of the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, member of the Executive Committee of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) and a member of the UCISA Academic Support Group.

 David Walker

Sue Watling
Finding and minding the gaps; digital diversity in higher education
Digital diversity can lead to digital divides.  Digitally shy staff are less likely to read the education technology literature, apply for TEL funding or attend conferences on digital capabilities.  As interest in blended education increases, promoting digital ways of working for staff who teach and support learning may need to be reconsidered.  

Sue is Academic Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor in the Learning Enhancement and Academic Practice Directorate at the University of Hull.  With a broad range of experience supporting digital education and digital capabilities, Sue is completing a doctoral research project investigating e-teaching as an essential partner to e-learning.

Kathryn Wenczek, and Silke Prodinger-Leong
Online learning and digital capabilities - the theory and the reality
How do theory and reality for development of digital capabilities compare? What is important when offering a practical online solution to up skill digitally, particularly for fast evolving ICT skills? This session aims to give a brief theoretical insight and show a practical example of how an online learning solution has enabled a more flexible model of training digital capabilities.
Kath Wenczek
Kathryn Wenczek is the IT Learning Centre Manager at IT Services, University of Oxford.  She has worked within the HE IT sector for over 20 years, shaping and supporting the delivery of a range of programmes and initiatives to enhance digital literacy skills of students and staff.  The IT Learning Centre provides a large programme of IT related courses to all members of the University.  In her role as Manager, Kathryn ensures that the programme is delivered smoothly and efficiently.  Over the last several years it has steadily grown and now addresses the IT learning needs of nearly 4,000 individuals each year.
Silke Prodinger-Leong

Silke Prodinger-Leong, Client Success Manager, providing support for successful and structured implementations and onboarding processes through relationship management for key clients around the learning services.

Moira Wright, and Eileen Kennedy
Digital Nirvana
What do students want from a digital learning environment?  How can we encourage students to explore alternative digital futures?  It can be challenging for students to articulate their needs for support to fulfil their digital capabilities but playful approaches to eliciting students’ needs may offer a solution.  This practical session will provide a chance to learn first-hand how creative constructions using the humble cardboard box can unlock students’ digital dreamscapes
Moira Wright
Moira Wright is the Digital Literacy Officer with UCL Digital Education, and has been with UCL since 2007.  Moira's background is creative arts, HR search, business and consultancy.
Moira Wright
Eileen Kennedy
Dr Eileen Kennedy is Projects Officer with UCL Digital Education and Research Officer with UCL Knowledge Lab.  Eileen has been exploring ways of creating digital support for the Connected Curriculum at UCL and is project manager for the Ufi funded Blended Learning Essentials FutureLearn MOOC project.
Eileen Kennedy
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