Digital Media Interaction and Inclusivity

Focus: The use of digital and social media promoting inclusivity and interaction to enhance and transform learning
Date: 9th September 2014

Many thanks to the TEL team at the University of Sussex who hosted the event

at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), University of Sussex

Description: MELSIG recognises the enormous potential of digital media as an enabler for inclusive practice and wider educational change.  This event asked us to consider how digital media can be used positively to address disadvantage in teaching and learning, and in disciplinary practice and explored some of the challenges and opportunities facing individuals (students, teachers and practitioners) in making good use of interactive digital media. We discussed questions like ‘how effective are digital tools at supporting inclusive learning?’, ‘what challenges do they create?’, ‘how important is it to be aware of our digital footprint?’ and ‘what guidance/measures should be offered or put in place to help teachers and students manage and protect their professional identity online?

The focus of this event relates to the range of ongoing MELSIG interests and provides an excellent networking opportunity.

Our Programme

Message to presenters: please share your presentations via @andrewmid

Challenge & Opportunity Cards were used to surface potential barriers and benefits. These have been transcribed and anonimised: Melsigus-Challenge-cards-anon PDF. Thanks to those who took part.

Innovation at the University of Sussex

From ‘boundary transgressions’ to live twitter sessions: The challenges and opportunities of social media for social work education and practiceDr Denise Turner, Lecturer in Social Work, School of Education & Social Work, University of Sussex - Denise explored the implications of using social media connections within social work practice, education and research.

Designing Location-aware Nature Games: Widening Participation in Informatics and Product Design
Dr Kate Howland (Informatics) and Catherine Grundy  (Product Design), University of Sussex - an overview of an ongoing project using location-aware game creation as a widening participation activity for young people. Kate and Catherine presented some example games and highlighted the skills and understandings involved in the activity, and noted how this project relates to their broader research agendas.

Comfy Birds: Orchestrating reflection through individual, paired and whole class work
Dr Nicola Yuill & Stefan Kreitmayer, University of Sussex
The presentation described and demonstrated an application using networked devices (tablets, phones and large displays) that the presenters tested in a class of adolescents with communication difficulties in a literacy intervention. Nicola illustrated students’ behaviours, language and computer log data and discussed their data within a framework of ‘classroom orchestration’ of different devices to support reflective learning. Presentation in PDF format 

Innovation in the Region

ENABLE: Developing e-Professionalism and embedding Social Media and Technology Enhanced Learning in Higher Education Curricula
Claudia Megele,Senior Lecturer and CPD/PQ Programme Lead + Digital Lead at Middlesex University and Head of Practice Learning at Royal Borough of Enfield - Claudia’s recent publications include: “Theorizing Twitter Chat” and a book on “Using social technology in Health & Social Care Provisions: strategies for implementation and good practice” to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2015. Also see:

Moving a small university into a new age of eLearning. Our aspirations for lecture recording
Roger Holden, eLearning & Web Development Manager, University of Chichester  - The University of Chichester is a small institution of around 5,000 students. Our size means we can move quite quickly when necessary and we have recently been given the go-ahead to roll out Panopto lecture recording campus-wide. We believe this will have profound implications as it opens up new methods of learning and teaching and has the potential to greatly enhanced the student experience. From flipped classrooms to blended learning, from improving the attention of students and, in particular, from increasing inclusion for those with special requirements, in employment and for speakers of other languages. But is it a one-way street? Will students side-step lectures? Will teaching staff object? Will students see the value? All these issues we will be examined along the way, but for Chichester the year 14/15 will be “The Year of Panopto”. Presentation paper

Special Focus Parallel workshops

  • Access Earth: Meeting the needs of disabled people through technology
    Matthew McCann, KC Grant and Donal McClean - Access Earth is all about getting people the practical accessibility information they need. Our users upload accessibility information (via a simple questionnaire) which can then be displayed on a map so everyone can see. The project team will discuss the origins of the idea, share examples of how it can help people, how it works and the recognition Access Earth has received in the Imagine Cup. (30 minutes)
  • Kick starting mobile accessibility
     Henny Swann (The Paciello Group) –  Mobile accessibility expert Henny Swann will take you on a quick tour of how to deliver accessible and usable websites and native app development drawing on her experience of working at the BBC. This will cover strategy, guidelines, case studies and techniques. (30 minutes)

Social Media for All
Andrew Middleton, Sheffield Hallam University - The workshop examined the Social Media for Learning Framework being developed by Andrew with Sue Beckingham. The framework is intended to inspire curriculum design and explains why academics should consider social media seriously and as something that can promote new forms of interactivity and engagement. How do we ensure social media inclusive though? We discussed this in the activity described in the presentation. The outcome of this was the audio recording below and a set of completed Idea Cards: Idea Cards PDF

  • App Swap Workshop: The Adjustment Bureau
     Fiona Macneill, Learning Technologies Adviser, University of Brighton. Fiona’s Nearpod presentation Tablets and smartphones allow unique development opportunities within computing. Their physical capabilities, such as built-in accelerometers and cameras, together with their operating systems allow creative developers to devise new solutions in the form of “apps”. With so many development avenues to go down, is it any wonder that developers frequently miss a key junction, that of adjustment? The presence of “adjustment” options within apps, be they the adjustment of font size, line spacing and background colour are not that hard to add, but are so often overlooked and they provide the potential for real accessibility impact. This session which takes the form of an App Swap; an event for discussion and sharing based around mobile devices, invites you to try out some apps which allow for “adjustment”. We also encourage you to share some of your own suggestions. For this session you can choose to install the NearPod app to follow along with the presentation. Fiona’s blog explains more about the ideas here.


Short Online Open Courses at Regent’s University London - Chris Rowell, Learning Technologist,  Regents University London - This short presentation will give a brief overview of some CPD ‘courses’ available to staff at Regent’s University. These courses include ‘10 days of Twitter’, ‘12 Apps of Christmas’, ‘5 Days of LinkedIn’ and ‘Blogging for Beginners’. I briefly described the content of these courses, how they can be accessed and how they are delivered to staff in the University.

Reflecting on using digital media in a Flipped Classroom strategy- John Webber, Sussex Downs College [Apologies the first few seconds of the presentation are missing] 

Audio Feedback – a dyslexic’s solution
Anne Nortcliffe, Sheffield Hallam University - Anne reflects on her own dyslexia and that of colleagues. She looks at how academics with dyslexia develop successful, engaging and effective teaching and learning practices using personal smart technologies and social media.

Being digital, social and inclusive!

Plenary – an audio round up from delegates on what they will take away from the event today.


Thanks to @katiepiatt for this excellently produced Storify that provides a narrative of the day.