Smart Devices for Learning #3


Using smartphones, tablets and apps to enhance learning

Feedback from: @sonofedd “My 1st time at #MELSIGMMU – what an absolute feast of ideas & inspiration! Thx for organising this event”

Host: Manchester Metropolitan University

Location: New Business School

Date: Monday, 14 April 2014


Building on the interest and success of the first (Sheffield Hallam University) and second (University of Huddersfield) MELSIG smart device special focus events, we explored how smart technologies like Apple, Android and Windows smartphones and tablets are being used by students and staff to enhance learning. The aim of the day was to share and develop good practice in an important emerging field. The sessions were planned as opportunities for people to share their ways of using smart technologies to enhance and transform teaching and learning.

Some of the outputs from the day will contribute to a new MELSIG book on teaching and learning with smart devices.


09:15 – 09:45 – registration and coffee, New Business School


Welcome to Manchester Metropolitan University, Penny Sweasey, Head of  the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching, MMU

Introduction to MELSIG

Andrew Middleton, Chair of MELSIG

10:15 – 11.15 Innovation at MMU

  • Dental App, Peter Gough

  • Bringing Learning Alive
    Augmented reality project @MMU using Aurasma app. Dee Vyas and Nillan Fakira,
    Manchester Metropolitan University

    Penguin instructions origami used by Nillan in the presentation

  • Use of iPads in Healthcare healthcare education
    Deborah O’Connor

11:20- 12:15 Innovation in the region

Smarter Learning – it’s not about Technology
Simon Thomson (Leeds Metropolitan University)
Exploring Academics’ formal and informal iPad support systems Olaojo Aiyegbayo (University of Huddersfield) Sharing a recent open course experience:BYOD4L Chrissi Nerantzi (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Sue Beckingham (Sheffield Hallam University), BYOD4L facilitators

12:15 – 13:00 Lunch

Room 3.02

13:00 – 14:00  Parallel workshops

 a) Are we ready for smart learning?

Anne Nortcliffe (SHU) and students discussed initial findings of large scale institutional survey of academics and students on their readiness to use personal smart devices for learning (BYOD4L). The session consider what could be learnt from the survey, whether it can be run at other universities and how this empowers us to forge ahead.

b) BYOD4L – exploring the possibilities

Andrew Middleton led this idea generation workshop. Participants worked together (quite loadly and busilly as it turned out!) creating brief descriptions of ways in which smart devices and apps could be used to enhance and transform the learning environment. I hope the level of discussion meant that people (n.55-ish?) were finding out about what other people think the possibilities are for exploiting personal smart technologies to enhance learning and teaching. I hope that many of these ideas will appear in the forthcoming MELSIG book. I am scanning in the posters and will publish these on the MELSIG Flickr account as soon as I can and will update this link.


 14:00 – 15:00 Parallel workshops


a) Smart – organised and collaborative

Dee Vyas, Hayley Atkinson and Alex Spiers   The session discussed some of the different tools available for organising ourselves as smart learners and teachers including Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive.

Most attention was given to Evernote. It feels like there is plenty of scope to explore this further at the next event at #LMJU. The discussion turned to the need to e able to manage the proliferation of Gbs of data. There was some concern about the business models sucking us in with ‘short term free accounts’ leaving us with the problem of sensible archiving at the end of the the trial period. Nevertheless, the tools have a huge amount to offer. Evernote struck a particular chord with the presenters and the audience. Dee Vyas showed a useful video on using Evernote which we hope to share here along with the presentations. A special thanks to the presenters who, in true MELSIG spirit put this much needed session together at short notice.

b) Generating audio and video on Smart Devices for iTunes U

Graham McElearney, University of Sheffield   Rolling out iTunes U at UoS and how this creates new opportunities for engaging students with rich media, wherever they are. Graham look at what has been achieved so far and then considered whether personal smart technologies create a new context for iTunes U in terms of using and producing content. (More on this at a future event planned for Creative Capture and the Flipped Classroom we hope).

Delegate Thunderstorms

Mobile Challenges: sharing up, sharing out Terry McAndrew, TechDis
A fly on the Facebook wall: teaching using social media
Mark Feltham, Liverpool John Moores University

The presentation considered the practicalities of using Facebook for teaching in HE, the pros and cons of its use and how students interact with it. (More on this from Mark at #LJMU)

Supporting student-led curation
Kay Hack presented on using Twitter (presentation to follow)

Using Kahoot as a classroom polling tool
Callum Thomson, MMU

Being Smart! – Plenary

Play this round robin review from all who attended on what you will take away

16:00 Finish and Depart

16:00 Finish and Depart

The day in story format.

[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “MELSIG at MMU” on Storify</a>]