Doing it Digitally – Summer

flickr photo by Martin Snicer Photography shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

One way to develop your digital capabilities is to carry out familiar activities using digital tools. We already offered some examples of this approach in Doing it digitally – presentations and in this post I’ll be looking at a range of ways that you can have a digital summer. 

Research

If your summer is going to be about your research, then have a look at Clever apps for smart researchers and Survey tools for learning and teaching. If you are going to be working in archives such as The Keep then using your phone as a scanner can be a great time-saver.

For more ideas and tips see my Tech for Researchers Flipboard magazine.

If you are going to present your research at a conference there are many digital tools you can use for presentations and we have some top tips for designing presentations. You can find great creative commons images to make your presentation more engaging and with the Flickr attribution tool, using the correct citation is a breeze.  

Summer is also a great time to refresh or develop your online academic profile.

Reflection and Planning teaching

The end of the academic year is a great time to look back, reflecting on your teaching and your students’ learning. Perhaps this summer you might want to try some digital tools for reflection.

While you are thinking about next year’s teaching, it might be useful to consider what students expect at university in terms of technology and the digital capabilities they should be developing.  

Using some learning technologies might be useful, for example you can encourage student engagement through interactive lectures* using tools such as Nearpod, Socrative or Poll Everywhere. Or for something less dependent on lots of mobile devices try Plickers.

Broadening the range of resources you use can enhance learning – perhaps using material from TV and radio from Box of Broadcasts or making your own screencasts and/or podcasts to add to Study Direct.

Many of the things that students need to do as part of their study could be done digitally, from managing time and resources  to producing written work.

Encouraging students to use a range of devices, apps and online spaces to Captureaccomplish study tasks can help them become critical users of digital tools.

Modules that make the most of students’ smartphones for creating and learning and/or introduce them to digital curation and online collaboration can improve graduates’ employability and better equip them for lifelong learning. 

Are you making the most of Study Direct? How about using forums to improve engagement, or online quizzes for self-testing and instant feedback? See our posts on online quiz design and rapid quiz creation for help on fast and effective quizzing in Study Direct (Moodle).

Whatever you are planning for your teaching in the next academic year, you will want to be inclusive and digital tools can really help with that. Our blog post on inclusive digital teaching practice will give you some ideas.

Holidaying / relaxing

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flickr photo by kevin dooley shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

If you are getting away – or just relaxing at home – there are digital tools to help you. Find some digital reading from Project Gutenburg which offers over 50,000 free Ebooks for you to browse and read online or download to read offline.

There is lots of interesting content being published on blogs (try Feedly to find and organise some for you) or you can tailor your own magazine from your favourite topics using Flipboard.

If you prefer to listen, try subscribing to some podcasts or check out what’s available on SoundCloud or Audioboom.

If you are going on a trip, try Evernote to organise and access all your travel information and DuoLingo to brush up your language skills.

So whatever you are doing this summer – try doing it digitally! And remember, if you are planning your teaching and would like to discuss how technology could help, the Technology Enhanced Learning team are here all summer and will be happy to discuss ideas.

Posted in Learning Design, Technology Enhanced Learning
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We are the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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