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SERC hosts Accelerated Digital Learning conference


South Eastern Regional College (SERC) hosted an Accelerated Digital Learning conference which showcased how technology can be used to enhance the student learning experience.

The full-day conference, held at SERC's SPACE Campus, Bangor, attracted over 70 industry professionals and representatives from national and regional further education colleges, curriculum leaders, careers advisors and guests from the Department for Employment and Learning.

The theme focused on best practice in the use of technology to enhance the learning experience with speakers from Microsoft Education and The FE Sector. The conference provided an opportunity for delegates to see and experience a range of blended learning approaches and resources whilst networking with like-minded professionals.

First, delegates were welcomed by SERC Principal and Chief Executive Ken Webb. Ken said “As a leading college in digital transformation we are delighted to host this conference. Technology enhanced learning has helped us to personalise learning to engage learners and give them the best advantage, as well as supporting progression into work or further study.

“The use of technologies to deliver and promote learning in the further education sector is an area of immense and rapid growth and change. And globalization means that it is vital that we give students the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in our rapidly changing world, as well as helping them to become global citizens."

Next, Keynote speaker Stephen Howell spoke about his role at Microsoft. Stephen is the Academic Engagement Manager for Microsoft Ireland and he is a STEM evangelist, focusing on increasing the technical skills set of students, teachers and lecturers.

Delegates participated in a series of workshops focusing on outstanding teaching and learning practices entitled peer mentoring, digital enabled critical thinkers, impact of digital learning environment on the learner experience and the impact of blended learning consortium resources on the learning experience.

The conference featured several guest speakers including Stephen Kennedy, manager for technology enhanced learning at Belfast Metropolitan College and Peter Kilcoyne ILT director for the Heart of Worcestershire College.

SERC's Pedagogy Mentors spoke about the Peer Mentoring Model and Digital Enabled Critical Thinkers. Since 2008 mentors alongside their teaching remit have worked with tutors to develop their digital pedagogical skills. 

The conference was kindly sponsored by Canvas and was closed by SERC Director of Curriculum and Information Services, Dr Michael Malone who thanked the speakers and delegates for attending.