Making and keeping digital education new year resolutions: Heriot Watt Learning and Teaching Keynote

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of giving the inaugural Inspiring Learning Lecture for the Learning and Teaching Academy at Heriot Watt University. As the university has campuses in Dubai and Malaysia I also got to do the lecture twice. Firstly via a webinar to the Dubai and Malaysia campuses, quite early in the morning for me, and then later in person on the Edinburgh campus. It was actually lovely to be able to present twice, but I’m sure I forgot to say some things I had planned in each session. However I think both sessions worked well, if slightly differently.

The lecture was themed around making, and keeping, new year resolutions in relation to digital education. Now, dear reader, if you are anything like me and the vast majority of the population, you probably find keeping any kind of new year resolution a bit of a challenge – most of us fail to keep them. So I used the lecture to explore the notion of resolutions and more importantly changing/evolving habits in our practice. Quite often a small change in practice can have quite a profound impact.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to explore some of the wider narratives around the notion of “the digital”, and share some of my reflections on the university’s Learning and Teaching Strategy, and relate that to some wider issues around (digital) wellbeing, time, and criticality.

Using some of the ideas we developed in Conceptualising the Digital University , I also looked at notions of curriculum, and how taking a different view of that could help to change ideas and practice around teaching and assessment. Given the global reach of the university I also raised some questions around the development of truly international, culturally inclusive curriculum and digitally mediated educational colonization. I then tried to bring these bigger narratives back to everyday practice and emphasize the importance of taking time to share practice, to help each other make small changes to our practice.

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