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The future of edtech is an annual tech conference that looks at transforming higher education through the digital, it brings together industry partners, academics, students and influencers from across 50 countries. This year it moved to an online conference, and the landing page offered all the amenities of a ‘real time’ conference.

The virtual lobby

Each session was 20 minutes, and recorded and shared on vimeo, and then the Q&A which was not captured.The speakers then moved into the networking lounge for further chat.

Here are the links to the main sessions:

The VC Panel_ What’s on the horizon for higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Imperial college business school talk

– excellent section by Sarah, (second speaker) on quality and how to-conceptualising the whole experience ie not just the f-2-f but how to scaffold the whole student learning experience

Developing university capacity and capability through external partnerships

Prof Norbert Pachler

EDUCATE Presents Exploring the Real Use of AI in HE Today

Prof Rose Luckin

Using data to improve student outcomes Panel:

The student panel:

Not recorded but these were key points:

Please use good practice; ask us to engage and switch on our camera, change the pace; offer small chunks; engage us the whole of the time!  Change the pedagogies to more active learning – we enjoy this but need more reflective time if we then have a group task. Linked In – use this and it is super useful…

My session: Augmented reality, Virtual reality and Mixed reality for student learning

Getting ready to host

The international roundtable had participants from the USA, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Malta as well as the UK.

The brief discussion notes i followed are available here:

The main report mentioned in the slideshare:

The Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) is leading The State of XR and Immersive Learning, a multi-sector, cross-disciplinary initiative aimed at:
Regularly surveying the XR and immersive learning landscape to identify the technological, pedagogical, and other innovations exhibiting the most promise, along with the major opportunities and challenges related to their uptake, adoption, and implementation;
Advancing research and promoting research-grounded practice in the use of XR and immersive technologies for supporting learners across the full span of learning from K-12 through higher education
As well as in workplace, community, and lifelong learning.

Full report launched at their annual conference 20th June

Future of Tech: reports with a difference

I have been thinking back to last year, and these are the most significant reports that made me think about how innovation is scaling and speeding up…what are the education needs we need to fulfil?

little girl using VR viewer

Bournemouth University Festival of Learning

  • The UK Parliamentary Committee of Public Accounts (May 2018) points to skills development lagging behind expectations of the workplace as the pace of technological change accelerates
  • The adoption of automation and AI technologies will transform the workplace as people increasingly interact with ever-smarter machines. These technologies, and that human-machine interaction, will bring numerous benefits…they will also change the skills required of human workers..accelerate from 2016-2030 (MacKinsey 2018)
  • ‘Despite major investment in TEL, we are not seeing major changes in the way technology is being used to support teaching, learning and assessment’ (UCISA 2018)
  • Significant challenges impeding Higher education TEL adoption – a ‘wicked’ challenge – complex to define, much less address’ Rethinking the role of educators (NMC Horizon Report 2018)


As part of the LearningLayers meeting in Aachen, we were invited to visit the RWTH Augmented Reality ‘Cave’. Only words to describe the experience –  this is what it would be like on a real ‘magic flying carpet‘! Incredible being able to fly around the whole statue and it’s surrounding geographical area – what a great project recreating this lost artefact. The importance and significance of the loss are reported in the Unesco Report (2013)

“Enclosed between the high mountains of the Hindu Kush in the central highlands of Afghanistan, the Bamiyan Valley opens out into a large basin bordered to the north by a long, high stretch of rocky cliffs. The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley comprise a serial property consisting of eight separate sites within the Valley and its tributaries. Carved into the Bamiyan Cliffs are the two niches of the giant Buddha statues (55m and 38m high) destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, and numerous caves forming a large ensemble of Buddhist monasteries, chapels and sanctuaries along the foothills of the valley dating from the 3rd to the 5th century C.E.”

The technical report on the project can be accessed here:

And an excellent thesis around the concepts underpinning this type of technology: