A new and exciting initiative, LITEbox, is set to launch on Wednesday 6 May 2015. Supported by the Alumni Fund with two years initial funding, LITEbox (Learning Innovation Technology Environment) is aiming to provide opportunities for staff and students to learn, share, explore and develop new and existing technologies for learning, teaching and research.
The LITEbox launch, which will be streamed live to University desktops at 1.45 pm, will provide an overview of the initiative and present some examples of the types of activities that LITEbox will be supporting over the next two years together with an initial programme of monthly activities.
LITEbox has three key aims which are:
Aim 1 - Space and Technology Development: making the best use of facilities and systems
Aim 2 - Skills Development: equipping students and staff with digital skills for learning, teaching, and research
Aim 3 - Knowledge Exchange: developing Visual/Digital Methods for Teaching and Research
The LITEbox launch will also showcase some new, leading-edge technology called VIA Collage, due to be installed in the two LITEbox spaces in the coming month in addition to some examples of how staff and students are using technology to support and enhance teaching, research and skills development across the University. VIA Collage enables the creation of a virtual collaborative learning and teaching space allowing any user with a laptop or mobile device to view, edit and comment on documents real time, share files and chat with individuals or multiple participants simultaneously. VIA Collage is the only wireless solution that can show six user screens on a single main display in addition to enabling users to view the main display on their own device.
The LITEbox team, led by Rob Hyde, Audio Visual Service Manager, and Dr Jessica Francombe-Webb, Lecturer, Department for Health, has designated two campus spaces for LITEbox activities. Chancellors' Building 5.13, a 50-seater PC laboratory, and 8 West 1.28, a collaborative group working space with six work zones. There are further plans in progress to secure a third space for the creation of an Innovation Lab for staff development. A new LITEbox Officer, MEng student Tim Maulin, has been appointed and will take up post at the end of April. Tim will be supporting the LITEbox team to promote the initiative and act as an interface with the student community.
In advance of the LITEbox launch on 6 May, Professor Bernie Morley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching) said:
"This is an extremely timely initiative and one that offers the whole institution significant opportunities to explore the potential that technology offers to enhance every aspect of our learning, teaching and research. The LITEbox team is focused on supporting staff and students to learn and share new and existing technology-related activities, which will be critical if the University is to retain competitive advantage in an increasingly tough climate. I will be taking great interest in LITEbox developments and welcome this initiative to help push our thinking and understanding of technology forward. I would encourage everyone to get involved over the coming months."
Also supporting LITEbox, Ian Robinson, Chief Executive, Students' Union said:
"Providing our student community with enhanced opportunities to develop their digital skills and explore and experiment with new and existing technologies will, inevitably, aid their future employability. Increasingly, students are having to undertake group work, group presentations and projects as part of their programmes and creating more supported learning spaces and opportunities for them to learn from each other is a very positive development. The Students' Union is looking forward to working in partnership with the LITEbox team over the next two years."