Digital playground

Topic: New Technology

Demonstration of Microsoft's Surface Hub: an interactive whiteboard

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📥  New Technology

Date: Tuesday 21st June
Venue: 3W 4.1

Microsoft's Surface Hub is a large interactive whiteboard which can be used as both a collaboration and videoconferencing device and has the ability to help with learning and teaching. A representative from Microsoft is attending for the day to demonstrate the capabilities of this product for academics, and also provide technical guidance of how the product can work on the network for supporting staff.

Sessions are available in 3W 4.1 on the 21st June at the following times:

○ 1pm - 2pm
○ 2pm - 3pm
○ 3pm - 4pm

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided for those attending.

Please reserve a space by emailing

An example of the Surface Hub in use.  Used with permission from Microsoft.

An example of the Surface Hub in use. Used with permission from Microsoft.

12 Apps of Christmas

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📥  New Technology

A4 12 Apps Leaflet image (1)


Regent's University London is running a fun and free online program to learn about new apps, starting on the 1st December. Each day you can spent 10 minutes of your time to learn about a new app, and how it can help your teaching and supporting of students.

Each day this blog post will update with an overview of each new app.

For the twelve working days of the program, each day will offer a new task with instructions on a different app, tailored suggestions of how to use the app with your students, and how it can work effectively in a professional context. Course material will be left up so if you miss a day then you can easily catch up.

Follow on Twitter with #RUL12AoC, and enroll on the course on the Open Education Blackboard.


  1. - easy audience interaction for presentations, accessible via web browser or an app
  2. Instagram - share and discover videos and photos on specific topics by using hashtags; also has the ability to comment for further discussion
  3. Evernote - collect, tagg, and organise content on the cloud, with a robust mobile app and significant desktop functionality
  4. feedly - automatically bring news, articles and other resources from across the web into one location on a desktop or smartphone
  5. Tayasui Sketches - Draw doodles, diagrams, or annotate over pictures from phone or tablet, which you can easily share online
  6. WhatsApp - a peer collaboration app to share text, images and audio to individuals or groups of people
  7. Periscope - interactive live streaming app which can be used for campus tours, library inductions, practical demonstrations, and much more
  8. RefMe - a simple online and mobile tool to create citations, reference lists and bibliographies, you can even just scan a bar code
  9. Trello - an app and browser based collaboration tool for organising projects and ideas into lists, showing progress, comments, attachments, checklists, and due dates
  10. Pinterest - allows you to pin content to different boards, as well as easily discover and browse content which others have posted
  11. Animoto - easy video production via app or desktop, by adding images, videos, text and choosing a theme
  12. Elf Yourself - create a video of you and 4 friends as Christmas Elves... Enjoy!

Do you have an app which you use in your teaching? Let us know in the comments below.


New Technology Demonstration

📥  New Technology

On Wednesday 13 May 2015, the AV Unit have arranged for Displaynote to come along to demonstrate some of their new products.

Their primary product is DisplayNote itself, which claims to offer the following features:


The second is Swoodle, which is a collaboration product.

The session will be in 6E 2.1 from 10:30 to 11:30 if you would like to come and look at their technologies.



The App Factory Project


📥  New Technology

Speaking to my Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) colleagues after the LITEbox project meeting last week, we all relished the opportunity to better disseminate our work and to discover the other work being undertaken across the university. Since that meeting I've met with some of the other participants and been persuaded to disseminate something about my project - the App Factory. Both the LITEbox project and The App Factory project have received grants from the Alumni Fund, and are effectively running alongside each other.

The App Factory Project


So far, the App Factory has taken about two and a half years, and in total has received about £25K in funding. This includes two grants from the Teaching Development Fund, one grant from the Faculty of Science Teaching Development Fund, and the latest grant from the Alumni Fund. The current system can be used to both author and deliver apps across campus. This is for iOS and Android.

The system comprises of two main parts - the App Factory and the App Centre.

The App Factory aims to deliver an easy way to make an app for iOS and Android that can be shared in the App-Centre. The software is under development with small-scale rollout planned for 2015 with a view to a more wider-scale rollout in 2016.

The App-Centre is a private app-store that is restricted to staff and students at the university, and provides a distribution mechanism for apps created using the App-Factory. The implementation is a website that is viewed in a browser and allows the user to install apps on on their mobile phone or tablet. Currently under development, the system has been trialled with Pharmacy and Pharmacology students with some success and is starting to be used by other departments in the university. I've also had interest from other universities who wish to implement a similar campus-wide system.

The project is recognised by JISC in their 2015 edition of the Mobile Learning Infokit, and has also been mentioned in the Times Higher, and features in the latest edition (March 2015) of the SEDA Magazine.

Currently, I'm running a Facebook campaign and competition in collaboration with the Students Union. The idea is to discover the types of apps that students want. We are using a Crowd-Source Funding Platform but without the funding part - basically students have the opportunity to post app-ideas and other students can vote for their favourite ideas. I've undertaken to implement the winning app for both iOS and Android, and to make this available to all students. There has been a fantastic response so far, and we have been running less than a week!. Apart from anything else, it is such good fun to get involved with students and to try to get into their mindset.  I must thank my Faculty TEL colleagues across campus for their support with this endeavour: Rachel Applegate, Geraldine Jones, Tracey Madden, Yvonne Moore, Paul Pinkney and Kevin Renfew. Also Tom Rogers in the Library who helped produce the posters, and the brilliant SU team of course!

Once the campaign is finished, we will have a clear idea of what students really want in terms of apps, and the next thing will be to employ students to build apps over the summer.

It seems to me that the LITEbox project will be successful if people contribute and collaborate. I also welcome collaboration - if you are interested in creating apps for teaching, learning, research or anything else, please drop me a line on




New technology being installed

📥  New Technology

As part of the Rolling Refurbishment Programme for teaching spaces, the LITEbox spaces CB5.13 and 8W1.28 are to have some new collaboration technology fitted.

These rooms will be equipped with a Kramer Via Collage.

The VIA Collage is a piece of technology that allows for wireless presentation and collaboration. With any laptop or mobile device, users can view, edit and comment on documents in real time, share files and chat with individuals or multiple participants simultaneously. It is the only wireless solution that can show six user screens on a single main display. Users can also view the main display on their own device. It promised to be completely platorm agnostic, and works with Android, iOS, Mac, and PC based machines.

As part of the launch event, Kramer will demonstrate some of the functions of this unit live for the audience - to highlight the possibilities.

Further information is available here: