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Digifest 2017 - celebrating the power of digital

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As part of our continuing growth and market placement within the FE sector, Global Vocational Skills attended Digifest 2017. This is the second year of exhibiting at this event, which focuses on celebrating the power of digital, its potential to transform and its capacity to revolutionise learning and teaching. It is designed to shed light on all the latest innovations in the learning field, incorporating laboratory simulations, where attendees could interact with the virtual world, amongst many others activities.

Digifest was attended largely by middle and senior managers from FE and HE, and those who are leading change within organisations concerned with education. The provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate i-GVS in an innovation arena and make further strides in the Further Education sector.

 Supporting us during the event were two student representatives from Basingstoke College, who both use i-GVS as part of their weekly blended learning provision at college. They spent both days on the stand demonstrating i-GVS on our large interactive touchscreen, talking to visitors and answering questions. 

We were also thrilled to have 2 members of the ILT Team from Hopwood Hall College also join us for both days. Hopwood Hall is a Centre of Excellence for i-GVS, and as such they were keen to support us during the event. They were both welcome and beneficial additions to the stand, chatting to visitors and endorsing the product, providing feedback and answering questions. It was clear from their interaction with the visitors, as well as the interactions of both students, that their presence at the event was very well received and appreciated by all who engaged with them.

 Danny Eastman, our Key Accounts Manager who attended the event, said: “One of the most apparent changes, since last year’s Digifest, was just how far along the FE sector has come in embracing digital technology within the teaching environment. In the talks and breakout sessions that I attended, Vice Principals and Heads of IT waxed lyrical about the progress and changes they had brought about at their respective institutes. What was abundantly clear was the chasm between the IT specialists’ vision (alongside many senior managers) and the teaching staff’s “buy-in”. 

Deborah Kellsey Millar (Director for Digital Learning & IT Services at Salford City College) was the stand-out speaker at Digifest. As a curator of the now internationally renowned “Learning Wheels”, Deborah continues to support her IT counterparts and teaching staff, the world over, in gradually adopting a more digital approach to blended learning within the FE sector. By bringing tutors and learning managers into her collaborative project, Deborah has empowered them to take a leap of faith into embedding more technology into the long-worn traditional approaches to learning.

Whilst resistance to change is rife throughout the sector, it is the work of these Digital Pioneers that will ensure that the sector continues to move forward, for the betterment of the tutors and learners. “

We were also very impressed with the virtual reality demonstrations, in particular, the Digi Lab, which was an exciting place where attendees got an opportunity to try out existing and emerging technological tools, gadgets and machines. This will have a huge impact on the way learners perceive studying and the direction it is heading.