Supporting the Schools’ Night

Guest post from Dr Janet Buchan, Director CiTEL, Lourdes Hill College.

The new Centre for Innovation, Teaching Excellence & Leadership (CiTEL) is a major investment by Lourdes Hill College with the vision to provide professional learning programs and a dedicated space for educators to collaborate and learn towards advancing teaching excellence.

After over 14 years in higher education, in 2015 I moved back into the secondary sector to take up my current appointment as Director of CiTEL. My time in schools, TAFE and universities has taught me that the future of learning and the success of Lourdes Hill College’s vision for CiTEL lies in building connections and partnerships with experts in higher education so that teachers can remain at the top of their game and with ready access to the latest research in technology, pedagogy and assessment (amongst other things).

I have been a member of ASCILITE since 2008 and was a member of the ASCILITE Executive for three years with the CMALT portfolio my main interest. As a long time attendee of the ASCILITE conference I am very supportive of the schools’ night as a new initiative and had no trouble convincing Lourdes Hill College’s driving forces behind our own  Learning Futures project (our Principal Ms Robyn Anderson and Deputy Principal Mr Terry Niebling) to get on board with sponsorship by CiTEL.  Our College looks forward to the schools’ night and the opportunity to learn from and make connections with schools in the region. All schools in Queensland face significant challenges with a new Digital Technologies curriculum, the introduction of the new QCE System in 2019, the ongoing rollout of the Australian Curriculum and ongoing budget cuts in many areas. Schools and universities need to work together and it will be through events such as the ASCILITE 2018 Conference Schools Night that essential collaboration and support can be grounded.


Join Smart Sparrow at ASCILITE 2017

A Complete Courseware Platform for Adaptive, Interactive Learning

Guest post from Ashley Coolman, Smart Sparrow

There’s a cheeky joke we’ve heard told about innovation in education: “If Isaac Newton rose from the grave and looked around, he would not recognise the way people work, communicate, or travel; but if he walked into a university he would feel right at home.” It’s exaggerated, but justly highlights that education has been historically slow to change.

Fortunately, we are in the midst of a pivotal time; forward-thinking universities are creating strategies to take advantage of new technology. Exciting advances now enable the previously unimaginable in teaching — you can take students on exploratory field trips across the world, or provide every individual with a personalised learning experience based on their performance. ASCILITE2017 is a perfect space for educators and technologists come together, discuss what technologies and pedagogies show real impact on teaching and learning, and mould the future of education, and Smart Sparrow is excited to join.

Smart Sparrow is an edtech company dedicated to empowering every educator with adaptive and interactive learning technology. Our courseware platform provides user-friendly tools (i.e. no developers necessary) to create learning experiences and analyse their impact — from a single assignment to a fully online course.

Learning innovation with Smart Sparrow looks like this:

  1. Create engaging and personalised lessons with the authoring tool — on your own or with the help of our award-winning Learning Design Studio.
  2. Share what you create to get feedback or encourage other instructors to use what you’ve developed (thus scaling great learning).
  3. Deploy lessons to students directly through the platform or integrate them with your LMS.
  4. Analyse student behaviour and results with the analytics and report dashboards to identify common misconceptions and at-risk learners.
  5. Continuously improve lessons to include the latest information from your field, revamp learning objectives and content, and create a better learning experience every term.

Smart Sparrow began as a research and development group in intelligent tutoring systems and educational data mining at UNSW Sydney. Now, we have over a decade of experience collaborating with universities to improve student outcomes with engaging and personalised learning experiences.

If you’re interested in bringing adaptive, interactive, and personalised learning to your classes, please visit Smart Sparrow at ASCILITE2017 or email to set up a conversation.

Join Blackboard at ASCILITE 2017

ASCILITE 2017 is just around the corner. As the premier gathering of Australian and International researchers, managers and educators, this annual conference is always meaningful for us. But this year, it’s even more special as Blackboard is celebrating our 20th anniversary – that’s two decades of partnering with you, our clients, to help solve your toughest challenges. We are committed to being your partner in change and we are excited to be sponsoring ASCILITE again this year. For those who are headed to Toowoomba, we’ve put together a roundup of the most important Blackboard activities taking place during the conference. Don’t forget to follow us for news and announcements during the event on Twitter at @BlackboardAPAC. And to be a part of the larger ASCILITE conversation, follow #Ascilite2017. We’re excited to see you there!

Don’t-miss sessions

Developing a technology enhanced learning framework to gain a snapshot of institutional successes and challenges

Associate Professor Michael Sankey (Western Sydney University), Dr Caroline Steel (Blackboard), Mark Bailye (Blackboard)
Tuesday 5 December, 11.40am – 12pm
Stream 2 | Room R113

Exploratory panel: Privacy, trust, student data, and the university

Barney Dalgarno (chair), Jasmine Thomas (UNSW), Kate Young, Dr Kirsty Kitto (UTS), Allan Christie (Blackboard)
Tuesday 5 December, 1.30pm – 3pm
Room H102 Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre

Meet the Blackboard team

Stop by the Blackboard Booth (#5) for demos, product insights and giveaways. Take part in our ASCILITE Twitter Competition for a chance to win the latest Apple Watch Series 3.0!