Following Professor Jane Searle’s excellent keynote address on “technology as a tool for inclusion: use and abuse in classroom settings” at CELebrate2016, a discussion forum facilitated by the speaker provided an opportunity for participants to appraise how well BU was maximising technology to foster a more inclusive community of learners. The discussion revolved around two groups and participants generated insightful feedbacks as illustrated below:
A collation of the ideas generated depicted that the university was already involved in the use of technology to create a more inclusive community. Some of the evidences provided include the following: 1) Availability and accessibility of online library resources; 2) provision of LIVE CHAT opportunities for enquiries; 3) promotion of electronic submission of written work; 4) opportunities for knowledge co-creation and diffusion between staff and students on a wide range of different subjects including technology; 5) creation and diffusion of the TEL Toolkit; 6) the availability and pivotal role of learning technologists on BU campuses; …
In addition to the commendations articulated, participants felt the university could do more in rendering technology as a tool for inclusion by: 1) identifying and providing students from some countries/backgrounds with induction on the use of relevant technologies; 2) rendering VLEs more user friendly and less ‘clunky’; 3) engaging staff in more digital conversation that reflects co-creation as well as providing scaffolded approach that builds capacity; 3) promoting student driven technology; 4) going beyond performance to inclusion of students as an incentive for use of technology; 5) increasing the number of licences and connection points; 6) considering different means of administering examination, including electronically; 7) maximising the use of SMART phones to enhance learning; 8) creating opportunities for showcasing of technological practices, and 9) providing more help for students transitioning into VLE/BB.
The forum ended on a very positive note with participants invigorated to use technolgy as a tool to promote inclusion at BU.