The Future of EdTech? Creating equality of opportunity

A report from Debbie Holley, Professor of Learning Innovation and Head of CEL

I was honoured to be invited to give a keynote at the prestigious two-day annual ‘Future of EdTech‘ conference, located at Old Street, the so-called ‘Silicon Roundabout’due to the creativity and innovation of tech start-up companies.  Future Edtech is a key event which aims to bring together Institutional Leaders with technologies and academia to discuss  strategies and tools to elevate student experience and engagement on and off campus. At a time when the Higher Education sector is experiencing its most dynamic period of change to date, it is imperative to capitalise on the importance of marrying up technology with key strategic objectives, and BU2025 has ambitious plans in this direction!

The morning started with keynotes from Joel Bloomfield, the Higher Education lead at Microsoft, leading the debate around the potential for Artificial Intelligence in Education, the need for personalisation of the individual student learning experience. Machine Learning algorithms are the future (here is a link to a guide: ; and Joel points to Minerva, now a top 3 University, as one way alternative providers will be brokering global connections for their students (

Amongst the other talks, the presentation by James Frazee, Senior Academic Technology Officer at San Diego State University Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL): An essential element for future educational technology stood out – a future of engaged students using mixed realities from Augmented Reality to Augmented Virtuality to Virtual Environments

The presentation link:

Interview about the talk:

My own session, as part of the track on Creating Equality of opportunity explored how to set about creating a supportive environment for the development of digital capabilities. It was absoltuely wonderful to find  I was one of the four high profile female speakers,

  • Amanda Jeffries, Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Hertfordshire spoke on Rating my HE digital experience: reflections from the student responses to the 2017-18 Jisc survey
  • Helle Rootzen, Professor of Learning Technology and Digitalization at Technical University of Denmark gave an inspiring presentation Enabling transformation through Digital Learning Technology
  • Becky Hartnup, an Independent Consultant talked about Technology: the Swiss army knife for higher education?

My own session, Creating a supportive environment for the development on digital capabilities drew upon my work with JISC as an adviser on their national panel on the student experience, and the set of case studies published on good practice last year, of which Bournemouth University is one:

Holley, D (2017) Bournemouth University: a new vision for learning case study in JISC Developing organisational approaches to digital capability  JISC 4 May 2017 available here:

Link to my presentation:


Leave a Reply

Your details
  • (Your email address will not be published in your comment)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>