The recipe for learning? App swap breakfast

The recipe for learning? App swap breakfast

CC BY-SA 4.0 University of Brighton

CC BY-SA 4.0 University of Brighton

Pedagogy, mobile devices and learning discourse over breakfast

What is an App Swap Breakfast?

An idea from the University of Brighton.  Meet with colleagues to learn about tablet computer apps and their use in teaching and learning, over breakfast. Bring your own device and share what works for you and learn from others.  Meet in a University cafe before teaching starts, breakfast provided.  Any device which runs apps is welcomed, e.g. iPad, Kindle Fire, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, smart phone, Google Nexus.

UCISA Case Study Slides: App Swap Breakfasts: Pedagogy, Mobile Devices and Learning Discourse over Breakfast from FiMacN

Why this approach?

Increasing numbers of staff have tablet computers and are enthusiastic about getting to grips with using them in their practice, but don’t know where to start.  The traditional model of IT support through training sessions does not fit the rapid uptake and development of apps.  Inspired by communities of practice and peer learning approaches, this approach offered a convenient time slot and flexible approach to learning, not to mention free food!

Ingredients for an App Swap Breakfast

  • A group of interested people with mobile devices
  • Session leaders (e.g. learning technologists, librarians, teachers, student advisers, mentors)
  • A space for sessions to be held
  • Common interests (e.g. teaching, learning, scholarship, subject, revision, reference,  entertainment)
  • Catering
  • A data projector
  • A wall or screen on which to project
  • An app ‘reading list’

How does it work?

  • Each event has a particular theme such as productivity, resource creation, security, active learning, photos.
  • No need to book, just drop in and take part.
  • There’s a list of apps that will be covered, but this is flexible and is led by what participants want to explore.
  • Special guests from other campuses, schools and institutions are invited.
  • Group demonstration is made possible by projecting tablet computer onto a presentation screen wirelessly using Air Parrot on a Mac.

How do staff know about it?

Publicity was key:  Consistent distinctive branding including the toast logo was used in all publicity including emails, posters, web presence, social media (with hashtag), QR codes, App reading list, business cards. Social media hashtag was used to disseminate good practice coming out of the events.  Senior management supported the initiative.

Did it work?

Many staff used mobile devices for personal use but didn’t know how to use them for teaching: this event helped close that gap.  Staff shared the new knowledge with colleagues, became advocates.  75% said their use of mobile devices had increased after attending.

What do you think?  Should we offer App Swap Breakfasts at Nottingham Trent?

If breakfast is too early, how about a bite-sized lunch?

App Swap Events CC BY-SA 4.0 University of Brighton

About the author

I'm interested in the ways that technology can enhance teaching and make learning more engaging and accessible to everyone. I work with colleagues to develop their digital literacies and to integrate technology into every day learning and teaching practice. I provide a range of professional development activities through face-to-face, blended and online methods. I'm a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology.

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