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TLL Autumn Festival: beyond the classroom

Friday afternoon November 30 well over 200 teachers, students, secondary school pupils, and representatives of business and educational institutions took part in the third Autumn Festival of the Teaching & Learning Lab. Flocking together in the hall of the Koningsberger Building they listened as Isabel Arends, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Judith Tielen, member of parliament (VVD), underlined the importance of educational innovation. Businesses from the region presented their digital tools on the information market.

These tools had been discussed already: in the inspiration meeting about useful digitization that preceded the Festival. Businesses showed six tools (Faculty of skills, Drillster, Grasple, Liftov, Digitale microscopie and Feedback fruits), followed by the participants discussing with each other what kind of digital tools they would like to add to their teaching, and what is needed to seriously get educational innovations off the ground.

In the afternoon, the participants could choose from very diverse offerings in almost 40 workshops. One workshop analysed the influence of the classroom. Research shows that academic ability increases significantly if the environment is linked to what a student has to learn. Various possibilities and characteristics of rooms were discussed. Finally, the participants visited a series of rooms on campus, to see whether the characteristics of these space were in line with their intended purpose.

Participants could also work hands-on during the Festival, for instance by making an Augmented Reality app. Their tool: a simple starting model, the HP Reveal app. Using this app, you take a photo of the item that should be ‘scannable’ (the trigger), to which you link a layer that appears when your students scan the trigger with their mobile phone. You can for example add a photo, video, sound, or a 3D model. In another workshop, led by pupils from the Corderius College in Amersfoort, participants programmed a robot car, Leaphy, that could move and even avoid obstacles afterwards. In addition, there was more than enough time to practice with didactical ICT tools and recording knowledge clips.

Even Harry Potter got a look in. Magic and science turn out to have a lot in common. To be able to describe the Potter magic well, author JK Rowling had immersed herself in chemistry. This workshop highlighted several chemical and historical aspects from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,’ as well as the similarities and differences between magic and science.

The next edition of the Autumn Festival will be part of the Dutch Smart Education Week, an initiative from institutions for higher education in the Utrecht region.

The Autumn Festival was organised by the Teaching & Learning Lab and Educate-it, in cooperation with the Centre for Academic Teaching. The workshops were presented by lecturers and students from Utrecht University, the ROC Midden Nederland, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, the Hogeschool Utrecht and schools and businesses from the Utrecht region.

Also look at the photo impression of the Autumn Festival.

Foto’s: Ivar Pel