Professor Becky Strachan, Professor of Digital Technology and Education and the Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning and Engagement, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University
Let's Educate, Learn and Flourish: How can we open doors, light fires and race with machines?
Refreshments will be available from 6pm
Education is crucial to a modern and successful society and thus there is often much debate over what constitutes ‘excellent’ educational practice. In recent years these debates have often been accompanied by changes in policy and the introduction of new monitoring and performance measure regimes. But are these having the desired effects and are they improving education and wider society? Or are they creating an education system that is obsessed by the measurement instruments themselves and has forgotten its overarching goal?
This lecture explores the current educational landscape and argues that in order to create a vibrant and flourishing society, educators need to continually learn too and thus they need to be more adventurous, take risks, and learn from their mistakes. Drawing on examples from her own research and practice and those of others, Professor Strachan illustrates how we should be reimagining education to open up new and alternative pathways; ensure students are active participants in their own learning; and use technology in transformational ways. She also evaluates the current monitoring and performance measure regimes and calls for a rethink to ensure they are fit for purpose and support ‘excellent’ educational practice.
About the speaker
Rebecca Strachan is Professor of Digital Technology and Education and the Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning and Engagement for the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University. Her research focuses on improving the lives of people by providing enhanced technological solutions and opening up new opportunities for their academic and professional development. This includes exploring improvements to digital networks to benefit the end users, and using digital games to support language and STEM education. She has also developed pathways to open up access into higher education and is a keen advocate of partnership working. This is illustrated through her leading roles on the university’s digital degree apprenticeship programme and Think Physics, a major widening participation programme that works with young people, particularly females, to encourage them to consider a career in science, technology and engineering (www.thinkphysics.org).
Becky is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the Council for Professors and Heads of Computing. Internationally she is a member of IEEE and ACM and recently led the EU Tempus funded IMPRESS project aimed at improving student services across higher education in the Ukraine (www.impress-eu.com), working with partners including the Ukrainian Ministry for Science and Education.
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