Student Employee of the Year

I work in a small team of students called the Student Learning Technology Ambassadors. We work alongside the Learning Technology Ambassadors supporting staff and students with technical aspects of projects. These range from supporting lecturers using new programs in their classes, such as Nearpod or supporting students using applications for their coursework, such as studentfolio.

It started as an experiment to hire a team of students to provide this service which seems to have been deemed successful. So much so, that next year they are not only continuing the project but expanding it across all campuses – yay!

Our lovely manager Katie decided to honour our hard work by nominating our little team for the ‘Student Employee of the Year‘ award. I’m proud to announce that we achieved ‘Highly Commended’ in this category!

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Digital Award – Update!

A little while ago, I blogged about a university competition I had entered, where I submitted a couple of ideas about how we could use technology in the uni to improve the student experience.

I submitted two ideas – google maps for uni campuses and personalised timetables. Unfortunately neither of these got voted for in the end but I did get some good feedback from the judges. The more detailed feedback I received was focused on the uni maps idea. In my submission I had highlighted a use case in particular for using an app to locate plug sockets nearby, which seemed to be very popualr amongst the judges.

The idea had strong support, and gathered positive comments which noted the fact it was solving a common problem for staff and students, and visitors (e.g. parents, alumni, business partners, etc) alike.
There is a technical challenge with this idea which is that google maps are not 3D and you would need to locate people in 3D to know which floor someone is on. I am sure it could be done using internal wifi. Jisc are looking at the smart campus – so another way to do this would be to have smart technology that told you where the plug sockets are located etc. This point was reiterated by a Learning technology Advisor who is currently investigating the use of ibeacons.
Comments highlighted that the idea had many useful themes, and indicated similar ideas being successfully delivered at institutions like Manchester Met, and indeed a Hogwarts style Marauders Map at Lincoln (Wes in the SU has experience of this and may be a good contact). As with many services collecting data sources and keeping them current may prove time consuming and problematic.
There was universal praise for the simple plug socket locator element, and information on whether study spaces are full.
Who else loves the idea of a marauders map?!
Anyway, its a shame not to have come in the top 4 but there is scope for me to develop these ideas further, which maybe I’ll do in the future.

Computing Open Day, June 2016

Today was the University open day for 2017 prospective students. Over in computing we had a good vibe, lots of happy ambassadors, some great work on display and curious students and parents with lots of questions. Everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their faces and the ambassadors looked like they were having a lot of fun talking about their experiences of university and Brighton life. They were keen to show off the work they had produced in their time here – whether they had just finished first year, final year or anything in between.

There was a real feeling of solidarity between the teachers and ambassadors which was great to be part of, and really highlighted what we as a university are about, hopefully our visitors felt it too and came away with a sense of the community we have here.

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Join us at our campus open day on Saturday 18 June

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and the campus where you will be studying. You will also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.
If you are thinking of beginning your studies in 2017, you can find out more about our campus open day and how to book a place here

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Do you need some help with job hunting?

Student Services are offering their annual ’Transform Your Life’ two day graduate employability course.
‘Transform Your Life’ 2 day University of Brighton graduate employability course

Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 June 2016
This course is particularly suited to any final year students or graduates who may be finding the next stage of their career rather challenging.

It includes:
* confidence boosting activities
* applications/CVs
* online presence
* presenting yourself well at interview (including practice interviews)

Find out more about the course, including how to book a place, here.

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Soapbox science

A scientist from our school left her lab to stand on a soapbox to explain nuclear physics to members of the public and to help eliminate gender inequality in science.

Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank.
Her session ‘Nuclear physics: Exploring the centre of the atom and harnessing its potential’ involved discussing her work and her experiences as a female scientist.

Chantal said she was impressed with the reaction from members of the public. One said: “Now, not only do I know what it means, but I know that women can do it.”

The key aim was to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile and challenging the public’s view of women in science. In addition to sharing their research with the general public, all 12 women became role-models for future generations.


Chantal said: “Although I was incredibly nervous before stepping onto my soapbox I thoroughly enjoyed the hour-long session. As soon as I had introduced myself, out of no-where, a full crowd had formed around me. A complete mixture of young and old, male and female, some who knew all about nuclear physics, and some who had never heard of a nucleus.

“The best part of the event for me was the variety of questions asked, everything from ‘how did you get into nuclear physics’ to ‘how do we know whether we have created a nucleus if we cannot see it’.”

Watch video highlights from Chantal’s talk here