We are looking for participants from the University of Edinburgh community (students and staff) to help us chart a values-based future amidst all the technological change impacting what we do as a university. We need your help to ensure that what we create as a university is from and for the University of Edinburgh and not a deterministic ‘solution’ in search of a problem. We see this as a continuing effort aimed at student and staff led research and development, an explicit action from the Near Future Teaching project.

This project, the Expanding the Teacher Function project, is advancing a broad speculative agenda to identify student and faculty attitudes towards automated agents (bots), and values we would want embedded therein; as well as determining appropriate and productive teaching and community-oriented implementations within programme or course contexts.  This project is largely concerned with speculating how a: bots might be used to support teaching and learning practices within distance learning programmes offered through the University of Edinburgh, b: the impact of bots on existing teaching and learning practices as well as the development of new practices that might emerge; and c: the potential impact of the use of bots on the student and teaching experience.

And we need your help. If you are a member of the University of Edinburgh (student or staff), please sign up for one of the events below and help us chart a direction forward. We are looking for enthusiasm and not some predefined technological capacity. Anyone interested in teaching and the student experience at the University of Edinburgh are welcome to join. To do so, simply fill out the form below.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Not convinced? Listen to Myles Blaney and myself speak at jovial length about the subject in two podcasts below.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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