By day I’m a Senior Technician who works for the Faculty of Business at Plymouth University. At other times I like to dabble in interior design, having recently bought a 3 storey Edwardian terraced house which is currently stuck in the ’80s and needs alot of work! I love all sorts of music, illustrated through my Spotify Playlist collection. I also like to travel and take snaps (I wouldn’t call myself a photographer… I know proper ones!) …and sometimes I get excited by F1 (I hate Sky…)
I’m addicted to Pinterest! My boards cover interiors (obvs!), gardens, lovely clothes & looks, graphic design and illustration, places I would love to visit …and curly hair – I’m a natural you know! ;o)
Flea is a qualified teacher and, with a degree in multimedia, has skills in illustration, web design, image manipulation, video and 3D animation. She currently works as a Senior Technician in the Faculty of Business IT Team (FoBIT) at Plymouth University, supporting staff and students using education technology. Her role includes student support, teaching, video-production, graphic design and maintaining the FoBIT website and twitter accounts. She is particularly interested in using social media for teaching, learning, research and entrepreneurship and runs workshops for students that focus on raising their confidence using relevant tools. She has recently co-designed and taught a new module, ‘Digital Skills and Communication for Business’, in which students produced a ‘Me in a Minute’ promotional video and researched a technology issue related to business which was presented as either an academic poster or an infographic. She is also interested in developments in virtual and augmented reality and enjoys amazing experiences via her Google Pixel phone and DayDream headset.
Previously, Flea was employed as a Learning Technologist during which time she was involved with:-
- supporting academics developing generic and subject-specific pedagogically-informed learning resources using a range of software, for web, print and mobile devices
- contributing to the design and rollout of the Student Portal
- organising content for the University website, particularly regarding the Prospective Student & Student Life areas
- researching and developing resources to support students moving into HE and their induction to university. These have included websites, interactive maps combined with video and a ‘Student Survival Guide’. This work informed the creation of PLAN (Plymouth Learners’ Access Network), a pre-entry students’ social networking site on Ning.
- organising a University-wide JISC TechDis workshop, in collaboration with Dr Simon Ball (TechDis), raising awareness of good practice around accessibility and usability
- investigating and running workshops, in collaboration with Educational Developers, advising how PebblePad can be used to support Personal Development Planning (PDP)
- organising and creating marketing materials for the VC’s Teaching & Learning & Plymouth e-Learning Conferences
Teaching Fellowship Awards:
In 2008 Flea was awarded 2 Teaching Fellowship Awards.
‘Interactive learning scenarios in child protection’ was a project that developed a scenario involving a child with attention deficit syndrome. It aims to teach students how to deal with such a situation through watching a ‘scene’ and then choosing a course of action from a list of options. They are given instant feedback on the course of action they choose to take.
Flea worked with fellow LTs, Mark Lyndon and Mark Pannell, under the guidance of Dr Caroline Leeson. She created and animated characters using Poser and Mimic and also constructed the scenes.
‘Skills Plus: A web 2.0 approach’ was the beginning of her explorations into how students could use social media to promote themselves through networking. It aimed to build on the University’s Skills Plus Strategy – “promoting graduate employability and providing students with learning experiences which can underpin success in their academic studies and professionally in the workplace.” This work continues and is now embedded into the University’s Teaching, Learning & Student Experience and Digital Strategies.
Developing Digital Identity:
Flea has run workshops for students about how social media, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn, can be used to enhance students’ employability prospects through developing a strong digital identity. She has created resources, one of which features on JISC’s Digital Literacies Social Media Resources site. She also contributed an article for the University’s Graduate Newsletter. She has led a research project investigating the different features available for collaboration in a range of sites, such as Facebook, Google+ and WordPress.
Flea offered a ‘Digital Identity & Social Networking for Researchers’ workshop as part of the Academic Support, Technology & Innovation (ASTI) Team’s staff development provision.
Beyond Plymouth University:
Flea was invited to run a workshop for PostGraduate Researchers by Helen Beetham, for the CASCADE Project Team at the University of Exeter. Helen led on the ‘Learning Literacies in a Digital Age’ project for JISC and works as a consultant.
Flea was a member of the panel for this live discussion that took place on Friday 5th October 2012.
Having been inspired by Dr Helen Webster’s ‘23 Things for Digital Literacy’ presentation at the Association for Learning Developers in HE (ALDHE) Conference, Flea volunteered to join her team to run something similar for Learning Developers. LD5D was as online programme that aimed to introduce practitioners to different digital tools and approaches. ‘10 Days of Twitter’ was a short course that the LD5D Team also contributed to, supporting participants through tweets.
DigiThings: a mini-MOOC:
Building on her experience of LD5D, Flea led a team of LTs to run DigiThings, an online programme that introduced Plymouth staff to presentation tools and techniques. The course ran for 10 weeks starting in January 2014. The format was popular with academics although the timing between tasks was too demanding. The evaluation report gives more details.
Flea enjoys keeping abreast of developments within technology enhanced learning through participating in online courses – although sadly she is yet to fully complete one! She engaged with ocTEL, a 6 week course run by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) to “help you understand better how to use technology to enhance your teaching practice”. Through these she has made contact and worked with colleagues from other institutions both in the UK and around the world, developing a Personal Learning Network.
Flea is also involved with the BSc Cruise Management Programme, teaching on the ‘Showcasing Cruising’ module – introducing students to managing and creating a WordPress site. She covers design principles, copyright and writing for the web. She has also run workshops for 3D Design students setting up their group blogs on WordPress – The Open Sauce Project and 3DDesignPlymouth
She also created a panoramic with embedded videos to advertise the School of Architecture. She developed this in her own time using PanoVR – it was great to ‘build’ something again!
Flea continues to research and evaluate new tools and apps for teaching, learning and research, with the aim of inspiring others to use them. She does this through her blog and numerous social networking platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, ScoopIt and Google+
For details of publications and further information please see Flea’s University Profile Page.
Flea was Acting Senior Learning Technologist from February 2004 – June 2005 but stepped down as she preferred to have a more ‘hands on’ role. She has previously worked for the Employment Service and UNISON.
Qualifications & Background:
- Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) (2011)
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Plymouth (2008)
- BSc. (Hons) MediaLab Arts, University of Plymouth (2000)
- PreDip Art & Design, Exeter College (1996)
tel: +44 (0)1752 587606
postal address: Room 020, Cookworthy Building, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA
twitter: @fleapalmer and @fobitteam