• What makes a PebblePad Super User Academy, super? 6 great reasons why you might like to attend our next one.

    by Sarah Chesney


What makes a PebblePad Super User Academy, super? 6 great reasons why you might like to attend our next one.

~ Training and Support ~

JULY 15th 2019· by Sarah Chesney

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We had a sunny start to the UK summer as PebblePad ran the third residential Super User Academy in Telford, with 15 delegates representing a variety of UK universities and organisations. Next time we run a Super User Academy we can’t guarantee sun, so here are 6 reasons why we think you need to consider booking onto the next event, no matter what the weather.

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The aim of the Super User Academy (or SUA as it has become known) is to give delegates an opportunity to learn about the more advanced features of our Learning Journey Platform in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Here at PebblePad, we are renowned for running fun developmental days and the SUAs have been no different. Our very first event for super users was an Australian PebblePad MasterClass run in Sydney back in May 2016. Experienced PebblePaddlers from across the country gathered for two days of sharing advanced practice and exploring the functionality of the system at a deeper level. In true PebblePad tradition, there was also fabulous food and time to relax over dinner in great company. In March 2018, two of our intrepid UK Implementation Specialists stepped up to become super facilitators, and designed and delivered the inaugural SUA. Debbie and James were keen to encourage delegates to learn through discovery and used scenario-based practice as a way of structuring group activities.

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A group of people learning and smiling
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Attending a Super User Academy is a chance to brush up your PebblePad skills and learn more about specific features in Pebble+ and ATLAS. We use a PebblePad workbook to guide, scaffold and gather feedback so delegates are using the platform from the moment they arrive.  Being able to link two PebblePad accounts from different organisations allows delegates to continue using the workbook once the SUA is over. Lifelong and lifewide learning? Extracting all you can from each and every experience of your learning journey? That’s what PebblePad is all about. 

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The two days are led by familiar PebblePad faces – Implementation Specialists who are old hands at running CPD workshops and training events.

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The SUAs attract professionals from all types of roles within an institution, but are ideally suited to learning technologists and educational designers supporting staff to use PebblePad, or lecturers responsible for the curriculum design of a programme.  The two days are led by familiar PebblePad faces – Implementation Specialists who are old hands at running CPD workshops and training events. At lunch times there are opportunities to meet developers and some of the support team which seems to be appreciated, with one attendee saying it feels like being part of the PebblePad family. The networking and conversations continue into the evening when we go to our local pub and relax after a hard day of PebblePaddling.  

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The first SUA received such glowing feedback that we have kept the same format with only one or two minor tweaks to the activities and timetable. After introductions on the first morning delegates are split into small groups and each is asked to work on a different teaching and learning scenario. Delegates then present their PebblePad solution to the whole group. As many PebblePad users are aware, there are often multiple ways to design a learning activity in PebblePad and these activities give everyone a chance to share how they solve a conundrum. Through this opportunity to work in a group, delegates get to know each other and find out about the different contexts they work in. Opportunities to share practice and discuss approaches to embedding PebblePad are built into the days, and it is often these informal conversations when ‘aha!’ moments occur. Day 2 focusses on PebblePad implementation so we look at skills for managing change and how to meet your organisation’s training needs There is usually a slot for our CEO, Shane Sutherland, who outlines his vision for the future and shares some of the best practice he’s seen on his travels across the globe.

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We have had some great feedback from delegates which demonstrates the value of the two days and the impact this has had on their use of PebblePad back at their organisation. Two attendees of our most recent event were inspired to blog about their experiences and key takeaways. We’ve included some small snippets below, but we encourage you to read their reflections on the event and their ambitions to share and put into practice the knowledge and insights gained. It’s good to know the SUA has a longer-term impact for delegates – whatever the weather may be during the event!

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The event was brilliantly facilitated by Paul Duvall and Sarah Chesney.  The environment was built for a safe, creative and collaborative space - it really helped me clarify and strengthen my understanding and practice of PebblePad.  The days and night were very relaxed, encouraging lots of quality conversations. I was also able to help others in their development which reinforced my own knowledge.


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It’s the PebblePad way to have conversations with our customers about what we can do to improve. Based on feedback, our next Super User Academy in November 2019 and will allow more time to put into practice what attendees have learnt and we’ll formally build into the timetable a chance for delegates to share examples from their own practice.

The Australian team has been inspired to pick up the baton again and are planning an SUA later in the year for the vibrant and committed Aus community of Paddlers.

We also plan to run a one-day workshop focused on global administration and the more technical aspects of the platform, so watch out for publicity about these opportunities. Camaraderie, cake, and commitment to getting the very best out of our Learning Journey Platform – what’s not to love about that?

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There's no need to commit to anything right now, but if you are interested in attending an event either in the UK or Australia just let us know by clicking on the link below. If you're not sure whether a Super User Academy is the right event for you, we'd recommend you register your interest anyway as one of the friendly PebblePad team will be able to help you decide whether it's worth grabbing a place (you may already be super enough). 


Register your interest

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After reflecting on the 2 days, the super user academy completely exceeded my expectations. It was pitched at exactly the right level for my requirements and the group networking and sharing of practice was invaluable. I really enjoyed feeling a part of, and meeting, the PebblePad team for the duration and have come away with several ideas to share with CIE and embed at the University of Liverpool.


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Sarah has worked in educational and staff development for 13 years; first as a senior lecturer in e-learning at the University of Cumbria, and since then as both a consultant and associate lecturer. Sarah is a keen advocate for using eportfolios for staff development and professional recognition and has written several articles on this topic. The good news for Sarah (and for PebblePad customers) is that she now gets to spend even more of her time innovating in the eportfolio space in her role as an Implementation Specialist.