MiniBash 2022: Tales from an uplifting celebration

by Jodie Young


MiniBash 2022: Tales from an uplifting celebration

~ PebblePad Conference ~

JUNE 22nd 2022· by Jodie Young



Wednesday June 15th 2022 will be a day that will be long remembered by those of us in Team PebblePad who were privileged enough to attend our MiniBash event. Held in Birmingham at The Studio – a wonderfully bright and accommodating venue -  almost 100 of our wonderful community joined the PebblePad team in celebrating all things Pebblegogically-inspired. After being unable to meet for our planned 2020 PebbleBash in Edinburgh, we were incredibly excited to get together at this one-day event. Indeed coming together and reconnecting was a prominent theme of the day – and a reminder that making connections is something that PebblePad is all about! Our trailblazing community of passionate educators and learning designers is always at the heart of everything we do at PebblePad and it was a genuine delight to be able to welcome our guests to this event. It really did feel like coming home to the space that really matters, occupied by the people who continually inspire us to keep building a better PebblePad. A home full of stories and learnings and sharing the reflections on the journey (no need to wonder why this felt so familiar!). And for me personally, having travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia to attend the event, it was an amazing opportunity to hear firsthand about some of the wonderful PebblePad implementations happening in the UK.

The PebblePad Team at MiniBash 2022

The PebblePad Team at MiniBash 2022

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"To change the way learning is designed, experienced and assessed"

CEO Shane Sutherland set the scene for the day, talking about Enterprise-wide and Experience-wide Implementations of PebblePad. He reminded us of the PebblePad mission: To change the way learning is designed, experienced and assessed, and it was incredibly gratifying throughout the day to see that vision come to life through the many stories of exceptional practice shared by our guest presenters. We had four informative and deeply thoughtful sessions in which talented practitioners from 10 organisations across Higher Ed and related sectors shared their ambitions, challenges and successes in using PebblePad to make a difference to their learning, teaching and assessment practice. These sessions covered the following themes:

  • Expert Session 1: University-wide Initiatives
  • Expert Session 2: Professional Uses
  • Expert Session 3: Student Success
  • Expert Session 4: Learner Journeys

We’ll be aiming to bring you as many of these stories as we can over coming months, so keep your eyes peeled.

These sessions were supplemented by stories from the PebblePad team – sharing news of our growth and plans for the future, glimpses into the development of the product and highlights of our Learning Services offerings. Throwing in opportunities to ‘build your own dashboard’, get a sneak peek at the newest release before it’s released and to road test our PebblePocket enhancements, made it a day of engagement and collaboration, and was a true reflection of all that we here at PebblePad strive to provide for our users.

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There were super customer presentations and sessions from Product, UX/D, Engineering, Learning Services - and 'keynotes' from two end users who between them have 25 years combined PebblePad experience.

Shane Sutherland, CEO and Chief Mischief Maker

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Some reflections from the team

I wanted to finish this post by sharing some thoughts and observations from some of the PebblePad staff who attended the day. From veterans of many Bash events to first-timers, there was a real sense that attending this event for all of us reminded us again of why it is what we do and how exciting it is to be able to see the real difference that PebblePad can make. First, from our CEO, Shane Sutherland:

“For me, it was wonderful to watch everything just happen. We witnessed some excellent presentations, from some very persuasive speakers. There were people talking about relatively small, but highly impactful practice which was changing people's lives; people talking about whole of university implementations - and one speaker who talked about PebblePad being his protection from PTSD. Powerful stuff.

We saw 200-page workbooks, heard about multiple universities teaming up in a co-design project, had an inspiring (and longest ever clap yielding) presentation from Christa and John. We had our principles lauded (open, dialogic, iterative, incremental and student driven) and a favourite old word came back to the fore #Pebblegogy.”
Shane Sutherland, CEO & CMM (Chief Mischief Maker)

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Someone simply said 'I want to do all of this' to every example of practice shared.

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“Newbie time - the attendance was a reflection on everything we do. And there's also so much good practice out there. Someone simply said 'I want to do all of this' to every example of practice shared. The range of diverse uses for PebblePad across our customers shows we can't make one thing, one button, one method. The variety of uses is what brings PebblePad alive for our customers and makes it theirs. And yet underneath it all is that pebblegogy that drives innovation, creative teaching learning and assessment, and enthusiasm for PebblePad the company, people and product.

PebblePad teaches people how to teach, and rewards them with learning - that's very cool.”
Matt Jenner, Head of Product

I still can't decide what my favourite part was... All of the use cases were massively inspiring and eye-opening as to how many different ways PebblePad can be implemented. How could I not mention Mark's workshop on the Dashboard Rebuild? Everyone was so involved and there were so many great ideas and some real key insights into what was most important to each individual and as a whole (with a fair few animated and passionate discussions along the way too).
Rachel Ward, Product Manager

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"For me, it's all about creativity..."

But perhaps we should leave the last word to some of our attendees - the people who take this wonderful Learning Journey Platform we’re so proud of and make the magic happen.

People said they were "emotional to be back together again", "inspired by so many wonderful ideas", "it feels like a family reunion", and from a couple of delegates I spoke to when I asked if they had had a good day: " 'good' doesn't come anywhere near it! We are bursting with ideas and enthusiasm and can't wait to get back and get going".

It seems that we’re clearly doing something right – and that is something we’re very determined to continue.

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Jodie Young is Content Manager here at PebblePad. An experienced educator, talented writer, and a genius at simplifying the complicated, Jodie spends her days planning, crafting and publishing content for the PebblePad community and wider higher education audiences. Outside of work, Jodie is a published poet and can occasionally be spotted performing at open mic events around her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. To the disappointment of some of her colleagues, she avoids employing rhyme in her copy but her expert stamp is still recognisable on many of our hugely popular publications.