Category Archives: Events and Conferences

ALIA National 2016 Conference Highlights


The ALIA National 2016 Conference was one of our most highly anticipated events of the year. Held in Adelaide from Monday, August 29 to Friday, September 2, 2016, the conference had tons of interesting keynotes, programs and workshops tailored for librarians, information technicians, educators, and other library professionals.

Check out what parts of the conference caught our eye below.  Continue reading

BETT 2016 Highlights Part 1: STEM and Social Media


The BETT Show—formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show—is an annual trade show in the United Kingdom showcasing the use of information technology in education. This year it was a unique experience, comprising four days of education technology innovations and inspirations from around the world.  Continue reading

Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 Highlights

By Virginia — When the Digitales team went to the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, they discovered that today is an exciting time to create digital content. Read the event highlights below.


Every year, the ‘Hot Spot’ digital zones at the Frankfurt Book Fair grow, creating new opportunities for discovery. Each of the following offered a daily program of demonstrations and talks:

  • Digital Innovation
  • Education
  • Professional and Scientific Information
  • Publishing Services

Continue reading

Mini Make Day #2

Melbourne Library Service held their first Mini Make Day in April at the beautiful Library at the Dock. It was a lot of fun, and left the makers of Melbourne wanting more. Mini Make Day #2 was held on Sunday, October 25, and this time they had two floors! Jennifer from Digitales was there, and here is her report.

On the ground floor there was an exhibition space where people could meet some of Melbourne’s makers and hackers:

  • Footscray Maker Lab showed off their HUGE robotic arm and some tech-enhanced art installations. They shared their table with a local ceramicist, showcasing some beautiful vases and cups.
  • Connected Community Hackerspace, A.K.A. my second home. We had a few items on display including an ambient temperature sensor, an Oculus Rift virtual reality helmet and the Eggbot, a computer-controlled robot that writes on table tennis balls. Our member Sarah demonstrated her knitting machine:

  • Nodebots brought along (among other things) a Mirobot, a robot with a pen attached that draws shapes as it drives around a piece of paper.

Mirobot Tweet

  • XYZ Workshop helped spread the 3D printing love with a 3D printed dress and their Ultimaker printer.
  • Girl Geek Academy had a fabulous pink 3D printer and some 3D printed jewellery on display.

GGA Tweet

Upstairs there were more stalls including:

Along with the exhibition spaces, the talks and workshops were a big part of the day:

  • Paul Mignone talked about how 3D printing is being used is scientific research.
  • Connected Community Hackerspace members ran soldering tutorials throughout the day.
  • Melbourne Library Service’s children’s librarians ran programs for kids aged 5-12 on making paper circuits using copper foil, and cute creatures with blinking LED eyes.

I spent most of my day running a wearable electronics workshop, where we made and programmed heart-shaped brooches with embedded LEDs that flash in a heartbeat pattern:

Heart Brooch

Many thanks to Gil “The Kosher Tony Stark” Poznanski from Melbourne Library Service for organising this fantastic event. It looks like he had a great time too!

Mini Make Day: Library’s State-of-the-Art Makerspace

Last Sunday, Melbourne Library Service’s Library at the Dock held its first Mini Make Day: a chance for Melbourne’s maker community to show off, and for the public to learn about what’s going on around town in robotics and electronics, 3D printing, costume making and computer games.

Nodebots Table

Some great organisations showed up from all corners of Melbourne:

Scred + GGA Tables

And of course, the Library’s state-of-the-art makerspace was on show as well. I was there with CCHS, and would say the day was a big success. The library was packed!

The Crowd

Some people were already into DIY technology, and some were just curious to see what this whole maker thing is all about. It was a pleasure to talk to them all, and to see everyone’s excitement at experiencing some new technologies for the first time. People got to try out motion-detecting interactive art, a virtual reality headset, and a full body 3D scanner, amongst other things. I got to try out a Google Glass for the first time, but let’s just say it’s not made for people who wear glasses already…

Jen with Glass

Overall Mini Make Day was lots of fun, and I look forward to the next one.

If you’re not in Melbourne and would like to learn more about the maker movement, check out your local Hackerspace, library makerspace or Men’s Shed, and get making!

CCHS Table

Digitales at BETT 2015

Edward inside an interactive classroom at BETT 2015

BETT 2015 was an impressive display of current and emerging technologies. Robots, 3D simulation, immersive classrooms and the newest hardware, software and online resources were visible as far as the eye could see. As usual, the Digitales team carefully scrutinised one exhibit after another to source the most innovative and engaging digital content.  As well as developing new supply chains, we attended learning technology workshops and gleaned updates from our favourite developers.

Watch this space to hear about new and exciting online resources coming to Australia via Digitales soon.

Maya trying out immersive products


BETT 2015


Digitales at BETT 2015

Stuart Andrews has some great take-homes on his site

Robots are Cool

If you’re looking for a way to engage young people in computing, think robots. It doesn’t matter whether you’re plugging an iPod touch into the cheeky, caterpillar-tracked Romo, running Lego elephants and wheels with Lego Mindstorms or connecting a robot claw to the Raspberry Pi; there’s something amazing and instantly exciting about watching something physical respond to the code you’re putting in. Robots encourage logical thinking and planning, and they’re just as much fun when something goes wrong as when everything goes right.

The Basics Matter

Controlling the classroom, monitoring device and internet use, marking and assessment, administration tasks.

When hardware and software developers take the time to make the basics easier, teachers appreciate it and want the products. It gives them more time to think about how they can use the more exciting tech in class

Real and Digital Worlds Combine to Create Blended Reality

Elsewhere at Bett, other software and hardware developers were looking at ways to mix the real and digital to enhance learning, while 3D printing has potential as a way to bring the digital objects into the real world. We’re only just beginning to grasp the potential of all this stuff. There’s a whole world of innovation yet to come.

Great Things Happen When Real and Digital Worlds Combine

HP talked about a vision for Blended Reality, where real-world books, objects and materials combine with digital content to give students a range of approaches to learning. It also showed how virtual objects could be explored and manipulated within education.

BETT 2014 Conference Highlights


In January this year, the DES team were immersed in digital stand alone and online content at the BETT 2014 Conference in London.  The content covered primary, secondary and higher education, as well as workplace learning and development.  BETT 2014 had more content than ever before. With a jam-packed programme, 3 bespoke CPD accredited Summits, 6 Learn Live theatres and a whole host of networking and fringe activity.


DES favourites Busythings, 10 Monkeys, Oddizzi, Langaroo, Literacy Planet and Ransom had new content available for interactive demonstrations, and we also had the opportunity to contract many great new resources that reinforce the value of storytelling to engage readers and learners of all ages.

The speed learning sessions were effective.  Each session of eight tables started with an ‘expert’ introduction of 10 minutes.  A team leader managed each table with all participants moving every 10 minutes.  Topics varied from the use of VideoScribe as a workplace learning tool to raising standards in writing.  There were ‘takeaways’ to review further rather than in-depth outcomes from the two sessions per day.


The importance of social tools for learning came out of many sessions and the effectiveness of Twitter to ‘learn the new’ was highlighted.  Additional BETT Summit sessions had a strong focus on behavioural change, content curation tools and reinforcing the ‘network as more important than the node’.

Every minute of the conference was valuable, whether engaging with interactive content or just having the opportunity to actively listen.  We look forward to sharing some of our new online resources with you in the near future.