Digital Economy USRG

Student Digital Champions

So what do the digichamps actually do?

Avatar photoJuly 10, 2013
by Lisa Harris

With many thanks to the film-making wizardry of Simon Morice, the interviewing skills of Flo Broderick and contributions from Gareth Beeston, Renaldo Bernard and Eamonn Walls…this is what the #digichamps do :-)
See more on the Digichamps blog.

It’s been a busy week for the digichamps. Here are Simon Morice and Flo Broderick preparing video from Portus:

And taking to the stage at the Open Day:

Using social media to present about social media…

Avatar photoJuly 4, 2013
by Lisa Harris

#Digichamp Flo Broderick on learning to be a Reporter

Avatar photoApril 26, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Only a month ago I spent my Monday morning at university attending a Digichamps workshop on creating and editing video on smartphones with David Willox and Simon Morice of icmReporting.  After learning about conducting video interviews, we exchanged contact details and a month later I found myself working as a news reporter at Digital Media Europe 2013, a conference organized by WAN-IFRAon digital trends within the media industry.

Given that I had absolutely no experience in reporting, I was somewhat surprised when Simon and David sent me off to interview business leaders with a smartphone, an ALM, a microphone and lights on the first morning of the conference.  However, their simple four question approach and their refreshing confidence in a student’s maturity and capabilities enabled me to conduct 11 video interviews over the three days at 200 Aldersgate in London.

As a digital marketer, I’ve come to value the importance of instantaneous coverage and with the help of the iPhone app, Voddio, I found myself conducting an interview, gathering some B-Roll (video lingo for extra footage), editing the piece and uploading it to YouTube in about 30 minutes.

In order to interview effectively, I was encouraged to listen to all of the presentations some of which focused on themes such as paid-content strategies, digital advertising growth and open data.  My highlights included Matt Gierhart’s (Global Head of Social at Ogilvy Action) insightful presentation on “Stories from the Frontline of Consumerism” and hearing from Andy Wiedlin, Chief Revenue Officer at BuzzFeed who spoke about monetization on their social news platform. Impressed by my smartphone interviews, Simon and David threw me into the deep end asking me to present the conference’s live stream channel interviewing Gierhart.  No second takes, no second chances:

I might be set on a career in digital marketing in the technology sector, however, having the experience as a reporter reminded me that there are other fields I am interested in and that exploring as many sectors as possible whilst you are still in education can be exceptionally useful and rewarding going forwards.  I may even be lucky enough to work at the next WAN-IFRA conference in June in Bangkok (Digital Media Asia 2013). If any other Digichamps or students are interested in working with icmReporting then please email

To see my interviews at #DME13 please check out the icmReporting YouTube channel here.


The 2013 Digital Literacies Conference #sotonMOOC

Avatar photoApril 25, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Written by @garethpbeeston and first published on the #digichamps blog:

The #SotonMOOC conference held today was host to a number of prestigious people from UK businesses and Universities, hoping to debate the challenges involved with building, moderating and launching a MOOC.

The event was kicked off by our very own @HughDavis who spoke about the projects in which @CITESoton is involved with across the University and how we can develop online education to cater to the digital arena. Following this, presentations from @CMSinclair, from Edinburgh University, and @Sheilmcn, from CETIS, gave their thoughts on how MOOCs should be developed and to what extent these challenges play a part in the MOOCs that they each have been involved with.

Many famous faces of the MOOC world enjoyed their well-earned coffee break as they recessed for pastries and hot drinks, provided by the University of Southampton catering department. Lovely grub!


To recommence the event, the #Digichamps, @GarethPBeeston and @RenaldoBLive, took to the floor providing a #DrawMyLife video on how the Digichamps came to be and how they can help staff around the University to become more digitally literate. Following on from this were two amazing sessions which focused on various projects around the University that are involved with digital literacies and the use of Web tools for an engaging and enthralling experience online.


A session on “Cool Social Media Tools” was conducted after the presentations that showed us how plugins on @Wordpress can provide an increase in functionality and interactivity on various sites involved with research, education and business. @katieonthetweet, another #Digichamp, also presented an inspiring presentation on an app that allows for the coordination of class recordings, richer media, timetables, notes and support for students at University.

The mixture of cool social tools carefully led onto a session conducted by Prof. @mweller from the Open University. This presentation was streamed online via a Google Hangout, showing practically the extent of the use of Web tools within education. This fantastic presentation inspired many around the room giving a great insight into the running of #H8170Open and Open Educational Resources through MOOCs.

Garf and Renaldo
#Digichamps Presenting

After the lunch break, many delegates took part in a break-out session where various people would debate on the certain challenges, strengths and affordances involved with the creation, development, maintenance and distribution of content and MOOCs themselves. These included using video for further engaging tools, staying safe online and awesome apps in the classroom.

A final presentation to close the event was performed by Mark Lester, who is currently the Head of Strategy & Development at the Open University and a member of the Executive Team @FutureLearn (an initiative to drive open learning on the Web).

Many of the delegates were engaged, inspired and satisfied with an all-round successful event organised by our very own @LisaHarris and @FionaJHarvey. Many thanks to the digichamps, video teams and all delegates were announced to close the event. We wish everybody every success in creating their online learning tools and courses in the future.

Digital Literacy Workshops

Avatar photoFebruary 27, 2013
by Lisa Harris

Fiona Harvey and myself have a number of workshops coming up over the next few weeks that may be of interest to staff and students – more information and booking links are here

These are informal sessions with coffee and cake and all are welcome 


Meet the Student Digital Champions

December 19, 2012
by Farahnoosh Berahman

Digital Champions are a group of enthusiastic students who are supporting staff and fellow students with new digital products and services.

Get more information about the Digital Champions’ activities by liking the Facebook page

If you are interested in becoming a Digital Champion please feel free to get in touch and join our Facebook group

And check out our video!

Meet the Digital Champions:

George ‘Gigi’ Georgiev

George Georgiev

George has studied MSc Digital Marketing, BSc Management, and went to a Spanish high school.

He is interested in advertising, art, video games, politics, martial arts, media, history, scuba diving, Football (fanatic fan of Barcelona), Italian cuisine lover (but a terrible chef!)

Twitter: @Good_boy113


Ivan Melendez

Ivan Melendez

Ivan is a Japanese speaking Mexican who recently graduated from the MSc in Knowledge and Information Systems Management at the University of Southampton. He has been involved in different projects regarding the use of social media in live events and his passions are reading, music and photography

Twitter: @IvanMelendezCh


Amir Arya Arjmand

Amir Arya Arjmand

Amir is a graduate in MSc Web Technology from the University of Southampton. He has done his BSc in Information Technology Engineering. His general research interest is on Web Sciences especially Semantic Web and Social Networks. He loves finding new friends, taking photos in nature, and as a technology geek, he enjoys trying out new Web services.

Amir, among other things, refers to himself as a strategic manager precisely, an e-business planner. He has over nine years of work experience and enjoys being Digital Champion.

Twitter: @amir_arya


Personal Website:

Katie Spires

Katie Spires

Katie is a Web Science PhD student, looking into the use of mobile technology to help students with dyslexia access higher education. She has a master’s degree in Web Science and a degree in Education.

Katie is currently helping a University in London with their deployment of iPads. She is particularly interested in teaching and helping both students and academics with digital literacy skills and the use of technology in the Classroom specifically higher education.

Twitter: @katieonthetweet


Personal Website:

Nader Tibi

Nader Tibi

Nader is currently doing an MSc in Digital Marketing. He has a BSc in Marketing with six years of work experience in Healthcare Marketing. Nader likes to keep up with the latest in marketing, technology, and electronic entertainment industries. He is also a fan and a practitioner of sports, music, and photography.

Twitter: @ntibi04


Evi Sopasi

Evi Sopasi

Evi studies MSc Digital Marketing, and is interested in marketing and social media. For Evi joining the Digital Champions is an opportunity to broaden her horizons, gain new experience, and therefore gain more self-confidence concerning the field of her studies and the digital world in general.

Twitter: @ESopasi


Nikoletta Toumazatou


Nikoletta studied BSc in Marketing and Advertising. She is currently studying MSc in Digital Marketing at the University of Southampton. Nikoletta is passionate about new technologies, social media and their potentials.

She is interested in sharing data by using interactive forms of communication, and fascinated by online marketing and this ‘brand new’ approach of businesses to interact and communicate with their customers.

Nikoletta is very excited about travelling around the world and to broaden her horizons by getting along with people, understanding their cultures, attitudes, and habits.

Twitter: @speckidea


Florence Broderick

Florence Broderick

Florence studies French, Spanish and European Studies. The European Studies part has allowed her to take modules in a wide range of disciplines including management and politics. During her year abroad period in Madrid, she was fortunate enough to work with two different start-ups (Ditit and Timpik) in an accelerator programme called Start-up Boot camp. In this time she became particularly interested in social media and email marketing. She is a keen cricketer and an absolute foodie.

Twitter: @FloBroderick


Nipawan Charoensuksai

Nipawan Charoensuksai

Nipawan is currently studying MSc Digital Marketing with the background in Marketing and interest in social media. She is fascinated by how peoples’ behaviour changes over time and the impact that it poses to business sector. Nipawan believes that the future of marketing is digital marketing and there will be no boundaries between online and offline aspects, and everything is blending together more and more.

Twitter: @NipawanCh


Farahnoosh Berahman

Farahnoosh Berahman

MSc  in Human Resource Management, and the dissertation was about the ways in which the popularity of social networking websites has influenced the recruitment strategy of employers.

She is interested in how technology has improved the ways in which people communicate with each other. She believes that Social Media can enable companies build a two-way relationship with their stakeholders and therefore gain a competitive advantage.

Twitter: @farnooshbr


Maraim Elbadri

Maraim Elbadri

Maraim is a fourth year MEng computer Science student. Her major interests are social media, specially its impact on people’s behaviour, open education and politics. She has been involved in many societies and projects in web and social developments. Her passions are reading, learning languages, photography, sustainability and exploring other cultures.
Twitter: @maraimmasoud

My experience as a Digital Champion at Random Hacks of Kindness (#RHoKSoton)

December 4, 2012
by Farahnoosh Berahman

Random Hacks of Kindness was a delightful experience for the Digital Champions. Before the event we met twice to learn more about #RHoK, our tasks, and technologies that we were not familiar with, and that we were supposed to use during this social hacking weekend.

Ivan (@IvanMelendezCh) was responsible for managing the Digital Champions and arranging the meet ups before the event, to let us know about the required tasks and technologies used during the weekend. He suggested that we make a Google account, so that we could use Google docs to share information about the essentials proposed by the organiser of #RhoKSoton, Dirk Gorissen(@elazungu). Google Hangouts is used for communicating with all the other #RHoK people all over the world. We practiced using it in case hackers needed help with Google hangouts and then we could be able to assist.

In contrast to the previous events that the Digital Champions participated in, we formalised the way videos were produced, recorded and uploaded. We assigned the tasks of recording and editing to specific people. Ivan was responsible for editing and uploading the videos on the #RHoKsoton Youtube channel. Furthermore, he was responsible for uploading all of our photos on the #RHoKSoton Flickr

Amir (@amir_arya) was the only person responsible for tweeting from the main account of #RHoKSoton, as well as his own account. Additionally, he made a really beautiful Instagram photo gallery during the two days of this event.

I (@farnooshbr) was responsible for tweeting, taking the videos, photos and interviewing the organisers and sponsors of the event. I also helped each team make a one minute video about their project and the outcomes of it, as shown in Lisa’s Storify

Nikoletta Toumazatou(@speckidea), Nader Tibi(@ntibi04), and Evi Sopasi(@ESopasi) were responsible for taking photos, tweeting, and supporting people with the use of devices (yes, in a room full of hackers you might need support with technology).

In general, this event could be considered as one of the most successful events aided by the Digital Champions. Our social media activity was highly regarded by the main organisers of this global movement. We discovered some areas of opportunity, for example if all the Digital Champions could gain video editing skills, our presence could become even more helpful.

Note from Lisa – yes we are planning a #digichamp video editing workshop :-)

Here is Dirk’s summary of the event.

Random Hacks of Kindness Event: 1st – 2nd December at University of Southampton #rhoksoton

Avatar photoNovember 26, 2012
by Lisa Harris

Dirk Gorissen from Engineering is running this weekend’s Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) event in the University of Southampton Mountbatten Building (53). It takes place in the Common Room on Level 3.

A RHoK (founded by Google, Microsoft, Nasa, and others) is all about bringing domain experts, programmers, and makers together for a weekend in order to solve problems related to humanity and international development.The University of Southampton will be one of the satellite cities as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness Event

RHoK are an awesome way to learn something new, test your skills, meet new people, and do something for the good of the world. For more details about how they work see this post.

The event will be supported by the Student Digital Champions led by Ivan Melendez.

Registration Deadline:
Friday, November 30. Get your tickets via Eventbrite
Reception: Friday, November 30, 2012 6pm in the Trago Lounge, 190-192 Portswood Road, Southampton. ‎

You can read Dirk’s report of the previous RHoK event here


Saturday, December 1st

9:00am – Welcome & problem statement presentations
10am – Form groups and hackathon begins
12:00 – Lunch
Presentation by Mark Lunney from the London Google Developer Group
Presentation by Jack Townsend form CleanWebUK
Presentation by Justing MacKinnon, founder of crisismappersUK
5:30pm – Team status reports
6pm – Pizza
Hackathon continues until 11pm

Sunday, December 2nd

8am – Doors open
9am – Breakfast
10am – Team status report
12pm – Pizza
3:00pm – Hackathon ends & judging begins
5:00pm – Judging completed & prizes awarded.




Social Media Tips and Tricks 05.12.2012

Do you have something really useful to share that you and your colleagues can benefit from? Perhaps a new tool or application that helps you to organise your work, or simplify your life? Then this event is for you.

How about Mail Chimp,, Evernote, Mendeley, Creating Infographics…??? These are a few of the topics that have been volunteered by students so far. I’m sure there are lots more!

4pm to 6pm on 5th December in the Student Union downstairs bar (Building 42)

Register here for your free ticket

The idea is that we race through a series of short talks (5 mins max) and then move on to demo/poster mode for the second part of the event. Here you can find out more in a small group or one to one setting about the specific tips and tricks that you found interesting in the first part.

Curriculum Innovation, Workshops and the #Digichamps

Avatar photoNovember 16, 2012
by Lisa Harris

We are running a number of informal workshops as preparation for our new Living and Working on the Web Curriculum Innovation module which starts in February. Each workshop represents a key chunk of module material and the content and exercises are being developed and tested in these workshops with the direct support of the Student Digital Champions (#Digichamps)
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