In this HE holiday season I thought I would share the rest of my impressions from the wonderful Education in a Changing Environment conference that I went to at the University of Salford, now almost 4 weeks ago!
Learning by Walking
I really enjoyed a very unusual and quite exciting workshop called “Using the urban to span the boundaries between diverse disciplines: Drama Education and Business Management” by Clive Holtham and Allan Owens from the University of Chester. The first thing the presenters jokingly said at the workshop was that really they wanted to call the workshop “Learning by walking” but this might not be academic enough for a conference paper.
Learning by walking is an innovative approach to promoting curiosity, creativity and more critical reflection based on the technique called dérive, which was developed by Guy Debord, a French Marxist and leading member of the Situationists, a political and artistic movement.
“Seeing a familiar area anew or making an unfamiliar area familiar is one of the ways in which new insights are generated. Stimulus arises not only from oral interaction but also includes silence and reflection. Dériving leads participants to talk about the experiences with others who have not been involved. “
Employability, professional and digital presence and networking
I was interested to see that there was a lot going on to enable students to develop a professional and digital presence that could be maintained after graduation.
Joanna Bailey, Learning and Teaching Coordinator from the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University presented Kingston Futures, a website to help students understand more about the choices available to them as they complete their course. Kingston Futures aims to make explicit the ways in which students can move in to their chosen career or discipline area.
The website also included student profiles that enable students from the Faculty to upload their own image, personal summary and web links. This makes students visible as well as allowing them to see what others on their course, and across the Faculty, go on to do. The idea is to enable the creation of a networking community and make student profiles visible to for example employers.
Another really useful presentation that I went to was by Alex Fenton from University of Salford, who developed Creative hives. It is a supported, ad free tool to showcase professional work, open access, so take a look at: http://creativehive.org/
“The purpose of The Hive was to allow students to curate their own professional digital identity during and after their studies to form a lifelong learning web 2.0 community. The system provides ways for people to interface with and promote their existing online offerings including Facebook, Blogspot, WordPress, Youtube and Twitter. The system was designed to work with any web browser on any device including mobiles. The Hive forms a central and searchable pool of ideas and connections. As members add text, photos, video or other media, it appears within their own personal web spaces and on the central Hive website. In addition to the website, The Hive had a presence in the virtual world of Second Life. This 3D immersive space is a combination of mixed media derived from the projects added by members to The Hive website. As projects and information were added to The Hive, they automatically appeared in the Second Life space.” See the full paper
Pecha Kucha – visual presentations
I was impressed with the Pecha Kucha format of many of the presentations and one lesson learned is that 6 min 40 secs is longer than you think and you can get messages across.
Further information to explore:
You can access the Programme at http://www.ece.salford.ac.uk/?s=the-programme
Slides from ECE 11 shared at: http://www.slideshare.net/ECESalford