Nogbad’s Education

May 24, 2008

SociaLearn

Filed under: LCC, Teaching and learning — Tags: , , , — nogbad @ 15:20
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On the SociaLearn blog Martin has kicked off a meme about scenarios using web 2.0 technologies for teaching and learning. I’m currently playing with ideas about a module to introduce year one Media and Communications undergraduates to the web and how they might us it – this is for the London College of Communications, part of The University for the Arts, London. Previously I’ve done something with third year students where they’ve kept blogs as learning journals and created a wiki-based group project. Within this structure each group researched around the topics of online community and/or online identity and, working within the technical constraints of PBWiki, have produced some wonderful work. The way we’ve worked is that we have a main wiki which grows each week as we have a face to face session. From there each group member has a wiki page and from there they link to their own blog and also to their group work. The group wiki from earlier this year is available at http://lccspring.pbwiki.com and autumn’s group is at http://lccmedia.pbwiki.com.The plan now is to move from year three to year one and to assume (even) less technical competence, these guys are media students rather than technology students so they use Facebook and MySpace and MSN and Google Mail but without engaging with what makes it all hang together. Thus the objectives include exploring the web and what it can offer, developing reflection and group working and critically assessing a range of online technologies and how they might be used.

In one of those coincidences which suggest synchronicity I’ve just seen an art MA piece in the centre of Maidstone. Stavros Gangos is an MA student at UCCA Maidstone and his work is on display in an empty shop in the Fremlins Walk shopping centre. It’s a moving piece based on his discovery of the South Shields mining area where his grandfather lived and worked – it includes three films showing scenes of the area and two sound clips; one of his grandfather being interviewed about mining during the second World War and another of coal sliding down a chute (this brief, non-arts based description really doesn’t do it justice).

The idea I’ve been playing with for the first year group is also based on “place”. It first came from loc.alize.us where there are photos around Northbrook College in Worthing. It shows a disparate collection of images linked only by that physical location – my favourite is the monochrome portrait of someone’s grandfather which sits next to an image of abstract art created at the college. I’m thinking of setting a task where small groups of students, three or four in each group, create a wiki about a place in London while keeping individual blogs for reflection on the process. I’m not thinking about any of the big places in London, not the cliches, unless the work can offer a different perspective. I expect the output to be a piece of work which combines sound, video and text collected in situ and found on the web. It might compare historical images with the present day, it might discuss changes in the use of buildings and the demographic nature of the area, it might find interesting sights or buildings which are otherwise lost in the welter of traffic in town – somewhere like Shepherd’s Market for instance, or Hoxton or around Elephant and Castle (that’s where the college is based).

I want it, the project to add something new about a specific place, to create images and video and to perhaps use YouTube and Flickr to store resources brought into the wiki and also to reuse existing resources in a sensible way. This is to demonstrate the way the web works culturally and will (hopefully) move these students from being passive consumers to contributors.

This is still in the planning stage and is very much “work in progress” so if anyone has any ideas to add please do so. I’ve done a Seesmic thing (is it a tweet?) to go with this

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