Category Archives: Ravensbourne

Higher Education Academy Art, Design, Media Creative Learning and Teaching Day

Last Thursday I went to the HEA Art, Design, Media Creative Learning and Teaching Day at Ravensbourne.  This was a well attended event that was the first chance to get involved in wider discussions about government polices and the forthcoming education cuts and rise in student fees. But it was also a chance to see the sort of initiatives taken by individuals and higher education institutions in art, design, media creative learning. A brief overview of the event can be seen in the following video.

 

[pro-player image=http://www.timrileydigital.com/phddiary/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/HEA_logo.jpg width=’465′ height=’291′ type=’video’]http://vimeo.com/33503530[/pro-player]

 

The early morning keynote presentation was given by former NUS President, Aaron Porter, who is now a freelance journalist & higher education consultant. His presentation (below) used statistical data to analyse and show the current state of HE and then to present the (mainly) negatives and positives of the proposed changes to education funding.

 

[pro-player width=’465′ height=’291′ type=’video’]http://vimeo.com/33684129[/pro-player]

 

There were many parallel sessions through out the day so it was impossible to see all the presentations but one notable and memorable presentation that I managed to see was by James Corazzo, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, University of Derby, who put forward the rather provocative statement “Sometimes the best teaching is no teaching at all”. Although on the surface this could be seen as self-defeating James showed that empowering students to use their initiative could be very creatively productive. It reminded me of the ideas of the American adult educator, Malcolm Knowles, in the 1970s and his ideas of self-directed learning that he called ‘andragogy’.

The day’s conference culminated in a keynote presentation by Pro-Vice-Chancellor of  University of Brighton, Professor Bruce Brown who gave a speech that followed the history of creativity and learning from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the present day. (below).

 

[pro-player width=’465′ height=’291′ type=’video’]http://vimeo.com/33489589[/pro-player]

Mozilla Festival at Ravensbourne

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been involved in teaching some first year under-graduate students at Ravensbourne over the last few weeks. This has taken the form of the introduction to and production of WordPress websites.

Part of this project was linked in with the Mozilla Festival which took place at Ravensbourne over the weekend. Students were asked to prepare WordPress sites ready to use and for filling with content over the course of the festival. It was heartening to see the multi-disiplinary groups of students firstly grapple with the new software and concept of content management systems and then steam ahead with innovative ways of using it.  Some implementing live feeds and others procured sponsorship and deals with local businesses.

Each team chose a different subject to cover and during the weekend they filmed interviews, edited videos, wrote articles and constantly updated their site with content from the festival. I went along on the Saturday to observe and take in the festival. The project was a very good example of collaboration, networking, pooling skills and resource as well as learning how to work as a team.

Their sites are available here to view:

Ravezilla: audio and video innovation
Children and Education
Mozilla Gaming
Journewlism

Teaching WordPress at Ravensbourne

I’ve been using WordPress since my MA in 2007. It had nothing to do with my studies apart from the fact that it was open-source software and a subject I was covering in one of the modules. I was intrigued to know more about it. I’ve since built and worked on about 10 sites and used it as part of the case study for the Social Media book chapter I’ve just completed. Indeed this diary uses WordPress. It’s so customisable and can be used, amongst other things, to collaborate online and as a content management system. It’s a good example of a data mashup in that it takes data from many different sources and integrates it one site.

It is now being used widely at Ravensbourne College as a way of getting content creation students quickly up and running and using a website to collaborate and create content as a team. This gives them the opportunity to get going, creating content without the need to spend weeks designing and coding a website. Over the last three days I’ve been teaching first year students how to use it. But first I gave them two lectures. The first was an introduction to the Internet and Web and the definitions and practices of Web 2.0. It’s surprising how many don’t know the difference between the Internet and the Web. The second (below) is intended as a bit of background before using WordPress. It describes open-source software and gives examples and definitions.

I spent three days with them and generally there was a very positive response to the use of it.