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Digitally Engaged Learning Conference 14-15 September 2017 – Central Saint Martins

February 23, 2017 in Conferences, Events, News

del-logo-2017

 

DEL (Digitally Engaged Learning) is an international conference exploring and evolving digitally engaged teaching and learning in art and design Higher Education. The conference has been set up to encourage practitioners and educators from creative disciplines to share, harness and critique digital tools and spaces. The conference welcomes individuals and groups across all creative disciplines, working in roles including instructors, lecturers, researchers, support staff, instructional designers and technicians. There are opportunities to share and discuss emerging forms of pedagogy, digital art and design practice, and research. Participants are invited to submit to the open access, peer reviewed Spark Journal, which promotes new thinking around teaching and learning in the creative disciplines. http://www.designsonelearning.net/ #DEL17

This year the Conference is themed ‘Teaching Making / Making Teaching’, the conference seeks to explore creative practices and processes of teaching with digital technology. Calls for proposals end April 2017. There are a number of submission formats. Please click here to find out more: http://www.designsonelearning.net/submission-guidelines/

DEL 17 is a partnership with The New School, University of the Arts London (UAL), Penn State University and Texas State University. The conference will be hosted at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 14-15 September 2017.

Inclusive Teaching & Learning Unit: Gender – Part 2

February 14, 2017 in Inclusive Teaching & Learning

Part 2 – A response to reading “Understanding Patriarchy” by Bell Hooks

I learned quite a lot from reading this text, just from visualising the scenarios from Bell Hooks’ childhood highlighted that I have understood and recognised Patriarchy for many years. However I did not necessarily know how to label it with this definition as eloquently has Hooks has.

Acceptable and unacceptable Patriarchy:

I was able to relate the various scenarios Hooks talks the reader through with my own experiences of understanding Patriarchy. For example, it reminded me of speaking to a friend who’s male cousin had committed suicide and how their family members got uncomfortable talking about this young, male adult with depression (a large contribution to his suicide). On the flipside, my friend’s family deemed it absolutely fine to speak about the same (depression) to do with a female within their family, and better yet, openly speak about this female’s mental health at public gatherings to mock them or define them as weak. This was not to do with age / generations / or traditions in culture, my friend was confused and surprised by the vast range of family members that acted out their patriarchy towards both situations. It is very similar to the story Hooks described when her father angrily told her to stop playing with marbles and her mother almost said ‘I told you so’ after telling Bell quietly to stop playing the marbles

Familiarity is a big friend to Patriarchy:

Again, reading through this text made me think about how I’ve challenged my own review of situations and environments, as those I’ve experienced over the years have broadened. For example, I have grown up visiting India regularly and I can remember the first time I saw two adult heterosexual, male members of my family, walking down the street in Kolkata holding hands, thinking to myself ‘that is uncomfortable to look at’. Now I see it so many times I think the familiarity has taken away the ‘weird’ factor for me, but if I saw that same scene in my home town of Leicester, I would (for a split second) have that uncomfortable feeling return to me – and then think, why? Is it out of fear of local people’s reactions to this scene more than my own? Why is it not ‘weird’ if I see the same in London? Is it because I am familiar with seeing people feeling more open about their gender and sexuality in public (in London) compared to Leicester? Bell Hooks paraphrases some content in her text from  ‘How Can I Get Through to You?’ by family therapist Terence Real, in which his sons decided between themselves and their friends, what was appropriate for boys to play. A stern look – body language – communicated that ‘play’ did not include dressing up as a Barbie doll. With this in mind I wonder if I ever received such communication growing up in majority amongst friends in the UK, which embedded patriarchy in me, almost as if it was through a ‘reality facade’.

Having read this text, overall I believe it is always good to reflect on your decisions to design or make a choice that affects others and keep this understanding of patriarchy in mind to who we want it to benefit. I do wonder if, in today’s global society are we largely having struggles internally about gender and patriarchy, as well as acting out our struggles externally? I suspect the internal struggle will always exist to a degree, but I do wonder, can societies ever become fully ex-patriarchic, or fully dispel taboos that any one person might feel towards gender fluid behaviours in themselves and in others around them? I am hopeful that more understanding can be developed at the very least.

Inclusive Teaching & Learning Unit: Gender – Part 1

February 14, 2017 in Inclusive Teaching & Learning

Looking at the ‘Student Diversity at UAL‘ webpage, I started to ponder on how I would answer those 3 questions provided in our brief. It’s a pretty overwhelming page as it’s filled with a lot of information, though it is all useful. As a female, British Indian, Dyslexic student myself, I did wonder how a student would cope with looking at all of this with regards to Intersectionality.

Whether I am interpreting this brief correctly or thoroughly enough, I am not sure, but here goes:

  • How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?

I was intrigued by the small little ‘Supporting transgender students‘ blog page. I thought it contained useful information (albeit simple) that would be good to include on the university’s main website so that everyone visiting the website would know that teachers at UAL have an awareness.

In particular, I think  that the link provided to ‘Gendered Intelligence‘ is an essential form of training for teachers to undertake. From my own experience of working in UAL’s Disability Service I think it is hugely important to continue refreshing your awareness of Disability, so I don’t see any difference in teachers making an effort to refresh their awareness of gender fluidity and continue to revise or update knowledge of appropriate or used language around Gender Diversity.

In fact, just as I believe that Disability Equality training should be compulsory for staff at universities, why isn’t Trans Awareness and Inclusion training also essential? I would always find this information and resources received from these training sessions to be useful tools to help build a students’ confidence, especially in the context of teaching art & design subjects, where students often create work which expresses their own selves or their situation in life.

  •  How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?

Thinking about this aspect feels a very exciting and creative area for me. I would definitely think about setting this subject within a Graphic Communication Design brief. Without writing a full brief here, it could involve students researching the support networks/social groups for Gender Diversity out in the public realm already, and getting them to look at these organisations’ branding. What does this brand say about that organisation? What audiences are they speaking to? Is it different from the audiences they want? How has their branding design influenced that? I could then ask students to rebrand their researched organisation, to capture a different audience. One of the key learning outcomes from this type of brief could be to build an awareness amongst peers that is positive and supportive. Not only that, I would hope it would build students’ design skills to integrate this awareness in their professional practice.

  • Can you cite examples?

I don’t have any direct examples of integrating this into my teaching practice, as I am just beginning as part of the Teaching Within programme. But as an example of a reference, ‘Centred‘ is a type of organisation I could use as a starting point in the brief I mentioned above. I could ask them questions about branding, about providing illustrations for their organisation to attract a different audience and capture a wider support network. This I hope would act as a catalyst to the students researching their own organisation to re-brand. It may either have their attention by widening their minds to learning about social groups and networks they were not aware of before, or it will challenge them to reinterpret organisations they are already familiar with, from a design perspective.

Gender Diversity at UAL website

February 7, 2017 in Gender, Inclusive Teaching & Learning in HE

Supporting Trans Students

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?
Looking through the site is helping me to understand some of the most common issues that are troubling Trans students. Indeed this is will help me to understand what the person might be going through next time I have to deal with an upset Trans student. . . we do get lots of upset and stressed students, mainly for issuses regarding datelines and school work, but next time I need to offer support to a Trans student,  I’ll put in practice the site info and tips.

How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?
The Student union website is full on information that can help me to make sure I make Trans people feel welcome in our workshop. Thinks like “what not to say/ask” is just brilliant because sometime curiosity can make the worst of us. Also the statement “don’t make assumptions, just ask them” is very encouraging.

Can you cite examples?
Often, while dealing with the students, I try to be as friendly as possible using chit-chat that will make the student feel more relax and welcome. If that chit chat turns into a more personal level, the site is been great to make sure I don’t ask the wrong questions or say the wrong think.

Also, if I’m not sure how to address a student I could ask directly “Soooo, I like people to refer to me as she/her, what about you?”

 


update 7 .02. 2017

The site also gives direct advice to the staff: Be aware of the power dynamic that exists between students and staff

As educators we must show respect in our professional role and avoid discrimitation, but we also need to make sure all students treat each other with respect.

Understanding your students

February 6, 2017 in Reading Journal

A simple example of how you can show understanding of students’ individual needs, desires and expression, can help to progress your ability to teach those students something useful for their lives:

I didn’t know how much to prepare

February 1, 2017 in Tutor Group Discussions

I didn’t know how much to prepare for our first tutor group meeting, so I started a presentation to answer our questions, but it ended up not being used, as the session was, gratefully on my part, informal and discussion based. It was great to hear the varied experiences of teaching in the room.

So that my preparation work for that session isn’t completely lost, and in case anyone reading is remotely interested, here is a little link to it online (though it’s not the slickest presentation, be warned!). It includes some images and a short film of a ‘self directed learning’ workshop I presented at a practice sharing forum at the National Gallery in September 2016.

Enjoy: http://prezi.com/btnva3pytupl/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

Interesting to revisit: Tedx UAL Talk ‘What Artificial Intelligence Means For Culture’

January 27, 2017 in Reading Journal

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(Tutor group meeting 1): Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Art & Design

January 27, 2017 in Reading Journal, Tutor Group Discussions

Some initial thoughts for 27/01/2017 discussion after reading excerpts from:

Liberation, Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum

Retention and Attainment in the Disciplines: Art & Design

  1. In what ways are students shaping institutional policies and practices around inclusivity?

I found this example of how students are actively shaping policies, a short video is found in this link on asking the NUS to investigate and complete an Institutional Racism Review.

http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/shape-our-work/irr

I am sure this is one of many examples. In light of the ever-growing focus of fees rising, students have become more aware of the quality of their learning. there is no one archetype of a ‘student’ anymore. Everyone is a student, whether in a HE sector, university building or in less traditional settings.  Some students have vast amounts of experience in certain aspects of life than others.

We all have different learning styles, different expectations from an educational institution. So in light of this need for a better quality of learning some students are finding ways to express their views on institutional policies that may not work for them individually, or even apply to them. One size does not fit all.

Banner with hand written typography 'We Heart Education' With 'He' and 'Art' of the word 'Heart' in contrasting colours black, red and white

Students are evidently:

  • expressing their views vocally and through protest to change policies
  • more reasonable adjustments are being accommodated for students, because they are more confident in asking for aids which will allow them to study better.

2. What progress has been made in terms of inclusivity and ‘liberating the curriculum’ since the NUS report was published in 2011?

Here are some ideas/words/thoughts that leapt out to me when reading through the excerpts of the NUS report:

  • Cultural Competence /Currency /Exchange
  • Asking where inclusivity begins/ends/is reviewed
  • Reflection for students and staff individually and together
  • Student-centred learning
  • Safe environments for critique
  • Confidence building
  • Student-staff exchange of knowledge
  • Object-based learning
  • Liberation of curriculum / de-schooling ‘institutionalised thinking’
  • Connecting with NUS Campaigns to hear the student voice
  • Creating inclusive learning as part of staff appraisal/performance assessment.

Are we liberating the curriculum creatively in the Art & Design HE sector? I have seen an example of this at CSM where a ‘DIY Art school’ was set up in collaboration with live, external arts venues such as the Tate Exchange:

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/34243/1/tate-to-open-a-diy-art-school-with-central-saint-martins

And in another example, creative briefs were provided to a 1st year group in the CSM BA (Hons) Graphic Communication Design course, with an underlying objective: to allow the students to familiarise the assessment process staff will use as the framework to mark these students’ work in future. By swapping roles the brief allowed space for students to scrutinise and rationalise this assessment framework with teaching staff, at an early stage in their course

3. How might a diversity audit enhance inclusivity on the course(s) you are involved with?

As a slight comparative to begin thinking about this question, the following link is to a short article in Time Out about people with hidden impairments on their  experiences of seeing live music:

http://www.timeout.com/london/nightlife/what-are-gigs-like-for-disabled-music-fans

Imagine this article as a ‘mini audit’ of access facilities in music venues. Already I can see that a simple re-design of website structures for these music venues can have a huge impact on the experience of a future customer with  a visual impairment. Changing the environment and the impression of the environment, not highlighting the restrictions.

I wonder if an audit of this kind, if done collaboratively with students, would encourage more understanding of each others’ behaviours, attitudes, of cultural mindsets. What environments has every student come from to be in this same environment (eg the lecture theatre/studio)? Does this differ a small or large amount to environments they are used to working and living in? How confident does that make a person?

I will be working on the Graphic Communication Design course at CSM. With this course and college in mind for this audit, I think a key element to providing inclusivity is to create this safe environment within the group of students on this course. Safe in a sense of every individual being confident to express their ideas in their work without prejudice. This would effectively enhance the group’s confidence in producing work, but also in providing valuable, constructive critique to their peers and even being bold enough to challenge ideas or critiques made on their own work with an intellectual response/reflection.

The next Digital Culture workshop is around the corner – 15th March 2017

November 1, 2016 in Conferences, Drop In Sessions, Events, exhibitions, News, workshops

Digital Culture – What is it? How did it Start? Why did it Start? Where is it Going?

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The Digital Culture project addresses the use of digital technologies to support learning. Approaches in this area are very varied, but a simple split can be made between:

Programmes for students, where learners use technology in problem solving or more open-ended learning, and Technology for teachers such as interactive whiteboards or learning platforms.

The Next Digital Culture event take place: 2pm-4pm Wednesday 15th March 2017  

This months event is a workshop on paper prototyping which will be delivered by Joel Gethin Lewis

Gethin Lewis has been a Visiting Practitioner at in GCD at CSM teaching on BA and MA and more importantly has developed an amazing long term practice and portfolio of projects in computation, art, and design.

Joel’s workshop focuses on the us of  paper and pens to quickly physically prototype ideas. The idea is to find out the challenges and opportunities around an idea before spending money on building it – the technique works for anything from products to websites to workshops.

For further details please email :brydie.scott@csm.arts.ac.uk  to register your interest.

Digital Culture

UAL’s Teaching and Learning Strategy

October 25, 2016 in Creativity, Digital Literacy, eLearning, Enterprise

UAL’s Teaching and Learning Strategy – in one page.

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