Quick First Thoughts and Response – D1

This is just a primary quick thought and response to the dynamic experience and practice of students/tutors taking part in the PgCert.

Somehow the first day (at school, at university, in a job, etc) has always that common challenging aspect of testing the ground, trying to get to know the micro whilst still balancing primary observations on the macro. For me, it already showed an interesting dynamic of exchanges from the variety of styles of the presentations to the small-groups conversations and reflections. It felt a diverse group in terms of backgrounds and voices, and I believe/hope that this diversity will bring some good developments, exchanges and positive conflict discussions during the course.

It left me a feeling that I would like to know more about the others’ practices, and would like to discuss more already – from primary brief conversations on positive conflict and art-crits to the politics of the institutions and what role we play to challenge the whole system, etc.

Differently than other courses (or jobs) though, the second-day is in a month time, and not “tomorrow” or “next week”…so, there is quite of a bridge of time between this flow of individual learning and group exchange.  I wonder how that might influence my learning structure (that is usually more time and focus intense), and how the relation between the micro and the macro could translate for me. I am thinking about to what degree the individual experience (with reading, reflection…) is balanced with the group dynamic (with exchanges and discussions) and how a long stretched time might allow stronger and more effective discussions and debates. As key concepts of space and time in tutoring and lecturing and practicing as an academic came out during some of my exchanges with other peers (Y and S), and so I then find interesting to keep those two elements also as a parallel reflection on the structure of this unit itself. Not to evaluate it, but to reflect and learn from this very stretched way of undertaking a unit (which is great to balance work commitments by the way) and how that can create a particular way of learning. I wonder how much space and time we can give to it, and what kind of rhythm (aspect that also came out talking with Y and S) is then shaped as a consequence.

Anyway, just putting down a few fresh thoughts/reflections here. Above I have also quickly depicted the group-dynamic as a combination of words that could reflect the groups’ experience. I have also tiled it in order to give an option of mix and match, as I hope that will be the key aspect of our conversations and dynamic of learning.

Who I Am and Who Are My Students

Using Post-Its (which I use very often in my teaching and learning for mind-mapping exercises and concept development processes), here I have tried to answer and reflect on who I am as a teacher/practitioner and who my students are. With a 20 segmented areas I have created a primary layout. However this layout can be mixed around during the teaching and learning process, so the order is changeable in terms of the flow of conversations, considerations, reflections, approaches, practices.

 

 

Reading List : Sabri “NSS – Student Evaluations of Teaching” – Reflections

– – – – – – –

Production and Consumption

– – – – – – –

Quantitative Data vs Qualitative Data

– – – – – – –

How is the new identity (or the new forming identity) of University affecting relationships between students and academics, academics and managers, and students and institutions? How does this change the day-to-day and also long term perspective of Teaching and Learning?

– – – – – – –

Reading List : Aoun “A Learning Model for the Future” – Reflections

/ Convergent vs Divergent with insertion of Humanics in Technology and Education / Below is a reflection structured as a form of a short story.

” Pixo, Binary and Code – The School of Hacking Excellence ”

In Planet Web, in the United States of Computers, in New Tech City,  something was going on.

– – – –

Everything in New Tech City and in the United States of Computers was very organised and well ordered.

But hidden in the architecture of the city, there was a place where chaos was allowed: the School of Hacking Excellence.

In there, it was all about experimenting, creating, making mistakes, imagining, trying new things.

– – – –

Pixo went to school there. He was very good in making squares. He could make squares of all sizes, colours and layouts.

In his class, Pixo had two good friends: Binary and Code.

Binary loved the numbers 0 and 1. With those numbers she could create information on everything.

Code talked hypertext. She was always very hyper and sent lots of links and connected things to Binary and Pixo.

– – – –

As part of their school work, Pixo, Binary and Code had to do a group project.

Together they loved to play computer games and imagine a different world. And so they decided that for their school project, they could have created a game of imagination, shaping a playful new imaginary world.

One day, they went to the Virtual Reality studio at the school, which allowed them to create a new environment where they could immerse themselves in, experience and test things.

Pixo started to experiment with his squares…he started making green and brown shapes (i.e. landscapes, plants and trees), blue and white ones (i.e. sky and clouds), and different colour ones (various animals).

“Hey Binary, hey Code…” – Pixo said – “Have a look!”

Code and Binary plug into the head-mounted displays. “Wow! What is that?”

“I don’t know. But it’s nice, don’t you think? Can you help me creating it further?”

And so, Pixo kept creating shapes as a combination of squares.

Binary inserted information such as names and sounds and smells in all these new shapes. (i.e. Metadata Dictionary: categorising the animals, plants, flowers)

And Code created all the links and all the connections between all of them.

– – – –

After a week the first part of their project-prototype was complete. And so Pixo, Bynary and Code had a meeting with Professor Algorithm, who was the eldest of the professors at the school.

He said: “Now that I reconnect my memory, I think this place actually existed once. When I was a new device, I was told by my grandfather that there was a planet with lots of these unexpected things you are depicting. It was called Planet Earth. But I do not have any other knowledge of this.”

Binary: “There might be some information in the main Memory Library of New Tech City. We should find out more!”

But there was no information about Planet Earth in the Memory Library of New Tech City.

And no information about Planet Earth in any of the libraries of the United States of Computers.

And no information about Planet Earth in any of the libraries of Planet Web.

Pixo: “Our project is getting stuck. What are we going to do now?”

Binary: “I am doing my best, but I cannot find any information about Planet Earth anywhere. I have looked into every bits of data.”

Code: “Wait a minute…let me try some new links I have been exploring.”

– – – –

And so Code using her skills of linking and connecting here and there, managed to get access to the library on a far away Cloud.

She then passed the connection to Binary who finally downloaded some information about Planet Earth. Binary registered all the information she could find, and then she shared it with Code and Pixo:

  • “Planet Earth is a sphere”

  • “Nature is a key element of Planet Earth…with animals, plants, beautiful skies and oceans.”

  • “Humans lived in Planet Earth, and they were highly intelligent and uniquely interesting beings.”

  • “Then humans became obsessed with all their creations around technology. And, whilst using technological devices all the time, they forgot about the beauty of animals, plants, skies and oceans.”

  • “After that, unfortunately many humans slowly morphed into computer devices too. They lost their real and unique beings, and they became artificially intelligent.”

  • “Planet Web was then created, together with the United States of Computers.”

– – – –

With this information, Pixo, Binary and Code developed their educational project further, creating an augmented experience of Planet Web history and its connection to Planet Earth.

They then presented the project to all the students and to all the teachers at the School of Hacking Excellence. (all wearing head-mounted displays)

Everyone loved all the animals, plants, oceans and skies.

Everyone loved all the colours, smells and sounds.

Everyone was astonished by the history that no one really knew about their Planet Web origin.

The project was then shared with the whole of New Tech City, then with the whole of United States of Computers, and then with the whole of Planet Web!

– – – –

The Universal Planet Web Committee celebrated Pixo, Binary and Code for their achievement.

Really well done my dear wonderful students! Now everyone in Planet Web can update this new information into their systems. Really amazing discovery! Plug-in!” – Professor Algorithm shouted.

“Plug-in!” – everyone at the School of Hacking Excellence replied.

“Now we would like to know even more about Planet Earth. So, we would like to propose a next development…” – Professor Algorithm announced.

And so, a mission to visit Planet Earth was organised for Pixo, Binary and Code to undertake.

The three friends entered the spaceship. They were ready to go.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Reading List: Whitehead “University’s Functions” – Reflections…

For my reflections in this post I wanted to write a set of keywords, somehow creating a narrative (follow the arrows) that shape the function of university and its strengths.

—-> Imagination

Collaboration <—-

—-> Debate

Exchange <—-

—->  Society

Voice <—-

—-> Critical Reflection

Impact in Ethical Thinking <—-

—-> Crossing to Professional Practice

Knowledge as Experience  <—-

—-> Experience as Knowledge

Openness to New and Old <—-

—-> Diversity of Thinking

Processing Information <—-

—-> Stimulating Possibilities.

“The proper function of university is the imaginative acquisition of knowledge. A university is imaginative, or it is nothing.”

Reading List: Kant’s Conflict – Reflections…

  • “Without intuitions, concepts would be empty; and without concepts, intuitions would be blind.” I find this very relevant in the approach of both teaching and learning. It somehow creates a parallel between emotional intelligence and knowledge; it makes me reflect on the two aspects and how they are balanced within academic practice and teaching, both working with students and/or debating with academic peers. Perhaps, the conflict of the two intelligences shapes a more beneficial and effective way of thinking and practicing as a lecturer and/or researcher.

 

  • “…the way in which the state makes use of its power…”. The related paragraph opens up thoughts that I am able to connect to think critically about the role of the teacher and the power that is present only in the very fact that one has the “knowledge and the rules” to develop a course, a lesson, a workshop. And so here, connecting to the concept of citizens in university (both teachers and learners), we can question the way that we design our teaching approach: can that be more participatory and more inclusive in the programme writing, in the delivery, in the flow of academic choices? Can this create a different kind of learning?

 

  • We deliver intellectual conflict, thought crits, open reviews, participatory intervention. We deliver innovative conflict when we question our roles, when we play with the structure and we underline the fact that we all are learning within the academic context, every person in the university is learning at different levels and stages.

First Input

My ongoing research-based practice looks at various areas of applied art and design, with the main focus on technology, digital art, neurodiversity, human rights.

My teaching emphasis focuses on concept development, hands-on making, process analysis, cross-connection analogue/digital. I like working with students’ self-directed projects and I am also very active in off-site learning with students, organizing hack-days, critique sessions, workshops.
I think participation and active engagement play an important role in my pedagogic approach.

Undertaking this course I would like to learn new teaching and learning techniques, and I would like to understand better how to respond and support students’ different learning needs. I believe it is a real privilege to be a Lecturer, and I want to make sure that I am doing the best possible job to help and nurture students in fulfilling their full potential.