Commonplace: student survival guide

Commonplace

Commonplace

University of the Arts London’s (UAL) Siobhan Clay manages the digital platform ‘commonplace’ that has had over a quarter of a million hits. Here she discusses the project.

“When asked to write about commonplace for the Digital Present Blog it seemed like particularly good timing. I was due to give a short presentation to Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon student ambassadors, so this was a good refresher, and it had also been some time since I’d been asked to articulate the project to colleagues and students – so a great opportunity to engage with a potentially new audience who might not know about it and might want to get involved, so here goes… Continue reading

Interdisciplinarity: translating design

Copyright Bob Corish, 2014

Copyright Bob Corish, 2014

Bob Corish graduated from Central Saint Martins’ MA Communication Design in 2008. Since then he has been working at Microsoft Research Cambridge where he collaborates with specialists from multiple disciplines, including computer scientists, technologists, sociologists, psychologists and more. In this post Bob reflects upon his experience of interdisciplinarity, and the act of communication and the art of translation in a non-design based setting. Continue reading

Digital literacy: alternative virtual learning environments

Workflow e-portfolio digital environment

Workflow e-portfolio digital environment

In order to continue the exploration of digital literacy within an art and design HE setting, this post focuses on online distance learning. In particular it mulls over alternative perspectives and seeks fresh ‘ways-in’ that may help to adjust our collective e-Learning spectacles.  As such, it is hoped that a stroll around virtual learning environments (VLEs), and alternative online environments, will prove useful. Desire and virtual communities are the conceptual areas framing this swift adventure. So, one question might be ‘are there valuable insights to be gleaned from alternative virtual spaces that could influence the ways we provide for students online at Central Saint Martins?’ Continue reading

Digital literacy and digital jargon

Untitled10Following on from Digital Present’s article about the meaning of data, this post tries to reveal the meaning of digitally related institutional jargon. UAL’s Digital Integration into Arts Learning project (DIAL) has been doing much work over the past two years investigating multiple aspects of digital literacy within arts and design HE. In the DIAL project year one evaluation report an issue was raised of “structural presentation and communication beyond DIAL’s immediate interlocutors within UAL and beyond JISC.  There is a tendency to assume a shared understanding of terminology and of decisions to change use: for example ‘open educational resources’ have at different times been called ‘open education’ and ‘open resources’.” (Year one DIAL Evaluation Report Duna Sabri October 2012). Continue reading

Considering ‘university futures’: post one, of many…

Punch: Sky Signs of the Times: 6 Sept 1890.

Punch: Sky-signs of the Times: 6 Sept 1890.

Considering the current radical disruptions, eg economic, socio-technical and environmental, when imagining the future university do we assume a continuity between the past, present and future, or is our present so disturbed or ‘messy’ that we should reframe entirely? What are the set of assumptions that we might use to explore the future university, and what are the core questions for higher education? And, as this blog explores digital literacy, what are the implications for future ‘digital pedagogies’? It is within the realm of the digital that this article is located. Continue reading

Digitising the Museum at Central Saint Martins

Untitled photograph by Fagner Bibiano, 2008

Untitled photograph by Fagner Bibiano, 2008

For many years now the prevailing message to the cultural and heritage sector is that digitising collections is good. Good for access, good for reaching out to new audiences and good for communicating with young people (who if you believe the rhetoric are completely disinterested if it doesn’t come with an app). Judy Willcocks, Head of CSM’s Museum, asks ‘Should we be celebrating or commiserating?’  Continue reading

Lecture capture: does everything need to be recorded?

It’s a given – if in London you expect to be recorded. Surveillance technologies are part of our everyday experience – state, corporate or private. Our mobile phones track us and act as our proxies in physical space, data-sets detailing our most incidental online moves are stored – and sold – to feed current and emerging technologies and companies, we upload millions of images and videos to the web each day, and on and on. Nothing we don’t already know. So, on a rainy Wednesday night why were staff from across the University of the Arts London (UAL) discussing something so seemingly pedestrian as the recording of lectures in an arts and design setting? No home life? Continue reading

Disruption: art and design higher education futures

Neocraft_Humanising-the-machine-by-Frances-Norris_01Bower and Christensen came up with the term ‘disruptive technologies’ in their Harvard Business Review article, ‘Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave’ (1995: 43-53). Disruptive technologies can be viewed as early stage catalysts for change, and fundamentally destabilising of an existing equilibrium – be it a method, technology or product. Today, one such technology heralded as being disruptive is 3D printing*, or 3D manufacturing. In part, what is considered disruptive depends on its context and the scale or type of change; let’s remind ourselves that humanity has a long history of technologies causing radical global change (e.g. wheel, steam engine, Jacquard Loom, Gutenberg printing press, internet).  Whilst 3D manufacturing has yet to happen to any form of impactful scale, and indeed may not do so, its very concept allows us to imagine the implications of post-industrial manufacturing for the ways we might wish to develop future Art and Design higher education (HE). Central Saint Martins’ students are already creating possible scenarios, by connecting the present and the future. Continue reading

Being Lecture-Captured: An LCF Pedagogic Research Hub Discussion

image003Lecture capture as technology has been used in the higher education (HE) sector in many forms in recent years and is being evaluated and piloted at London College of Fashion. Already much material has been generated on its potential benefits and uses in making learning accessible and available in flexible formats. Continue reading

Physical and digital learning spaces

CSM clear dayA criticism of personal digital technologies is that they can distract students in class. However, as the statements below illustrate, physical settings can also be awash with distractions that hinder learning and teaching. With Art and Design higher education institutions facing increasing demands on their physical spaces, it’s worthwhile asking ourselves whether the very technologies we criticise might actually enable new models of learning and teaching, and provide better environments online than some of the physical locations we are using at present. Continue reading