Blogs and Workflow: behind the screen

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Welcome to CLTAD, the UAL Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design. Responsible for the development and support of staff, the centre also develops online tools: at the centre of which is Moodle, the core of the new Virtual Learning Environment.  Whilst you are probably familiar with Moodle, CLTAD also develops and maintains other tools that not only support teaching but also enhance the UAL students’ learning experience.

Sarah Kante had a chat with Mike Kelly, who is responsible for the development and maintenance of the myblog.arts and Workflow platforms. From the development of custom e-learning tools, to implementation and feedback from the users (you!), Mike takes us behind the screen. Continue reading

Blogs: Maxim Northover shares his insights

Filmmaker Maxim Northover is in his final year of MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins and since embarking on the course has built up a strong blog. He is taught by Course Director Birgitta Hosea, whose own blog Expanded Animation featured in an earlier post on Digital Present. Here, we question Maxim on his approach to running his blog and how it benefits his creative and critical practice.

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Expanded Animation: Birgitta Hosea’s blog

Birgitta Hosea is Course Director of MA Character Animation at CSM and Research Leader for the Centre for Performance. Birgitta edits an eclectic and engaging blog – Expanded Animation – that serves as a platform for ideas and reflection, and showcases students’ work as well as her own. She spoke to us about the motivation behind her blog, and how it now serves as a marketing and networking tool.

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Expectations and assumptions: relationships with personal technologies

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Some interesting themes emerged during a recent student workshop where research questions about our individual relationships with digital technologies were developed, and research insights shared. Continue reading

Seamlessly integrated or disconnected and disrupted?

Conected to the network

Connected to the network?

At a provocative presentation about bionics and prosthetics a question was posed to the panel regarding human-machine symbiosis – ‘Could your brain be hacked when molecular scale RFID penetrates the skull?’  This simple question highlights our everyday experience of technologies being disrupted and breaking down. We are so familiar with stories of hacking and disconnection that we understandably question whether our minds are hackable; despite being part of a 21c hyperconnected society, our daily encounters with the network can be fractured and messy. We have become used to anticipating the possibility of rupture, hacking, and disconnection.

The ‘seamless integration’ of digital technologies, so often espoused by tech marketing teams, in practice fails to appear.  Yet the messiness can often lead to moments of insight and valuable reminders. Continue reading

Interactive digital channels

CSM website's home page

Colin Buttimer is Central Saint Martins’ web manager. It is a role that has morphed and expanded exponentially in his four and a half year tenure. We spoke to Colin about the ways in which he responds to new digital technologies and his vision for increased interactivity between the College and its students.

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The approach of Moodle

The Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD) is leading the university’s transition from Blackboard to Moodle.  The aim is for Moodle to be fully implemented and available to all UAL staff and students by September 2013.

To help colleagues and students find out about Moodle, CLTAD has developed a really useful and user friendly website called Life after Blackboard.  On it you can also see an interactive illustrated map of the UAL’s VLE (virtual learning environment) which clearly visualises the suite of digital tools, including Moodle, that is available to all courses.  The VLE provides a set of tools that allows lecturers to create and deliver course content and assessments, and communicate via the internet.

CSM All Staff Digital Literacy Event

September’s all staff Digital Literacy event provided an opportunity for colleagues to find out about some of the ways in which digital tools and social media are being used at CSM.

To start off Shan Wareing, UAL’s Dean of Learning and Teaching, provided a contextual overview of ways in which digital technologies are being approached at the university, CLTAD’s Nancy Turner fed back on key themes arising from the recent international conference ‘Designs on E-Learning’, and Angus Eason gave an update on MOODLE. They were joined by CSM colleagues who gave quick-fire presentations about their own uses of digital technologies to support the student experience.

It was acknowledged that we are experiencing radical shifts in the variety and complexity of HE provision globally – for example, the current blossoming of massive open online courses (MOOCs) adds to the fluidity and multiplicity of educational provision, and provides new environments for learning.  This evolving and complex educational landscape is one in which digital technologies are playing an increasingly significant part, and as such, staff and students need to become digitally literate. Continue reading