Art and design: online learning landscape

csm artscom image

Digital Present has approached online learning in a number of ways in the past. In this article CSM MA Applied Imagination student, Paulina Jawor, takes a look at online distance learning, and discusses her own experience as well as how others are pursuing an online education.

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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

Designing for Sustainability

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Projections show that 5.1 billion people will own mobile phones in four years time; nearly 1 billion more than do so today. And as mobile phones and other devices become more prevalent in both developed and developing economies, so will cloud computing and storage applications continue to flourish. On a daily basis I collaborate, store and share files with my Central Saint Martins classmates and colleagues on platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. While technology continues to evolve and push the way we communicate, collaborate, and make, it is important that we are equally aware of that same push on our planet. As a new generation consumes and works with technology, how are the arts and design practices responding to the impact they have on the environment?   Continue reading

UAL Dyslexia Awareness Week: e-Inclusion

Assistive technology

Assistive technology in use

According to the University’s Disability Champion, Natalie Brett, ‘there is a link between creativity and dyslexia which points to higher levels of dyslexia amongst creative people’.  With 19% of UAL’s home students having declared a specific learning difficulty, enabling digital inclusion, or e-inclusion, is a core element of the University’s provision to support students with learning difficulties; helping to advance their digital literacy and subject knowledge. Continue reading

Digital/Material Relationships: CSM Letterpress Workshop

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Upon entering the CSM Letterpress Workshop I felt like I’d gone back in time. A stark difference to the aluminium MACs and flat PCs in the digital printing space set just on the other side of the glass partition. With the smell of ink and wood, textured colours, and sounds of the American south playing overhead the workshop’s atmosphere fills your senses. After this first wave of nostalgia had passed, it soon became apparent that the workshop was anything but stuck in the past. Continue reading

Assessment Feedback – Online

online assessment form

Online assessment feedback – tutor view

Together with Technical Developer Sat Anandhan, John Jackson – CLTAD’s Educational Developer (eLearning) – has been involved in UAL’s Online Assessment Tool (OAT) project since its inception. Here he discusses OAT’s journey so far and plans for the future.

OAT is an online assessment grading and feedback tool developed by CLTAD to support the delivery of high quality and timely assessment feedback to students throughout the university. Available to course teams as an optional alternative to using the Word based assessment feedback forms, it was used for the first time on two courses (one London College of Fashion, the other London College of Communication) in late December 2011.

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Workflow: who, what, where, when, why, how?

Workflow - home page.

Workflow - home page.

E-Learning Educational Developer John Jackson, from the Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD), provides an overview of the ePortfolio platform Workflow, one of the latest digital tools supported by the university. In doing so, he offers an alternative to blogs, and suggests that the general lack of awareness of this ePortfolio technology by staff and students is holding back its adoption across the institution. Continue reading

Developing OTTeR: video tutorials and workshop support

OTTeR – Teaching and Technical Resources – is a portal designed to support students at CSM by providing information about workshop staff, facilities, accessibility and crucially, video tutorials. Developed by Ray Barker, Muz Mehmet and Angus Main, it features a range of videos that reinforce workshop inductions, and equipment and technique demonstrations, but hopes are to make it comprehensive, covering as many disciplines as possible. CSM’s technical specialist, Ray Barker, spoke to us about OTTeR’s development so far, its crossover with Lynda.com, and the way digital tools like these support student learning.

OTTeR

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Understanding technical infrastructure – in the service of artistic goals

Nowadays artists and designers use the internet in all sorts of ways as part of their practice, for instance creation, publishing, communication, and commerce – but is it necessary or useful for arts practitioners to understand the background technical infrastructure that enables these activities?  Mike Kelly, learning technology specialist at UAL, offers his insights regarding this element of digital literacy. Continue reading

Smartphones: ‘connecting to the rest of the world’

Illustration: technology and imagination

Much is reported of the staggering adoption of mobile technologies worldwide. In particular the smartphone is influencing our behaviours in all manner of ways, and for many university students it has become an essential part of their everyday lives. These personal and portable devices are now inextricably involved in how we experience the world.

As educators, how could we, or should we, view smartphones within an arts and design context? Are they extensions of the studio, a form of prosthetic that alters our body schema, or a distraction that renders actions invisible and disturbs continuity and flow?

As part of a study into the ways in which personal digital technologies are incorporated into arts and design education, a second year cohort of CSM undergraduate students has provided insights about their relationship with smartphones.

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