Meeting at the V&A, 27th April 2012

28 05 2012

Fil de Fer by Catellani and Smith (lighting in the Gamble Room, V&A Cafe, London)
Photo: MTG

A really productive meeting at the V&A in April led to an application for the UCA Research Fund which was submitted in May. Other bits of news:

  • The Creative Writing Groups had their last sessions for the teaching year in May.
  • We are looking to arrange a second visit to the V&A for the end of June.
  • Curtis and Marie-Therese will be presenting at a UCA Seminar in June, Epsom campus.
  • The three of us will be presenting at the University of Brighton Learning and Teaching conference on 13th July.
  • Our UCA Learning and Teaching Research Grant funding will complete by the end of July.
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Prezi at Northbrook College Sussex

28 05 2012

This blog post is about a one-hour lunchtime session given to the Creative Writing Group at Northbrook College Sussex, 22nd March 2012.

Background

Following the day at UCA Rochester when I had the opportunity to meet Curtis Tappenden’s Creative Writing Group and talk about Prezi with them, I then had a chance to visit Jac Cattaneo’s Creative Writing Group at Northbrook College Sussex. The aim of the visit was to give the students a chance for a hands-on session with Prezi following their introduction to Prezi at the V&A. I based this session on the approach I had taken with the ‘Mappa Mundi’ brief.

The Prezi
(the Prezi is also available via this link – I recommend that the volume is put on mute)

Lessons Learned
The following reflection has been written around two months after the session was given:

  • The computer room was very well equipped and laid out (including a touch-screen whiteboard which I wasn’t expecting), it was also a good size group to work with (12 people).
  • Although Jac had spent time arranging for educational email addresses for the attendees, logging into Prezi was still time consuming and not as straightforward as expected.
  • Once everyone was logged-in I was able to demo a few features and by the end of the session all of the participants had created their first Prezi.
  • With the Creative Writing Groups at both UCA and Northbrook College the things that make them so effective for Creative Writing can be detrimental to learning a new technology; that is the groups are: extra-curricular, and very diverse with a mixed range of skills and interests. As quoted in our Interim Report to UCA (April 2012):

    As the Creative Writing Groups are both extra-curricular this has had benefits as well as disadvantages; for example students (in the questionnaires) liked that this was something they weren’t being assessed on which they could just enjoy. As the sessions are entirely voluntary this means that the students are more engaged and from a range of diverse backgrounds enabling collaboration across courses and disciplines within each institution; however this diversity also means that there is a wider range of abilities and interests and that the number of students attending the sessions and visits can vary.





Prezi at UCA Rochester

28 05 2012

This blog post is about a day spent working with FE students at University for the Creative Arts, Rochester campus, 8th March 2012.

Background

About 70 FE students (16-17 year olds) were working on an assessed project about maps called ‘Mappa Mundi’; I was invited to give a workshop to them about using Prezi in this context (3 x one-hour sessions in a computer room).

The Prezi
(link here if the Prezi doesn’t display below – recommend playing with volume on mute)

Lessons Learned
(taken from an email written to a colleague on 20th March)

  • I think it would have been better if I could have thought of a better way to break the ice at the beginning of the session and a more memorable way to end the session too.
  • I didn’t appreciate how much help they would need logging into Prezi (it didn’t help that Prezi have recently changed their interface again so my screencast is already out-of-date.). Next time I would allow more time and instruction for this.
  • I didn’t realise that many of the students wouldn’t know their email addresses – this was resolved by displaying guidance on the board about how to access their email.
  • Prezi maybe uniquely was okay with students on Facebook as I could mention what the pluses and minuses were i.e. if they logged in via Facebook instead of UCA email they’d get less storage and only be able to have public Prezis.
  • If I’d had any examples of the students’ own Prezis to demonstrate I think this would definitely have enhanced the session.
  • A lot of one-to-one help was needed i.e. spending time going from student to student and asking them how they were getting on and what I could do to help.
  • Finally the students needed a tighter brief for ‘creating a Prezi’.