Scouting for learning spaces at the V&A

6 01 2012

Curtis, Jac, and I (with my son in tow) met at the V&A during our Christmas holidays to explore the V&A learning spaces that had been recommended by Leanne and also scouted out by Jac on her previous visit. The learning spaces were chosen in order to inspire creativity and also for practical reasons to ensure we could use them with a group of students.

This Prezi was a collaborative effort with my son: ‘V&A visit‘. The reasons for creating this were:

  • explore the idea suggested by Jac about using Prezi to create a ‘journey of a visit’
  • explore the idea suggested by Curtis about engaging my son with Prezi (why not!)
  • potentially produce a template that could be used by the students if they would like to use it
  • record our visit in order to document our project work and support the visit with the students in early February
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Meeting at the V & A

14 12 2011

William Morris Café at the V&A. Photo: MTG

Last week Jac and I met with Leanne Manfredi (Programme Manager: Higher Education and Creative Industries) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Jac and I talked about the Create Curate Collaborate! project and our plans for bringing students to the V&A to inspire their creative writing. The focus is on students as researchers, and considering the process rather than the end product. Students will have their own mapping of the V&A to work from, but will then be brought back together at different points, some of the ‘learning spaces’ that might work are:

  1. Norfolk House Music Room
  2. Clore Study Area
Some of the resources and ideas that Leanne mentioned to us were:

“meaning and understanding of the V&A through the personal stories of its curators”

“a collaboration between comedy promoters One Green Firework, music promoters Duel in the Deep and UCL, London’s Global University”

A recent event was held at the V&A on Craft: http://brightclub.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/bright-club-craft-27th-september-at-the-v-and-a/

“a creative space for exploring innovative approaches to the study of design and objects”

Actions: planning our visit with the students for early February, and we need to book a room for end of May now!!





PowerPoint and learning spaces

26 07 2011

PowerPoint and Learning Spaces:

“Ubiquitous devices operate as machines for tuning the environment. Drawings, specifications, computer models, spreadsheets, lists of milestones, PowerPoint presentations, and emails likewise are tuning devices, as are the documents that purport to bring them all together.”

Coyne, R. 2010. Tuning of Place: Sociable Spaces and Pervasive Digital Media. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. p 8.

Comments from History of Art students on PowerPoint:

“‘I get the feeling that technology is being used for the sake of it… they’ve bought all this technology and they have to use it… I don’t like the feeling of technology being forced upon us’

[without pre-prepared PowerPoints] ‘discussions kind of evolve’ and become more freeflowing: ‘you’re never quite sure where it’s going to go and where you’re going to end up… it does feel a lot freer’

PowerPoint can deliver too much information too fast: ‘I felt like I was being shot with information. It was coming at you so hard and fast.’”

Melhuish, C. (2010) Ethnographic case study: perceptions of three new learning spaces and their impact on the learning and teaching process at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton. Commissioned by CETLC, Universities of Sussex and Brighton, and CETLD, School of Arts and Architecture, University of Brighton. p.46. Available from: http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/18488/LS-Case-Study-3.pdf





Thoughts about learning spaces

26 07 2011

Since studying Archaeology at University, and considering the relationship between socio-cultural change and the layout of living spaces/design of architecture over time, I have been interested in the human experience of space and environment. This is also relevant in the dialogue between analogue and digital technologies, an aspect I hope is apparent in my CHArt paper (forthcoming).

Some resources:





Multi-Slide PowerPoint plug-in

10 11 2010

I am looking forward to attending the Computers and the History of Art (CHArt) conference, day two, tomorrow. Due to my research topic I am most interested to hear the presentation on the Multi-Slide PowerPoint plug-in:
Katharina Lorenz and Brett Bligh, University of Nottingham, UK
Vorsprung durch Technik: Multi-Display Learning Spaces and Art-Historical Method
Already today, day one, of the CHArt conference I was pleased to experience a confident Prezi presentation by Jamie Allen.

Links





Visiting SPLASH at the University of Surrey

6 08 2010

Yesterday afternoon, Alistair Morey, Learning Development Coordinator for SPLASH (Student Personal Learning And Study Hub) at the University of Surrey, gave me a tour of SPLASH. This innovative space is described well on their website, however it was useful to get a tour and have a chance to try out some of the technology, especially since I only passed through on my last visit, two years ago.

SPLASH includes: space to work quietly in front of PCs or with your own laptop; an informal area with moveable furniture, plenty of space, and two ‘work pods’; three bookable meeting rooms; and a larger training room. The training room features a dry-erase white wall, which looks like an ordinary wall, and a Sympodium PC connected to the projector.

As well as the novel experience of being asked to ‘write on a wall’, Alistair commented on the way students have to interact as a group, working together, and sharing the whiteboard pens.

I was able to have a go on the Sympodium PC, now renamed SMART Podium interactive pen displays, and although it was very easy to use I could also see that practice would be required to give a seamless and professional presentation or workshop.

There were some concerns that the informal area might turn into a bit of a common room, however this has not happened. I wonder if this is partly because food and drink are prohibited in this area. There are also two Sympodium PCs, attached by a moveable armature to a coffee table, in front of a circular seating area. This enables the students to collaborate by sharing the PC amongst the whole group, literally passing it from one person to the other by use of the swinging armature.

The University of Surrey were early pioneers in the UK in this form of social learning, but it has now taken off at a number of other Universities as well.

Follow-up: some comments on the features of SMART Podium interactive pen displays





Learning and Teaching Hardware

22 07 2010

This morning I met with Penny Burden, Learning and Teaching Developer at the University for the Creative Arts. In her previous role as Head of Skills and Personal Development at the University of Surrey she was responsible for setting up SPLASH, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub. We discussed some of the hardware that was used in this area such as: Sympodium computers (now called SMART Podium interactive pen displays), which let you write on the screen and also project to a screen behind you; and a wall covered in dry-erase technology i.e. like a giant whiteboard.

Penny advised me to look at what has been done at the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS). At the University of Sheffield they use huddleboards (lightweight whiteboards) to “…record discussions, plan activities and map out knowledge.” The boards can then be placed underneath a CopyCam which will take a digital picture that can be saved and imported into a PowerPoint or used elsewhere.

Penny also kindly filled in my questionnaire.