Monday, March 23, 2009

CAL 2009: Technology and creativity at the Brighton creativity centre

I was hoping to live blog much of the CAL 2009 conference but unfortunately not all of the rooms are networked. :-( Here however is a cut and paste of what I typed during this session. It will need tidied up as there will undoubtedly be spelling misteakes ad typos. :-)

R Morris, Steve Kilgallon (presenter), P. Martin, and A. Rogers; University of Brighton, UK

University of Brighton have a Creativity Centre with two learning spaces/rooms/ One is called called Leonardo and the room can be divided in different ways using the whole space or different sections as appropriate. Have floor to ceiling whiteboards, rear screen projection area and lots more. A second room, Gallileo, with audio links to other room also has a 3D projection system.

with Leonardo you can theme the room in any way you want. For example project jungle scenes, pipe in jungle sound effects and jungle smells. (Yes... smells!) Bean bags, chairs or walk about, the choice is yours.

The whileboards can easily be moved around which the researchers thinks takes away some of the fear of writing on the board. In fact because the room is a blank space that you can organise in any way you want, the is researchers think this leads to more creative uses. For example, one group lined all the whileboards up, blacked out the windows and created a camera obscura. Even just interacting with the students while they are standing up changes the dynamic and the learning.

Two types of users:
  • Hands off
  • Want it all
Also two types of use:
  • Passive
  • Active
Give the students time, very creative uses are possible.

There are institutional hurdles. For example, "Moving walls - No!" say Health and Safety". Or IT Services taking a month to open a Firewall port. In many institutions, the culture is that if you use the handed down solution there is no problem. For example, courses on Word, Powerpoint etc. - no problem. However, if an individual wants to do something innovative or unusual, it can be a different story.

"The presence of a committed local champion continues to be the strongest influence on the rate at which Technology Enhanced Learning... [missed the end]." 2008 Survey of Technology Enhanced Learning from Cambridge [? Missed the source and the end of the quote! Bah! I'll try to track it down later.]

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