THE EXPANDED CLASSROOM: THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY IN A CONNECTED WORLD
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
The Media Department at Coventry University has developed a framework of highly innovative teaching, learning and creative-practice spaces – virtual and physical.
This paper will present the challenges we have faced, and the success we have encountered from the creation of a series of ‘alternative spaces’ for learning, which address the changing landscape of 21st Century education.*
Students and staff have engaged with the spaces in different ways through a range of, discipline-led initiatives.
These initiatives have led to open educational classes, interactive blog spaces, online presentations of student work and international collaborations across courses within the media department.
We have recently developed a project that will enable students to engage more actively in the process so that they can create and develop student-led teaching and learning environments. This project will consider the spaces in which students are comfortable and prefer to learn as well as creating opportunities to challenge and question their learning styles.
The impact of the project extends beyond the teaching and learning environment and seeks to empower the students: by placing them at the heart of the process we hope that they will take more responsibility for their own learning, become more entrepreneurial in their approach to their own education and develop lifelong skills that extend far beyond the classroom.
With geographical barriers removed, educators have an opportunity to enlighten and empower students, through innovative, open and shared teaching and learning practices, to find their voice and positively contribute to a culturally rich and globally connected world.
Today’s teaching and learning should stimulate debate and encourage discovery; this paper places the student’s ownership, engagement and collaborative learning at the heart of that journey. Students, working as researchers and co-creators will develop collaborative, connected and technology-enabled models for higher education.
* ‘Global Transmedia MOOCs’ http://vimeo.com/48530555 - In this video, virtual community pioneer Howard Rheingold interviews educator Jonathan Shaw about his groundbreaking experiments in online, collaborative learning in the arts.