For much of the Noughties I was a Business Adviser – specialising in creative businesses, digital businesses – and businesses which combined both. During this fascinating and inspiring period I worked with a large number of startups and small businesses; managed a team of specialist advisers in London and was involved in recruiting and establishing a team in Liverpool. I presented occasionally at conferences on digital business matters – and got ‘hands-on’ with the development of online platforms and web presences. Most of the time was spent with a fascinating mix of incredibly inspiring fledgling (and established) creative entrepreneurs.
One of the themes we encountered a lot during this period was this: young creatives, often recent graduates of Higher Education Art and Design Establishments, would be very eager to access the advice and support on offer and often bemoaned the lack of ‘enterprise’ advice / expertise available to them at university.
In the intervening years this situation has improved substantially, with opportunities such as ‘live projects’ and ‘placements’ embedded within many courses. At University of the Arts London (UAL) the ‘Creative Attributes Framework’ (CAF) identifies a number ‘attributes’. These, according to research, are attributes (behaviours and skills), which are essential (or at least extremely advantageous) to creative practitioners throughout their careers. The ‘CAF’ is used by course teams when planning courses and learning activities – truly embedding ‘enterprise’ skills at the heart of the curriculum.
The ‘practices’ explored within the DCAF relate to Digital behaviours and skills – and avoid falling into the trap of being prescriptive (the ‘scenarios’ column is left deliberately blank for those engaging with the DCAF to make it relevant for their own projects and practices).
You can now listen to UAL academics talking about how they and their students are using digital spaces for reflective practice, research, collaboration, showcasing work and more – @ Discussing Digital Pedagogies.
This is the start of an ongoing audio enquiry I am conducting into digital teaching and learning spaces within the art and design Higher Education context.
I (and a few other people ;-)) enjoyed Wikimania 2014 – which took place in London from August 8th-10th. For more details have a look at the programme. Most of the presentations to do with education took place on Saturday and included my new UAL colleague Dave White (Head of Technology-Enhanced Learning) with a provocative and thought provoking presentation entitled ‘What’s left to teach now that Wikipedia has done everyone’s homework?’ Videos of key presentations from Saturday are available at Livestream (you will need a Livestream account to view but that is free/easy to set up). A truly inspiring presentation was given by Jack Andraka ‘Citizen Scientist’ who told of his ultimately successful mission to discover a straightforward, cheap and effective test for early pancreatic cancer thereby saving lives Continue reading Wikimania 2014
Visual Rhetoric is a collaboration between the LSE and UAL (LCC) with a recently designed and launched public presence available at www.visualrhetoric.ac.uk. This fascinating knowledge exchange project brings together designers and researchers from the social sciences, arts and humanities.
Towards the end of June I attended and presented at the ‘Heads of eLearning Forum’ – HeLF – ‘Electronic Management of Assessment’ (EMA) SIG Event held at the University of Brighton. It was a fascinating gathering, most attendees being senior ‘Learning Technologists’ and ‘Heads of eLearning’ from universities across the UK. Continue reading Electronic Management of Assessment – HeLF Forum
Together with Technical Developer Sat Anandhan, I have been involved in UAL’s Online Assessment Tool (‘OAT’) project since its inception.
OAT is an online assessment grading and feedback tool developed to support the delivery of high quality and timely assessment feedback to students throughout the university. Continue reading Online Assessment Feedback
Putting my money where my mouth is, I’ve just pledged funding for the Openshot project via Kickstarter.
Why have I done this?
Openshot is an excellent free video editing program currently available for Linux platforms – and I have recently started to use Linux in the form of Linux Mint on a couple of laptops. However, I also use Windows and Mac systems too.