James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

The Race For Cool Education.

Posted on | April 10, 2013 | 1 Comment

Last night on Nightline we were speaking about technology and such, as we always do on a Tuesday. What came to mind was the same old question, how to make what we teach in the classroom, at the university but really any level, engaging.

But at the same time we are thinking about engaging students we need to also be thinking about the balance of content and application. It is with content and application that the problems exist, often we have too much of one or the other.

And there is a 3rd issue that is fundamental to many of our problems today, siloism.

What is siloism?

When the designers, editors, researchers, practitioners, engineers… are all kept separate and the idea of joining them is thought of as some great travesty!

And then there is also the issue of creating Jack’s of all trade and no masters.

But what if we did take the theory, in every instance that we are delivering it in our KG through University class and added a real world element to it?

I mean something that is going to get out into the hands of the public?

Here is a group of Middle School kids doing a lot more than many grad school students!

This is fantastic and based on their personal need, fun. Check out the video of this laser tag project.

And now the students have taken the project to kickstarter!

So we make it real, fun, apply the theory and what do we get, results that are transferable to the environment we live in!

Remember the work world our kids are heading to is a lot different that the one we are trying to catch up to.

So how does this apply to say a communication program like the one I teach in?

What I am teaching is engagement through a story be that visual, audio, static or more likely a combination of the three converged.

So in the digital content world we are living in how do we bridge the storytelling process while maintaining and building on the structures that make the old school printed word respectable and valuable?

There is no one solution but what about augmented reality as a start? This is a great project out of Japan.

So the question becomes how do I get my students to think in terms of written and augmented content and to not just think and talk about it but actually do it?

That is the key really, do it!

We spend a lot of time drawing lines when what we need is a bit of blur.

In our program we have a whole new line called Multi Media Design that is working at blurring the traditional academic boundaries to inspire students to think about the theory and application of their schooling.

What holds the student back is the question that we all have,”show me an example”, but there are none!

We need to teach to the love of the unknown with an educated guess.

And fortunately this is beginning to happen but it needs to happen a lot faster as we are seeing the Middle School kids are making us University folks look like KG students!


One Response to “The Race For Cool Education.”

  1. James Buckingham
    April 10th, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    Great post. Thanks for sharing James…. Will be watching learn more about how students dealt with the “unfenced” project.

Leave a Reply