Academic Digital

Student as Producer: A Pedagogy for the Avant-Garde; or, how do revolutionary teachers teach? Mike Neary (via :@ariadnacruzv)

In this paper I set out the intellectual ideas that lie behind the concept of Student as Producer, and how that idea is being developed across the sector and at the University of Lincoln.  The theoretical basis for my work is derived from critical social theory grounded in avant-garde Marxism that developed in Soviet Russia after the Bolshevik uprising in 1917, before being suppressed by Stalin, and a group of modernist Marxists working in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. A key issue for Student as Producer is that social learning is more than the individual learning in a social context, and includes the way in which the social context itself is transformed through progressive pedagogic practice. This transformation includes the institution within which the pedagogical activities are taking place, and the society out of which the particular institution is derived. At a time when the market-based model for social development appears increasingly untenable, the creation of a more progressive and sustainable social world becomes ever more necessary and desirable. Work on developing the principles and practice of Student as Producer are currently funded through the National Teaching Fellowship Project Scheme 2010-2013.

Read the paper. Thanks to Ariadna Cruz for alerting me to the full details of this project, that I’d tweeted about:

Academic Digital

Freshers need £3500 of "essential" equipment…

Anthony Catterson, eXpansys chief executive, said: “Clearly, the lives and associated costs for the average university student have changed dramatically in the last ten years.

“In 2010 a laptop and a smartphone capable of accessing the internet and social media are no longer seen as luxuries – they are considered essential student kit; as essential as stationary, pots, pans and bedding.

“The cost of going to university is huge for any student and, for many of them, would simply not be possible without the help of their parents and grandparents, who often fund the essentials before they finally leave home for their new life of independence and study.”

The study refers to this generation of students as “igrads” because of the need for gadgets and reveals the top two pieces of equipment needed are a laptop computer and a smartphone, such as a BlackBerry, which together cost £900.

On top of that, internet access, a mobile phone contract and accessories such as cables and printers are also necessary.

Read full story. What do you think, is such equipment “essential”? I have to say that with the module Manipulating Media, we’re working on the assumption that students have extensive access to the online world, and that there will be a substantial number of smartphones amongst the group, and I currently have an iPad to test out, as we’re anticipating that a number of students will bring those! I always found it very amusing when I worked on an IT support desk, on which we took payments for printing, that students would come up talking about how skint they were, covered in every designer label you could think of & clasping the latest phone…

Academic Digital

Inspirational Students

Last week was the start of Semester 2 (yes, I know, just as many of you headed onto half-term breaks), and despite the fact that the week was packed, I found the week an inspiring one. Lectures seemed to go off well, I had 3, yes THREE, students come up to me after Creating and Consuming lectures to say that they were looking forward to the module/feeling inspired to think (do you know how RARE that is, usually you only ever hear the complaints, usually too late to do anything about it!).

Dreams and Nightmares

In Dreams and Nightmares, I suggested that the students set up a WordPress blog to write their thoughts about their lectures, seminars, and presentations they observed from others. Due to Validation requirements, I couldn’t set this as a compulsory exercise, so I wasn’t sure if anyone would take me up on the idea, but Phil did, and you can see what is already turning into a very impressive exercise here.

Media Studies Dissertation

In talking to Helen, one of my FYP/Dissertation students, it became clear that she loves experimenting with making YouTube videos, and also wanted to conduct research into the values evident in Sainsbury’s advertising, and whether these resonated with viewers. This therefore seemed a great point at which to USE YouTube to help her conduct her research, so please do help her if you can.