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CUC2022: Otvaranje u zatvorenom svijetu - postdigitalna znanost i obrazovanje / CUC2022: Opening up in a closed world - postdigital science and education

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Reimagining the university through a postdigital sensibility

Education is often discussed through opposites. A distinction is drawn between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ learning, students are designated as either being ‘on campus’ or ‘online’, and technology is deemed to have created a clean-break from the ‘traditional’ pedagogies and places of the university. While there is perhaps an organisational and strategic convenience in such binaries, they rarely stand up to scrutiny. Rather, the proliferation of digital technologies, combined with the steady development of digital pedagogies, are dismantling these conceptual boundaries.

A postdigital sensibility exposes how digital resources and practices are woven into the fabric of our educational surroundings. We need only to visit a typical lecture to recognise this. The audio-visual system conveys the teacher’s voice across the auditorium, while the exposition of knowledge is aided through the digital projection of words, images and a multitude of other media content embedded within a slide presentation. Turning to face the audience, the glowing banks of laptop screens tell us that these students are simultaneously in-class and online. They might even be in conversation with classmates following a livestream from a far corner of the world, thus collapsing their physical separation from the campus.

At the point that we accept the postdigital character of our educational surroundings, it becomes possible to re-think our learning spaces and practices. In this paper I will discuss and build upon recent work that has drawn on postdigital thinking to propose new ways of conceptualising and constructing learning environments. This includes hybrid learning design which starts from the position that a student can be actively present in class while physically distant from the campus. I will discuss how postdigital soundcapes can nurture conditions that are conducive to learning. Even more fundamentally, I will propose that postdigital thinking allows us to imagine a more accessible and equitable university.

James Lamb
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

James Lamb is a lecturer and researcher within the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. His research is particularly interested in the relationship between digital technologies and the learning spaces of higher education. He has also published work around multimodal education, digital assessment and sonic methods, and he is a co-author of the Manifesto for Teaching Online. His postgraduate teaching includes courses covering digital cultures, learning spaces, and the future of learning organisations.

Potrebno predznanje: None


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