A couple of weeks ago I took part in a workshop on web-based learning at Malmö University, offered as part of the Glocal Classroom project. The idea was to inspire teachers and staff at the university to take advantage of the digital classroom in their work, and think beyond traditional distance learning methods. Technique sessions were mixed with reflections on virtual storytelling, with a focus on social interaction.
Interaction Designer Mikael Rundberg, also teacher at the Communication for Development master’s programme at Malmö University asked us to keep count of the number of systems he was introducing during his presentation. I lost count at six, probably while trying to identify the number of cameras in the room, which were four. But an attentive colleague reported 16. Right then I think more than one person in the room thought, this is not for me.
But after given it some time, I realized that many were actually programmes I already use in my daily work; Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive, etc. And Mikael’s point was this; a myriad of programmes gives you flexibility and the possibility to adapt to the user. And ultimately secure interaction not only between teacher and student, but also among the students, over time.
Once we got a closer look at the technique, it also dawned on us that this was perhaps not impossible after all. You need, no doubt put some time into learning to handle multiple cameras, mixing pictures etc. but you don’t need to learn everything straight away. You can start with two cameras and complement with a simple chat. It already gives you more opportunities in terms of interaction.
During one of the afternoon session we were instructed to come up with an online concept of our own. This stuck with me: “Don’t let the technique limit your ideas!” And this I think was important for me to understand – first, decide on the form you want, second, use the technique(s) you need to make it happen. Dare to be creative!
Watch photos from the workshop here.
– Ulrica Kristhammar, Communications Officer, Malmö University