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Recent inspirations

Well what am I working on at the moment? Three things this weekend. Yesterday I met with people from mediacore and The Flipped Institute and I hope to be doing more work with them. The Flipped Institute is an onsite focus for all of the discussions around the flipped classroom; the idea of which is to do all of the associative transmission mode stuff outside of the class, so the actual time spent in class can be spent discussing it, building on it, and getting the students to do activities around it. In other words using teachers for what they’re best at. Finally activity-based learning is becoming mainstream (it left me quite Dewey-eyed … see what I did there). I first came across the concept around ’97 / ’98 when the director of a VLE project I was working on (anyone remember Broadnet? It’s now Learnwise) Steve Molyneux produced an online module for his students to learn from, and then used the lecture time to answer their queries about it, and provide one-to-one advice. I think the word “flip” wasn’t around then.

Another thing is a project on creating a bot as an intelligent tutor, and looking at how its design actually will encourage students to engage with it, and how appearance and behaviour influence the affinity the students feel for it; the hypothesis being the greater the affinity the more effective the learning. My job atm? To design the evaluation, which the bot is to conduct itself. :-/

Third thing. Also at the moment I’m working on some stuff for the performance artist Stelarc, and two colleagues, Joff Chafer and Ian Upton. Last year they worked on a performance and installation in Coventry called Extract / Insert and I’m writing it up for a chapter in my most recent book (Making Sense of Space, by Iryna Kuksa and me, coming soon …. ish). The work they did really challenged the distinction between real and virtual, and it was fascinating the way it connected with so many people (and didn’t connect with some too).

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