“Education is not the learning of facts, but teaching the mind how to think.”Albert Einstein
There has been much frustration about the way that remote delivery of university subjects has been handled. Whether it be students who are not getting their perceived value out of their subjects, or overworked and underpaid teaching staff, everyone is exhausted. Because of this, how we learn and the methods that we have thought of as necessary to learn have come into question.
In this peculiar situation, is it enough to continue measuring learning by our ability to recall facts? Or, is it time to start teaching our minds to think like Futurists so that we are better able to adapt next time a situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic comes along?
After my experiences with remote learning, I favour the latter.
Critical Self Reflection
I must admit, after an exhausting 10 weeks and already rapidly iterating my project, I do not have much to comment on in the way of critically analysing my work. But, completing university studies remotely has done a funny thing. It has made us all aware of the small things we took for granted when it came to face to face delivery. Suddenly we were thrust into a very lonely journey towards the end of semester. A sense of community became more important than ever.
So, as part of my Digital Artefact, I collaborated with the BCM faculty to conduct a BCM Town Meeting. Through this meeting, we brought together students and teachers to discuss issues about remote learning, and gave students an open forum to directly influence how they learn in the Spring Semester. It was a great success and I truly hope some good will come of it. What I learned from this is that I thoroughly enjoy helping others to improve the way we do things. I found that like many Futurists, I enjoy thinking innovatively to create solutions for unprecedented problems.
This discovery about myself was further cemented when I provided feedback for my peers’ work. Although, my experience of peer evaluation was vastly different from the previous time. This time, the experience gave me confidence in my project, rather than insecurities about it. Assessing my peers’ work allowed me to better understand the demands of the task as I was able to compare my outputs to theirs and rest assured that I had done enough to achieve the outcome I desired.
However, I always strive to do better. To me, a project is never finished; it is only at its current stage of evolution. So, the reflective process for me has been very useful and I enjoy thinking critically about my work as it enables me to do my best. Primary evidence of this lies in the iterations I made to my project based on feedback to turn it into something that serves the short term needs of the Digital Media Society to secure their long-term future.
Overall, I believe I have come leaps and bounds since my original pitch, and contributing to my peers’ projects helped me realise this. One suprisingly positive outcome of this process is that last time I reflected on my work, I questioned whether I was passionate about it. But, after facilitating the BCM Town Meeting I can say I definitely am. And, I am excited to keep doing more.
Below is an overview of my contributions to my peers’ projects via comments on their Beta Pitches to provide them with feedback.
Harrison – The Future of Education
The Digital Artefact:
- Created a Discord server which serves as a remote learning tool for the Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Courses at the University of Wollongong
- Aim: increase productivity and infrastructure and simulate/adapt face to face learning to a digital space.
- The project has been monumental in transitioning BCM learning to remote delivery
- Further explanation could be given about how Discord makes us cyborgs and its role as a think tank
Bodhi – The Future of Photography
The Digital Artefact:
- A blog series about the future of photography
- Remember that no feedback is still feedback and it is about what you do with the feedback that counts
- Academic research and subject linkage is lacking
Ashlan – The Future of Hairdressing
The Digital Artefact:
- A blog series about the future of hairdressing
- Consider turning the blog into a video to boost engagement
- Clear and concise idea of the project timeline
- The project could be further related to subject content