Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Today was spent as a representative of my second home, place of work and creative learning environment :HUMlab at a presentation day at university entitled UCIT Thesis Day. It was 3 hours of presentations of ideas for students to elect to do thesis work in a number of creative and interdisciplinary digital environments around the huge campus of Umea university. Myself and a colleague presented HUMlab as a meeting place of disciplines and "an open plan learning environment which is more like an interdisciplinary studio than a traditional classroom". We received a good response from a small group of students but when they came to speak to us afterwards they were most concerned about retaining their main area of study within the much discussed 'interdisciplinary' environment.
I am continuing on with my course of pedagogic theory and this combined with my experiences today brought about thoughts of factory-like specialization as a growing central feature of mass education in this modern white western world. In reflection I have always found multi-skilling to have been a life-saver on countless occasions (travel as a penniless pilgrim being the main one). Against this trend is that 'context' is increasingly becoming a key feature of critical analysis in many academic and non-academic fields (see danah on relationships). Context of knowledge should be also recognized as such, this can draw one out from a relatively defined field, for example 'Information Technology', into related subjects such as 'History of Ideas' or even 'Semantics'- the list goes on.
Here is a shot of me at play in HUMlab :)

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