Today was finalist results day for the students on my Post-Punk Britain Module. Together we’ve laughed, done cutting and pasting, swapped celebrity gossip, kicked over a few statues and analysed the history of subcultural theory and practice. They have made me laugh and they have me think in new ways.
This post is a report on the work Post-Punk Britain 2016 produced as part of our project : DIT Digital. I’ve written about the project elsewhere. In this post I want to share their work rather than my analysis.
We went on a residential trip to Margate to explore how open access digital apps could help us produce complex historical materials. Rebecca at Dreamland set us a series of briefs. Groups of students chose one, worked out how they would teach it, and then worked out how this might work as a digital resource. The project was also a way of critically analysing the current impact agenda. We wanted to engage students with ‘pathways to impact’ through their own work.
We’d already worked making zines and combining them with augmented realities with Rachael House (more blogs to come). We wanted to use the DIY cut and paste of zine making that to think about the relationship between digital communities and subcultural ‘networks of paper’.
The Mentors’ Preparation
Our mentors Louise and Robbie did some training with TEL who funded the project. This meant that before the trip they had already been able to identify what apps and tools they thought would work well. We didn’t want to waste too much time with unsuitable tools on the trip.
They explored a number of options., thinking about any privacy issues, and usability on mobile phones,
Audioboom u https://audioboom.com/
Anne Hole pointed out all the great additional resources in the TEL blog http://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/tel/ including:
and the A-Z of apps web page at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/tel/learningtechnologies/apps
Last year’s students had used Padlet. So Louise and Robbie.knew the benefits and challenges of Padlet from their experiences last year. (Although since the trip to Margate Padlet have announced some new developments). We had found Padlet tricky to use on mobiles and Thinglink works well on mobile devices. This was going to be really important on the day. We didn’t have an expensive kit just a couple of laptops brought along by students and whatever mobile phones people already had. Guide to using Padlet
The Students’ Preparation
Step 1 – choose a topic
Before the field trip we identified which brief students wanted to work to
“You Don’t Need To Be There To Be There”. – not all students could come on the field trip but it was important to take advantage of the virtual nature of the project. All students were part of the preparation, development and testing the resources.
They chose Vintage and the Heritage Options and felt that the relationship between real space (analogue) and virtual history would run through both projects.
Step 2: Identify your learning goals
Both groups thought about what it was that they wanted to ‘teach’.
Step 3: Plan a structure.
Then we thought about what would need to be taught (we started with a familiar option – the essay plan)
Step 4: Skills Audit
Thinking about how to translate our aims and learning goals into a digital formal we identified what skill set we already had. We started from the assumption that we all bring something to the table, not just what we do at University, and that includes the students who weren’t able to physically come on the trip.
Step 5: Make it Happen
What I thought would happen:
Thursday 24 March 9 am Breakfast NRH
9.45 walk to Dreamland
10.00 am, Introduction from Dreamland Heritage
11.00 am Talk and Workshop from Iain Aitch
(includes short break)
12.30 tips from Chris Warne
12.45 Groups set their agendas for the afternoon
1.00- 2 lunch break (lunch not provided)
2-5pm plan and make stuff
7pm Dinner at Mullins Brasserie
Friday 25th March 9 am Breakfast
9.45 walk to Dreamland
10.am Park opens, explore and play. Produce all content needed.
4pm Pick up by Lemon Bus
What actually happened
Despite all our mentors’ preparation there were a few challenges to overcome. There were some issues around having multiple editors and how to plan the accounts. I’d suggested some shared usernames and passwords. There were also challenges around structure and how to guide a user through a virtual resource without losing interactivity. Both groups found that taking the physicality of the space as a virtual guide worked well.
Our Resources – Please use and share, or make your own
1. Start at the entrance to get an understanding of what we can learn from thinglink
2. Go to the dreamland sign next to the entrance for what is vintage
3. At the highest point of the rollercoaster for generation
4. The pleasure park sign for presentation on commodification
5. The Dreamland sign at the rear of the park is presentation on Arcades and vintage at Dreamland
Step 1 – Download the free app from the App Store or from the website: https://www.thinglink.com/stream
Step 2 – Create a free account! It takes 2 minutes
Step 3 – If using the app on your phone, use the code D4MS4A to join our channel
Step 4 – If using your laptop, enter the address https://www.thinglink.com/channel/769576995393634304 into your browser’s search bar to go to the Dreamland channel
Step 4 – Browse through the interviews and pictures; clicking a picture will take you to additional content including articles and videos!
Step 5 – Make your own ThingLink image and use the hashtag #Dreamland2016 to add your content to the Dreamland search!
What students got out of it.
We ended the course by thinking about how everything we’d done on Post-punk Britain fitted into, but also challenged the concept of ‘transferable skills’. How would you explain DIT Digital on your cv?
A tutors and students guide plus our TEL handy guides are available to access via Dropbox in our Digital Toolbox