Helen Keegan – University of Copenhagen

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Curiosity and Curriculum: Adventures in Education and Technology

Keynote by Helen Keegan

Over the past decade the rapid growth of the social web has disrupted traditional educational models leading to increased adoption of emerging pedagogies characterized by networks, openness and collaboration. Whether focused solely on participation in networked learning environments or, more broadly, as connected digital citizens, media literacies are crucial for optimal participation in a networked society. While the benefits of participation are well-documented, in order to navigate the ‘wilderness’ of social media learning spaces and networked cultures we need to develop digital literacies, involving an understanding of digital cultures and identities that moves beyond traditional disciplinary and institutional boundaries. There is much to be gained by moving beyond the constraints of formal education, yet learners can often be risk-averse and highly assessment driven, taking an instrumental approach to learning as a result of seeing education for employment rather than enlightenment.

How can we make learners deeply curious? How can we get learners to move beyond assessment?

In this keynote session I shall present a transmedia experience where mystery and intrigue were the drivers for collaborative exploration into digital identities and digital cultures. The focus was curiosity: how far would learners go in driving their own learning when mystery and intrigue were embedded into the curriculum?

Using a range of online (and offline) social and mobile platforms, learners became players in an alternate reality game, leading them to drive their own curriculum and develop a deep understanding of issues around digital identity and participatory culture. Through exploring transmedia learning experiences that are wild, spontaneous and (somewhat) chaotic, I will reflect on ‘risky pedagogies’ and the shifting relationships between learners, educators and institutions in a networked world.

About Helen Keegan

Helen Keegan (@heloukee) is a UK National Teaching Fellow, currently holding a dual role as Principal Project Lead for the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (University of Coventry) and Senior Lecturer/Researcher at the University of Salford, MediaCity UK.

Her expertise lies in curriculum innovation through social and participatory media with a particular focus on creativity and interdisciplinarity. She is particularly known for her work on digital cultures and identities, reimagining learning and teaching through social technologies and the interplay between formal and informal learning. Helen works across sciences and media arts, developing partnerships and creative approaches to learning and collaboration, both in the UK and overseas.

For more info see http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/profiles/keegan/.