Thursday, November 22, 2012

BPN 1616: The Social University (2)

The University of Graz was today the host of the Academic Network Conference organized by the network European Academy of Digital Media (EADiM), a foundation legally incorporated in The Netherlands. The conference usually attracts professors and lecturers from universities and colleges throughout Europe. This time the following countries were represented: Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, UK, including Wales, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Cyprus.

This year’s theme The Social University sounded very interesting. The organizing committee wrote on the theme: “ Today’s students are intense users of ICTs and multimedia and have taken charge of creating content. Intellectual and cultural production in general have been democratized radically through social media. The new technologies deliver smart phones and tablets in everybody’s hand, and social media and PCs are ubiquitous in higher education environments”.

EADiM’ chairman Peter Bruck extrapolated the statement at the start of the conference. Students, besides creating content, learn by creating content and generate knowledge in the process of creating content. Students even share content faster than professors can speak, Professor Petre Bruck said.

No longer can you speak of an info transfer between the professor and the student as the student breathes Google in and out. That is the way he learns, basically out of poverty. And learning is relational. Relations count and are decisive for the education of the student. It is formed by social structures, altered by technologies and access to them. In this way the intellectual production is democratized radically and the web and social media are the channels.

A new culture is emerging thanks to the new media platforms and the convergent media environment. New skills and new lietarcies are acquired and need to be passed on. Try and learn, explore and study, live and reflect are the main ways of growing up as a student and staying up2dateas teacher/instructor.

The basic question to Institutions of Higher Education/Universities are maintaining currency in this shifting media environment and engaging students as producers and partners in practicing new paradigm of learning and research.

With such a theme there should be some fireworks coming from the lectures and discussions. And it did on the first day.      

No comments: