Socially Engaged Digital Practice: UAL T&L Fund

How can we use digital technology to better enable positive change and greater accessibility to education and work?

 

We are really please to have been awarded 3k from the University of the Arts (UAL) Teaching and Learning Fund.

This project aims to explore socially engaged practice & social inclusion through a digital lens, provoking debate around the pervasive nature of digital technology and the positive & negative impacts on social inclusion.

The concept of socially engaged practice/social inclusion in arts education is not generally seen as a part of UAL everyday pedagogical discourse, particularly from a socio-economic diversity perspective.

We aim to create shared interest groups of UAL staff, students, alumni & external communities to focus on how we use digital technology to better enable positive change and greater accessibility to education and work.

Image above: The project is influenced by the work of Tania Burgeria, Tate Modern HYUNDAI COMMISSION and work with the Tate Neighbours. We will be supported by Natalie Bell of Coin Street Community Builders & Tate Modern’s recently renamed Natalie Bell building in honour of this local community activist. If you are interested in attending related workshops for UAL staff & students please contact Chris Follows c.follows@arts.ac.uk

The overall aim of this project is to:

  1. introduce students to socially engaged practice & social inclusion with a specific focus on social mobility.
  2. explore the potential use of digital technology as tool for actual & virtual collaboration with external communities not in FE/HE education.
  3. digital technology as area of debate, discussion and as a shared area of interest with potential community collaborative partners.
  4. understand how access to digital technology impacts on social mobility
  5. explore citizen centred innovation through experiential exchange
  6. develop new perspectives with potential community collaborative partners on barriers to HE/FE arts education and if the use of digital technology can better support positive change.
  7. understand curriculum perspectives on engaged practice/social inclusion
  8. discover new opportunities for creating & supporting social enterprise 
  9. create a number of recommendations for improving access into creative education for those who experience a socio-economic disadvantage.  

This project aims to explore socially engaged practice & social inclusion through a digital lens, provoking debate around the pervasive nature of digital technology and the positive & negative impacts on social inclusion.

This project will provide new perspectives, pedagogical debate and experiential research into socially engaged practice & social inclusion.

Areas of pedagogical research, debate & activity:

 

Emergent Futures:

  • Growing problem of access, diversity and inequality in arts & creative education, creative sector and the tech industries.
  • Rapid movement and impact of digital technological change on our everyday lives and local/international communities.

Collaboration:

  • How do we create a neutral space that can avoid structured mandates and support true collaboration and social inclusion?
  • What challenges are there for different communities from different environments & contexts to successfully collaborate?

Borderless Movement. How can we explore virtual movement and collaboration through immersive experimentation & collaboration? 

Impacts on those involved:

 

The legacy of the project will live on through the communities we work with and developed during the project. These new specialist groups and collaborators will be confident enough at the end of the project, to take forward their new social enterprise projects and/or models and seek further support independently.   

External partners will gain new insights into arts education and we’d encourage the positive impacts of the project will be disseminated across their communities beyond the project.

Institutional impacts:

  • Increased social engagement
  • Student & staff awareness of socially engaged practice
  • Generate new funding possibilities
  • College support for the project by possible future internal investment
  • Support wider adoption of social inclusion to CCW practice & curriculum
  • New opportunities for students
  • New resources
  • New training and workshops for specialist research
  • Students become experts in this area

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Tina Touli

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