Engaging Student Social Networks to Motivate Learning: Capturing, Analysing and Critiquing the Visual Image
Today’s students ‘think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors’. (M.Prensky 2004) This presentation will discuss how we have implemented a unique, innovative and effective model of student-centred learning by offering an experience that directly captures students’ enthusiasm through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. We will describe the teaching approach used, taking into account the digital technology age, the digital camera and the digital student. Meeting the needs of students and the consequence of using an emerging social technology has engendered a spirit that has even the reluctant and less creative student immersing themselves in creative, photographic skills. As many of today’s students are juggling work, study and social life, time and money constraints impact on their learning. The dynamic nature of Flickr has enabled regular and immediate feedback between students and teachers. Students are motivated to reflect, analyse and critique their work, and work of their peers more frequently, establishing a practice of visual literacy skills including image and editing techniques. Students can explore the camera and reflect and develop skills in their own time. The implementation of Flickr has eliminated printing costs and allowed students to take photos, upload and edit their images for sharing and critiquing anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Evaluation so far indicates we have embraced a technology where students can still learn and enjoy photography in a style and mode they regularly use for social networking. Students’ feedback to date highlight reviewing and comparing themselves across the cohort of students with opportunities to critique and be critiqued outside of their class and friendship groups has enhanced their learning experience.
Keywords: Web 2.0, Flickr, Photography, Visual Literacy, Collaboration, Peer Learning, Student-centred Learning
Lecturer, Faculty of Design, Swinburne University of Technology
Education Development Advisor, Academic Development and Support, Swinburne University of Technology