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The New School

Wednesday, October 12, 3:00-5:30 pm
3:00-5:30 pm
Orozco Room, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th St., 7th floor

Geoff Gilbert (The American University of Paris, France)
Mark Hayward (The American University of Paris)
Claudia Roda (The American University of Paris)

This workshop will examine how the integration of digital and mobile media into teaching and research has been experienced at smaller colleges and universities globally. While the horizontal and distributed nature of digital networks is often seen as making questions of distance and scale irrelevant, this workshop aims to provide a framework for discussion which recognizes that, while these technologies have changed our experience of the world around us, the institutions in which we work continue to condition the way in which we do or don’t make use of the tools available.

A smaller number of staff as well as limited financial resources for the purchasing and maintenance of information infrastructure on campus produces a very particular set of constraints when it comes to the adoption of digital media.  At the same time, smaller institutions are often defined by pedagogical practice that gives space for more personalized relationships between students and faculty as well as providing the opportunity of greater collaboration across departments and disciplines.  What, then, possibilities are there for digital scholarship and education at smaller institutions?

Questions addressed

The questions that the workshop aims to address include, but are not limited to:

  • What are the ways in which digital and mobile technologies have been incorporated into curricula and research at small institutions? Participants are welcome to share their experiments, successes, and failures with the group.
  • How have different projects translated these technologies into the specific pedagogical and institutional cultures of their institutions? How do they contribute to the educational processes? How is this contribution measured?
  • What is the impact of these technologies on small classrooms environments where personal relationships, privacy, and trust, are central to the building of a successful learning experience? How do these relationships translate across linguistic and cultural differences in the classroom and beyond?
  • How have these technologies contributed to the building of communities and collaborations? What are the processes necessary to sustain culturally and locally specific knowledge? How do such knowledges relate to projects that seek to contribute to students' global awareness?
  • The high costs of these technologies and/or of the human investment required to have often meant that smaller institutions have been hesitant or unable to finance major investments in digital media. How have different contexts adapted to the economic constraints, finding low-cost alternatives to developing a digitally-engaged curriculum? What kinds of funding agencies have different groups worked with to receive support?
Call for Contributions

We invite prospective participants to submit, by September 20 2011, a position paper addressing one or more of the above questions or proposing a related area of inquiry to be considered by the group.

Position papers should not exceed 2000 words and should be addressed to digi4school[at]aup[dot]edu.

We would appreciate receiving expressions of interest with a tentative topic / title as soon as possible and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Workshop format

These position papers will be circulated prior to the meeting in New York. It is our hope to be able to facilitate the development for a short report which might serve as a resource for other interested individuals working at small institutions that would provide examples for the adoption of digital technology, models for thinking about its place in the curriculum at small teaching-oriented institutions and organizations that might provide technical or financial support.


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