Accelerated Education and Immersive Enterprise

Frew, M. (Consultant), Tzanidis, T. (Consultant)

Activity: Consultancy

Description

Take walk down your local high street, enter a bar, shopping mall or journey on the bus or train and you will see eyes glued to screens. The concept of the ‘screenager’ (Rushcoft, 1997) has been posited for some time. However, with the rise of ubiquitous smart technologies integrated with social media we are witnessing a maturing of the screenager in this techno-cultural age of acceleration (Dijck, 2013). We are in the midst of techno-cultural earthquake the impact of which, and the aftershocks to come, are questioning our conceptions time, space and subjectivity (Frew, 2014; 2017). Today the speed and, most importantly, the integration of digital, social and transformational technologies are challenging how we work, live and learn.

Given that education holds a pivotal role in understanding and responding to this globalising phenomenon it is essential that our critical gaze turns upon how current and future pedagogy. Interestingly, education is one of the last bastions to be digitally disrupted (Ally and Prieto-Blázquez, 2016). To this day the pedagogical discourse of the 18th and 19th century hold sway even in the most prestigious institutions. Didactic, rationalised, passive and face-to-face educational models that centre the academic still dominate. This paper argues for and present a new pedagogical approach that embraces and works with the digital dynamics of this age.

Referred to here as the Googl-ED project this study is situated within the University of the West of Scotland’s School of Business and Enterprise. Methodologically Googl-ED represents a case approach focused on a new programme MSc Digital Marketing. Initiated over a timeline from December 2013 and currently ongoing Googl-ED involved two cohorts of postgraduate students of multicultural origin. Drawing on a Foucaultian analysis (Foucault, 1986; Ball, 2013) qualitative and digitally curated commentary and content provides the primary data and analytical framework. Importantly, the Googl-ED project (summarized below) and educational experience of student cohorts was juxtaposed bith modular engagement with the traditional didactic and rationalised approach. This provided students with a comparative experience which is reflected within the data sets.

We argue that traditional didactic education perpetuates a discourse infected by the power and centered essentialism and expert knowledge truth claims of Modernity. This perpetuates the institutional arrangements of higher education, academic professionalism and, ironically, maintains a silo of knowledge production that disadvantages students in the 21st Century age of acceleration. As such this much of higher education continues to reflect is discourse of conformity, oppression so anti-education (Freire, 2014). Contrary to this a new vision of education that responds to the challenges of this 21st century techno-culture and age of acceleration. We argue that with Googl-ED we advance a new pedagogical approach that digitally and physically transforms the teaching and learning practice of educators and provides an engaging, personalised and immersive educational experience for students.

The Googl-ED approach accelerates, empowers and enables an interactive student-centric educational experience as it draws on and integrates innovative digital, social and transformational technologies with a dynamic edutainment of practical learning. The traditional didactic pedagogical approach of modernity centred on academic power, position and conformity are replaced by a postmodern decentered academic facilitating an underpinning empowering and enterprise educational philosophy (Ello, 2016). Here building creative confidence, higher order skills of critical interrogation and a dynamic practical and digital skills set essential to not only serve but shape future business (Solis, 2013) are paramount. Moreover, digital is an ever present force as the social media cultures of convergence (Flinn and Frew, 2014) of students play an active role in informing and connecting live practice and business to the learning process. In this institutional systems, structures and conformity are actively deconstructed in favour of a ‘practice of freedom’ that looks to empower the creativity and critique of students in and through a convergent cycle of digital to practical or real world.

With Googl-ED we highlight the effectiveness of delivering core educational content hosted through a versatile cloud-based platform that allows staff to customise and communicate learning cognisant to their field, industry and the expectations of students. Here primary lecture material is digitally captured and curated for online access anywhere, anyplace, anytime. In this lecture content is compressed into a series of short segments (i.e. 1hr lecture broken into 3-10 mins), which are collated and introduced through a TouchCast overlay.

Most importantly, not only does the TouchCast introduction provides flexible personalisation but, as it enables all media to be interactive, as it allows students to layer their knowledge and experience on to the lecture content being presented. As such, and unlike the traditional didactic, rationalised and face-to-face, this TouchCasted approach is non-linear, individualised and empowered due to the personal experiences, knowledge and lifeworlds of each students.

Moreover, this TouchCasted, segmented and compressed lecture content responds to the occularcentricity of this age of acceleration (Frew and McGillivray, responding to need to engage with visual and vibrant content. As such a vibrant matrix of multimedia (e.g. video, podcasts, music, blogs, wiki, web sites or TouchCast in TouchCast) captures attention, enhances engagement and encourages interactivity, critique and a cycle of discussion and debate across the embedded social media platforms. Finally, while lecture concepts are compressed and animated via a matrix of digitally engaging content, learning is contextualised through the use of 360VR (virtual reality). With 360VR the Googl-ED approach builds immersive experience, or teleported presence, (Frew, 2017) into its practice. This allows students to be instantaneously transported and immersed in any location, business or real life environment. As such we are able to overcome time, space or physical capability or geography to provide contextualised cybertrips with immediate and immersive teaching and learning.

Therefore, we argue that the Googl-ED project represents a visual, vibrant and viral enterprising educational experience where digital, social and transformational technology supports and drives the distinctive physical and edutaining aspects of teaching and learning. Here the dynamic face-to-face engagement of student learning is embedded through a series active learning practices/activities that link and interrogate theory with live industrial practice and contextualised experience. This integration and networking between the digital, physical and industrial contexts provides students with and innovative and convergent educational experience. However, as with any discourse resistance is ever present and, undoubtedly, the power of traditional approaches will bite back. Regardless, the future is indeed now!



Period5 May 2015
Held atSchool of Business and Enterprise
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Keywords

  • Google for Higher Education
  • Business Education
  • Accelerated Education and Immersive Enterprise
  • Immersive
  • Innovation
  • Digital Marketing
  • 360 Video
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Mixed Reality
  • Digital Education