Mobile Photography and Open, Networked Learning
This paper explores the intersection of photography and education at a time when both are facing significant changes, partly as a result of the increasing use of digital, mobile devices. Mobile smart phones not only include increasingly good quality built-in cameras, they also enable the immediate editing and sharing of photos through social networks. This reduces the importance of the image as an artifact and increases the social aspect of photography. Similarly, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in schools and universities provide opportunities to reconsider how and where learning happens. Mobile digital devices allow students to explore, create, communicate and collaborate with their peers in the classroom and with others beyond. Following a review of how networked smart phones are used for photography and in education, I report on two innovative photography courses that make effective use of mobile devices and social networks to empower students and enhance the learning experience. Phonar (photography and narrative) is a hybrid course that is offered to fee-paying place-based students at the University of Coventry and is also open for others to access for free. Phonar Nation is a free, non-credit course designed for teenagers and delivered through a mobile Web app with the help of community mentors. I discuss how their use of mobile media and social networks, together with collaboration and open strategies, serve as examples of how mobile devices can be effectively used to serve creative practice and extend learning.
Copyright (c) 2015 Mark McGuire and Colab
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