TC President Susan Fuhrman

Wrap-up: Digital Learning @ TC

Last week, approximately 200 Teachers College students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends participated in Digital Learning at TC, an exhibition curated by MASCLab, sponsored by the TC Office of Digital Learning, and hosted in the Smith Learning Theater.

The goal of the exhibition was to spotlight a range of interesting examples of learning innovation made possible in part by digital technologies—both high-tech and low-tech. Montages of clips from faculty interviews and examples of faculty- and student-created artifacts populated six thematic exhibits:

  1. Windows: Seeing Learning In Action
  2. Conduits: Crossing/Connecting Time & Space
  3. Materiality: Technology as Art Medium & Performance Space
  4. Embodiment: Virtual Realities & Research as “Me”-search
  5. Design: Technology and Pedagogy in Conversation
  6. Multimodality: Making Meaning Across Modes of Expression

A striking result of the research was the theme of materiality. In earlier days of digital media, prevailing wisdom envisioned a strict separation between digital and analog, online and offline. The materiality exhibit highlighted uses of digital media and tools as “just another material” for art-making, and as a venue for hybrid performances that connect the physical and digital domains.

For example, faculty interviewee Marta Cabral shared the story of her art education teaching practice incorporating augmented reality (AR). AR projects a digital layer called an “aura” onto a camera’s view of a physical space:

My young students who are birth to five year olds who have a particular way of engaging with many things including the digital materials and a lot of it is through me. So they are less involved in kind of pressing the buttons and working on the screen unnecessarily. They are very much involved in telling the stories part of it. So one of the things that we’ve been working a lot with is the augmented reality. So they decide what they want to show and how, and the stories that they want to tell. And then they helped me creating the Auras that are going to be seen by other people.

The exhibition included work in watercolor, tempera paint, and cardboard by her students in the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center. Participants who scanned the exhibited works were treated to videos and photos of its creators at work.

Children's art with augmented reality
A participant uses an augmented reality scanner app to watch a young art creator at work

A separate exhibition of Cabral’s students’ work

Digital Learning at TC took place Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring plenary remarks and panel discussions interspersed with open exhibit time. The exhibition was also open during Friday’s Distinguished Alumni Reception and Saturday’s Academic Festival.

Learn more

MASCLab members captured some nice media at the event; we put a few shots up on our Facebook page.

Some of the media artifacts from the exhibition are already available for viewing in the project archive; more will be added in the coming weeks.

TC External Affairs wrote this preview.

Lead curator Kyle Oliver filmed this short tour for his personal blog.

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