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Project Proposal of one a year ago


Through this module I will continue to investigate the creative use of digital media in the context of my work as an art teacher, through practice led research and investigation into both current key issues and a core pedagogy.

I will explore current and emerging technologies such as smart phones and social networking, and the developments that make these technologies so beguiling and enticing.

Smart phones capture both still and moving images, can directly publish the results, and the majority of my students now carry these devices with them all the time. With miniature cameras, touch sensitive screens, instant connectivity, and their physical appeal and desirability as objects and symbols they are powerful tools with extraordinary potential.

I will explore the implications of this potential in relation to a creative and artistic pedagogy, with particular reference to the propensity of this technology to enthuse and engage.

With my background as a photographer, artist and teacher I am particularly interested in the space between the still and moving image, and in elements of chance and serendipitous juxtaposition. There is a magic to the creation of movement, and a strong resonance between current technological developments and those of a century ago, combined with an ease of use that takes what was previously accessible only to skilled professionals, and puts the potential of this magic into the hands of the young.


I am primarily an educator; my creative practice is mostly realised through the students that I teach. I have been working with digital media for the best part of two decades, exploring the creative potential of computer technology. Does the prevalence of digital technology; the ease of image capture, editing and broadcasting lead to greater creativity or are young people passive consumers? As an artist working with young people I directly experience the excitement and creative energy with which these tools are put to use. Our school system is still primarily based on an industrial, Victorian model, with rows of learners facing a teacher, albeit with an interactive chalk board. The examination system favours individualism, and ‘imitators’ rather than ‘creators’. Digital technology has wide ranging implications; this revolution is as monumental as it’s moveable type and silver salt and cinematic antecedence, and its effects will substantially alter the pedagogic status quo as learning is freed from the confines of classroom, teacher and school; as teachers become facilitators, mentors and enablers, making use of these new tools and helping young people realise the potential of this new technology in their learning and play.

My own pedagogic style has always leant towards play. I am increasingly interested in my work with group creativity as well as individual creativity, and reflect on my own creative role as a performer, conductor, orchestrator, editor, producer, facilitator, mentor and enabler; perhaps also magician, clown and fool.

The background to this proposal is firmly rooted in the work that I have done in the classroom as this digital revolution has evolved, and more specifically in the work that I have done over the course of this MA, recorded through my MA website. My intention with this module is to explore some of the more salient ideas that have been precipitating through this practise led research, searching for an underlying and underpinning pedagogy.

Methods and Strategies

This module will balance creative, practical, action based research with research into current academic thought relevant to my explorations, taking account of my own creative style, which has always tended towards trial and iteration. I shall be working with various networks, with my own students, with other art teachers and their students, with the intention of creating schemes and structures that will act as prototypes that will test ideas and provide opportunity through creation, for feedback and reflection.


As I intend to be working at the cutting edge of this developing technology, much of the research that I will be doing will be online, through relevant blogs, tweets and websites.

Specific key works:

Brian Sutton-Smith, The Ambiguity of Play, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: First Harvard University Press, 2001)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity, (London: Harper Perennial ,1996)
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