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Aesthetic Literacy: EURODL Paper and Helsinki Workshop

I have just arrived back to Seoul from Helsinki and wanted to share a new article from Pekka Ihanainen and I on aesthetic literacy and its pedagogical application for mobile lifelong learning (mLLL). As serendipity would allow, the paper was published on the same day we were conducting an aesthetic literacy workshop in Helsinki graciously hosted by Otavan Opisto. The workshop slides can be found below and some compositions emerging from the workshop will be discussed in later posts.

The article was published in the European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning and is cleverly titled Aesthetic Literacy: Observable Phenomena and Pedagogical Applications for Mobile Lifelong Learning (mLLL). The abstract is as follows:

This paper proposed a method for developing capacity for lifelong learning in open spaces, defined here as places without predefined learning structures or objectives, through the cultivation of aesthetic literacy. This discussion will be situated within fieldwork performed by the authors in Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia, in 2013. Based on the researchers’ experience in the field of teacher education and workshops they have conducted on mobile learning, the empirical context for this discussion focuses on data generated from the research methods of participatory observation (ethnography), autoethnography, reflective concept analysis and artistic subjectivity. These methods and the data generated as a result collect to produce insight into how aesthetic literacy sits within the cross-section of open space, mobile learning, and lifelong learning, Aesthetic literacy, appropriated and broadened from its original focus as capacity for “reading” or making meaning from artistic material (discussed in Gale, 2005 as the “living of lyrical moments”), is positioned in this paper as a means of making meaning in open spaces through alignment and attunement.

This paper presents pragmatic methods for pedagogically cultivating learning in open spaces through a focus on aesthetic literacy. The pedagogical advantages of such an approach and its applicability to lifelong learning, particularly lifelong learning activated through mobile technology (or mobile lifelong learning-mLLL), follows along with recommendations for further research. The applicability of such research is for teachers, learners, or researchers who are looking for methods for making use of open spaces for learning, or to cultivate learners who actively seek learning in the “rhythms of the everyday” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011). The aim of the article is to produce fresh insights into the academic discussion about the nature of open space, mobile learning and lifelong learning as seem from the point of view of aesthetic literacy, insights we believe have distinct pedagogical advantages for mLLL.

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

3 Comments

  1. Long time not hearing (reading) from you, I guess you are producing good ideas for your PhD.
    I came across this link http://www.creativityandcognition.com which is about the advancement and understanding of practice in digital media and the arts.
    I thought it could be relevant to your work. Maybe you know it already but maybe not.
    I hope all is well and moving forward.
    Kind regards from Bath 🙂

    1. Hello there, Caroline,

      Many thanks for the resource and looks very interesting. I will be sure to read it through. Apologies for the absence as between the PhD, other papers and projects, I am struggling to find time to write for the blog. I have a list of ides for blog posts on a separate note but I am just finding it hard to find time. Once the PhD is done, though, hopefully that will change! How is your PhD coming along?

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