'Bits & Bytes: Collaborating Together In Fine Art Printmaking,' Online Conferencing in the Arts and Humanities, The Humanities and Arts Higher Education Network. Supported by the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology ISBN 07492 5637 0.
I have been was a member of the Humanities and Arts higher education Network (HAN), for a number of years and was a regular attendee at several of their one day conferences.
My paper ‘Collaborating Together In Fine Art Printmaking’ was presented at their last 7th annual HAN conference held at Milton Keyes 13th October 2001. The theme of the conference was ‘Online Conferencing in the Arts and Humanities’. The themes addressed by the conference where for example: is online conferencing particularly valuable in the Arts and Humanities? What are the benefits? And are they worth the time invested by teachers and students? How best can a knowledge Community be created online? What are the practical and ethical problems of joint creation and ‘ownership’ of knowledge? How best can students use such knowledge in their thinking, writing and creative work? Or, rather, are uses of online discussion, collaboration and web resources just a lot of hype? – 21st century way of accessing ‘photocopied lecture notes’ and ‘model answers’?
The development of modern technology means that learners at a distance as well as on-campus can now be offered a virtual replica of good teaching. Distance education has thus become face to face teaching at a distance. Ways of implementing this are briefly sketched, and some key issues pointed out. Success factors in the author's attested replication model of virtual teaching, which depends on an integration of video lectures of real teaching events and tightly structured textual collaborative learning, are discussed. My paper was aimed at addressing some of these issues raised by the conference themes.
The Humanities and Arts higher education Network (HAN received funding from the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology). It was committed to the improvement to teaching and learning in those subjects. It linked with educators and researchers into the arts and humanities in higher education throughout the UK. Its membership represented over 300 members in over 100 universities and other institutions throughout UK and beyond. It provided a forum for sharing ideas and good practice. The proceedings from the conference were printed by the OU in March 2002. Unfortunately because of lack of funding it ceased as an organisational network in 2003.
However I continued to maintain research on this topic ‘the challenges of new technology in fine art practice in the 21st century’ and have presented further conference papers that address these issues; The College Arts Association Conference’03. (CAA), New York, The impact of new technology on the nature of Teaching Printmaking in the 21st Century; at the Blackboard European Users Conference 2003, Holland, Content and Communication: Shifting the Focus in Approaches to On-line Learning; and at Computers in Art and Design Conference’04, (CADE) Sweden, E-Learning, an educational paradigm shift.
New technology is challenging many aspects of our role as educators in the 21st Century. Computers are no longer just a tool, but have become implicit in the delivery mechanisms for learning and teaching in HE. How are we, as academics and practitioners, and our students, prepared to adapt to these changes in Higher Education.