Tuesday 5 December 2017

Staff and students in the Faculty of Education and Humanities have been collaborating with fellow academics in Belgium, Denmark and Norway as part of an Erasmus+ project aiming to promote digital learning across all boundaries.

The three-year project has just completed its first year and has enabled students, teachers and academics from not just Northampton, but from Howest University College, West Flanders in Belgium, Østfold University College in Norway and University College of Northern Denmark to work together to create and share teaching material.

The first part has mainly focused on using technology to break down the physical barriers between the classroom and outdoor environment.

Jean Edwards, Senior Lecturer in Education, said: “For the first theme of this project we have concentrated on using technology outdoors and our activity has included creating trails, wild writing, science and producing artwork that leaves no mark on the environment.

“Exploring this kind of art across the four countries allowed us to make seasonal and geographical comparisons as well as considering how this approach can be developed when working in an urban environment.

“Throughout the year in all of our ideas we have considered how to manipulate and change the environment and bring the outdoors inside. Our ‘virtual sculptures’ activity allowed participants to make and place sculptures anyway by using the DoInk app ‘Greenscreen’ This then led to conversations about where public art is placed and the affect that this has on people who live in or visit that place.

“Allowing the makers to manipulate their small sculptures and virtually change their scale, orientation and location using the app was great fun and captured the imagination of children and adults alike.”

In October all the participants involved in the project met up in Belgium to plan the next stage of the project which will focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) using arts and digital technology.

As well as meeting artists and educators working in the STEAM field, the group also had a tour of Bruges and visited two schools so they were able to liaise with teachers and pupils.

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