Dialogic multimedia

Biblioteca Angelica

Biblioteca Angelica (cc sa) Seth Schoen

What kicked me off on this audio exploration of academic multimedia? Two things.

First and proximal cause: when I reported that my colleagues and I had been asked if we could give workshops on technology enhanced learning (TEL) the suggestion was scoffed. Why give workshops when you could do a series of three minute talking heads?

But the deeper underlying cause has been my interest in academic multimedia and dialogue – even dialogism – in learning.

On the face of it dialogue and three minute recorded talks appear to be the antithesis of one another. I ramble out a monologue. You can’t talk back. I don’t know if you listen and can’t hear you shouting at the radio. Like shouting at the radio and calling it political engagement, exercising a jerked knee at a podcast can hardly be deep learning.

But there is rhetoric, here. Despite Ingraham’s implication that valorised academic argument might be restricted to print, I disagree. Although there are powerful forces arrayed in print against a rebirth of dialogue in other media it should be able to be done. But, it will depend on big changes.

Change is welcomed when it transfers power and wealth from the less powerful to the more powerful, narrowing and elevating an ever smaller elite. And to the extent that TEL and academic multimedia plays into this game, they are welcome by that elite.

But can academic multimedia be a challenge? Or even a life preserver?.I think it depends on the media or medium. And that is the teacher: a medium, a mediator, a holder of space between: not a gatekeeper so much as guide and prop when the walls start falling in.

I am a teacher of teachers. A role that is often rejected by those it is purported to help. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t teach teach teachers. I walk that chalk line and use all I know to hold the space where teachers can grow.

Why give workshops? Because holding academic multimedia space is hard work. I am inviting you to talk back, and – wait for it – in the next episode there will be a form.

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