Arts, Creative Industries and Education Public Lecture Series - Professor John Cook

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Date: 05 March 2014
Venue: 2D67, Frenchay Campus
Time: 18:00

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John Cook, Professor of Learning Innovation at the University of the West of England, will deliver his inaugural lecture entitled, 'Social Network Innovation in the Internet's Global Coffeehouses: Pandora, Learning Layers, Design Seeking and Scaling' as part of the Arts, Creative Industries and Education Public Lecture Series.


  • 18:00 - Registration and refreshments
  • 18:30 - Lecture
  • 19:30 - Networking and supper

About the Lecture

There is much that we can learn from the past as we explore the issues raised by new technologies and the way in which they are used by learners.

Like the social networking that took place in coffee houses in the 1600s, the Internet-enabled social networks of today, like Facebook and Twitter, stand accused of being so called 'weapons of mass distraction' or worse.

In fact, in England in the late 1600s, very similar concerns were raised about coffee houses! However, rather than acting as enemies of industry or distractions to academics, coffee houses in the 1600s were in fact crucibles of creativity, because of the way in which they facilitated the mixing of both people and ideas.

Now the spirit of the coffeehouse has been reborn in our social-media platforms. McKinsey Global Institute, (2012) claim that social networking within companies could increase the productivity of 'knowledge workers' by 20 to 25 percent.

OpenWorm is an open source project dedicated to creating the world's first virtual organism in a computer and fostering growth of a completely open computational biology community. Modern fears about the dangers of social networking are overdone.

Design research allows us to engage in inquiry surrounding the transformative possibilities for learning technologies. In this lecture, he'll take the view that the neglected area of 'design seeking' can help us with attempts designing for scale.

In the Learning Layers Project, we develop technologies that support informal learning in the workplace (Health Professionals in NE England and the Construction sector in North Germany).

Co-design is being used with all user groups to help shape our designs and tools. A model is presented of design seeking and scaling.

The PANDORA design team case study from Learning Layers is used to illustrate the model. PANDORA explores, amongst other things, designs for collaborative technologies for processes surrounding a Significant Event Audit (SEA) in UK Health Sector's General Practices.

The lecture concludes with an assessment of the model and a confirmation that Internet fuelled coffeehouses are very much alive in Learning Layers and beyond.

About the speaker

John Cook (PhD) is Professor of Learning Innovation at the University of the West of England, Director of the Bristol Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning and Education (BRILLE) and convenor of the Designing for Digital Learners (D4DL) Research Group.

He has published/presented around 240 refereed articles and invited talks in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), having a specific interest in five related areas:

  • informal learning
  • mobile learning in all sectors
  • augmented contexts for development
  • user-generated contexts
  • work-based learning

Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium

You may also be interested in the Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium which, co-chaired by John Cook, is taking place from 6 - 7 March 2014 at The Watershed, Bristol.

More information and registration available here.

Cost: Free
Contact: Corporate Relations and Events Team
Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83934

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