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University of the village

University of the village

Published in Education , Technology
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  • UOTV was a pilot project funded by the AHRC’s connected communities programme in 2011 and in conjunction with 3 other universities and BTs superfast broadband project, delivered a short film course to rural communities. The extension of this project and where I became involved is in further connecting those communities through a short writing project and focussing on materials that developed technological/digital literacies amongst the participants. Taking the positive principles of Open Educational Resources and the social learning and student centred opportunities offered by open online courses, the focus of UOTV is connecting communities and groups rather than individuals and recognising that learning takes place in the interactions and sharing of knowledge amongst participants.

  • Lave and Wenger’s concepts of facilitating pre-existing communities of practice, part taught on site (pub, hall, someone’s house), part via web conferencing as a blended approach. Developing literacies in use of technology. Not just the how of using stuff, but the why, where, when it’s appropriate to use.
    Use of OER around meant that the team can focus on the co-design of the learning experience. Adaptable resources meant that learners can connect wherever and however they want to the learning material and it becomes personal to them.

  • The bit I’ve been most involved in. Learning broken down into weeks and using a learning by doing approach. Week one introduces the tools, we are already using Hangouts and we introduce Tumblr and how to create and account. Week 2 is about your Digital Footprint.. the trail you leave behind on line. Using a flipped classroom approach, learners can engage with the resources and discuss within the face to face sessions and ask questions through Hangouts to the team and via Tumblr.
  • Taking advantage of existing-web based technolgies, universities are able to reach out to diverse and non-traditional students in large numbers.
    Supported by superfast broadband, an initiative from BT to bring fast access to the web to rural areas.
    Less reliance on IT infrastructure and a more gentle learning curve.

    SAMR approach for technology choice, based on the technologies used in the first iteration. Move from Skype to Hangouts through various technologies such as Fuzebox. We had workshops in using these with staff and students and wrote notes up in Google Docs. Moved from hosted Wordpress to Tumblr for ease of setup and learning curve.
  • Tumblr is already widely used within the creative community and offers a simplistic approach that combines blogging and microblogging through 7 choices of post.
    We wanted something that was minimum fuss, well documented and low support costs as we don’t have web hosting infrastructure at Falmouth. The Edit html functionality and CSS with preview window makes it easy to get into, so other people working on the project who were less familiar with technology could help design the site.

    The reblogging functionality within Tumblr also allows the village communities to potentially set up their own sites and

    Hangouts forms part of our Google Apps for Education deployment and by using the additional functionality of Hangouts on air, we can broadcast to the villages and have on demand video available to look back over. Hangouts are being used to answer questions and discuss the resource material in a “flipped classroom” approach.

    All our resource material is CC licensed, used from other courses that we deliver that support communities of practice online. Many resources have been curated from the web
  • Waiting for the next stage to be signed off.
    Will be making use of facilities at Falmouth University and visiting each village to introduce the project.
    We have a bunch of freely available and reusable resources that aim to facilitate development of digital literacies. Designed to coincide with taught sessions but available to dip in and out of as people see fit.
  • Visit the project online here. Any questions?


  • 1. A bit about the project...
  • 2. A bit about the pedagogy... ● Situated learning/Communities of practice ● Blended learning ● Development of digital literacies ● Open Educational Resources ● Just in time, just in case, just for me. Adaptable resources.
  • 3. A bit about the literacies...
  • 4. A bit about the technology...
  • 5. A bit about the technology...
  • 6. A bit about where we’re at...
  • 7.