Creating a Studio Environment
Whether in the old world or the new, studios have always sought to spark works of individual achievement through energetic collaboration. Since 2007, leaders at Abilene Christian University have worked closely with AT&T to explore the potential of new mobile computing devices to impact education. In 2010 AT&T announced a $1.8 million grant to encourage future exploration of the power of mobile media and tools for students at all levels.
The new AT&T Learning Studio will support students and faculty as they explore the way we live, learn, and communicate in a digital world. Innovation has always been a deeply human question, and Learning Studio staff are committed to developing the skills of creativity and collaboration essential to careers in the 21st century.
The Learning Studio provides students and faculty a place to develop new ideas, approaches or mobile learning solutions and share them with a global audience.
The Learning Studio is itself a cross-disciplinary collaboration to produce spaces that spark the intense discussion, understanding and consensus essential to meaningful communication.
The Learning Studio works with students, faculty, and future teachers to harness the power of mobile media in K-12 and post-secondary education.
Students at Abilene Christian already see digital competency as central to their future success. In a survey of ACU undergraduates conducted by the Advertising/PR Campaigns class last fall, students were asked, “Would you say building confidence with technology is important to your education?” Of 598 respondents, 86% agreed, while over half strongly agreed.
Since 2002, the Department of Education and educators in both K-12 and Higher Ed have emphasized technological proficiency or literacy in education. Yet, advocacy groups like ISTE and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills insist that the skills essential to a student’s success in the global economy include creativity that inspires innovation and digital as well as interpersonal collaboration.
AT&T’s pioneering gift supports three related approaches to teaching and learning innovation at ACU. The Learning Studio provides a laboratory for experiments in mobility and media across the university curriculum. Mobility and Media Specialists will work with students and faculty to impact learning through studio production as well as mobile media creation in the field.
Specialists from the Learning Studio will also work closely with the K-12 Digital Learning Institute and Mobile Learning Research Fellows to share proven strategies with K-12 teachers and study their effectiveness. When the K-12 Institute brings its first cohort of innovative teachers to Abilene in 2011, we will work to build their confidence with mobile media strategies appropriate to their grade level. We will also continue to work with research fellows on innovative practices like augmented reality and the future of the book.