On Presence and Webcams

We are looking at a synchronous mix of on-line and in person teaching for the Autumn term, and there are a number of reasons why. Firstly, we want to build a sense of community and shared purpose, and we believe that comes from student ownership and adoption of a collective presence.

Ten titles for teaching in tenuous times

Pedagogy can seem like a dry subject, so I decided to give a list of my Top 10 favourite books. I’m no expert, more of an armchair general, but now seems a good time to keep connected to the ever evolving debates, theories and practices surrounding the art and craft of teaching.

Do Students need Atomic Habits?

Non attending students don’t lack motivation: they lack ’Atomic Habits’. As we attempt to cram more instruction, more software demanded by industry, more entrepreneurial and business skills into the same 3 year cycle, we owe it to our learners to fortify them with a framework for coping, and build up their motivation levels.

7 Myths about University Study

This is an article I prepared for Access:VFX. I’d been finding that people were starting to stereotype Universities, especially as they tried to articulate the value of apprenticeships. It’s as if it’s necessary to paint University study as all ‘academic tomes and ivory towers’ in order to position Apprenticeships as the binary opposite. People don’t…

What students can learn from VFX role models

In July 2018 I was honoured to give an oration for Paul Franklin’s investiture as Honorary Doctor at Norwich University of the Arts. It seemed to me that Paul’s story should find a wider audience of students, who could maybe model their behaviour on his, since his career narrative exhibits all those aptitudes we often tell students about.

No more stories- let’s start building Worlds

(This is a slightly expanded text based on an article I wrote for the April 2018 edition of 3D Artist magazine.) It’s said that when Catherine the Great made a grand tour of the Ukraine in 1787 down the River Dnieper, Prince Grigory Potemkin was so keen to impress her that he ordered fake village…

Mind the Gap: Mindset and crossing the “Greatness gap”

Many of us are interested why some students don’t seem motivated to succeed at their chosen studies despite what might be thought of as highly extrinsic motivators like high University tuition fees and the need to be employable. After all, a degree isn’t compulsory- they opted in, but some don’t flourish. Is Mindset theory the…