I just got back from attending the fourth and final workshop on collaborative learning from the Community-powered Digital Transformation project run by David Gauntlett and colleagues at the University of Westminister, with partners from Tate, British Library and a number of other cultural institutions in and around London.
There seemed to be particular interest and attention to questions around integrating online and offline participation, project sustainability, and generating incentives for content co-creation. There was also a focus on how we think of ourselves in terms of digital skills and expertise. What’s the line between ‘expert’ and ‘enthusiast’ — do we even need to draw one? Do terms like ‘digital native’ and ‘digital immigrant’ really capture what it means to embody and practice digital engagements?
While we certainly raised more questions than came up with answers, what I took away from the workshop was the need for collaboration and greater sharing between academia, museums, archives and other cultural institutions. While we often harp on about skillshares, we also need problemshares–spaces where we share what didn’t work, places where we can show off our best failures.
In tune with this, I was really impressed with the honesty and openness about vulnerabilities, failures and challenges that presenters and participants shared at the workshop. To learn from each other we have to show our projects ‘warts and all.’ This was thanks, in part, to project partner Anastasia Kavada who brought her experience and expertise in facilitation and collective learning to the workshops, guiding small group break out sessions and highlighting that the form in which we share and collaborate, shapes the atmosphere and the quality of the content we co-create.