How does the future of higher education look like? Insights from SS2TO

It was snowing in Helsinki earlier this week – totally crazy! Despite – or because of – the snow, it’s business as usual in my office, and finally I have some time for serious reflections. This time I’m sharing you with some insights from Studio Summit II – an invite-only gathering of scholars engaged in workshop-/studio-based pedagogies. Invite-only sounds a bit elitistic, perhaps, but its purpose was not to create a sense of exclusivity but instead to generate fruitful discussions amongst the thirty or so participants. This was my first time attending the Studio Summit (first one was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2014), so most of my time went to listening to discussions and getting to know everyone. Although SS3 hasn’t been fixed yet, I’m already looking forward to it!

So, why should you care about SS2TO (abbreviation for Studio Summit 2 Toronto)? Although we mostly focused on higher education, this one guy from Autodesk actually made a valid point that learning doesn’t end when you leave the university campus. When you get back home from the uni, after your graduation – you still continue learning! And the question is, how could we utilize different tools, software, and methodologies to support learning that is neither temporally or spatially bound? And as Daved Barry, one of the main organizers of SS2TO, pointed out, maybe the question is not about digitalizing the studio, but studioizing the digital. Simple, yet powerful!

But how does one actually go about studioizing the digital? During SS2TO, we organized a series of mini workshops / facilitated sessions, and one of those was about summarizing all the previous sessions. I was one of the facilitators in this workshop, and we tasked everyone to share their thoughts on four domains: material – digital, digital in space & time, digital in activities, and connecting studios (digitally, physically, mentally). Below, you’ll find some results from our workshop.

1. Material – digital
2. Digital in space & time
3. Digital in activities
4. Connecting studios

How do these issues resonate with you, both as a facilitator and a learner? Although our point of departure was higher education, would you say these learnings and insights are also compatible with other educational fields as well as other contexts where learning takes place?

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