Critical engagement and intra-cultural knowing: A case for cross-cultural learning

Cross-cultural learning within the British curriculum has often been explored through international historical events, practices and rituals. Whilst this may be interesting to highlight concepts of diversity we believe there is need for curriculum to investigate intra-national cultures to dispel notions of cultural homogeneity within nation-states.


We worked with two schools in the Northeast of England,

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Getting young people thinking active

For nearly a decade primary school children in the North East have learned about fitness and nutrition through Newcastle United Foundation’s Match Fit programme. Now, a digital civics project aims to enhance this six-week programme by using digital technologies to further increase the fitness and health awareness of primary school children.

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Feedback from peer-experts impacts cross-cultural learning

Today’s globalised world has sparked our interest to know more about the diverse cultures and heritages that voluntarily or involuntarily shape our everyday lives. Education can prepare students to adapt and live fulfilling lives in this globalised world, but often cultural learning through the curriculum is delivered in a rigid manner.

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Reflecting on group learning

Group Spinner is a digital visual tool intended to help teachers observe and reflect on children’s collaborative technology-enhanced learning activities in the classroom.

Based on a radar chart and a set of indicators, Group Spinner allows teachers to record in-class observations as to different aspects of group learning and learning behaviors,

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Deep learning through classroom-community collaboration

The pluralist nature of our society has encouraged young people to explore and experience cultural diversity from a very young age. Schools are championing this approach by entwining curriculum topics with themes of cultural diversity but often this consists of exploring factual knowledge of rituals, practices, objects and historical events. 

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Lab talk: Hanna Celina

Self-Organised Learning Environments have revolutionised education by giving students control over their learning. Hanna Celina has taken this concept and applied it to online courses to creating Learning Circle. In partnership with United World Colleges, Learning Circle delivers five-week online courses for high school children around the world.

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Lab talk: Oliver Harness

Complex organisations such as schools cater well for the majority of their pupils, but those pupils who do not fit neatly into the organisational systems and structures may be neglected or need added support. Schools regularly collect and collate pupil performance and attendance data in an attempt to identify those not meeting normative standards.

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Take control of your education

EventMovement is an online platform that allows people to design and commission educational events. The Robinson Library at Newcastle University is holding a competition for students to use EventMovement to design events they would like to see, with a £250 for the best idea.

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Online, engaging and international: a new way of learning

Learning Circle is an online education platform, built with activism-focused courses in mind. These courses bring high school students from all over the world together in a five-week program. All of the course editions that we have done so far were done in partnership with United World Colleges.

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Welcome to Open Lab: Athens

Open Lab has a longstanding interest in the connections between technology and political activism and engaging local communities in decisions that affect them. In the summer of 2016 this research expanded to Greece, with the opening of Open Lab: Athens.

The financial crisis has led to huge changes to Greek society,

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Making movements into educational events

EventMovement is an online platform that allows communities to come together to propose, design and plan events. It is a free and open community commissioning tool for events.

Anyone can propose an idea for an event on EventMovement in just a few short clicks. Then, each event idea goes through three phases.

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Digital displays in rural Northumberland

Digital displays are a rare sight outside of the city and the urban environment. Typically used for the purposes of advertising and promotion within retail, these simple pieces of hardware are becoming increasingly ubiquitous as an embedded piece of technology within society. In contrast to their increasing numbers, their prices have been ever falling,

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Sex education and digital civics

There is a problem with sex and relationships education in schools. School require all maintained schools to teach about human growth, reproduction and sexually transmitted infections (STIs); any further information is provided at the discretion of individual schools. Echoing earlier prohibitions on the “promotion of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship” – the notorious Section 28 of the Local Government Act,

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Bringing local music into local schools

This year I created Remix Portal which is an online music remixing and sharing application that runs in Google Chrome and Firefox.

The motivation behind this work is twofold. Firstly, I thought (and still think) that music education within schools could do a much better job of inspiring students to get involved in music making activities beyond the classroom.

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Parks as learning spaces

For my Digital Civics MRes project I created Park:Learn, a mobile application designed to enable situated mobile learning within local parks. Parks have suffered huge funding cuts due to their low priority within local authorities’ budgets: in 2014, the Heritage Lottery fund found that 86% of park managers have seen their funding slashed since 2010.

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Commissioning in education

Using the notion of commissioning in education is one of the main research agendas in our educational technology subgroup. However, commissioning is a very general term that is used in a variety of ways. Below, I will try to explain what I mean when I say commissioning in education and especially as it applies to the general commissioning platform that we are working on.

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Virtual cultural collaboration

Technology has many implications for education particularly in scaffolding learning within and outside classrooms. This research focused on how digital technologies could provide avenues for schools and communities to collaborate to produce resources for cross-cultural learning purposes within classrooms.

My research interest within technology mediated cross-cultural learning sparked the curiosity to look at how video technology on mobile smartphones can: support the process of creating rich and authentic cultural resources for learning;

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