Elaine Huber on behalf of: Dr Peter Bryant
University of Sydney
Understanding how and why our students participate in learning is a key challenge for modern higher education institutions. How students experience learning is not bound by the walls of a lecture theatre or the firewalls of the Learning Management System. Learning practices intersect personal, professional and educational lives in complex, inter-connected and personally de ned and managed ways. Learning inhabits conversations, reflections, casual and fleeting connections, ambitions and expectations that are not always located in the classroom or even on campus (Bryant, 2017). Social media
reflects this complexity and attracts significant debate and contention within higher education. The practices of using social media are both injected into the learning environment
by students or the institution or can be the space within which learning is facilitated and supported (Dabbagh & Reo, 2010; Selwyn, 2012). Drawing on the analysis of over 500 students stories collected
in the United Kingdom and Australia since 2016, this presentation will explore the unique methodological approaches of digital storytelling and student-led research to understanding how technology shapes and intersects the learning experience. It will also identify how students use technology (and especially extended forms of social media) to forms connections between their work, life, play and learning. Through several cases, the presentation will address the critical questions of the digital divide between staff , students and institution, the critical importance of community in higher education and the relationship between ‘our’ pedagogical design and the way students engage with it.