Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Campus Create - A daily dose of creative challenges at NUI Galway

In December, a PhD student, Sally McHugh, called into my office to tell me that she had successfully received Explore funding for a project called Campus Create, with Dr. Tony Hall in Education. The idea was to promote and encourage creativity in all its forms, including within digital media. Sally and I had talked before about Digital Storytelling DS106 from the University of Mary Washington, and the work of Jim Groom, Alan Levine and colleagues. They had been working for many years, encouraging people to make art, to create, share and remix, in an open way, cognisant of copyright and domain ownership. Our heroes.
Before Christmas, Tony, Sally and I met to talk about how we might explore and enact these ideas at NUI Galway within the Campus Create project. We came up with the notion of having twelve weeks of themes, to correspond to the first twelve weeks of semester 2, and to post daily create challenges, similar to projects like the Daily Create, the Daily Post, and the 12 Apps of Christmas.

Things progressed further, and after a furious effort in the first week of January with collaborators (including support from Alan Levine) and developing the technical infrastructure, the experiment began.

It's now week 2. The theme is Sound. Well, the jury is still out on whether that's a literal statement or not, as yet. Getting the daily create prompt together for the website and cross posting on Facebook and Twitter has been become a daily (and late night and weekend) challenge for us too.

Thanks to the good work of John Caulfield and Connell Cunningham, users' contributions have visibility on the large video wall in the library and on display screens  around the campus. This is a display of the latest moderated user posts via six or seven social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc.), once the weekly hashtag is used within a contribution on any social media platform. These are also accessible live on the website on No mean feat.

So, Campus Create is off to a promising start. The warm encouragement and strong participation from many around campus has heated our frozen winter feet. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks and seeing how it all unfolds.

Check out the next creative daily prompt on (and register if you want to receive the weekly email). I hope to see your 'creates' join the conversation.

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