Divides: Teaching, Bridging, Learning

Post-pandemic art and design education has asserted a radically digital architecture of online and hyflex spaces of learning. These trends were not unanticipated. The DEL community has long developed strategies, innovations, and engaged practices in teaching creative practice in relation to digital progressions. What appears different in this moment is the sheer volume and pace of adoption. Our extreme conditions have conjured a pressure cooker of digital effects to teaching and learning that have irrevocably changed modes of delivery and architectures of learning in higher education.

While these rapid adoptions suggest a new normal, persistent and tenacious divides continue to hamper access and equity in digitally engaged learning. Digital divides, a central discourse within digital education scholarship for over 25 years, remain a threat to the vitality of our teaching and learning communities. How might art and design education advance access, equity, and inclusion within these digital spaces? How do priorities and premiums of learning architectures, both physical and digital, codify contested zones of privilege and access to innovation in digitally engaged learning? What practices and processes for inclusive teaching and culturally responsive pedagogy may forge new paradigms of participation and empowerment in learning?

We are in the midst of rapid change to the point of its realization being a manifestation beyond our imaginations. Many digitally engaged art and design teachers have foretold of this change, but its massive and rapid adoption has eclipsed even our notions. How do we remain aware within moments of transformation of transformative change? What techniques of reflexive bridging allow art and design practitioners and teachers capacity to elevate learning beyond modes of efficiency? How does student research and learning within these rapid adoptions sustain modalities of care, ethics, and exploration within barriers erected by institutional framing?