March 10, 2020
IED launches the Smart School
Istituto Europeo di Design is setting up a temporary distance learning plan with live-streamed lectures, on-line tutoring, video handouts and digital materials to overcome the shut-down of schools.
Milan, March, 9th 2020 – “Our goal is not to transform the Institute into a place where relationships and hands-on experience are reduced to zero; – Riccardo Balbo, Dean of Istituto Europeo di Design stated commenting on the latest decree on the shut-down of schools due the latest measure on the temporary suspension of teaching activities – we aim to ensure the continuation of courses, and to avoid a weakening of perception and presence of the School as a community”. IED responds to the suspension of teaching activities in its 7 locations throughout Italy – Milan, Rome, Turin, Florence, Venice, Cagliari and the Accademia di Belle Arti “Aldo Galli” in Como – by putting in place the necessary tools to face the prolonged shut-down of schools. Until a few weeks ago, distance learning was merely used to supplement normal training activities. In the meantime, however, it has become a priority – all the more so for a School – to quickly change one’s mind and be ready to discuss smart schools as well.
“Our society has changed in recent decades: it has become faster, global, closer. As in all things, there are never only positive phenomena: every transformation always involves risks, as well as growth. – Balbo added – What we are experiencing today is the side effect of a society made up of people who move easily and more quickly. From Universities we promote mobility and internationalization, we want foreign lecturers, we want courses in English: it would be dishonest to want to backtrack to reduce the effects of spreading a virus that, for the time being only, has had its largest spread in Italy. At the moment, we want to put in place tools that can make learning easier for our students, but we are aware that there are experiences and knowledge that can only be transmitted in a face-to-face environment, with hands, eyes and brain working together”.
Starting on Monday, 9th March, a large part of the Institute’s course offering will switch to DL mode – distance-learning mode – with variations, additions and novelties, in order to gradually guarantee not only the delivery of courses, but also the continuity of relationships, which are the founding value of IED. Remote didactic activity will observe the traditional subdivision between theoretical lectures and practical or laboratory activities, combining individual work with live-streamed activities.
In terms of new distance-learning tools, IED identified a model that brings more traditional face-to-face lessons as well as lab activities in the student’s home. In fact, the Institute has made arrangements for face-to-face lessons to be streamed live on the Google Meet platform, which will connect lecturers at their homes or at IED with students at their homes; on-line project or laboratory tutoring with a multi-camera video system that allows students to book remote review sessions with a teacher in a shared schedule, and short video clips aka IEDTips recorded in IED labs that illustrate procedures, how to use equipment, provide suggestions on how to create prototypes in the different disciplinary areas to support students’ design work.
“Design is in the DNA of this School and of each and every one of our students: knowing how to turn a challenge into an opportunity, maybe even stepping out of your comfort zone, is a necessary talent for any designers of today and tomorrow. Well, today it falls upon all of us to reorganize and generate new ideas and new processes so that we will be even stronger tomorrow.” – Balbo concluded.