Outsmarted?: Communication infrastructures and students’ pathways to navigating London as a digital city
UK universities are an increasingly popular choice for international students, especially those seeking to experience life in multicultural centres such as a London, which offer a richness of diversity – albeit not without challenges. While several studies have long reported upon difficulties regarding acculturation, digital media use is a critical among students to mobilize resources and to deal with change, uncertainty, risks, and opportunities.
This pilot project has aimed to examine young people’s experiences of London as a digital city, in relation to:
- Digital /smart communications infrastructures, which may manage access to, and circulation of, data about the city, its diverse communities, and socioeconomic challenges.
- Place-based and digital cultures, which may enable (or hinder) opportunities for coming together, learning and socializing with each other in physical and virtual spheres.
- Place-making expressions and experiences of sociality for opening up roots to belonging
Between March and June 2023 the team held a number of participatory mapping and discussion events to:
- Gain an understanding of the ways in which students’ experiences of global cities such as London is filtered through digital & mobility apps, social media and/or localised communications infrastructures
- Scale up participatory agency in students’ experiences and development of critical and resilient digital literacies surrounding digital cities and datafication.
- To develop research- informed ‘collaborative’ pedagogies.
- Develop further learning resources, based on informed-collaborative pedagogies for DDH’s modules in digital culture and media.
As part of the project, the team designed and produced the Outsmarted toolkit was funded by the Digital Futures Institute. The toolkit builds upon participatory, capacity building methodologies devised by numerous projects including the Media, Community and the Creative Citizen project and the UnBias AI project with further adaptions based on input of faculty and students from the Department of Digital Humanities at King's.
Funding Body: Digital Futures Institute
Period: March 2023 - December 2023