Mobile sensory photography and creative cartography in Education

16:00, Thursday 6 May 2021 (30 minutes)
Ehsan Akbari, Art Education, Concordia University, Canada

I will present findings from my research on how the educational tools of Mobile Sensory Photography and Creative Cartography were used in high school art classrooms to connect youth to the everyday places they inhabited. Mobile sensory photography utilizes the connectivity of mobile devices to enable learning collectives to create and share photographs of their everyday surroundings. I anchored this process in Sensory Studies as a strategy to engage learners with the places they inhabit. I use creative cartography as an umbrella term to describe a diverse set of practices that use maps to represent subjective, social, collective, political, and spatial experiences. A central question I examined was what kinds of spatial and collective learning occur when integrating these tools in classrooms. My research has convinced me of the pertinence of attending to the sensory, spatial and temporal dimensions of teaching and learning in physical and online spaces and the symbiotic relationship between photography, the senses, and place-based learning. I also found the particular form of cartography that I termed Collective Online Sensory Mapping (COSM) to be a powerful tool for enabling groups of learners to attend to their everyday surroundings, express their identities, and learn about others.

concordia university