“Mark, How did you know any thing before the Internet existed?”

Designs on eLearning conference

NYC New School
21 – 22 September 2016
“Mark, How did you know any thing before the Internet existed?”
21 September 11:30 Room 3

Presenter: Mark Ingham
Institution: London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
Theme: Anxiety and Security in the Curriculum
Format: workshop
The During a debate about the reasons why conspicuous theories are perpetuated and are still prevalent today a first year BA art and design student with a puzzled mixture of bewilderment, arrogance, anxiety and concern asked me how my pre digital generation knew anything before the Internet existed.

This group of very articulate students seemed both highly sceptical of any knowledge from any source yet wanted to believe in unfounded and contentious conspiracy theories. They gave the same credence to a highly qualified structural engineer as a basement blogger. Both sources were seen as ‘opinions’ and both as equally legitimate.Digging deeper into this it seemed that they thought the older generations were too accepting of ‘authority’ and their internet savvy generation were just being more open and more thoughtful.

This worshop will interrogate this paradox of accepting what is on the Internet as all the same yet at the same time distrusting well researched information based on prior experiments or prior knowledge. It will also attempt to answer the question, ‘How did we know anything before the Internet?’

Setting up the debate, ‘Why do conspiracy theories still exist and what role has the Internet palates in perpetuating them’. The participants will be divided into two opposing debating groups each with an conflicting statement. They will then debate each other’s ideas. There will then be a plenary session of 20 minutes to discuss the ideas from the debate.

This will be a very hands on session where I will recreate the debate format of the session I had with students. It will become a debating chamber.

A more nuanced understanding of the reasons why students are anxious and yet arrogant about the supply of knowledge in our digital age.

The outcomes of this session will be fed back into UALs digital pedagogical strategy through our Learning and Teaching days. It will also be disseminated on the LCC School of Design Contextual and Theorectical course and unit blogs.


“Mark, How did you know any thing before the Internet existed?”


“How many ways can an articulate alien analyse an animated robot?”



“Imagine  you have just landed on Earth.

You have come  from  a distant planet…

in a galaxy far, far away”

And you land here.


You blend       in!



Being a highly  inquisitive           species

you start some       Exploratory Research

(Exploratory Research is undertaken when few or no previous studies exist. The aim is to look for patterns, hypotheses or ideas that can be tested and will form the basis for further research.)

Some words  in a language you do not understand      appear on     the     glowing area        in     front      of you.

Robots Of Brixton https://vimeo.com/25092596

Robots of Brixton


Free write about what you saw for 5 minutes


Write down as much as you can about the

film you just saw. Describe it. Analyse it. Situate it.

Whatever first comes into your head. What did it may you feel/think about?

 Do not censor your thoughts.

Write continuously for 5 minutes without stopping.

If you get stuck just write down the same

word over and over and over and over again.

Through some waves that               you

find out  are called


you understand on Earth…

(Free Writing is the act of writing without

hesitating, and without self-censoring, accepting everything as it comes.                                       This can help writers get started and sometimes unblock writers who are stuck. The process can yield ideas too as the writer gives up control to some extent.                            It has precedents in automatic writing, employed by the Surrealists, but that tended to have connotations of spiritual interventions, literally ‘ghost writing’.)

The story continues in these documents.