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The Birth of the Floating Classroom

So, as you might have been following over the years, through the Ragged Uni project I have been trying to find various ways of delivering free computer training in community situations where people have least access.  To see the photos of the floating classroom scroll to the bottom.  Meantime, I will try and provide some context as to how this has come together. My personal relationship with modern computers is one where I had to salvage computers from what other people discarded and learn to make them work with the minimum of money invested.  It is amazing what gets thrown out; not only does the computer industry build in redundancy to the products pushing people to buy a whole new bundle every three years, but also people throw things out because they think the technology has become redundant. Read more

Adapting to Marginal Spaces: Floating Classrooms

After finding almost every institutional space incompatible with community education in terms of digital literacies, I have developed an idea which I call ‘Floating Classrooms’ which enable us to run free educational workshops and lessons wherever we need to. The idea of a Floating Classroom came from a mixture of the strategy of Ragged University (use available infrastructure and common technology) and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere novel which describes a Floating Market.

The Floating Market is a giant bazaar where people barter for all manner of junk and magical items in the fantastical underworld of London where it is set. The Floating Market appears in a different place each time, and in the book appears inside Harrods after the shops had closed, and then disappeared before dawn. Read more