Welcome to Hyper Island
It was just about time to write about Hyper Island. I am following activities and projects of Hyper Island for a while now. Hyper Island is more than a school. It is a network, an attitude, a life style. I will not write about their history, just a brief introduction: a few guys sat together, came up with an idea and realized it. The result is a school, originally based in a former Swedish royal marine prison in Karlskrona, where you can study different subjects dealing with digital media. Now there are several other locations around the world, where they offer Master Classes, for example in Stockholm, London, Manchester and New York.
But like I mentioned above, Hyper Island is more than just a school. I will show a few examples, but I can’t mention all of it.
Hyper Island in a Nutshell
Of course this little animated introduction to Hyper Island was made by a former student.
Core education principles
Via the polish webesteem magazine I found the 10 Core education principles for Hyper Island as seen by Jonathan Briggs, one of the school founders:
- Make the learners responsible for their own learning. Learn in groups. Provide resources, support, encouragement and “scaffolding” for learners.
- Build learning around a series of large realistic projects in which groups construct solutions to sizeable problems.
- Bring in industry, academic and international experts to stimulate the learners. Use experts from a wide range of disciplines including some from outside the core curriculum areas (such as architects, town planners and industrial designers) to illustrate how things are done elsewhere.
- Make technology transparent. Immerse the students in a technology rich environment. Teach general IT principles and expect students to master tools and techniques on their own but with the support of structured assignments.
- Encourage the formation of a learning network in which students help each other and become confident experts and colleagues. Help develop problem solving strategies and research techniques. Encourage contact between students from different year groups and between students and lecturers on an ongoing basis.
- Develop critical skills by promoting criticism and review of each other’s work. Explore quality, ethical, business and social values through discussion of the impact of projects on individuals, communities and industries.
- Give students the main responsibility for the marketing, promotion and reputation of the School. Build confident, effective communicators through regular presentations and feedback.
- Link studying at the School to a period of professional practice in industry. Maintain the learner network during this Internship and after graduation.
- Set high standards for written, examination and creative work and provide feedback, enabling students to learn from mistakes and to improve work. Establish clear learning objectives for each module or project and develop clear criteria for all assessment.
- Review and evolve the education to reflect changing industry, technology and business needs. Involve students, graduates and lectures in the development of the course.
Twitter, Facebook, or Blog, they use it all. And in a perfect way. Their communication is brilliant. What I really love is that they present the students’ works everywhere (like here). And they even let the students represent the school everywhere. They are touring through the world to recrute new students.
The attendees of Hyper Island have a tradition to present themselves in special way. For example XV, a student directory: “This is the student directory of the 15th Chapter. It is a promotion site for us, the students.”
One of the most impressive things is Cloudania. The graduates of the Interactive Art Direction of Hyper Island 2010 created their own nation in order to stay in contact and to still be together after their graduation.
I could write a lot about Cloudania and explain what I love about it. But I think if you take a look at their website with all the lovely details you get the point.
The best way is to take a look at Hyper Island and Cloudania yourself, get lost into their brilliant creative and inspirational world. (By the way, did you get the point: They called a school Hyper Island and the network to stay in contact afterwards Cloudania – a fictive nation; I just love it!) I would apply for a visa if I could, and I will definitively visit the school one day.