Mr Jonathan Worth FRSA

National Teaching Fellow 2013

For 15 years Jonathan was a self-employed professional photographer with studios in London and New York and a client list including Rolling Stone, Vogue, the New York Times, and the Guardian, Levis, Swiss Army Watches and Paul Smith. His work is exhibited internationally, including portraits within the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.

The first ten of those years were successful but, with an industry and economic model approaching seismic change, the digital disruptions to the profession meant he had to re-navigate it as a co-learner in his own open classes. 

Over the last four years he has developed a radically new approach to teaching, which magnifies the classroom experience through the affordances of social media and networked environments; these classes also embody the issues they seek to explore. The effect has been to extend conventional photography teaching practices; exploring a new open-connected photographic education which links the expanded classroom, 21st century academics and industry.

The Open Photography classes offer exciting possibilities for institutions and individuals by:

• enhancing the students’ experiences, putting them at the centre of a networked media populated by international communities of professionals and academics;

• magnifying the students’ profiles as practitioners and learners - repurposing their existing social media environments and re-thinking their digital habits to promote their work and ideas;

• using existing social media architecture (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, iTunesU, etc.) to aggregate and make all the class content freely accessible under a CC BY-SA Licence in a sustainable way;

• lowering barriers to entry into the HE experience, for new groups and audiences;

• offering new possibilities for personalised, and open collaborative learning, encouraging and enabling the formation of independent online learning communities;

• offering sustainable approaches by repurposing existing resources to make University key assets (such as the mentored teaching and learning experience) into outward an facing touch-point.

Professor David Campbell, Durham University, quoted in WIRED, said: “Jonathan’s course experiments are fantastic; he is probably the most creative teacher I know.”

Job title: 
Associate Senior Lecturer in Photography
Institution or Organisation: 
Coventry University
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