#phonar (photography and narrative) at Coventry University is a free and open-learning photography class designed and run by professional freelance photographers Jonathan Worth and Matt Johnston. The content is pitched at BA Hons 3rd year undergraduate students, however learning is available to all who wish to join, mainly thanks to the creators' insistence on the use of Creative Commons (CC) licensing which grants a range of permissions for use of the materials they create.
While those nearby Coventry may choose to attend classes in person, the majority of students learn via live blogs and on Twitter (hashtag #phonar). The accessible nature of these platforms is appealing and the list of contributors on the website, impressive. What's more you can book one-on-ones with guest tutors who have, in the past, included names such as photographer Chris Floyd, artist Robbie Cooper and author Timothy O'Grady.
Anyone who throws themselves in will be well-rewarded as the interactive side of the class is key. The tutors can see comments from students both in the room and online via Twitter or Facebook in real time, as well as allowing others to drop in, or suggest links to relevant material. It's a fluid learning experience, well suited to those who will be working in an industry that, like many others, is undergoing radical change.