Active learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

Recently I wrote about collaborative learning spaces , and argued that we are entering unfamiliar territory. The boundaries of informal and formal spaces have blurred significantly, as have the boundaries between the real and the virtual. It appears that it no longer matters where learning occurs, as long as it is meaningful. Some might argue that learning that is situated is the most powerful. All of these aspects of learning are active.

Learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

Throughout the programme of initial teacher education, our specialist computing and ICT students are constantly creating blogs, videos and other digital representations of their learning. So here's another batch for you: The question the students had to address on this occasion was: 'How can psychological and pedagogical theories be applied to create effective learning spaces?' Clearly, the word 'space' can be extended to beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.

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Learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

Throughout the programme of initial teacher education, our specialist computing and ICT students are constantly creating blogs, videos and other digital representations of their learning. So here's another batch for you: The question the students had to address on this occasion was: 'How can psychological and pedagogical theories be applied to create effective learning spaces?' Clearly, the word 'space' can be extended to beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.

Reinventing learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

Phone charging station at Stratford Shopping Centre, London I have written extensively about education spaces, architectures for learning , and personal learning environments. I elaborated on these ideas in my recent book Learning with ''e''s like this: If the design of a space is wrong, learning can be constrained or even stifled. Teachers should be the architects of learning spaces (Wheeler, 2015, p 102).

Self organised learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

I only provide them with the conditions in which they can learn." - Albert Einstein The social web is replete with self-organising spaces. Us and an army of similar minded volunteers who love learning, and want to share their knowledge. And that should give all of use some clues as to how to facilitate self-organising learning spaces. Yet many academics and teachers struggle with the concept of self-organised learning. "I never teach my students.

Working space as learning space

Learning with 'e's

Graham Attwell over at Pontydysgu (Bridge to Learning) has challenged me to take five pictures that depict my working space as a learning space. For me, my working space has always been my learning space (well, ever since I became involved in education anyway). I get paid to teach and research at Plymouth University , but this all comes about through my own personal learning. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's.

More fabulous learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

The space in which a child learns is important. If a school gets it wrong, learning can be constrained or even completely stifled. It didn't lead to very good learning outcomes. It's often the simple things that improve the learning environment, and as Stephen Heppell says, better school toilets = better results. Last year I wrote about some fabulous learning spaces I had seen while visiting schools in New Zealand.

Learning spaces of the third kind

Learning with 'e's

The first kind of space was highly organised. In these 'class' rooms, our students gathered, seated in rows, facing toward a single part of the space - the front. Next came the second kind of space - rooms where people could face in more than one direction. They were able to create their own projects, learning together with the teacher acting as a facilitator. The third kind of space is still emerging. This third kind of space is no longer confined to a room.

Fabulous learning spaces

Learning with 'e's

I have been keenly interested in the design of learning spaces for some time. Moving through from reception into the main school, it was evident to see that open plan, flexible spaces were the key design feature, and personalised learning the norm. A central tenet of the school's curriculum delivery is that students know why they are learning something, and can then connect it to real life contexts. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's.

Personal devices in higher education

Learning with 'e's

Here are some of my recent thoughts on learning spaces at universities, and the impact of student owned personal technologies: As the shift from location specific learning to untethered learning gathers pace, so the personal device gains increasing importance. Distributed forms of learning are burgeoning, and geographical distance between learners and their parent institutions is less of a problem. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s.

Learning precincts

Learning with 'e's

The notion of learning spaces is gaining traction across all sectors of education. Learning spaces are not only used to describe places we can learn, but can also be representative of the human mind. The only difference other than scale, is that physical learning spaces have their limits, whilst no-one has yet been able to define the boundaries of the human mind and its capabilities. There have been many other metaphors used to depict learning.

What do online educators need?

Learning with 'e's

Correspondence course, radio, television, video, the Web, computers and smart phones - each in turn has been harnessed to reach students for education that are traditionally outside of the traditional learning space. I also mentioned in my last post that I had been involved in a very large school distance education project where teachers were expected to use new technologies to extend their traditional classrooms into non-traditional learning spaces across geographical distance.

Engaging online learners 1

Learning with 'e's

Let's start with collaborative online spaces. It relates to critical writing on wikis, but it can be applied to just about any collaborative online learning space: There is a spectrum of wiki activities that can be used to encourage critical thinking in writing.

Jasmine's tent

Learning with 'e's

Photo by Steve Wheeler There is a large, flexible learning space in Ormiston Junior College on the outskirts of Auckland. It's called a modern learning environment or MLE. All around her, noisy, messy chaos erupts as the rest of the Ormiston students busy themselves with their learning. Open, modern learning spaces are dynamic and student centred, and they offer great opportunities for creative learning.

Weapon of choice

Learning with 'e's

As an educator, what tool or technology would you never be without in the classroom or learning space? But for me, it's a natural progression - a use of the tool by students to learn for themselves. Weapon of choice by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's. Me with an incredible weapon What is your weapon of choice?

Learner power

Learning with 'e's

Perhaps a little farther down their agendas students are concerned about finding good learning spaces, concerns over the environment, and keeping themselves fit and healthy. I visited the University of Hasselt this week and was shown around some of its learning spaces. Universiteit Hasselt takes some innovative approaches to education including its refurbishment of an old prison to create a bright and airy new learning space for its law faculty students.

Space exploration

Learning with 'e's

The news created a small stir on social media, with several educators opining about what they thought of lecture theatres, their place in universities, technology, and teaching and learning in general. It seems that the subject of the article, the University of Northampton (one of the newest universities in the UK) has decided to do away with their traditional raked lecture theatres, and replace them with more open, flat, flexible spaces where teaching can be conducted.

Juice 53

Join our global #EDENchat

Learning with 'e's

Photo on Pixabay Join our global #EDENchat by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's. edenchat competency EDEN education learning literacy Technology universityWe enjoyed a great first #EDENchat of the season during the EDEN Research Workshop when my colleague Antonella Poce hosted the Twitter session last week.

Streaming learning events

Learning with 'e's

We broadcast our first live learning event yesterday, where our third year students listened to a talk by innovative school leader Dave Strudwick. The YouTube link for tomorrow's learning event is here. The entire schedule of learning events over the next few weeks is at this link. Photo by Steve Wheeler Streaming learning events by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0

Teacher voices

Learning with 'e's

To me, my former students - now qualified teachers - are extraordinary, because they have entered the volatile and ever changing teaching profession as visionaries - people who want to make a significant difference in children's lives, inspiring them to learn and reach further. They achieve this through innovative pedagogies, creating great learning spaces and with a liberal dose of technology. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's.

Voice 33

New pedagogies?

Learning with 'e's

Most new technologies, particularly handheld devices, lend themselves more to student led learning than they do to teacher led education. In my 2015 book I wrote about ' new wine ' (technology) being forced into 'old wineskins' (conservative learning spaces and ideas) and warned of the inevitable failures. by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0

Going to the wall

Learning with 'e's

In a previous post entitled Learning spaces of the third kind I outlined a project to establish an experimental learning space. The children were learning about number bonds , so the teacher organised the children around small tables into groups of four. Children learn through games because they are being challenged to recall what they have already learnt, but can also learn from the answers of their peers.

A growing divide?

Learning with 'e's

In his blog on Learning Ecosystems, Daniel S. The first, he describes as "A move to opening up learning, making it more accessible and flexible. The classroom is no longer the unique centre of learning, based on information delivery through a lecture." Traditionally, learning has been situated in classrooms or lecture halls, where the presence of an expert or specialist in a subject takes to the stage and delivers knowledge directly to the assembled students.

New learning environments: The challenge and the promise #EDENchat

Learning with 'e's

In recent years, education has evolved to the point where learning can take place anywhere and at any time, usually beyond the walls of the traditional learning space. New trends have emerged including blended learning , personalised learning environments ( PLEs ) Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), mobile learning and the flipped classroom. What are the challenges of these new learning environments? Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's.

Student voices unheard?

Learning with 'e's

Students should be at the centre of the learning process - where else could they legitimately be? However, if they don't have a voice in their own learning, they are peripheral to the process, and education fails them. If we ignore student voices, we will miss some valuable insights into the way they learn. Students bring their personal devices into formal learning spaces, but institutional infrastructure sometimes fails to support the use these new technologies.

Voice 32

Misplaced ICT

Learning with e's

In essence, the way it is conventionally deployed negates much of the potential of ICT, and unless there is a dramatic reappraisal, we won't be witnessing much in the way of learning gains in schools. By contrast ICT is simply a set of very powerful tools that enable children to learn other things. As Craig Taylor so eloquently stated this week in his discussion on redesigning learning spaces : "Lose the ICT suite. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's.

Freedom to imagine

Learning with 'e's

Sir Ken Robinson has a lot to say about creativity and learning. One of his remarks is that imagination needs to emerge as creativity, as a natural process. Other constraints are the logistical problems such as lack of time or space for play, exploration and discovery that are familiar in many schools. In short, Robinson believes school is killing creativity. He will have great fun, but will he learn anything significant? Will he be creative?

How do schools innovate?

Learning with 'e's

Clearly innovation and creativity is not one dimensional. Some of the schools on the list are considered innovative because of the way they use their learning spaces, whilst others are vaunted because of their progressive pedagogical approaches. There is a common issue with many lists however, and it is that the inclusions are there because of the opinions of an individual or small group. Finally, the design of the learning spaces is creative.

#LearningIs creative

Learning with 'e's

Learning can certainly be creative, if the conditions are right. Firstly, creative learning requires active engagement. There is a place for the latter, but if teachers wish their students to go the extra mile, they need to directly involve them in learning. This means learning spaces where just about anything is possible, where students are kept guessing, and where they are offered the chance to discover for themselves. But it's creative for them.

Talking tech

Learning with 'e's

Whether it''s teacher technology, including wordprocessors, electronic record keeping or databases, or student technology, such as laptops, educational software or personal devices, technology should now be viewed as a set of tools that can be harnessed to extend, enhance and enrich the learning experience. The final line of Learning with ''e''s offers a clue when I say we literally hold the future of education in our hands. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s.

Imagined worlds

Learning with e's

One of the new skills that teachers will need to master in the future will be the ability to manage virtual learning spaces. Learning always takes place in the mind of the learner, but the formalised activities of learning have never been confined to the classroom. Such imagined worlds can also be very flexible, in that they represent spaces where the student is not constrained by the traditional boundaries of space and place.

Mind the gap!

Learning with 'e's

I have several horror stories I could tell about how asking questions in class ended up in ridicule for the child and a subsequent ''switching off'' from learning - but I won''t go down that road today. In online/digital learning environments, my own research has shown that the gap can be amplified or reduced, depending on a) the skill of the teacher b) their attitude and c) how the technology is being used. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s.

Digital is default

Learning with 'e's

Image by Martin42 on Wikimedia Commons When I read Being Digital for the first time, way back in 1997, it slowly dawned on me that everything was about to change. The book was published in 1995, just as the Internet was beginning to invent for itself a space that previously had not existed. We pushed the boundaries of technology, culture and human relationships as we extended digital spaces for learning into virgin territory. Lessons are still being learned.

(re)Designing learning in a digital world

Learning with 'e's

(re)Designing Learning Spaces for a Digital World View more presentations from Steve Wheeler My keynote speeches to academic staff at Massey University on the Palmerston North and Wellington campuses this week were accompanied by the slides above. In the keynote presentations I tackled some contentious topics, including the issuing of challenges to a number of long standing and widely accepted theories (or beliefs) about how learning occurs.

Breaking down the silos

Learning with 'e's

The author, Hugh Jones reveals how this cross-curricular celebration of two apparently unrelated disciplines actually found much common ground. During the festival, students were asked to answer questions such as ''what is the right space for art and science to collide?'' At Albany Senior High School in Auckland, New Zealand, I witnessed a group of students in the same learning space, wandering between three seemingly unrelated classes as 3 teachers ran their lessons.

One step beyond

Learning with e's

To achieve its optimum effect, the use of any social media - whether it be blogging, wikis or any other form of sharing of content - must breach the walls of the traditional learning space. Social media are time and space independent. They do not operate within, or rely upon, traditional ways of learning. Traditional learning has never been that successful at achieving this, no matter how many exchange visits or pen pal schemes were instigated.

A quiet invasion

Learning with 'e's

They will ask whether this a trivialisation of their content, or an undesirable development that leads to superficial learning. Alternatively they can celebrate that learners are adept enough at using their personal technologies to make learning easier and more productive for themselves. Mobile phones can be used for many purposes, most of which can either support good learning or undermine it. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e''s.

From atoms to bits

Learning with 'e's

The atom represents physical space, content, objects, while the bit represents the digital, virtual world. Atoms have to be shipped and handled which takes time, and they take up physical space. Although physical learning spaces are still with us, more and more education is now being conducted outside of them. Learning at the speed of light is another expectation. We still attend physical spaces, but we now also have the option to study anywhere, any time.

Photo 47

Digital capabilities and curiosity

Learning with 'e's

Here are my reflections on the learning and teaching conference held at Staffordshire University. The technology should be there to be used as an additional, enhanced aspect of learning, not as a substitute for good pedagogy. In my presentation I was also critical about the design of some learning spaces in higher education. The affordances of the spaces we create, I said, shaped the way we teach and the way students learn.

Making your mark

Learning with 'e's

I have been inside some unique learning spaces recently. The Immersive Vision Theatre on the Plymouth University campus is one example of a unique learning space. Experiments are being done into stress and perceptual effects to ascertain exactly how this new space can be applied in learning contexts. Creative surfaces will mean that 'making your mark' will take on an entirely new meaning. Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's