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It is my own messy chaos: New understandings of learning spaces and connecting in a post-digital world


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A keynote at the elearning 2.0 conference at Brunel University, Wednesday 23rd July 2014 by Peter Bryant, Head of Learning Technology and Innovation at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK#
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It is my own messy chaos: New understandings of learning spaces and connecting in a post-digital world

  1. 1. It is my own messy chaos New understandings of learning spaces and connecting in a post-digital world Peter Bryant Head of Learning Technology and Innovation London School of Economics and Political Science @peterbryantHE
  2. 2. “…an education that is understood in complexity terms cannot be conceived in terms of preparation for the future. Rather, it must be construed in terms of participation in the creation of possible futures” Davis and Sumara (2008)
  3. 3. ‘Students come from a variety of departments and offices. In many cases their knowledge of railway work is confined strictly to the limits of work done in their own departments, and often to only a small section of such work. Of the rest of the work of the railway they are supremely ignorant.‘ Memorandum by Mr Stephenson to the Advisory Committee on Railway Subjects, 13th February 1911
  4. 4. Higher education has reached a tipping point…
  5. 5. ‘I am going to blow the whole thing to kingdom come’
  7. 7. LIFE WORK PLAY LOVE ETC. rarely are
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  10. 10. chaos ˈkeɪɒs/ noun complete disorder and confusion. the property of a complex system whose behaviour is so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. messy ˈmɛsi/ adjective untidy or dirty. (of a situation) confused and difficult to deal with.
  11. 11. 1. Institutional resistance to change (potential) 2. Pedagogy for the 20th (19th?) century 3. Critical shifts in the way information is acquired and applied 4. Student resistance to our use of technology 5. Preparing for jobs that don’t exist For institutions…
  12. 12. For learners 1. Learners arriving at university are already e-learners 2. 21st century skills for a technology driven society 3. There is no real and online world…there is just the world 4. Technology is not a class or category. It is a means, a society changing and generation shaping means 5. Not all students are experts in all technologies 6. Student adoption moves faster than institutional adaptation
  13. 13. ‘Tasks that were previously the domain of faculty are now under the control of learners: searching for information, creating spaces of interaction, forming learning networks, and so on. Through blogs, wikis, online video, podcasts and open educational resources, learners are able to access content from leading lecturers and researchers around the world. Through the use of social media, learners are able to engage and interact with each other (and in some cases, directly with researchers and faculty).’ Siemens and Weller 2011
  14. 14. S P A C E
  15. 15. John Seely Brown said in 2001… ‘The traditional university boundaries are blurring, not just because technology is making it possible, but also as a result of the burgeoning demand for education beyond campus and the undergraduate years. Technology can help higher education meet this demand by reshaping the university and extending its reach across time and space.’
  16. 16. This requires a redefinition of what we call a learning space
  17. 17. A learning space is more than a function and construction of it’s physicality
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  19. 19. In most cases student learning spaces are outside of the academic or the academy. In fact, if they are owned or setup by the university, they are often turned into ghost towns as learners own their spaces and keep them private
  20. 20. These new learning spaces create a much greater opportunity for chance meetings, discursive dialogues, interrogating and testing of ideas and thoughts, questions being answered and new questions being formed
  21. 21. And yes, this IS A THING By 2015, Gen Y income will exceed that of Baby Boomers. By 2020, their income is projected to exceed that of both Baby Boomers and Gen X. (Javelin Strategy and Research) By 2020 there will be more Gen Y’ers than Baby Boomers (Australia 2020) 83 percent say that they sleep with their smartphones (Nielson Research) 7
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  24. 24. March (1999) cited in Dodgson et al (2013)…. ‘Society, he contends, needs processes that induce and sustain the craziness of wild ideas (March 1999, p. 226), and the technology of reason and rationality that contributes so much to organizational performance needs to be complemented by a technology of foolishness that “escape[s] the logic of our reason”’
  26. 26. There is no right answer
  27. 27. 1. In what ways do we understand the changes in learners and learning in the digital age? 2. How do we understand, engage and support the spaces in which new learners learn, physical or virtual? 3. How does our learning, teaching and assessment practice need to change to get the best out of these new spaces? 4. What is making us frightened, resistant and ‘control freaky’ about this change?
  28. 28. Thank you! @peterbryanthe