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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Where does Learning take place?

Graphic: Venn diagram of the connections of a 'networked school'.Adults, or certainly those in Higher Education, may be free to do their learning when and where and from whom they like. However, the same is not equally true for those younger students or even adults who need some guidance.

Bob Harrison recently quoted on a NAACE forum the following from 'The Impact of ICT in schools-a landscape review-Becta 2007' :

'While this study has looked closely at the impact of ICT on how pupils learn and how this might be has not addressed the impact of what they learn or where learning takes place and whether the schools of the future will be the physical entities we have today.'

Some two years later we still do not have clear answers and probably there will not ever be one set of answers which will suit everyone. However, building upon Mal Lee's graphic of the 'Home-School Nexus' (highlighted in the above diagram in blue) and looking further to Networked School Communities, I have tried to identify most of the major influences affecting any young learner. The nature of 'Virtual Learning' and how this might impact on current school practice and 'physical entities' will be explored more in my next post.

What young people learn has been the centre of discussions and the culture of a digitally aware society has begun to impact on curriculum design in most of our schools. Whether examination boards are ready to develop new ways of assessing learning is another question altogether.

How young people learn in a digital age is still not well-defined. Despite the fact that many schools may have an abundance of digital appliances, schools may still have a large proportion of teachers who believe in the "I teach, you listen" philosophy. The problem with this is that where children attend such a mixed-strategy school, it is doubtful that either system can be successful. And, again, despite a tacit recognition of the theory of Multiple Intelligences, it is often the case that lesson after lesson the children only experience one form of teaching and learning.

When and where young people learn has been the subject of much discussion and in some cases a serious indictment of our academic culture. We tend to expect children to learn only in lesson time and do not appreciate the vast amount of 'out-of-school' time which can be rich with experience and capable of much reflection and collaboration with others outside of the immediate home-school environment. Although the following graphic might raise some questions about the quality of the research relating to students in Holland, again, it raises questions about whether tapping into the power of modern media is recognised by schools as having any real merit.

Graph: Student media use per dayfrom: CISCO Equipping_Every_Learner_for_21st_Century_White_Paper.pdf

The question is, do these figures represent total media usage by students in your country or is Holland different to other countries?


mack said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.
online learning

brett said...

If I were to wager a guess at why, I’d say that users don’t “browse” forms. The interaction style users engage in with forms is different, and requires its own study and design best practices. This is a very interesting post, and the comments are also fantastic to read. I’ll have poses to have a little re-think about my own contact form on our new website, as this some interesting questions!
achieve level