Learning Spaces, the new frontier…

rowsI was rather pleased to be the keynote speaker at Newcastle University’s Learning Technology event last week.  I was asked to present City’s Learning Spaces project, and it was a great opportunity to promote the work we are doing, and share our experiences with the wider academic community.  The event was attended by academics, Learning Technologists and IS representatives from  Universities around the UK, as well as a large number of academics from Newcastle University.

While Learning Spaces has been on the top of the agenda for Learning Technologists in the US Ivy League institutions for some time, it has not had the same level of engagement or resourcing in Learning Technology teams in UK HE.

We first embarked on our Learning Spaces project, in collaboration with the PAF and IS departments at City University London, around two years ago. At that time it was virtually unheard of that Learning Technologists would get involved not just in the technology being implemented in classrooms and lecture spaces, but in the design of the spaces themselves.  However, things seem to be changing fast, at the Newcastle event I met several Learning Technologists who had been involved in developing new Learning Spaces within their own UK HE institutions, and I suspect this will creep into the role of Learning Technologists a lot more over the next few years.

In the same way that there was recognition that Learning Technologists needed to take a more holistic approach to e-learning rather than separating out the technology from the pedagogy, there is growing recognition that as active learning becomes more popular we need a more holistic approach to designing the physical spaces that enable active learning, bringing together technology, pedagogy and the physical design of the space.

My presentation explored the shift towards active learning in UK Higher Education Institutions, the motivations and drivers for this shift, and the implementation and evaluation of emerging classroom technologies, and Learning Spaces that support and enable the development of new ways of learning and teaching in HE.

You can find the prezi here: http://tinyurl.com/LearningSpacesPresentation

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