Wiki task 1 – What are technology learning environments

Learning environments

To me, all places where learning takes place, are learning environments. Whether we are talking about ordinary classrooms with “old school” blackboards or web conferencing environments with “new school” whiteboards.

Daniel Edwards (Director of Digital Strategy at Stephen Perse Foundation schools, Cambridge, UK) decided to post his opinion on Learning Envirmonment, after I asked him his interpretation on Twitter. Ian Guest was so kind to share 2 definitions of learning environments.

The concept of learning environments is too broad. So we have to make a distinction between learning environments and virtual, online, wireless and technlogy-enhanced learning environments.

The types

While doing research using Google Scholar, I found different names: Virtual learning environment = VLE (Tu, 2002), online learning environment (Entwistle, 1991), Personal learning environment, wireless e-learning environment (Lehner and Holger, 2002), Blended learning environment (Osguthorpe, 2003), Constructivist learning environments (Jonassen, 1999) or Technology-enhanced learning environments  = TELE (Wang, 2005).

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Connectivism, the learning theory which brings parts together

An innovation in education that really must be on board of my blog, is Connectivism. Honesty above all: it was Lars who introduced me the term connectivism.

Connectivsm was introduced and developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. It is a new learning theory which focusses on learning using a network. Learning is making connections with other people and resources (books, websites, machines, etc). Downes states that “knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.” In the first module (TEL1), we were introduced 3 learning theories: Behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Siemens (2004) however believes that “these theories, however, were developed in a time when learning was not impacted through technology”.

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