Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Rich Learning Environments - what do they mean

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This post revisits some of the discussions from previous posts which looked at a definition of rich learning environments
I would like to set it in the context of changes which continue to take place as the use of technology in everyday life.

My previous post Rich Learning Environments laid out a basic framework for our emerging understanding of the needs and behaviours of existing students and learners.

What is in the background?

Affordances Perspective

Any discussion of technology for learning to my mind has to start with Gaver and a consideration of what (not necessarily intended) consequences the presence, use and availability

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Affordances of Web 2.0 and the Social Web

Another reference point of which we can usefully be aware, was the definition of Web2.0 which O' Reilly initially addressed at conferences, workshops and through blog publications - and which was subsequently published

What is interesting here is that we can think about Rich Learning Environments as realising all of the core features which O'Reilly associates with Web2.0

• the web as a platform

• you control your own data

• services not packaged software

• architecture of participation

• cost-effective scalability

• re-mixable data source and data transformations

• software above the level of a single device

• harnessing collective intelligence

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A little bit of Education

A recent interesting view which has been developed by school teacher Andrew Church in New Zealand, is an eduationalist's perspective ( termed 'Bloom's Digital Taxonomy' ) which considers the impact or affordances of technology which have recently come into use.


GAVER, W. W. (1991) Technology affordances. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: Reaching through technology. New Orleans, ACM Press.

GAVER, W. W. (1996) Situating Action ii: Affordances for interaction: The social is material for design. Ecological Psychology, 8111-130.

O'REILLY, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0 – Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software last accessed June 2010

O'REILLY, T. ( 2007) What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Communications & Strategies, 1: First Quarter 2007,17. last accessed June 2010

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