Extending the concept of the Learning Platform – Seamless Learning
The concept of the learning platform to support learners is inhibiting its use, it is seen as an internet based add-on, something else. What is needed is to change and extend the concept of the learning platform, to examine what a learning platform is – to move it away from a product to a concept, to the concept of Seamless Learning.
Seamless learning is a concept that ensures that the learning experience is not inhibited by moving from one learning space to another, from physical to virtual and the technology should support this. Seamless Learning is collated social contructionism, mobile learning, blended learning, collaboration, cooperation and learning technologies.
The Seamless Learner understands the purpose of entering the physical learning space, knows and expects cooperation and collaboration and knows what is expected of themselves when exiting that space into the virtual and social.
The elements of the Seamless Learning Environment are as follows:-
1. A physical learning space with an interactive whiteboard, projector, and a flexible adaptable environment that supports co-operation.
2. A learning platform that supports collaboration and co-operation (not delivery and command and control)
3. Individual learning devices – a mobile phone and associated policy (see “Flight Mode” mobile phone policy)
4. Effective wireless infrastructure.
These elements need the added ingredient of the Seamless Pedagogue – someone who can use the basic elements of learning platforms and a projector. The minimal elements of the learning platform to understand would be a Wiki and a discussion. The Wiki so that students can wiki their knowledge and the discussion for reflective practice and targeted questioning by the pedagogue.
The mobile devices used by the learners are there to capture learning events in the classroom and for them to use them for reflective practice or for sharing with others via the learning platform.
The impact of the technology in the classroom is minimised, it does not detract from the learning, it is seen as seamless. The impact outside the classroom is maximised and relies on the learner rather than the teacher to use their own technologies and their social groups.
Learning Platforms are there to support learning through collaboration and co-operation, to offer that opportunity to extend students opportunity to interact socially for learning. By minimising their use we maximise their potential.