Friday, December 4, 2009

My Conception of Modern Learning Spaces

The idea of new spaces in learning has changed. IT (Information Technology) has given new perspectives for Net Generation learners to get different conceptions of what learning requires. This is why new learning facilities within the classroom have changed the traditional teaching practice and have given teachers new approaches towards presenting information in a classroom. It is not a matter of defining if a traditional learning space is better than the virtual; it is about the change that IT has brought to the traditional classrooms and how we are merging these spaces.

Reynard (2009) criticizes the fact of having placed settings for learning, according to her “most classrooms still suffer from "the fireplace" syndrome”, which is having furniture placed in specific parts of the class, when there are possibilities of gaining new developments through different settings that allow learners to be comfortable at the time of developing learning. However I believe that students need a lot of guidance for becoming autonomous when working in their tasks.

In my opinion the fact of adapting new technologies to learning is not a matter of changing learning spaces, it is a matter of developing autonomy through the use of IT. Students need to be in contact with the technology they are facing and they need to develop new literacies that allow them to understand the world.

If we were to talk about learning theories in new learning environments it would be important to consider Brown’s (2005) ideas as to the implementation of new learning spaces. He talks about the paradigm of the learning (constructivism) and teaching (traditional) paradigm, where memorization is replaced with understanding and repetition with transferring and construction, among other differences. The relation to new learning environments is the way Net Gens develop these strategies in the process of learning. In my opinion learning theories have become an eclectic mixture of what Brown calls paradigms. There is a possibility of finding needs to what and how we need to teach certain topics, for this reason we can develop, mix, adapt, enhance, create, and test new learning spaces within new or old settings and also new and old learning theories.

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