At the nexus of learning and innovation

Research Highlight: Place-Based Spaces for Networked Learning



People at CRLI investigate various aspects of learning, ranging from the individual learners to the spaces in which learning occur. This book Place-Bades Spaces for Networked Learning, authored by CRLI current and former members, explore "How qualities of physical places make both formal and informal education in a networked society possible?"

About the book

With the boundaries of place softened and extended by digital communications technologies, learning in a networked society necessitates new distributions of activity across time, space, media, and people; and this development is no longer exclusive to formally designated spaces such as school classrooms, lecture halls, or research laboratories. Place-based Spaces for Networked Learning explores how qualities of physical places make both formal and informal education in a networked society possible. Through a series of investigations and case studies, it illuminates the structural composition and functioning of complex learning environments.

This book offers a wealth of key design elements and attributes for productive learning that educational designers can reuse in multiple contexts. The chapters examine how places are modified, expanded, or supplemented by networking technologies and practices in order to create spaces in which learners can collaboratively develop new understandings, connections, and capabilities. Utilizing a range of diverse but complementary perspectives from anthropology, archaeology, architecture, geography, psychology, sociology, and urban studies, Place-based Spaces for Networked Learning addresses how material places and digital spaces are understood; how sense can be made of new assemblages and configurations of tasks, tools, and people; how the real-time analysis of new flows of data can inform and entertain users of a space; and how access to the digital realm changes our experiences with both places and other people.

About the Authors

Lucila Carvalho is currently a senior lecturer in e-learning & digital technologies at the Institute of Education (Auckland). She is a former Research Fellow in the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).  Her Ph.D. combined research in design, learning technology and the sociology of knowledge. She has studied and carried out research in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Brazil. She has published and presented her work at various international conferences in the fields of education, sociology, systemic functional linguistics, design and software engineering.

Peter Goodyear is Professor of Education and former Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has been carrying out research in the field of learning and technology since the early 1980s, working in the UK, Europe and Australia. He has published eight books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters.

Maarten de Laat is Professor of Professional Development in Social Networks at the Welten Institute of the Open University of the Netherlands. His research concentrates on exploring social learning strategies and networked relationships that facilitate learning and professional development. He has published and presented his research extensively in international research journals, books and conferences. He is co-chair of the biannual International Networked Learning Conference.

Reviews of the book

"Networked learning research is clearly shifting its emphasis from ‘online’ towards the mixed-mode aspects of the digital and the physical, offline and online, and the meshed reality making the two inseparable. However, this has only now―with the publication of Place-based Spaces for Networked Learning―been captured and treated rigorously from a theoretical, analytical, and empirical perspective. This book will stand as a landmark and a turning point for research into networked learning, and I highly recommend it to researchers and practitioners."

--Thomas Ryberg, Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark, and Co-chair of the Networked Learning Conference

"The initial rush to understand and implement virtual environments for teaching and learning left consideration of place by the wayside. This book marks a turning point in re-establishing the importance of place as a central constituent of learning activity, focusing much needed attention on the traditions and effects of natural spaces, material objects, and built environments in relation to learning and the design of learning experiences."

--Caroline Haythornthwaite, Professor, SLAIS, The iSchool at the University of British Columbia, Canada

"This is a timely and important book, given the impact of digital technologies and the ways in which they result in the boundaries of place being softened and extended. Learning in a networked society necessitates new distributions of activity across time, space, media, and people, and the well-known editors and authors of this volume are in an excellent position to critique this important issue."

--Gráinne Conole, Professor of Education in the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University, UK

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