The future of learning series (3)

MirandaMod: Assessing the value of physical and virtual spaces in enriching learning.

The third MirandaMod in the Learning Futures series took place at the University of Bedfordshire on May 3.

Image by Theo K

Image by Theo K

“One of the greatest changes can be seen in the lives of children and young people, who are at ease with the world of technology and who communicate, socialise and participate online effortlessly … Yet the classrooms of today don’t reflect these changes.”
Michael Gove 2011

During the evening those who couldn’t attend the session joined through Flashmeeting – you can watch the replay of the FlashMeeting by clicking here – and by using Twitter. The twitterstream can be seen on Storify.

The ever-reliable Leon Cych (@eyebeams), ably supported by students from the University of Bedfordshire, provided video streaming throughout the event: it can be viewed on the Livestream archive.

mirandanet on Broadcast Live Free

The session opened with a brief introduction on our rationale, called Why a MirandaMod? from Andrea Raiker, John Cuthell, Christina Preston.  

In Looking into Space: Chris Yapp, MirandaNet, gave an overview of the ways in which virtual learning spaces can enhance – and transform – the learning experience.
You can view Chris’ presentation hereReal-and-virtual-learning-spaces

Does it matter if students cannot hear?  Roger Turner, from Light Speed, identified the difficulties that many learners experience in the classroom, where poor acoustics can severely limit what can be heard, and hence understood and learned.

In Can we facilitate learning in virtual spaces? John Cuthell, MirandaNet, outlined some of the skills and competences that are increasingly needed in supporting learners in an online or virtual environment.

Can mobile devices be used for learning? Gerlinde Gniewosz, KO-SU, demonstrated the ways in which mobile devices can be used for interactive learning.

Is a games space an environment for learning? Donna Burton-Wilcocks, from Immersive Education, looked at the learning gains young people achieved when they learned to construct their own games using MissionMaker.
You can read Donna’s paper here: MissionMaker Why Games?

Does the Virtual Flat Classroom unite learners? Katya Toneva and Sarwat Siddiqu, at the International Community School, London, looked at the ways in which their students benefitted from the Flat Classroom Project. (They were unable to be at the session, and their paper was presented by John Cuthell)
Teachers’ and students’ reflection on the project development
Katya is also the co-author of another paper, with Kathy Doncaster and Darryll Bravenboer: Using Virtual Spaces for Learning Communities to Facilitate Project Development and Collaborative Learning 

Social networking: To ban, or not to ban?  In this sequence Leon Cych (@eyebeams), from MirandaNet and Learn4Life, looked at the media hype and moral panics that have obscured so much of the debate that has taken place about the role of social media and education.

Are Twitterers Twits? Virtual life in 140 characters:  Matthew Pearson, from Steljes, developed many of the themes explored by Leon when he showed how the use of Twitter could enhance so many of the conventional elements of learning.

Why should academics join online communities: Marilyn Leask looked at the ways in which online communities have transformed professions, and how they could do the same for academia.

Post MirandaMod Workshop

During the final hour participants contributed to the concept map and considered the theme of ‘Into the liminal space: from social networking to collaborative knowledge creation’

The session was led by Andrea Raiker, Christina Preston and John Cuthell.