A Space to Learn

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QUESTION: What is a personal learning space?

SIMPLE ANSWER: A place where your learning occurs!

Personal learning is all about using your autonomy and developing self-efficacy to discover and emerge with a new view, a new frame of reference, or perhaps for teachers, a new pedagogy. It involves seeing things for the first time or upgrading your previous thinking.

The spaces where this learning happens are as individual as the individual themselves. Sometimes they are tangible and definitive, other times they are intangible and as fluid as the concept of learning itself. Like the world we live in, they are ever-changing, interactive and flexible; what might be a normative learning space in 2016 may be non-existent in 2050!

Think of where your learning has occurred this week:

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PHYSICAL LEARNING SPACES:

These are the most definitive and could include:

  • Your study desk
  • Your dining table
  • Your couch
  • Or…?

OUTSIDE THE FOUR WALLS:

Learning is not just contained within the four walls. Where else did your learning occur?

  • Coffee shop
  • Car
  • Scenic place
  • Or…?

SOCIAL LEARNING SPACES:

Learning can also occur in the social sphere as outlined by Smith (2009) who examines Wenge’s work on a model of constructivism and situated learning called a community of practice (CoP – or its virtual counterpart, the eCoP):

“In a nutshell, communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

Members of your CoP could be:

  • Colleagues from work or university
  • Friends and family
  • Online networks
  • Your students!
  • Or…?

VIRTUAL LEARNING SPACES:

Have you gone online this week? Virtual learning spaces are constantly evolving and growing, making the globe and all the information it contains accessible by the touch of your fingers.

At the tip of the iceberg are:

What about you? Where have you learned today? Feel free to leave a comment to share your ideas!

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