The Group Learning Space

When I think of group learning spaces, I envisage areas in a classroom or physically grouping the children based on certain (often varied) criteria. Recently, however, it has been brought to my attention that the curriculum can be considered a group learning space. Fundamentally a curriculum is a set of guidelines for teaching and learning.  In terms of being a group learning space, we (group of teachers) are required to follow and implement the curriculum(our learning of what to teach), so I guess it is our first port of call for anything we wish to undertake in the classroom. It is important to regularly visit this learning space, as educators, to ensure our practices are current, relevant and empowers us with the skills and knowledge to assist our students. With the development of the Australian Curriculum, the group will be Australian educators and then we move into state, diocesan (as is the case in Catholic education), school policies and ultimately the classroom programme which could also be considered group learning spaces.

Other considerations for the group learning space are the cooperative and collaborative learning environments. Both suggest positive interaction among group members in order to facilitate learning as opposed to the grouping itself. The two approaches focus on the processes the groups undertake and promote sharing of ideas, opinions and solving problems in a safe, supportive environment.

Electronic Learning Space

Studies into the electronic learning space have highlighted the need for teacher training in both the technical aspects of the particular technology and the pedagogical practices for integrating such technologies into their lessons. As with any new resource, teachers need to reason their choice for employing such technology, evaluate their use of it and make decisions based on quality of practice. The electronic space certainly offers huge potential if understood and used to enhance learning. Collaboration between the creators of electronic learning programmes and educationalists should see a more sophisticated and curriculum aligned software development hopefully improving what is currently available.     

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyCQxHqfYQk

One area of study we have had to look at previously is WEB 2.0 technology and how it is different from the initial version of the WEB. I place my comments here because they seem relevant to the topic this week:

I see Web 2.0 technology as interactive web pages created and used to promote inclusive sharing of ideas and resources. It can be considered a learning space because it goes beyond providing a mere page of information to be read.  I imagine it to entering a room (designed by the creator) with posters on the walls, books/articles, games, videos etc. for your perusal. It has the added tool of providing you with the opportunity to leave messages, communicate your opinion, share with everyone else, that has been in that space. It connects people.

    (Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/media/oecdorg/topics/internet/48405289.jpg, 2013)

Handy Hint #3: I came across this list of Web 2.0 technology which really highlights the interactive qualities of this second version of the WEB and the various programmes currently available: http://www.edudemic.com/best-web-tools/ and this one specific to schools http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/Home