New spaces, new pedagogies

I'm kicking off the new academic year by presenting a keynote paper at the Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society in London on Thursday, September 2nd. The session is entitled Innovative spaces of learning: debating their origin, nature and pedagogical significance, and is a sub section of the main RGS conference. Others speaking in the session include Derek France (University of Chester), Ruth Weaver (University of Plymouth) and Wendy Woodland (University of the West of England). Here's the abstract for my keynote:
New Spaces, New Pedagogies: Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Education

A rapid emergence of social media – the so called ‘Web 2.0’ – has opened up new opportunities for participatory learning in all sectors of education. Students now have the capability to create and share their own content through blogs, wikis, video- and photo-sharing services such as YouTube and Flickr. They can easily connect into and maintain contact with multiple communities of interest, gaining access to experts using social networking tools such as Myspace and Facebook. They can organise their own resources through free and easy to use tagging and social filtering tools. In this presentation I will argue that this rapid rise of user generated content is blurring boundaries between novice and expert, and challenging the traditional notions of knowledge, ownership, privacy and identity. In tandem with this, the proliferation of personal devices such as iPods and smart mobile phones is enabling students to move beyond the boundaries of the classroom into ‘any time, any place’ learning. In the light of these developments I shall explore new teacher roles, examine new learner expectations and explore some of the new learning territories that are emerging beyond the walls of the institution. I will offer some examples of how Web 2.0 tools have already been harnessed to support professional mentoring and to promote deeper engagement in learning through collaboration and reflection. I will discuss the concept of the personal learning environment and its potential to enrich student experiences. I shall speculate on the potential impact of emerging technologies such as augmented reality and touch screens and their potential in shaping the future of education.

Image source

Creative Commons Licence
New spaces, new pedagogies by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at


Anonymous said…
Steve, this will be the perfect topic for the MoodleMoot Keynote next April!!!!Perfect match for us!!!! Exactly what we are trying to communicate to teachers! Enjoy your holiday!
Steve Wheeler said…
Wow, great Sigi. In that case, I had better reheat it and serve it up hot at Moodlemoot in Hamburg next April! :-)=
Anonymous said…
What i'm increasingly interested in is the relationship between the how, the when and the where of learning, specifically for young people of an age where they are expected to be under the responsibility of parents. Or teachers who are in-loco-parentis. If modern technologies allow us to learn when we want, does that mean we no longer need to be in large school buildings? Does it suggest a potential move towards a multitude of micro (or indeed macro) schools spread across communities? Does it, in fact, suggest exactly the kind of small 'free schools' being suggested by Gove and the Tories? And if so, how is it managed on a national scale? IS it managed on a national scale? For me, it's almost no longer a question about the technologies but about how we manage the potential implications of the technologies... Or not, as the case may be.
Steve Wheeler said…
I think it's not simply a clear-cut case of either/or Alistair. What I'm talking about is supplementary to the formal learning experience. We learn 80% in informal learning contexts. What I'm suggesting is that we can make informal learning a lot more connected, intuitive and relevant to the context people are in - a form of situated learning mediated through technology.

Popular Posts