At the 2010 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting, "Learning Environments for a Web 2.0 World," we explored models for the future of learning that fuse emerging technologies and learner-centered strategies to yield new learning environments designed for student success.
Today's technologies have fundamentally altered the very lenses we use to examine the world around us. Smartphones, PDAs, and MP3 players have granted instant access to information irrespective of location, creating ubiquitous, mobile access to entertainment and information. The rise of social networks and virtual communities like Flickr, YouTube, and Ustream has transformed the web from a place to seek information into a gateway to share, build, and interact with content and communities. High-performance networks and collaborative tools like wikis and videoconferencing also allow us to reach across hallways and beyond oceans to share interests, work with colleagues, and seek advice from peers.
But how have these new tools and our emergent participatory culture changed the way we imagine learning environments on campus? Or, perhaps the more pertinent question is, How should our perspectives be changing? And how can we begin to move past an educational model that is tethered to time and place and move closer to learning that is immersive, mobile, collaborative, and social?