Placing focus in the place-based spaces of networked learning

David Ashe, Nina Bonderup Dohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter concerns the question of how focus is placed when a learner is in a given learning situation. We look at how the various elements of an environment interact with individuals and how those interactions bring about shifts in participants’ focus. These shifts depend on which environmental elements are available and also on how particular individuals interact with the environment. It is tempting to consider a learning environment in terms of a pre-existing “place”— that which is designed by a designer, teacher, or educationalist, and which is separate from the learner who then enters the place. This may come from our feeling that products are designed for a purpose and then individuals, as users, come along and use the designed object for the designed purpose. In many cases this is appropriate; a hammer is designed to knock nails into wood and this is often how an individual uses a hammer. Similarly, classrooms, equipped with furniture and educational artifacts, seemingly await their teachers and students who then enter and make use of the equipment. However, it is not difficult to imagine scenarios when a hammer is used for other purposes. Educational artifacts certainly often are, e.g. when a ruler is tapped on the desk to command silence instead of being used for measuring, or a whiteboard pen is held up to illustrate a color instead of being used for writing. Individuals use objects in ways that were not expected, or even considered, by the object’s designer. We will look at that which is designed, and external to the learner, alongside the learner as a bodily being and hope to highlight how the complex relationship between individuals, the environment, and what is actually going on plays out to decide what is currently “in focus.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlace-based spaces for networked earning
EditorsLucila Carvalho, Peter Goodyear, Maarten de Laat
Place of PublicationOxon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2017
Pages11-24
Chapter2
ISBN (Print)9781138850866
ISBN (Electronic)9781315724485
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Cite this

Ashe, D., & Dohn, N. B. (2017). Placing focus in the place-based spaces of networked learning. In L. Carvalho, P. Goodyear, & M. de Laat (Eds.), Place-based spaces for networked earning (pp. 11-24). Oxon: Routledge.
Ashe, David ; Dohn, Nina Bonderup. / Placing focus in the place-based spaces of networked learning. Place-based spaces for networked earning. editor / Lucila Carvalho ; Peter Goodyear ; Maarten de Laat. Oxon : Routledge, 2017. pp. 11-24
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Ashe, D & Dohn, NB 2017, Placing focus in the place-based spaces of networked learning. in L Carvalho, P Goodyear & M de Laat (eds), Place-based spaces for networked earning. Routledge, Oxon, pp. 11-24.

Placing focus in the place-based spaces of networked learning. / Ashe, David; Dohn, Nina Bonderup.

Place-based spaces for networked earning. ed. / Lucila Carvalho; Peter Goodyear; Maarten de Laat. Oxon : Routledge, 2017. p. 11-24.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

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AB - This chapter concerns the question of how focus is placed when a learner is in a given learning situation. We look at how the various elements of an environment interact with individuals and how those interactions bring about shifts in participants’ focus. These shifts depend on which environmental elements are available and also on how particular individuals interact with the environment. It is tempting to consider a learning environment in terms of a pre-existing “place”— that which is designed by a designer, teacher, or educationalist, and which is separate from the learner who then enters the place. This may come from our feeling that products are designed for a purpose and then individuals, as users, come along and use the designed object for the designed purpose. In many cases this is appropriate; a hammer is designed to knock nails into wood and this is often how an individual uses a hammer. Similarly, classrooms, equipped with furniture and educational artifacts, seemingly await their teachers and students who then enter and make use of the equipment. However, it is not difficult to imagine scenarios when a hammer is used for other purposes. Educational artifacts certainly often are, e.g. when a ruler is tapped on the desk to command silence instead of being used for measuring, or a whiteboard pen is held up to illustrate a color instead of being used for writing. Individuals use objects in ways that were not expected, or even considered, by the object’s designer. We will look at that which is designed, and external to the learner, alongside the learner as a bodily being and hope to highlight how the complex relationship between individuals, the environment, and what is actually going on plays out to decide what is currently “in focus.”

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Ashe D, Dohn NB. Placing focus in the place-based spaces of networked learning. In Carvalho L, Goodyear P, de Laat M, editors, Place-based spaces for networked earning. Oxon: Routledge. 2017. p. 11-24