Creating the Ubiquitous Classroom: Integrating Physical and Virtual Learning Spaces

By Alfred Weiss.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Class periods, grade levels, hallways, school buildings, and classrooms largely define the boundaries of the educational environment in the United States. These physical and temporal borders of institutional learning spaces are embedded in historically situated pedagogies that deeply influence both instruction and how students learn. Over the past ten years new spatial and temporal elements have been introduced into these existing learning environments through the widespread adoption of online technologies. The introduction of these technologies into the classroom, however, has neither been based on a coherent pedagogical framework nor been integrated with the pedagogies of existing learning spaces. With few models to build from, educators in both K-12 and higher education institutions have largely used these technologies in ways that conform to the existing structures of space and time in the traditional classroom. This paper will propose, therefore, that new pedagogical models are necessary for educators to better take advantage of both the virtual and the brick and mortar learning environments. To this end, this paper will argue that the these models should advance a seamless relationship between the physical and online spaces based on maintaining the classroom community in the online sphere, persistent instructor guidance in physical and virtual realms, and activities and projects that integrate in-class and out-of-class experiences through the virtual environment.

Keywords: Learning Spaces, Educational Technologies

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp.77-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 525.257KB).

Alfred Weiss

Computer Assisted Instruction Specialist, Campus Information and Education Services, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA

Alfred Weiss is a Computer Assisted Instruction Specialist at the University of Illinois where he aids in curriculum development and provides support for faculty and instructors who are engaged in teaching with technology. Al has a Master of Arts degree in Japanese History and is currently working on a PhD in technology education.

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