Location Independent Learning – Enhancing Teaching through Digital and Physical Harmony As mobile technology has evolved, so has its capability to shape and enhance learning. Learning doesn't just have to take place in the classroom anymore. It doesn't even have to take place in a school. With the help of mobile technology, it can take place - almost - anywhere. The digital world can now be enhanced and expanded by the physical world you take the technology wherever you want, and reap the educational benefits. We’ve seen before the ways in which digital devices can be used to take learning outside of the classroom. We've also seen the ways in which digital tools can help us view the physical world in different ways - with tools like augmented reality - but what about how the physical world can shape our digital experience? It's not just about being able to take your device anywhere, it’s about using your surroundings to enhance the way you are interacting with your device and the digital world. For example, imagine you're teaching a lesson about British history. Wouldn't it be ideal to engage and inspire the class by taking the lesson out of the classroom and to a historical landmark, like the Tower of London? And with technology like tablets, it doesn't just have to be a typical class day out with children listening to tour guides talk or wandering off. They
can engage in an immersive way with their surroundings, which coupled with digital tools will enhance the learning experience, and help them get a better understanding of the topic of study. Students can be looking at an artefact, building or museum exhibit whilst reading about or discussing the topic online, adding a whole new context to their learning. We recently attended the Microsoft Immersive Classroom in Victoria, and spent the day finding out about how educators and students might use tablets and other mobile technology to enhance the learning experience. Actually experiencing this technology in real time, it’s easy to see the benefits of being able to use these devices anywhere to connect with other students and the wider Internet. For example, using software such as Lync, college students working on a project together could nominate a member of the team to visit a place relevant to the work, and report back live to them “from the scene”, rather than having to provide feedback in hindsight. With another Microsoft app, OneNote, pupils on a field trip to a museum could be collaboratively creating a notebook with things they have learned and experienced during the day, adding photos, videos, excerpts of text and drawings.
Stone Bett UPDATE 2015