Today I started at my new job at Tampere University of Applied Sciences as a key account manager. And I feel more than happy about it. Here’s why.
Lately I’ve been in the midst of many international and national (Finnish) level discussions about learning environments, what is teaching, the teacher’s role in the future, how social media can support learning and how learning actually happens. And often than many times I feel the discussion about these is very mixed, based many times in feelings (of technological hype) and not on actual research and observations of our times.
We are in a paradigm shift from the industrial age to a knowledge age and network society. This I hope, we all already have agreed upon and can move on and stop repeating it. Currently others are going forwards with great and not so great new ideas and methods, and others still think that this is a trend that will pass and thus do nothing. I don’t want to contribute to this importan discussion as a know-it-all, but as a person who really tries to understand the forces behind the true complexity of human learning in a new kind of world.
But why am I so happy? Because of my love of learning. And I have a new learning environment. I’m currently also studying my Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology in Open University Malaysia through a fully online programme where participants are around the world, from Malaysia to Swaziland and of course Finland (that’s me). We are using open social media environments like Google+, other G-Apps, forums, but more importantly, a learning framework which is based on characteristics I believe to help people in actual learning of complex things, not just remembering disconnected facts.
Addition to my studies, the environment where my work takes place, supports applying the learned straight away. It also goes the other way around; my social learning process helping me with the challenges I face in my work. And I can see and participate in how the education evolves globally.
These combined are my learning environment. Like I’ve said before, a learning environment is not just some technological platform, or a class or some course, but the whole system where you make your learning to happen.
This is why we should stop thinking the term “learning environment” too narrow ways, or stop using it overall. It doesn’t mean that places for the so-called ‘intentional learning’, e.g. educational institutions don’t have their place anymore. They have, but the whole learning system that can help us grow as persons is much more.
Isn’t this just too simple? 😉