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The web is the platform

October 30th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

I am still at the IPTS seminar on Learning 2.0 in Seville. Much of interest and I wil write a few more blogs on this. But  one issue, which has just come up, is this of platforms. The director of IPTS has asked us what platforms we see being used in the future.

And we have said – we know the platform. It is called the World Wide Web. I think that is very important. We do not need more and more platforms. We do need control over our own data and the ability to be able to develop and use that data.

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One Response to “The web is the platform”

  1. Indeed. And only the so called ‘robust, serious, trustworthy… schooling societies’ haven’t got that yet!

    In many countries (mostly the developing ones) where the robustness doesn’t match the budget, the platform has always been and will always be the open and free web. And what for some might be regarded as ‘weak’, for others is seen as powerful.
    They use what they have at hand – what they can afford to take part in this world. They don’t want to be left behind, and I must say that in some cases they haven’t. They have used the web as a platform to land and launch themselves in a wider world. All it takes is willing and vision (and that can’t be used … is more about development of perception!!)
    The longer we wait for the platform to arrive, the harder it will be to catch up with the pace of those who have realized this from the very beginning.
    The tools/platforms are important as a basis, but not the essence of learning. And I would just like to remind us all that before we had access to these technological platforms we already learned. So what I am trying to say is that what’s important in learning are the actors – the people with whom the learning relationships are established and developed; the artefacts – because they also have an history attached to it and we can learn from them; and everything that surrounds the learning environment: the contexts.
    The Tools on the www? There are tools galore. The www is a platform that reinvents itself daily.
    Now…. in a Learning Seminar what I honestly would like to approach – had someone asked for my opinion, and I am well aware it hasn’t been the case 😉 – it’s how we transform this platform (think the word ‘platform’ gives people a sense of comfort and support) in an involving learning environment, with all the indispensable actors and characteristics attached to it. The word Platform comes to me as space; a learning environment, on the other hand, takes more than a place you can add yourself too. How many platforms have courses/modules created and with students added to it, but where the evidence of participation is inexistent…? [ it reminds me of school – just because my physical body is present in the classroom, does it mean I am there?].
    A learning environment requires engagement by all parties involved, where communication, collaboration, feeling of community and care are regarded as vital to the activity of knowing…rather than the mere acquisition of knowledge.
    And on that note, I just want to say that what would be nice to focus on is the people, the strategies, the policies that need to be in place for a learning environment to be constructed and personally adjustable in that big ‘platform’. Technology is important, but what is really important is how people learn, and that has still not changed. People learn with and from each other . That has also been the added value of ICT – reinvention of communication channels and learning relationships.

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