S-Learning. The S stands both for Sugata Mitra, on the picture, and for Self-Organized Systems. More UOC UNESCO Chair pictures on Flickr.
Guest author: Jonatan Castaño Muñoz
Lecturer at Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Jonatan has a degree in Political Sciences and in Administration from Barcelona University (2003), he has studied for a Master’s in Applied Social Research Techniques at Barcelona University and at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and he is studying for a PhD in the Information and Knowledge Society at the UOC.
In the educational field he had worked as a researcher with the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC), in the field of analysis of universities of the Project Internet Catalonia (PIC) and is one of the authors of the book La universidad en la sociedad red (Ariel 2008).
E-Leaning is now not only contructivist. Constructivism is a theory developed in another time, in another context, and the time for fitting e-Learning into old concepts has passed.
Use of the internet in education has led to new trends that have developed into new theoretical concepts. You simply have to look at this blog to see how concepts such as mobile learning, e-Learning 2.0, connectivism or edupunk are emerging forcefully. All these new concepts or neologisms, as they would be classified in the Wikipedia, look to define what is new in that offered by e-Learning; for example, they look to respond from different points of view to the question: what does the use of technology in education offer people?
Mobility and overcoming geographical barriers; being able to share and link materials, opinions and, in short, people’s ideas to create knowledge, or being able to offer more independent learning than that traditionally available by allowing for communication and information searches over the internet and under the premises of “do it yourself”, all aspects which are closely linked to constructivism, are some of the answers to this question. Thus, all the neologisms are actually constructing a theory of e-Learning, but, as with all theories, they are, by definition, constantly changing and being revised.
We can’t lose sight of the usefulness of neologisms emerging from empirical practice and the new uses that users make of future technological developments, but we have to call for innovation, as we have to continue to invent new concepts and ideas in the field of pedagogy and social sciences with the aim of improving education, which can, or cannot, be developed technologically at present.
Recent history has shown us the importance of this. For example, who would have said to the pioneers of “constructivism” that a technology called internet would so greatly strengthen its application?