Learning in the Grid: The Socio-spatial Processes that Shape Learning in the Digital Era

GRID 2020 Abstracts

Learning in the Grid:
The Socio-spatial Processes that Shape Learning in the Digital Era

Dr. Hagit Meishar-Tal
Faculty of Instructional Technologies, HIT

Session I: Educational Environments of the Grid
Monday, November 23, 2020 | 11:00-12:00 (Duet B)

The grid is the socio-technological space created by contemporary society. This lecture will show how contemporary practices are undergoing a subsequent change in their characteristics, in light of three key spatial processes that created the grid: globalization, networking, and virtualization. These changes stem directly from the transformation of the network into a basic infrastructure of contemporary society. The distributed structure of networks and their global and virtual nature redesign the social practices is shape of these characteristics (Castells, 1995). This general idea will be demonstrated by describing the changes learning practices undergo in the recent decade and will include examples from the curriculum and the pedagogical model developed in the faculty of Instructional technologies in HIT.

In the past, learning and education were local practices. One of the main roles of education was to create a unified nation that gathered around common language and common values. Thus, the role of the school was to transfer and distribute common knowledge that would be the basis for being good citizens (Gellner, 1983). Today, learning is a global practice and refers to the global sphere, the topics of learning are universal, and the learning process is tolerant to multiculturalism and diversity (Jarvis, 2000; Banks, 2008). While in the past, learning was organized around distinct disciplines that reflect the rational and hierarchical structures of the enlightenment era, today's learning and learning systems break the disciplinary structure and strive for synergy and mutual fertilization across disciplines. Knowledge is no longer organized in rigid structures but flows through distributed networks. The ability to create interactions between different bodies of knowledge is the basis for creativity and innovation in learning (Klein, 2005).

There is also a change in teacher-student relationships. The authoritative approach in which a teacher is the main source of information and knowledge, and his/her role is to transfer the knowledge to the student in a one-way direction is no longer valid. The new teaching approaches refer to the teacher and the student as partners in learning. The information is accessible from any place and at any time. The student has to create his/her web of knowledge independently, and the teacher is only "the guide on the side" (King, 1993). Additionally, In the past, learning was carried out in a specific place- the school or the university, where teachers and students met in a physical space. Today learning has become virtual, using online platforms, creating an alternative space that breaks the time/place framework. Learning can be conducted from a distance and does not require face to face interaction. The changes in the educational system, schools and universities, and in learning practices have just begun. The impact of the network on learning will affect widely and may generate a more fundamental structural change in the formal education system in the future.



Banks, J. A. (2008). An introduction to multicultural education.‏

Castells, M. (1995). The rise of the network society. John wiley & sons.‏

Gellner, E., & Breuilly, J. (1983). Nations and nationalism (Vol. 1). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.‏

Jarvis, P. (2007). Globalization, lifelong learning and the learning society: Sociological perspectives. Routledge.

King, A. (1993). From sage on the stage to guide on the side. College teaching, 41(1), 30-35.‏

Klein, J. T. (2005). Integrative learning and interdisciplinary studies. Peer Review, 7(4), 8-10.‏‏