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Ubiquitous Learning

I was talking with a colleague yesterday about the future of education, particularly in light of President Obama's speech on education policy and reform, and I mused about the idea of ubiquitous learning as a framework for considering how online learning and educational techn0logy tie in with education in general. 

As I see it, we've largely eliminated the concept of geographic distance in distance education and moved rapidly into a networked learning approach.  When you add mobile learning, the integration of print, radio, television, and computers, and the general pervasiveness of the web, it's hard to see technology-enhanced (if not technology-mediated) learning as anything other than ubiquitous.  And yet, we still have a significant dichotomy between formal and informal learning, institutional and non-institutional education, and a host of other conflicts.  I see these tensions frequently as I move among the homeschooling, private Christian school, distance education, and higher education environments in my personal life, not to mention my professional engagement with the public school systems and larger academic spheres.

Anyway, I'm not sure whether the concept of ubiquitous learning will replace the concept of networked learning in my own mind.  I did find it amusing that when I started Googling the concept, I discovered that there was a whole conceptual structure supporting ubiquitous learning and even a conference and journal with the same name.  So while I lose on the originality front, I gain the benefit of being able to learn from others with similar interests...

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