There are three essential ideas in the concept of Digital Placemaking as a learning space:
- Making – the learner has agency. They are makers of their own space and experience. They are co-producers, who work with others to make a learning experience successful and memorable – and they have to accept some responsibility for doing this. They shape their own experience and that of others. They (are expected to and must be allowed to) adopt an active mindset – what they do and how they respond is significant.
- Place – the learner finds and makes meaning in the formal and informal spaces they use in and out of the university. The learner is curious, engaged and connected. The learner feels a sense of belonging because they are aware of constructing their space, with others. They feel a heightened sense of becoming because what they do today informs tomorrow. They have influence over their learning space – they can do things that inspire others close-by or not so near.
- Digital – everything is ‘digital’ now. Our learning spaces are blended by default and hybrid by design. Social media provides a pervasive augmentation to any learning experience (formal, lifewide, and lifelong).
Digital placemaking proposes that the learner is the active agent in an effective learning space, being influential in their network, contributing to and shaping a collective identity, albeit one that is fluid.
Digital placemaking is about a person’s agency and autonomy to create their individual and social identity and their ‘sense of belonging’ within the context of a recognisable learning space. The act of constructing identity and meaning in a digitally connected learning space
Is it important? – the concept of digital placemaking is recognisable in everyday life. Mostly, our experience of higher education depends upon a conception of learning space provided for students. To develop digital capabilities for lifelong agility, educators need to reorientate the learning space so that it is learner and graduate-centred and digitally integrated.
These thoughts provide the basis for the ‘Digital Placemaking: how we use media across our learning spaces’ #MELSIG #SIGCLANS event taking place online and at Edge Hill University, on Wednesday 31st May 2017.