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The Handbook of Open-space Learning Technology

a guide to choosing (or creating) technologies for holistic, integrative, critical, real-world learning ecologiesDesigner

By Dr. Robert O'Toole NTF. With special thanks to Annouchka Bayley, Catherine Allen, Sita Thomas, Professor Carol Rutter, Professor David Morley, Professor John O'Toole, Dr. Jonathan Vickery (and his students), Dr. Michael Hammond and the Open-space Learning project team. Stock images from iStockPhoto.

Welcome to the Handbook of Open-space Learning Technology - a handbook that is, exactly as it states "on the tin": an OSL based methodology and a set of handy tools that act as a guide to choosing (or creating) technologies for working and learning within a holistic, integrative, critical, real-world learning ecology.

As a guide it will not necessarily tell you which technologies to use. Given the rate of new technological, pedagogical and educational developments, that would be futile. Considering how OSL aims to encourage diversity and creativity, it would also be quite wrong. Instead, it will help you to understand:

  • how to choose from the rapidly growing range of technologies and practice;
  • how to create your own practices, blending technologies and design patterns;
  • to understand and apply new design patterns including ubiquitous computing, live archiving and cloud computing (hint - whenever you see a word with dotted underlining, click on it to pop-up a definition from the wiki);
  • how OSL approaches can be used in real-world contexts (design, technology).

It is as such a design manual, a guide to designing and redesigning practice.

How to use the handbook...

Please use the Contents list on the right of the page or the links at the bottom to find your way through the handbook.

There is also a set of case studies and a technology wiki, referred to throughout the handbook. The wiki gives details of the kinds of technologies that we have used, as well as the specific hardware and software that we recommend.

Read on...