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Rethinking physical spaces for learning and collaboration: Immersive, interactive and distributed learning environments

Champaign , USA

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Speaker Information:

Dr. Mike Tissenbaum

While emerging technologies are transforming the ways we work, live, and relate to the world around us, traditional classroom settings have failed to follow suit. In fact, the classroom is one of the few environments that have remained largely unchanged. What has changed generally does not support students in the kinds of complex collaboration, idea sharing, and inquiry that characterize best practices in education.

Most uses of technology in the classroom tend to confine learning affordances to a particular device and fail to leverage the potential of the class’ distributed knowledge. These designs also lack connections to the role the physical space itself plays in mediating student learning. To this end, there is an increasing need to rethink the design of learning spaces towards smart, dynamic, and responsive environments that support inquiry. 

In response to these issues, Dr. Tissenbaum will focus on answering two questions: 

1) How can combining tangible, embodied, and immersive technologies help develop interactive learning spaces to support radically new ways for learners to collaborate with peers, investigate rich and engaging phenomena, and generate knowledge? 

2) What role can data-mining and analytics-driven software agents play in adding a layer of “intelligence” to such spaces, affording real-time orchestration of learners’ movement and groupings, distributing materials and activities, and providing timely and context sensitive insight to learners and teachers?


Free and open to the public


Emma Mercier



Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching and Agency