Immersive Learning-what?

USS Sturgeon

Have you ever thought about how do you best learn? Where? When?

These are questions that drive me to design educational environments, to research about the brain and its development, to understand what facilitates or impedes in our learning process, to understand how teachers teach and how students learn best, how technology affects and will change the way we learn, and how does the design of a learning environment impact and is impacted by those matters.I believe that the moment has arrived for us to truly rethink how we educate our future leaders of the global world we live in, and the learning environments where that happens. Our current learning environments are mostly based on a 19th century mass production model, not on a customized learning experience model.  We need to create environments that support an education culture of innovation, creativity and inter-disciplinary problem solving; an environment that fosters scholarship and the making of independent thoughts and ideas, and where the sharing of knowledge is ubiquitous.  All of it  driven by taking into consideration how the individual student learns best.

 The immersive Learningscape is a concept designed as a landscape of learning moments that allow for multiple typologies of learning, integration of latest technologies, and customized spaces specifically designed to the acquisition of 21st century skills. Those skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, excellent communication skills, collaboration skills, interdisciplinary skills, leadership skills, among others, need spaces that support and foster them. Our quintessential classrooms do not.  


In this 10 part blog series, I’ll be making the case for the immersive learningscape as I dwell deeper into the reasons that drive this concept, and the components that make up its design:

1. Our current school situation is not effective as demonstrated by a 69% graduation rate across the US. I’ll look at what students are saying about their education, and what teachers are saying about teaching our kids today.

2. A global, highly competitive world will place more and more stress and competition on our kids. I’ll look at what other countries are doing, and what some key schools are doing to provide a highly creative, collaborative  and active learning environment.

3. Rethinking education- to a more engaging learning process, more open and collaborative, where active learning is the norm, where relevance of student’s learning is closely knitted to the realities of everyday life.

4. New, cost effective, and amazing technologies are and will facilitate the customization of education. From the obsoleteness of textbooks, to the adoption of enhanced reality for education, technology is completely changing the way we learn. We’ll review some of these technologies and how they become tools in a world that balances a hands-on education in a physical environment with an immersive digital learning education.

5. Learning  Typology #1: THINK The first of the components of the learningscape. A place for critical thinking, for research, contemplation, individual creation, writing, reading, test taking and immediate assessment. We’ll look at what makes a good Think space.

6. Learning  Typology #2: CREATE  The second of the components of the learningscape. Spaces focused on project-based, collaborative learning, infused with technology. Here, learning is active, engaging, and fosters teamwork and communication skills. It also facilitates distance learning and global connectivity.

7. Learning  Typology #3: DISCOVER  The third of the components of the learningscape. A hands-on lab area, a place for creativity and innovation, for prototyping and manipulation. Arts and science co-exist and inform each other in an imaginative and iterative process, where failure  is encouraged early and often.

8. Learning  Typology #4: IMPART  The fourth of the components of the learningscape. A space that supports teaching and the delivery of content, sharing information and introduction to big ideas, from teachers or students.

9. Learning  Typology #5: EXCHANGE  The fifth of the components of the learningscape. A true space for sharing, for planning and for discussion. A place where teachers plan lessons together and collaboratively across disciplines so students understand the connections between fields of study; a place where teachers are in visual connection of each other; a place where students have interactions with teachers, or other students. It is a place for academic and social exchange. A place to celebrate all the incredible knowledge acquired and created by students.

10.  So where do we go from here? In this last part, I’ll touch on some clear ideas about how to implement the Immersive Learningscape. What recommendations can facilitate that process, and  the benefits of an Immersive learning process.

Ready for immersion?

July 6th, 2012 | Live & Learn
One Comment
  1. Jose Angel Flores | May 19th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Tomas, I was very inspired by your video and presentation. I am opening a learning center for my school of English in Monterrey, Mexico and after viewing your video and your presentation I was really inspired and I am trying to create a learning environment my school. Our space is small, an area of about 18 meters wide and 20 long, but big enough for at least three learning rooms, a small library and few work stations. When reviewing your concepts, it really helped me consider the fact that learning a language it´s a very immersive process and my intention is to follow these concepts you have presented. Because of budgetary reasons mainly, I decided to start building the learning areas myself, I am a bit of a carpenter, I like the concept of a stadium-like learning room, it breaks away from the tradicional classrooms with ten or twelve chairs where student sit down and listen to the teacher, so I am building one, I am also thinking of another classroom where I plan to accomodate benches where students can sit comfortably around the instructor. Is it possible to send you these ideas and get a review from you? how much would that cost? Greetings from Monterrey!