Publication 4550

Beynon M. & Harfield A. (2007) Lifelong learning, empirical modelling and the promises of constructivism. Journal of Computers 2(3): 43–55. Fulltext at
Educational technology is seen as key for lifelong learning, but it has yet to live up to expectation. We argue that current learning environments are typically oriented too much towards structured learning to meet the needs of the lifelong learner. Environments for lifelong learning demand a higher degree of autonomy for the learner, must be open to eclectic sources, support soft informal learning activity, and accommodate evolution both in the experience of the learner and in the context in which this occurs. We propose sense-making through the construction of suitable interactive artefacts as a core activity for lifelong learning, and discuss and illustrate how this can be supported using Empirical Modelling. The merits of Empirical Modelling as a constructivist approach are assessed with reference to a criterion recently proposed by Bruno Latour, namely, the extent to which it strengthens five guarantees, taken together.




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