Claudio Aguayo is a Senior Digital Innovation Advisor in Te Ara Poutama, the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). As a biologist trained in the Santiago school of cognition with a PhD in Education, Claudio draws on distinct interdisciplinary areas to explore how digital tools can be best designed to enhance human experience in learning environments. Claudio is the Director of Research & Development for AUT’s AppLab, where he leads the exploration and growing understanding of the design and application of cutting edge digital technologies for learning in a range of educational settings. Through his work with the AppLab and teaching in the Digital Cultures Programme at Te Ara Poutama, he contributes in providing students, staff and external partners the opportunity to engage in practice-based research and applied critical making in diverse areas, including: mixed reality in education, socio-ecological sustainability, art+science, culturally-responsive practice, indigenous worldviews, and embodied cognition in digital spaces, among others. https://academics.aut.ac.nz/claudio.aguayo
Aguayo C. (2019) Autopoiesis in digital learning design: Theoretical implications in education. In: Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE 2019). MIT Press, Cambridge MA: 495–496. https://cepa.info/8142
Today’s mobile and smart technologies have a key role to play in the transformative potential of educational practice. However, technology-enhanced learning processes are embedded within an inherent and unpredictable complexity, not only in the design and development of educational experiences, but also within the socio-cultural and technological contexts where users and learners reside. This represents a limitation with current mainstream digital educational practice, as digital experiences tend to be designed and developed as ‘one solution fits all’ products, and/or as ‘one-off’ events, failing to address ongoing socio-technological complexity, therefore tending to decay in meaningfulness and effectiveness over time. One ambitious solution is to confer the processes associated with the design and development of digital learning experiences with similar autopoietic properties found within living systems, in particular adaptability and self-organisation. The underpinning rationale is that, by conferring such properties to digital learning experiences, intelligent digital interventions responding to unpredictable and ever-changing socio-cultural conditions can be created, promoting meaningful learning over-time. Such an epistemological view of digital learning aims to ultimately promote a more efficient type of design and development of digital learning experiences in education. Read less
Videla R., Aguayo C. & Veloz T. (2021) From STEM to STEAM: An enactive and ecological continuum. Frontiers in Education. 6: 709560. https://cepa.info/8146
STEM and STEAM education promotes the integration between science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts. The latter aims at favoring deep and collaborative learning on students, through curricular integration in K-12 science education. The enactive and ecological psychology approach to education puts attention on the role of the teacher, learning context and socio-cultural environment in shaping lived learning experiences. The approach describes education as a process of embodied cognitive assemblage of guided perception and action. The latter process depends on the interaction of learners with digital and/or analogue learning affordances existing within the socio-technological environment. This article proposes that the scope of an enactive-ecological approach can be extended to the domain of learning science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), especially when it comes to understanding deep roots of the learning process. We first present an exhaustive literature review regarding the foundations of both the enactive and the ecological learning theories, along with their differences and key similarities. We then describe the fundamentals and latest research advances of an integrated STEAM pedagogy, followed by the notion of mixed reality (XR) as an emerging educational technology approach, offering an understanding of its current foundations and general disposition on how to understand digital immersion from ecological psychology. Next, we propose a systems theoretical approach to integrate the enactive-ecological approach in STEAM pedagogy, framed in the Santiago school of cognition attending to the interactive dynamics occurring between learners and their interaction with learning affordances existing within their educational medium, establishing that sensorimotor contingencies and attentional anchors are important to restrict sensory variety and stabilize learning concepts. Finally, we consider two empirical studies, one from Chile and the other from New Zealand, in which we demonstrate how the enactive-ecological approach built upon a systems theory perspective can contribute to understanding the roots of STEAM learning and inform its learning design.