Online technologies connect learners across great distances and link them with those back home when they travel. The use of communication technologies can change the pace and timing of educational interactions: whether enabling bursts of informal communication, slower and more reflective responses, or the sending of messages at unconventional but convenient moments. The physical environments of education are infused with personal technologies and ubiquitous information, so even how people communicate face-to-face can be re-shaped. Those developments require a deeper understanding of the physical and temporal nature of education in a digital age. We wish to better understand the roles of physical location in learning, including in online distance education; how technology supports people during difficult transitions in their lives; how people integrate and separate the time spent engaging with formal programmes with their other professional and personal commitments; and how institutions provide spaces that support new forms of education. In short we focus on how people appropriate and combine the different spaces, times and technologies of their lives to accomplish their objectives.
Our work on mobility, time and space investigates issues like:
- How can we understand learning, education and development as dialectically related to mobility, time and space?
- How might we support education across the spaces provided by technology including the physical, the digital and the augmented?
- How can technology offer particular support to international students and others in unfamiliar locations?
- How can we understand the role of time in online interactions between different people—including the apparently synchronous and asynchronous?
- How can technology contribute to how people learn from particular experiences and then transfer that learning to other settings?
- How can technology help us to link informal learning with episodes of institutionalised, more formal learning?
- How can technology help people in ‘transition’ between contexts: such as in and out of employment, or between different forms of education?
- How can technology support people across their lifespan?