Mobilities, moorings and boundary marking in developing semantic technologies in educational practices

Richard Edwards, Fran Tracy, Katy Jordan

Abstract

While much attention has been given to the changing spaces of education introduced by new technologies, the impact of spatial theory on the discussion of such education is less well developed. Drawing upon empirical evidence from the Ensemble research project, this article examines spatially some of the possibilities and constraints that arise in the introduction of semantic technologies into case-based learning in higher education. While the affordances of the semantic web provide a technological basis for the development of flexible tools and associated pedagogies in ways that could enhance case-based learning, there are many tensions in this process. In this article, we draw upon certain aspects of spatial theory to examine the ways in which the mobilities and openings made possible by the introduction of semantic technologies also entail mooring and boundary marking in order to give the technologies specifically educational purposes. We suggest how educational practices can be considered theoretically as spatial orderings and some of the implications.

10.1080/21567069.2011.624167

Keywords

semantic technologies; spatial theory; mobilities; moorings; boundary marking; higher education

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