A colleague has pointed me in the direction of Ubiquitous Learning a couple of times now. It seems to have developed in parallel with the idea of feral learning, from a similar starting point, and spread much more quickly. And, as the name suggests, it seems to have a considerable amount of overlap.
My first impression was that the focus of the Ubiquitous Learning discussion is more firmly on the technologies of virtual and distributed learning environments (see for example the UbiLearn conference website, but reading Leigh Blackall's critique suggests to me that perhaps there is more overlap than I originally thought.
But, even so it seems to me that there is a fundamental difference in that the material I've found so far on Ubiquitous Leaning is still beginning from the perspective of the educator, and trying to extend it out, where Feral Learning - in my conception of it at least - begins with the individual, and perceives schooling or other forms of education, training, or instruction (when they work) as subsets of the learning and growing that we all do. I may be being precious about this - reality checks are welcome here - but I believe that is a substantive difference. We may all be headed for the same middle ground, but I think we are heading for it from somewhat different worldviews.
The stuff I've read about Ubiquitous Learning seems to start from the idea of ubiquitous technology, and extend that into the area of education and from there to informal learning. Feral learning starts with the human being's need to grow and develop. Learning is an intrinsic part of growing up, growing wise, and growing old.Technologies like the internet and mobile phones can be great enablers, but actually they're not necessary - people learn stuff wherever they are and whatever they do. It's part of the human condition. In other words, feral learning is a rather more anarchic and radical proposition than what I've read of Ubiquitous Learning suggests.
But, that said, it seems like it's a step in the right direction.
What do you think?
1 day ago