Navigating learning worlds: Using digital tools to learn in physical and virtual spaces




location, augmented reality, virtual reality, contextual learning, learning continua


This article explores the various ways that teachers and learners can navigate different learning worlds with the support of digital tools. Increasingly, teaching and learning takes place in spaces beyond the classroom, whether physical or virtual. Place, navigation and movement have all been recognised as important concepts in approaches to understanding how we learn in and across places. With our postgraduate cohort of in-service teachers from across New Zealand, we have been exploring forms of learning that engage in the exploration of other spaces, using a range of digital tools. Google Tour Builder has allowed creative global navigation in a virtual space, Google Expeditions has given teachers an opportunity to integrate virtual reality into their classrooms, and Actionbound has exposed them to the use and design of situated outdoor learning activities with geolocated augmented content. Our article is based around participant interactions on social media that express their responses and creativity using mobility in physical spaces and the navigation of virtual spaces. Based on these interactions, we reflect on the nature of pedagogy in technology-redefined activities that involve senses of both place and navigation, structuring our analysis along two continua of physical accessibility and the extent of world knowledge.


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Author Biographies

David Parsons, The Mind Lab

Dr David Parsons National Postgraduate Director at The Mind Lab and Associate Professor (Research and Enterprise) at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand.

Milla Inkila, The Mind Lab

Milla Inkila is Postgraduate Diretcor at The Mind Lab in the Waikato region, New Zealand

Jonathan Lynch, The Mind Lab

Dr Jonathan Lynch is Postgraduate Director (Master of Contemporary Education) at The Mind Lab, based in Dunedin, New Zealand.




How to Cite

Parsons, D., Inkila, M., & Lynch, J. (2019). Navigating learning worlds: Using digital tools to learn in physical and virtual spaces. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(4).