Mobilities and Place-Based Learning Supported by Technology

Place-based learning offers learners the opportunity to engage in experiential learning, projects, real-world problems, and collaborative efforts including research to engage these authentic ways of learning. Michael Foucault, Henri Lefebvre, and Manuel Castells offer powerful perspectives on why we are moving from a temporal perspective of reality to a spatial one that is globalized and technological.

This Pecha Kucha offers a look at the meaning of place-based learning in the backdrop of technological advances in mobility and mobile communications technologies and locative media. These philosophical, social, and technological shifts in our approaches to learning support a more effective way of supporting all learners, but perhaps especially marginalized learners whom research suggests benefit greatly from place-based, experiential learning. This benefit appears to be related to improved self efficacy and confidence among learners, especially marginalized learners, and offers opportunities to change the curriculum and our way of seeing education almost exclusively through the lens of the classroom and campus.

Place-Based_Learning_OttoKhera from S. Otto Khera on Vimeo.


Bandura, A. (1994). Self‐efficacy. John Wiley & Sons, Inc..

Castells, M. (2011). The rise of the network society: The information age: Economy, society, and culture (Vol. 1). John Wiley & Sons.

Foucault, M., & Miskowiec, J. (1986). Of other spaces. diacritics, 16(1), 22-27.

Gordon, E., & e Silva, A. D. S. (2011). Net locality: Why location matters in a networked world. John Wiley & Sons.

Gulson, K. N., & Symes, C. (2007). Spatial theories of education: Policy and geography matters. Routledge.

Lefebvre, H. (1991). The production of space (Vol. 142). Blackwell: Oxford.

Wiley, D. (2013, October 31). Iterating toward openness [Weblog post]. Retrieved from

4 thoughts on “Mobilities and Place-Based Learning Supported by Technology”

  1. I admire your commitment to place-based learning. I always learn more about it each time you present on it.

    I feel like place-based learning with technologies can be very successful as you discussed in your Pecha Kucha. Pacansky-Brock (2013) might be a helpful resource for teachers if they look to start integrating technology with place-based learning especially if they have to teach their students in how to use the technology in tandem with their place-based work.

    I found a couple of interesting articles on place-based learning if you were interested in getting more ideas. (2015) published one on teaching strategies for place-based learning (, and Edutopia (2015) has several videos related to place-based learning with technology (

    Thank you for sharing your expertise,


    1. Thank you for the useful and supportive feedback Maggie. I am honored to have you read and find worth in these different place-based posts. I also applaud you for researching a bit, and finding the Edutopia pieces and videos that are indeed very useful as place-based learning resources and examples of how place-based learning actually happens and what it looks like. In many ways, place-based learning is merely an emphasis upon location — whereby the institution and learners place community and the surrounding natural and designed environment as a key part of their available resources to engage and sometimes offer stewardship of these places (such as with Aldo Leopold Charter School, whose mission it is to follow the teachings of Aldo Leopold). I really appreciate the feedback and insights and resources indicated in your comment. Thank you.

  2. Hi Otto,
    I truly presentation! It is so important that as educators we create spaces that will provide our students to have deep conversations and engaging with other children and their environment. The Montessori approach certainly provides those opportunities for children. According to Valenzuela 2016 (pg. 29), teachers need to have a deep understanding for their subject and make it accessible to all learners. In order to develop appropriate programs, teachers must provide services or instruction that is meaningful and comprehensible to each individual learner. In his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire describes a real humanist as “a person who [is] identified more by his trust in the people, which engage him in their struggle, than by their many actions in their favor, without the trust” (p. 60).  Freire goes on to say that conversations with the people are a profound rebirth.  Teachers must understand the person or persons involved in each classroom or community in order to clearly identify specific goals and objectives to construct positive change or growth.  They must encourage and facilitate positive interactions and engagement with and among all children in the classroom.
    I believe we both agree that students need a combination of online instruction and on ground instruction like the flipped classroom and flipped campus in order support their learning and understand of the world.
    Freire, P. (2004). Pedagogy of indignation. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
    Valenzuela, A. (2016). Growing critically conscious teachers: A social justice curriculum for educators of Latino/a youth. Teachers College Press.

  3. Otto,

    Always your presentations which are a welcome sight because they go beyond the norm of education within the traditional setting and challenge us to imagine learning as an activity of natural progression; one in which activity modifies the paradigm of traditional learning environments. I came across an article a few years ago when I was engaged in action research (and of course when I imagined a much different definition than AR intended) which shared that successful placed-based learning encompassed various fundamental attributes that are “specific to the geography, ecology, sociology, politics, and other dynamics, inherently multidisciplinary and experiential, contains some ecological and cultural sustainability as its result, connects place with self and community, and includes multigenerational and multicultural dimensions” (Woodhouse & Knapp, 2000, p. 4). My AR involved cross-age peer mentoring and my primary subjects were students from my community. I wanted to gauge whether students were more receptive to peer/peer dynamic than the teacher/learner dynamic. I often wonder why wee have moved away from this model of education, having older student mentor younger. Clearly in your model, the Montessori structure, this is a successful foundation towards learning. The advantage however is that in the Montessori model, students are already in the same classroom. What would happen however if students were able to move from classroom to classroom in peer mentoring clusters? Something to think about.
    But I believe the community aspect of place-based learning, the multicultural and multigenerational aspects of it towards the betterment of self and community are worth a second look.

    Woodhouse, J. L., & Knapp, C. E. (2000). Place-Based Curriculum and Instruction: Outdoor and Environmental Education Approaches. ERIC Digest.

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