Learning is opening up like never before. Open learning was originally used to describe the opening up on education to previously disenfranchised individuals - those who had not followed the traditional pathways to education. In the 70s and 80s, many people suddenly had a chance to pursue a degree when the open universities were established. The British Open University for example, was nicknamed 'the university of the second chance'. As a concept, openness began to gain purchase. Soon there were open colleges, and open learning centres, and then open software appeared - software that could be shared and developed by anyone.

Mobile communication has become increasingly popular for a number of reasons. The cost of smart phones is falling, and we enjoy increased functionality. The advent of social media has further advanced this evolution at a pace. Hence, mobile learning is now becoming a key part of educational strategy. And yet it is still largely an unknown strategy for many educators.

In the #EDENchat on 22nd April we focused on issues surrounding mobile learning.

Last week I wrote about the issues and challenges of assessment. There are many. One is to understand that measuring is not the same as providing good feedback. Yesterday at the London Grid for learning Conference I asked my audience of over 400 teachers if they knew what ipsative assessment was. One teacher raised their hand. This is a standard response. Ipsative assessment is not a commonly known method, and yet most of us use it just about every day to measure ourselves.

Recently on this blog I featured an interview with Martin Weller, one of the keynote speakers for EDEN 2015.

When you mark a student's work, do you give them a grade or do you offer them advice? Both, do I hear you say? If you are offering both, then you're doing well. But not all teachers do, and I should point out that there is a big difference between assessment of learning and assessment for learning. Assessing students' work can be tedious and time consuming, and it turns out to be the bane of many teachers' lives. But it is a vitally important part of pedagogy.

I need to disinfect. Recently I've been receiving a lot of requests to publish blog posts from freelance writers. When I first began to receive this requests, I admit I was curious, because it made a change from companies trying to get advertising space on my site. So I asked to see some of the 'guest posts' that were being offered. What I was sent was disappointing.

I have written extensively about education spaces, architectures for learning, and personal learning environments. I elaborated on these ideas in my recent book Learning with 'e's like this:

If the design of a space is wrong, learning can be constrained or even stifled. It's hard to engage students when their surroundings are poor. Too much noise, not enough light, too much heat or cold, uncomfortable seats, even poorly configured seating in a classroom can adversely affect learning.

An article on connected cities in the latest edition of Wired Magazine got me thinking. It talked of solar powered bike paths, footfall sensors and other Internet enabled environments. I wondered if such ideas could also be applied to schools, colleges and universities to make life easier.