Reflections on the research and development project “Octopus” inspired by Bachtins idea of the “chronotopos”
This paper outlines experiences and reflections on the research and development project “Octopus” in order to describe and illustrate how intelligent context facilitates and embody learning and play. The framework is a research and development project where we have tried to work we new kinds of tangible learning media and develop didactic approaches for teachers in a primary school and furthermore to use the user experiences in a structured process where children participated in the innovation process. This has raised a fundamental question: How should we understand the relationship between structure and process (or flow) or it could be formulated in a more philosophical way: The relationship between epistemology and ontology in a designed set up for learning i.e. a classroom setting with learning mediated through intelligent tangible learning media. The tangible learning media is an intelligent environment, which is intentionally designed as a dynamic field between structure and flow. Structures regarded as a scaffolding learning principle and flow understood as cross between play and game experiences. Octopus embeds a dialogical principle in order to establish clear sense of progression. This paper therefore aims at illustrating how and why the “Octopus” works and functions in a learning community (school) and discus the relations between distinctions, embodiment, intelligent contexts, structure and flow. This paper introduces a new reading of pervasive learning environments as the “Octopus” through M.M. Bachtins concept of “Chronotopos” or how time and space influence and structure experience and learning. We have adapted this theory that originally is about literature in order to find new ways of understanding the time and place relation in learning.