Using a pattern language

One other workshop which I attended was from Yishay Mor, who one of the people behind this online course created by the Open University.  I was drawn to his contribution by his use of the pattern language created by Christopher Alexander as an influence.  As discussed in the workshop, Alexander is an architect and the concept of the pattern language was, in simple terms, to rationalise the characteristics of places where people would enjoy living and working.  Yet his concepts are more widely used in computer science where the word ‘architecture’ has acquired its own meaning.  A siginificant point here is that the workshop opened with a quick, structured, particpatory exercise to get the attendees to talk about their own uses of educational technology.  The structure – based around groups of three, with one telling a story, one questioning, and one writing down, was a fairly pure example of a reflective dialogue but was also introduced as an illustration of how an educational exercise can follow a pattern language.

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