Re-Designing Spaces for Learning
We're creating opportunities for project-based learning. We're "flipping" classrooms. We're encouraging meaningful collaboration. We're demanding purposeful instructional design with an emphasis on authentic experience. But, how many classrooms in your building look the same today as they did five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago?
This interesting read reminds us that the configuration of the learning space is a crucial piece to shifting teaching and learning in the 21st century.
"My focus is the key importance of spatial awareness in redesigning spaces for learning. I hope the second decade of this century will be marked by an awareness that redesigning spaces will be as important to change processes, as describing the new skills deemed necessary for learning and career creation in the last decade. I will focus on our journey of change as a case study for education redesign."
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The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning
Recently, I attended a conference on Digital Learning in which one of the top executives at Pearson shared the following quote from Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE : “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” As we all know, the world of education is changing at an alarming rate. With the variety of school choice our students have these days, it’s our responsibility to be ahead of this rate of change.
In “The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning,” the author, Rob Mancabelli, calls for a need for new pillars for learning. A change from the original pillars of the textbook; the lecturer; and the classroom. Instead, he suggests the following, along with their implications: Pillar #1: “I’m only one of my students’ teachers, but I’m the most important because I teach them to connect to all the others.” Implication area: Instruction; Pillar #2: “My students should learn from me how to learn without me.” Implication area: Curriculum; and Pillar #3: “My students’ knowledge lies not only in their minds but in their networks.” Implication area: Assessment.
Calling All Innovators
"Calling All Innovators" might be my favorite article submission of the year! The author, Tony Wagner, boldly states that our nation's "long-term economic health depends on innovation". He challenges that "...educators must be far more intentional in designing cultures of innovation that foster the skills that matter most."
He believes that few innovation-driven schools exist and highlights the five essential changes in our current schooling culture that need to occur:
1. Collaboration versus individual achievement
2. Multidisciplinary learning versus specialization
3. Trial and error versus risk avoidance
4. Creating versus consuming
5. Intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation
The ideas in this article affirm the path that Hilliard Schools is choosing: Innovative Learning Center, capstone projects, mentorships, college credit opportunities, project based learning. We are creating learning opportunities in our school system that will ensure our students are ready for college and career.
Face the Facts: We Are All Headed For an iDisorder
Dr. Larry Rosen was our keynote speaker at last year’s Administrative Retreat. He talked about the iGeneration and what we, as educators, need to know so that we can best meet the learning needs of today’s students. In his new book, iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us, Larry claims the we are “hopelessly addicted to our devices, particularly our smartphones.” Those afflicted with the disorder show signs of OCD, narcissism, and possibly ADHD! Here are few questions you can ask yourself to check if you are addicted to your devices: Do you become anxious if you can’t check email or texts for several hours? Do you switch tasks constantly and succumb to clicking whenever a message comes through? You may have an iDisorder if you answered “yes” to one or both of these questions.
In this article, Dr. Rosen provides several strategies to help you to overcome the hold that technology may have on you. Try these out and see how Larry’s helpful hints can free you from the grip!