Learning Spaces

Learning spaces… a wonderful open ended concept, it opens the mind to consider something new and it is one that fits in with today’s online world. As an educator I am constantly amazed at the behavioural and  psychological aspects to teaching and learning, and I love the new directions that teaching and learning are moving into. “Learning spaces”  opens the idea of what constitutes a learning environment, in the past this has pretty much been the classroom, with desks in rows,  at a school. Today’s world is expanding, AND contracting, with the flow of the world wide web, students (and I include myself in that category) are able to interact with people and information like never before. How exciting! Often in my house family “discussions” that are close to turning ugly are ended with the cry “GOOGLE IT!!”

And this is just the tip of the ice-berg.

The idea that teachers are now more like mediators who help steer students in the direction that they themselves want to go in fits in nicely with the topic of learning spaces. It has been made obvious to me that new learning spaces and indeed, learning styles need flexible and student centered pedagogy. I say it’s obvious, but honestly, until I’d actually had that explained, I hadn’t made the connection, and indeed, in my recent teaching experiences, I have pretty much been using ICT as a way to engage students, and as a way to present the information that “I” thought was important. Of course, with curriculum to deal with, there will always be an aspect of that, however, I am starting to get really excited about the possibilities of being much more the facilitator than “teacher” and “font of all knowledge” (not likely!)

Along with the internet, where people create their personal learning environment (PLE)and ICT in general, learning spaces are also being reconsidered in terms of ergonomics and design that enhances creativity, initiative and collaboration. A school in Sydney, Northern Beaches Christian School has taken a huge leap into future and really re-conceptualized the kinds of physical spaces that are conducive to learning. Outstanding work!         http://vimeo.com/28425187

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3 responses to “Learning Spaces

  1. It is an exciting prospect as an educator to consider the various ‘learning spaces made possible through the use of New media & ICT. As you know Iv’e had my hesitations, but ultimately i cant help but acknowledge the benefits of intergrating New media & ICT into our teaching practice as this benefits not only our own teaching but ultimately, our ‘technology-saturated’ students. I like the acknowledgement of teachers as mediators of learning who help steer students in the ‘right’ direction, rather than dictate their learning for them. Like all successful learning contexts, you are more likely to be motivated & your learning more concrete if you are the one in the driver’s seat of learning, controlling the outcomes. Happy Blogging : )

  2. Yes it is exciting!! I also had major hesitations about ICT and new media, but from my first practicum (where ICT was literally never used) compared to my second (where it was used daily) I could see the benefits. The shift from “teacher as expert” to “teacher and students working together and students having some control” was enlightening for my teacher training. I could see that ICT provides students freedom to explore and investigate related topics that interest them (as well as catering for many learning styles) and I think that is what motivates students to learn.

    • I agree Zoe. I particularly liked the role of facilitator and the shared experience of knowledge discovery. i can still remember one student sharing his excitment in learning about his chosen ceramic tradition – British ceramics, which he streamlined right down to the Toby Jug.

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