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