Day 5: Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see–and what you don’t see that you’d like to.Well it's day five of my blogging challenge and I'm about to cheat a little bit. School starts tomorrow and I have a lot to do after a few weeks off, but you don't want my excuses! This prompt is about a topic close to my heart and I've been doing a lot of reflecting about effective learning spaces over the last year. Instead of rushing through a newly written post, I thought I would 'remix' some of my previous thinking about my journey to explore the learning space I share with my students.
Then I moved to a new school, new country and new role. As a technology integrationist, I found I had inherited a somewhat traditional learning space. A computer lab with desks in a U-shape and a Smart board up at the front. As I got to know the space (and the students and teachers) I found it increasingly difficult to work in this environment. Inspired by the Third Teacher and learning more about the Maker Movement I knew something had to change. I was inspired to write this post in March 2015 and create this presentation to share with our organisation's ICT Think Tank.
Family Fridays where students can come and explore the materials and resources we have invested in with their families. Teachers are now beginning to see the space in a new way - no longer a computer room, but a 'creation station' (we're still testing possible names!). We have groups using Makey-Makeys to explore circuits, students programming with Scratch and WeDo Lego and others testing out possibilities with Thymio robots. We are about to embark on a unit of inquiry using Minecraft as a learning space and will be using the more open space to build physical structures. We've made great progress.
I realise though as I write this that I have not done a very good job in taking pictures to document the transition. A new promise to myself. Oh - the original prompt asked for a photo of our classroom - there is one of the old computer lab in the presentation that was shared. I plan to take a new one tomorrow when I get to school and update this post (I'll do a bit of a 'side-by-side' comparison).