Out of the Box: Innovative Learning Spaces (NAIS 2013)


I have the honour to offer a “speed innovation” session at the NAIS Annual Conference today at 1:30 p.m. The topic is “Out of the box: Innovative Learning Spaces” and I plan to adapt some of the materials I used at my 2012 ISTE presentation on the topic of innovative learning spaces and the role of technology.

The sessions I’m doing today are only 15 minutes long, so to focus the discussion I’d like to address the following trends:

— learning spaces becoming increasingly flexible and large and student centered
— modern computer labs
— design centers for STEM and STEAM
— Learning Commons concept for libraries
D-school flexibility concepts
— fly spaces
— immersive learning experiences (like Smalllab)

The core questions I’d like to discuss:

— learning itself becoming more dispersed and differentiated
— reports of college-level students requesting course materials be e-reader friendly
— the “near future” of digital textbooks
— growth of online courses
— growth of home schooling
— use of 3/4G devices to improve teaching and learning “in the field”
— increased use of technology for life-long learning and interaction by parents
— learning spaces becoming international: return of the teleconference room
— learning spaces becoming global: the Avenues school concept

It’s common for us to rethink traditional classrooms (and make useful changes in space, furniture, media access and presentation), but at the same time it is worth addressing how the full learning sphere of learning is changing for students and extending to almost every waking hour. This can be too much of a good thing, but the potential for how life-long learning changes and improves is remarkable.

Additional resources:

Learning Spaces, a free Educause book: http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/learning-spaces

Horizon Report 2012 K12: http://k12.wiki.nmc.org/

I look forward to the session!

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