Wednesday, November 19, 2008

21st Century Learning Spaces

Access to technology and media: The 21st Century classroom is networked, adequately provided with a rich internet connection to support media streams, personal (skype) and group (video conferencing/access grid) communications. Able to upload and download students work and research to suitable structures to support anywhere anytime learning and collaboration. Facilities need to be in place to enable media production, whether its video, audio or text/image based.Consider this. Many projectors have the facility to support wireless networking enabling the users (teachers and students) to easily connect and then switch between users. How many projectors have this enabled? This flexibility is essential for the 21st Century learners.

Classroom design: Traditional classrooms are design for a teacher centric delivery mode. 21st Century learners are collaborators and communicators. So the classroom must be designed to enable group collaboration. They must have the flexibility in furnishings and technology to be rearranged with ease and speed. Switching rapidly between individual and groups, presentation, communication and collaborative modes. From these grouping learners and educators must be able to connect, collaborate, share and report - projection and video conference, present and report back.Classrooms must be able to adapt to different needs of the classroom - space for the students to work quietly and reflectively; space to operate in small groups discussing and debating; space to meet collectively to report, discuss, plan and teach.

Display spaces: Students will need access to real and virtual display spaces. Whiteboards, pinboards, collaborative learning spaces online, conferences etc. They will need easy and instant access to media systems that they can use to view materials and share their own.How many classrooms have student whiteboards - how many of us use whiteboards (interactive or traditional) as we interact with our colleagues in meetings.

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