Learning needs learning spaces

This is the fourth post covering some reflections on the recent Innovative Education Forum in Berlin last week. This post will talk centre around a school visit.

Some of the best learning at the IEF took place outside of the formal sessions.  The school visit was very illuminating as it illustrated the fact that the problems that I face most days are not unique.  That fact is comforting and very very scary in equal measure.

Comforting because I’m not alone.

Very very scary as the message from events like IEF_2010 and the reality of school don’t seem to match up. 

(This assumption is based upon lots of school visits in the UK)

I’m going to talk about some of the aspects of the school I visited (which was very similar in terms of technology set up) and some possible lessons.

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1. Blocking is not a UK problem – we need to move beyond this view of internet use and safety.

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2. We are all interconnected.  This school had just completed a read-a-thon for Haiti. The school had raised over 2000 Euros.  This means that there is room for international collaboration in response to world events – and Geography is ideally placed. Next time there is an event of this magnitude I should attempt to get in touch with schools overseas.

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3. No concept is too difficult to tackle at any age.  In the Elementary school library, there was evidence of some quite complex understanding of geographical terms.  This support my view that we should be tackling the complex concepts of sustainability, interdependence and globalisation from day one in secondary schools.

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4. Sometimes you have to be creative.  I’ve been aware of using a Wii Remote to create an interactive board for a while.

But I’ve never seen it in place until this visit.  It’s time that I started to look for creative solutions – or (more accurately) start implementing some that I already know of!

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5. Learning space needs to be planned.  I was impressed by the open plan nature of the school as there were no real corridors.  In their place, there were large multi purpose spaces.  Such spaces would be an ideal location to place shared computer access, hold small assemblies etc.

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