Through Our Students’ Eyes
If we as teachers begin to view the world from behind our learners’ eyes we will be able to build future learning environments. Looking at how our students interact outside the classroom provides an opportunity for us to learn about how we can improve the in class environments. The environments outside the classroom are student centred. Their ‘play’ environment allows quick flexibility for collaboration, working in small groups.
When Students Learn
The conception that learning takes place only at school, behind four walls and between school hours is misguided. Students use social areas (libraries, cafes, parks, sports fields, loungerooms, etc) to gather and collaborate. What is it that engages students in their learning environment? The comfortable furniture in the social areas lures students to informal meetings to share and discuss and the opportunity to work socially to converse on issues. It is not simply an adult domain to meet at a coffee shop to share personal experiences and insight into their views on ‘things’. Environments like these are places of action, full of energy and enthusiasm.
There is a terrific 5 minute video clip by David Thornburg offers further insight into the evolving classroom that highlights the changing classroom.
We know that basic technology allows students to create and build content for learning. Given the open, comfortable and flexible learning environment it is then the role of the class teacher to facilitating learning, stimulating conversations and addressing specific learning needs.