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21 st CENTURY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

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Melissa Mathieson

on 3 May 2016

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Transcript of 21 st CENTURY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
What is a 21st Century Learner?
21st Century Learners are:
Technology & Media Savvy
Flexible & Dynamic
Multitasking
Communicators & Collaborators
Interactive & Networked
Reflective & Critical
Instant
Creative & Adaptive
Student-Centric, Life-Long, Anywhere-Anytime Learners
Multimodal Learning Styles
what is a 21st Century Learning Environment?
A 21st Century Learning Environment is a less traditionally structured learning space that supports:

A creative, flexible, student-centered space that can be used for multiple purposes and that helps the teacher to integrate a multi-modal approach to academics
Alternative furnishings (alternative seating, rugs, tables, private corners, etc.) that support comfort as well as productivity and can be re-arranged with speed and ease to accommodate rapid transitions between activities
Access to a variety of technology
Real and virtual display spaces for student work and collaboration
Common surface space for brainstorming and collaborative planning (e.g. whiteboard, etc.)
The space/environment must accommodate and promote, student and teacher exploration/best practices in:
- creativity, problem solving & productivity
- hands-on, active and out-of-your-seat learning
- individual work
- group/team/collaborative work
- presentation
- quiet reflection
- discussion & debate
- teaching & teacher facilitation
Additional thoughts on the space...
COMFORT
"Comfortable classrooms—physically and psychologically— promote a sense of well-being, keep minds focused, and limit distractions. Comfort is not always a quantifiable phenomenon. But we know that when people are uncomfortable, they are distracted. Temperature, lighting, and furnishings all play a role in a person being comfortable. Psychological comfort is also important. Environments that are intimidating or uninviting will influence the depth of learning that can take place." (National Training Laboratories)
COLOR
"Color has long been proven to affect people's productivity at work. The Color Affects System, developed by world-renown color psychologist Angela Wright, determines that while individuals might have certain preferences for color, the effects of color influence people universally. According to Wright's theory, blue stimulates the mind, yellow inspires creativity, red affects your body and green creates a calming balance. But just choosing a color isn't enough. Even more important than the actual color is the saturation and intensity of the color choice. Highly saturated, bright colors will stimulate while softer, muted colors will soothe." (Excerpt from Article by Taylor Casti)
DESIGN
"Classroom design influences levels of interaction and engagement. Engagement and active learning improve retention." (National Training Laboratories)
FUNCTIONALITY
IT HAS TO WORK!!!!!
COLLABORATION
"Classroom design can help to develop skills for life and work beyond the classroom. Self-directed learning and collaborative problem solving are essential skills for success...With group work, you have a lot of social norming going on. You don’t have the misbehavior or distractions you might have with instructional teaching. Small groups keep their members in check. It is community learning. Students consult with their peer group first and go to the teacher second.” (National Training Laboratories)
CREATIVITY

"...today we are increasingly mindful of the role environment also plays in creativity and productivity. People who are relaxed, comfortable, and positively stimulated are known to be more creative and innovative. The right mix of space, conditions, stimuli and aesthetics can enable creativity in many ways ... Environments that are most conducive to creativity have a focus on comfort, space, color and lighting. (Cheryl Perkins, Innovationedge)
INSPIRATION
I just believe that inspiration breeds inspiration. No better way to teach students how to be inspired than by modeling it in all that we do.
FLEXIBILITY & MOVEMENT
Large open areas in combination with smaller, more intimate spaces for individuals or small groups can also help (creativity and productivity). These spaces should facilitate collaboration and be flexible so groups or individuals can adjust in ways most effective and stimulating for them. It takes some getting used to, but non-sedentary movement (sometimes negatively labeled as "fidgeting") should be encouraged; on a neurological level: more fidgeting = more focus/retention!


...and some more thoughts...
21st Century
My Edventures in piloting an Active learning-based, desk-free classroom!
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. " When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
(Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.)
Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.
AND SO IT BEGAN...
a bit about my personal philosophy...
A BIT ABOUT ME...
"The desk, like the chalkboard, has been a iconic symbol of the classroom. But the chalkboard has long since given way to interactive whiteboards, document cameras and projectors.

For the most part, though, the school desk remains entrenched in the North American school system. But some voices in education are starting to call for an end to the ball and chain of the desk, in favor of free-range learning."
(Is It Time to Get Rid of Desks in the Classroom?- Ricky Ribeiro)
WHY?!?
For me, it was an evolution. Desks were always getting in the way of how I teach most effectively, which in turn was not providing my students with an optimal learning experience. so, I bid them farewell and took the jump!
A desk-free classroom is just one of a combination of strategies that I am researching, experimenting with, testing out and employing in my space
to try and better meet the needs of our 21st Century Learners!
Coincidentally, there are no desks within it!



WTF is a Desk-Free Classroom?!?!
So what does it all look like?
There is ABSOLUTELY a seating plan!
If it is going to work, you need to be clear on the rules and expectations.
Affectionately called MathiesonLand!
Welcome to ROOM 7
at Room 7
A little peek
Own the Space! Make it your Own!
It is the best and most organized classroom management plan that I have ever used!!!
Create an atmosphere.
It is my belief that creativity breeds creativity.
In an attempt to appeal to each individual student's comfort, productivity and seating preferences,
I have incorporated a variety of different seat styles, levels and configurations.
Design your space with multiple purposes
in mind.
More pics
The smallest details can make the biggest impact!
You wouldn't want to sit next to a dirty garbage can at
a restaurant, students don't want to either!
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To ensure students have a hard surface for writing, a class set of lap desks and/or clipboards are essential!
STANDING ROOM ONLY!
replacing a traditional desk with a standing desk can increase your daily Calorie burn by up to 300 - 5oo calories!
For students wth
attention deficit challenges, standing desks can help increase focus and
decrease (non-productive) fidgeting.
AND MORE STORAGE!!
Chalkboard tables (made from recycled doors) are one of the
ways I've provided teams with collaborative brainstorming surfaces
Designated whiteboards and windows are another way to meet the needs for a collaborative brainstorming surface!
And for no apparent reason at all, the kids find
writing on these surfaces very engaging!
student storage is also a must, in order to reduce tripping hazards and ensure maximum mobility!
Your furnishings are not the only thing that needs to be flexible ;)

Keep what is working and change what isn't!
surprise
and a few other happy side-effects
The biggest
Most shockingly, the biggest change that this space has inspired is within myself. I have experienced a complete shift....in my thinking, in my teaching and in my overall career satisfaction.
Removing the desks has opened up a connection with my students that I have never experienced before. Building rapport has never come so naturally!
Students have become far more self-directed than I have ever experienced and behavioral issues are at an all-time low.
Student engagement/participation is at an all-time high, attendance has even improved and kids are actually eager to come to class!
I was genuinely shocked to discover that parent feedback has never been so positive...they even bring their cameras lol!
Students have truly taken ownership of this process and have
become the voice that helps to guide me on this journey.

I WILL NEVER GO BACK!
a few more for good measure lol!
ponder this...
Challenge yourself to start thinking about your learning environment MORE like a tool that you need to implement in your lessons AND LESS like an interchangeable venue in which your lessons JUST take place.
Environment:
the surroundings or compilation of conditions in which a person, ... lives or operates (in this case, learns).

Classroom:
a room or venue where
students are taught.
Learning Environment
vs. Traditional Classroom
It is also important to make room in your space that promotes non-sedentary movement (productive fidgeting)!
Disclaimer:
of course the only
two ingredients that i
cannot include in this
recipe for madness...er
success are my students and
myself.
there really is no one correct
way to employ these strategies. They
will look, feel and work differently for everybody!!

Students function as members of teams, this fosters relationships between unlikely student pairs and encourages natural peer tutelage. It also fulfills the multiple requirements for collaboration within the curriculum.
BEFORE
AFTER
BY REPLACING MY OLD MILLWORK TEACHER FORTRESS WITH A NEW STUDENT CONFERENCE-FRIENDLY WORK AREA, STUDENTS ARE NOW ENCOURAGED TO JOIN ME FOR A HELP SESSION, PARTICIPATE IN ASSESSMENT INTERVIEWS OR USE THE WRITE-ON SURFACE FOR BRAINSTORMING AND PLANNING!
Adjustable height tables have been a welcome addition to my space!
IT'S A PARTY ALL THE TIME!
Of course...I am kidding.
melissa.mathieson@epsb.ca
You can reach me at:
How can this space help my students to have more valuable learning experiences?
How can I use this space to better faciliate more engaging lessons?
With new student desks ranging in cost from $300-$600 dollars, an entire class set of lap desks can be aquired for the cost of just a single student desk!!! Replacing traditional desks with lap desks can free up to 85% of your classroom's square footage!!!
Full transcript